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Illinois State Receives $800,000 IBHE Grant to Support Teacher Education

Illinois State University was awarded a grant of more than $800,000 by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) to support the ongoing education of early childhood teachers.  

The funds are part of the $3.37 million awarded in IBHE Early Childhood Faculty Preparation Grants. “The grants will help increase the diversity of faculty in early childhood education in Illinois at a time of great need by expanding the educational pipelines for aspiring early childhood faculty,” said IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro, in a news release from the Governor’s Office.

At Illinois State, the funds will aid current early childhood teachers and professionals in obtaining a master’s degree in teaching and learning through a streamlined program that concentrates on preparing others to become teachers.  

 “The goal is to support talented early education teachers, so they can become higher education faculty,” said Professor Miranda Lin, who was the principal investigator on the Illinois State portion of the grant. Lin noted that the more people who can become early childhood instructors in higher education, the more teachers the state will train. 

Offered through Illinois State’s College of Education, the Early Childhood Education – Faculty Preparation (ECE-FP) program is already forming the first cohort. The 15-month program, which is 100 percent online, is designed to meet the educational needs of adult learners. Along with covering tuition and fees, additional expenses, such as laptops and childcare, are included.   

With one in six teachers in Illinois having graduated from Illinois State, Lin said the grant found a fitting home. “Illinois State’s College of Education has a very comprehensive support system in place to ensure these diverse teachers—and they are diverse in so many ways—will be able to complete a degree within 15 months.” 

Illinois State’s first cohort will begin in May of 2023 and end in August of 2024. Those with questions about the program can email rbrown@ilstu.edu.  

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