Columbia College Chicago Education Department Chicago, Illinois Institution Comment Comments submitted by: Ava Belisle-Chatterjee, Chair, EducationDepartment
Columbia College Chicago’s Education Department is deeply committed to the preparation of teachers who will be able to work effectively in urban communities and create change for the better. The Department prepares all its teacher candidates to understand the nature of teaching and learning and thereby be able to not only participate in, but also provide leadership in the improvement of education. In keeping with this commitment, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program offers a revolutionary approach to teaching young children by integrating the study of child development with work in the arts. The ECE program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and promotes arts-integrated, hands-on, and child-centered teaching for children from birth through grade three. Upon graduation, our teacher candidates are prepared to begin their careers as skilled and knowledgeable teaching professionals who know how to touch the hearts and minds of children and tap their deep potential for creativity and growth. Such preparedness is due in part to the teacher candidates’ extensive field experiences: two years working under experienced teachers in public and private Chicago-area schools, prior to graduation. Nearly 100 percent of ECE graduates find work in their field within six months of graduation, providing proof of the value with which they are perceived by school administrators. Like the NCTQ, Columbia College Chicago’s Education Department is committed to preparing teachers who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to effectively teach children of diverse backgrounds. The Department welcomes all opportunities to improve its programs and will take the NCTQ findings into consideration in its ongoing efforts to make its programs stronger for the benefit of the students that will be taught by its teacher candidates.