AU Woodstock Center offers local path to professional educator license
Beginning in summer 2021, it will be possible for residents in and around McHenry County to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in a flexible format in downtown Woodstock at the Aurora University Woodstock Center.
In light of the current number of unfilled teaching positions in Illinois, and the projections for the teacher shortage to continue growing, it's an ideal time for a local program that will ease the way for aspiring teachers, according to Diana Frisbie, Director of Elementary Education at AU Woodstock Center.
"Moving away to attend college full time for four years doesn't fit with every person's story," Frisbie said. "By meeting people halfway with a more flexible and affordable program in Woodstock, we hope to bring the degree -- and a career as an educator -- within reach."
The bachelor's degree program is structured for individuals to complete 60 credits (the equivalent of two full-time years of study) at a community college, before taking courses equaling two more years of study at AU Woodstock Center.
This "2+2" format offers the value of an accredited 4-year degree from Aurora University's well-regarded School of Education and Human Performance, along with significant savings gained by paying community college tuition rates for general education courses.
Additionally, the fact that courses in the 2+2 program are held in the evenings means individuals can continue working and earning for most of the two years they are enrolled as Aurora University students.
Other than the 16 weeks of full-time student teaching that is required near the end of the program, courses are typically one night a week for eight weeks and are held year-round.
Becoming licensed to teach requires specific coursework, so individuals are encouraged to contact AU Woodstock Center as early in their journey as possible for help in mapping out a plan to fulfill the first half of the 2+2 program at a community college. For those who have already completed coursework elsewhere, AU Woodstock Center can review transcripts and advise individuals on any additional courses that may be needed.
This new Bachelor of Elementary Education program at AU Woodstock Center is designed to provide graduates with the soonest-possible employment. For example, students with all the necessary transfer credits in place to begin the Aurora portion of the program in summer of 2021 can complete the coursework and student teaching by the end of spring 2023, enabling them to apply for their Professional Educator License (PEL) and be eligible to teach in Fall of 2023.
Graduates who earn the BA in Elementary Education are qualified to pursue a PEL to teach first to sixth grade. Professionals can then build on that foundation throughout their career by adding endorsements for other grade levels, or specializations such as special education, reading specialist or English as a Second Language.
Many of these credentials are also offered at AU Woodstock Center, as well as master's degrees and even a doctorate in Education.
Learn more at www.aurora.edu/woodstock/index.html. Click the green "Request Info" button to inquire, or contact Diana Frisbie at firstname.lastname@example.org or (815) 880-5361 for further information.
AU Woodstock Center is located in downtown Woodstock, just a block from the station on the Metra Northwest (UP-NW) train line.