The Teacher Leader degree or endorsement is designed for teachers who have a professional education license and want to pursue additional leadership training and responsibilities. Educators who earn a Teacher Leader degree or endorsement may pursue positions as a mentor or coach, lead curriculum standards committees, serve as department or grade-level chairs, lead school improvement initiatives and serve on school leadership teams.
The Teacher Leader program provides a third choice for educators, which results in a Teacher Leader endorsement from the state of Illinois. The College already offers MAEd options for Teacher Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction and an Education Leadership and Administration MAEd with principal endorsement.
Illinois’ Teacher Leadership degree or endorsement provides an opportunity for teachers who have acquired additional leadership training to serve in intermediate leadership roles while maintaining a role in the classroom.
“The Teacher Leader option is perfectly suited for the teacher who wants to explore leadership but is not yet certain about the extent of a role like the principalship,” notes Kristine Servais, associate professor of education and coordinator of the College’s master of arts in education program. “Our program encourages teachers to enter through a gateway course that helps teachers define themselves as leaders and the degree to which they wish to lead.”
North Central College’s Teacher Leader program offers flexibility to fit a candidate’s educational standing. Candidates who already hold a master’s degree in education may take 24 credit hours of study at North Central and achieve a Teacher Leader endorsement. Or, candidates may choose to take 33 credit hours of study and earn a Teacher Leader endorsement and a master’s degree from North Central.
Teachers from schools and districts who are formal partners with North Central College may enroll in the first three courses of the Teacher Leader degree or endorsement program at a 50 percent tuition reduction rate. North Central has formal partnerships with five area districts, six high schools, eight middle schools and junior highs, and nine elementary schools.
The Illinois State Board of Education on Sept. 6, 2013, approved North Central College’s Teacher Leader degree and endorsement program as part of the College’s Graduate Education program. North Central is among the first seven institutions in the state to earn approval to offer this new option for educators.