Millikin’s Elementary Education program receives an “Exemplary” rating from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

The ISBE annually evaluates Illinois teacher preparation programs.

Elementary Education

DECATUR, Ill. – Millikin University’s Elementary Education (ELED) program recently received an “Exemplary” rating from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in their annual evaluations of Illinois teacher preparation programs. 

This is the program’s third consecutive year receiving the “Exemplary” rating, the highest rating the ISBE gives out in their rankings. 

ISBE rankings

"Three consecutive years of exemplary ratings and distinctive reauthorization for our Elementary Education program is indicative of the fact that we have a well-designed curriculum delivered by outstanding, engaging, and student-centered faculty,” Director of the School of Education Dr. Chris Cunnings said. “Perhaps most importantly, however, is that we have been fortunate to have incredibly talented and ambitious students enter our ELED program, persist, graduate, and emerge as outstanding teachers and leaders in Illinois schools and communities. There's this big web of connection between these contributing factors and when you bring excellent learning opportunities to talented groups of students by way of a talented faculty, you have a recipe for sustained success."

In 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) implemented a tool for evaluating all college and university teacher preparation programs throughout the state of Illinois. The evaluations aimed to ensure all new Illinois teachers are learner-ready on day one in the classroom and provide data to teacher preparation programs to support a continuous improvement process and strengthen teacher preparation statewide.

Millikin teachers

The ISBE ranks programs on several factors, including the quality of the teaching candidates, knowledge and skills for teaching, performance as classroom teachers, and contributions to state needs. Schools are designated "Exemplary" (earning 75% or more of the possible points), "Commendable" (50-74.9%), "Developing" (25-49.9%), and "Needs Improvement" (fewer than 25%). 

“If you're an aspiring education major, these annual program ratings might help you to compare and contrast colleges and universities that you're considering attending,” Cunnings said. “If you notice a teacher education program with consistently strong annual ratings or a program that's continually improving on a year-to-year basis, you might be more inclined to enroll in that program because it's building a reputation for excellence in teacher education."

Interview Bootcamp
Millikin students practice their interview skills at the annual Interview Bootcamp.

Through Performance Learning opportunities in the classroom and events like the Interview Bootcamp and the Tomorrow’s Teachers Conference, Millikin students can build a strong network of connections that will assist them well beyond graduation. 

"Our School of Education faculty and staff are proud of what we and our students have accomplished recently, but we also refuse to rest on our laurels.  We will continue being proactive when it comes to reimagining our education programs to meet the needs of emerging technologies, pedagogies, and challenges that impact schools and classrooms,” Cunnings said. “Education is a rapidly evolving profession, and it seems to be changing faster than ever before, so we're committed to keeping up with the changes and delivering practical, high-quality learning experiences for our teacher candidates."