North River Commission partners with Illinois State University, which has developed an urban teacher education program called The Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline. The Pipeline is grounded in social justice and works to cultivate and sustain innovative, resilient, and effective educators for urban schools and their communities.
Watch this video from a couple of years ago that gives a great overview of the resources Pipeline brings to our area schools, 6 minutes: https://youtu.be/Yj6RY5wafzQ
Illinois State University Pipeline: http://teacherpipeline.illinoisstate.edu/
The Pipeline has carefully constructed and refined a model of pre-service professional development for urban teachers that demonstrate the value of community-based partnerships to enhance shared educational goals. North River Commission is CTEP's chosen community partner in Albany Park. At the NRC we work closely with ISU professors and student teachers, as well as local schools and community organizations to coordinate learning opportunities or clinical site visits in the North River service area. ISU Education students come here to observe classes, engage in school activities, receive community tours, and participate in community projects. These visits acquaint prospective teachers with the area, and promote our diverse and dynamic community; its schools, businesses and organizations. The visits are a component of the 75 redesigned courses with an urban education emphasis offered at ISU.
ISU Education students also become familiar with the NRC service area through STEP-UP (Summer Teacher Education Partnership for Urban Preparation) program. STEP-UP is a 4-week teaching and community internship and summer residency program for pre-service teachers from Illinois State University. NRC has partnered with community organizations throughout our service area to place new student teachers in internships. These internships and home stays steep students in our community culture, make them more effective student teachers, as well as provide community organizations with needed assistance.
ISU Education students are then placed in our area schools to complete their student teaching. This Spring Henry Elementary, Mather High School, Northside Learning Center, Peterson Elementary Schoo, Schurz High School, and Volta Elementary are hosting 12 ISU student teachers. Pre-service teachers can opt to do Traditional Student Teaching, which consists of sixteen weeks of a student teaching with a cooperating teacher and evening seminars at CTEP that expand student teachers knowledge on relevant topics with housing options available in the community. Or they can chose to do Professional Development School, which is a year-long internship consisting of two phases. Student teachers work under two cooperating teachers in two different schools in the community during the year, attend classes at CTEP, and are visited by a site coordinator to ensure they are developing appropriately.
Once ISU student teachers graduate we hope they choose to teach in Albany Park schools. The retention and effectiveness rates of ISU CTEP graduates are extremely high due to the aforementioned intense preparation, as well as continued support. First and second year teachers identify veteran teachers to serve at their mentors, and the mentor and mentee pairs attend PD throughout the year on various topics, as well as receive technological and financial supports.