The newly renovated space includes a classroom, faculty offices and indoor and outdoor spaces for student engagement.
The Center for Teacher Education is named in honor of Joy French Becker ’67, making it the first building on campus solely named in honor of a woman.
Becker grew up near IC in what is today the Alumni House on Mound Avenue. In 2020 she made a gift to the College paving the way for IC to purchase the home next door that was owned by IC professors Paul and Almut Spalding. Becker, President and Chair of the Board at Farmers State Bank and Trust Company in Jacksonville, has been a longtime supporter and leader in the Illinois College and Jacksonville communities. She served as an Illinois College Trustee from 1994 to 2017, including a decade-long tenure as Chair of the Board. She continues to serve as an Emerita Trustee.
The Becker Center is equipped with innovative technology made possible by a gift from Trustee Michael ’92 and Beth Doty Fletcher ’92. The gift combines Michael’s career in computer science with Beth’s career as an educator. The Fletchers are passionate about helping to prepare teachers to successfully integrate technology in K-12 classrooms.
The Becker Center for Teacher Education provides a technology “sandbox” allowing professors to instruct future teachers while they experiment with applying the tech to their own teaching.
Now more than ever, the importance of state-of-the-art technology and modern learning environments in K-12 is clear. This new technology-rich space will prepare future teachers with the skills needed to introduce best and next practices in their classrooms and set them apart as candidates within the job market. The Becker Center will give the education department the space, tools and resources to inspire student achievement and support the regional economic need for more teachers.
Additionally, this facility provides a collaborative space in which future educators will be able to gain valuable hands-on experience working on and designing projects. The Becker Center will also host group meetings, tutoring sessions, study tables; and the outdoor space can be used for additional activities, class projects and gatherings.