by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment ( / Jun 19, 2018, 6:15 AM

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) is in process of a website redesign and logo development and we would like to invite you to take part! We invite all students, faculty, staff, and others to let your creativity flow and submit original ideas for a new NILOA logo! We would love to give those who frequent our website, make use of our resources, and inform our work the opportunity to have a voice in creating a logo to represent NILOA.

NILOA was established in 2008 with the mission to discover and disseminate ways that academic programs and institutions can productively use assessment data internally to inform and strengthen undergraduate education, and externally to communicate with policy makers, families and other stakeholders. NILOA assists institutions and others in discovering and adopting promising practices in the assessment of college student learning outcomes. Documenting what students learn, know and can do is of growing interest to colleges and universities, accrediting groups, higher education associations, foundations and others beyond campus, including students, their families, employers, and policy makers.

While we would like you to be as creative as possible, we encourage you to draw inspiration from your experiences with NILOA's mission, materials, and staff. The deadline to submit an original piece to is August 24, 2018. We look forward to seeing your ideas!

by the College of Education at Illinois / Jun 5, 2018, 6:45 AM

Mary KalantzisProfessor Mary Kalantzis, a former dean of the College of Education at Illinois, will be recognized with an honorary degree—an Honoris Causa Doctorate—from the School of Education at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

The ceremony will take place June 21 in Greece, with Dr. Kalantzis giving a speech at the event titled “A Learning Odyssey.”

Kalantzis, a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership (EPOL), was dean of the College from 2006 to 2016 and began her career in education as a public-school teacher in Australia in the late 1970s. Over the years, her academic research has crossed over into numerous disciplines related to history, linguistics, education, and sociology.

Born in Greece, Kalantzis receiving her honor is in many ways a full-circle moment. Her parents left the war-torn country in search of a better life when she was 3, which for Kalantzis began a lifetime of personal and scholarly inquiry into the forces that move humans to relocate to other countries.

She has connected with numerous educators during her distinguished career, including Dr. Bill Cope of EPOL, who strive to enhance educational opportunities and systems in Greece, a country that continues to have major struggles, according to Kalantzis. The book New Learning: Elements of a Science of Education by Kalantzis and Cope has been translated into Greek and is widely used as a textbook in Greek universities.

“I’ve worked for more than 30 years with almost every government of all political persuasions and many educational institutions in Greece, which has led to partnerships with committed and creative educators, students, and administrators,” Kalantzis said. “In various ways, it has been a shared objective of these projects to harness the affordances of literacy, diversity, and technology to advance the interests of learners, workers, and citizens.”

Kalantzis said she is deeply honored to receive an honorary degree from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

“It provides a formal and affirming acknowledgement of our scholarly contributions and recognition of our genuine admiration and love for Greece and its people,” she said.

Discover more about Kalantzis and her distinguished career as an educator.

by the College of Education at Illinois / May 30, 2018, 5:45 AM

Carrie McMenamin

Carrie McMenamin, who minored in secondary education at the College of Education, was a co-recipient of this year’s Cupcake Award from the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation (CUSF) thanks to her work with students outside of the classroom.

McMenamin, a 2014 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Illinois, led the effort to make social studies applicable to real-world situations by co-sponsoring a Model United Nations Club at Centennial High School in Champaign. Her award nominator told The News-Gazette that McMenamin’s training in restorative justice practices has given her the skills to build trust among students and strong support between teachers and students.

Prior to teaching at Centennial, McMenamin said she was able to get a solid foundation in policy and pedagogy as she created lesson plans, developed her teaching philosophy, and collaborated with peers in her cohort at the College of Education.     

“Our studies and practice always centered on culturally responsive education and placed the utmost importance on the diversity of students and schools,” she said. “The College of Education helped me envision my future career with project-based learning experiences in the local community.”

Following graduation, McMenamin said professors in the college assisted her with finding a job and offered feedback and materials for lesson plans. McMenamin herself has offered future student teachers in the college advice on what to expect during their placements.

The annual Cupcake Awards are given to area educators who display exceptional service to students, and nominators must be teachers in the Champaign or Urbana school districts. Darienne Ciuro Sanchez joins McMenamin as a co-winner of this year’s award. Both educators received $500 classroom grants from CUSF.

Steve Keepes-England, a current master’s student in the college, and Rhonda Turner ’99 C&I, Ed.M. ’03 C&I, were recipients of the Cupcake Award in 2017.

by the College of Education at Illinois / May 10, 2018, 10:30 AM

Susan BurtonThe Education Justice Project, an initiative of the College of Education, will co-sponsor a May 15 event featuring author Susan Burton, a nationally recognized advocate for restoring civil and human rights to formerly incarcerated women.

Burton’s new memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton, was co-written by Cari Lynn. It talks about her experiences growing up amid poverty and abuse, and how she transformed herself after the death of her son and being incarcerated for 15 years in the criminal justice system.  

Burton’s experiences inspired her to found the nonprofit organization A New Way of Life, which provides help and healing to women who are rebuilding their lives after leaving prison.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Champaign.

Read the full article about Burton and this event, and learn more about the Education Justice Project at Illinois.

by the College of Education at Illinois ( / May 1, 2018, 3:00 AM

Co-taught by scholars Chris Higgins and Anke Pinkert, the Introduction to Public Humanities course (GCL 199) will be available for students during the Fall 2018 semester. Four themes will be covered in the experiential, interdisciplinary class: attention (how is democratic life affected by a contemporary culture that divides, funnels, and captures our attention); avatars (how we relate to ourselves and others); voice (finding a meaningful voice in the dialogue of public life); and walls (scaling or dismantling walls within ourselves and groups).

Tuesdays and Thursdays
2-3:20 p.m.
English Building, Room 44; Room 69 for breakout groups

Chris Higgins is an associate professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership.

Anke Pinkert is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Contact Higgins or Pinkert at or for inquiries about the course.