Robert Lopez, Ed.D., Director
The Graduate Programs in Education are designed to facilitate professional growth for those interested in becoming teachers and those who are currently in the field looking to advance their education. All of the graduate programs blend theoretical doctrine and practical experience with a “Christian Purpose” as the foundation. The programs are infused with current and best practices, including technological resources required for participation in a global society. All of the programs are aligned with state and national standards. To meet the needs of the adult learner, the programs are presented in an accelerated format. This allows for degree completion within a two-year span.
The graduate education programs are directly linked to the School of Education. As part of that unit, all of the graduate education programs focus on “Professionals Influencing Lives” through the development of a solid academic foundation, professionalism, curriculum development, instructional methodology, student, program, and school evaluation; and Christ-centered character. The vision of the Department of Graduate Programs in Education is to prepare scholarly and innovative professional educators with high moral and ethical standards who view themselves as agents of change, who are committed to the welfare of children, and have the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for effective teaching and leadership.
Beyond the academic preparation provided through the educational programs, pre-service teachers and practicing teachers engage in reflective thinking and writing; assess their dispositions for teaching and leading; enhance problem solving and decision making skills as individuals and through collaborative relationships; and broaden their scope and skills on how to effectively facilitate learning for the diverse needs of today’s Pre-K-12 student population.
Each public school teacher is required by law to hold a valid license issued by the state in which he or she teaches.
For an initial Professional Educator License (PEL) in Illinois, individuals must either (1) complete an Illinois state-approved program, including appropriate coursework and testing requirements or (2) must hold a valid, comparable out-of-state license, whose transcript from a regionally accredited institution of higher education demonstrates the necessary degree with a minimum of 15 semester hours in content coursework, that allows the individual to obtain an Educator License with Stipulations (ELS) that is valid for one full fiscal year and can be extended up to four fiscal years to enable the candidate to meet all requirements for the PEL. Illinois standards currently require that “all professional education and content-area coursework that form part of an application for licensure, endorsements, or approvals must be passed with a grade of “C” or better.” Individuals must pass a test of basic skills-either the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), the ACT plus writing, the SAT, or an appropriate out-of-state basic skills test that led to licensure in another state. Test of basic skills scores are valid indefinitely. In addition, the appropriate content-area exam must be passed prior to initial licensure. Content tests are valid for ten years from the test date. Furthermore, a passing score is required on the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) Test or the edTPA, depending on whether student teaching was completed before or after September 1, 2015. Coursework addressing cross-categorical special education methods, reading methods, and reading in the content areas must be included in an Illinois approved program.
Individuals who have already attained an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) may add subsequent endorsements at the appropriate grade range without retaking the test of basic skills. However some endorsements require passing appropriate content-area exams(s) in addition to the courses/hours specified for the endorsement. Furthermore, some endorsement areas (e.g. Reading Specialist) require at least two years of teaching experience prior to the issuance of the endorsement. Olivet offers programs that enable licensed teachers to obtain endorsements for the following areas: Reading Teacher, Reading Specialist, English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education, Teacher Leader, Safety/Driver’s Education, and Learning Behavior Specialist 1.
Individuals who have already attained a teaching license in the state of Indiana may add additional endorsements through two Indiana Department of Education-approved endorsement programs Olivet offers. The English Language Learner and Ethical Building Leader endorsement programs are aligned to Indiana licensure requirements.