College of Education Opportunities

Professional Development (student teaching semester only)


While student teaching, create, maintain and post a blog to be used interactively with College of Education students.  Blog should contain vignettes, weekly “diary-like” entries, and/or an account of specific classroom activities and teaching techniques, followed by thoughtful reflection, assessment, and suggestions for growth and improvement when applicable.  Other College of Education students will be able to comment with ideas and suggestions.  This Blog is intended to support the development of teacher candidates in early stages of the professional course sequence and to highlight successful practical applications of knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed through University coursework.

District Professional Development Opportunity

Work with your school to identify, select and participate in a sustained/extended district wide professional development opportunity and write a paper, create a poster presentation, brochure or technology-supported resource guide with thoughtful reflection and assessment of the program.  (example:  Book Clubs, Curriculum Committees, Program Implementation/Review, Data Teams, etc.)

Create and Implement a Professional Development Workshop for Year I Education Students

Work individually or with a partner (may be another teacher candidate or your cooperating teacher) to develop a 1 hour workshop aimed at informing and involving Year I Education students about current practices and issues in the field of education.  Workshop should be interactive.  This workshop will be part of a Professional Development series coordinated by the Director of School and Community Experiences.

A Study on Teacher Supervision/Evaluation

During the student teaching semester, study the impact on the new district and state mandates for teacher supervision and evaluation.  Collect samples of observation and evaluation instruments, consider their alignment to the Danielson Framework for Teaching or other teacher evaluation framework, interview teachers and administrators about district policies, training, practices, and reactions to new evaluation and supervision practices.  Present your findings in a media-rich format, using images, video, and other resources and upload your work to a private YouTube channel.

Service-Learning Project

Attend an orientation workshop on service-learning programming, co-facilitated by College faculty and staff with experience and interest in service-learning in the P-12 setting and then implement a full-scale service-learning project in the student teaching classroom.  The project must adhere to recommended best practices in service-learning as an pedagogical tool in the classroom with periodic review of the various stages of project design, implementation, and evaluation.

College of Education James Scholar Courses: 

Freshmen have the opportunity to enroll in EDUC 102 to complete their James Scholar requirement.

EDUC 102

Credit: 1 hour

Provides an introduction to critical issues in education with focus on selected contemporary issues in the field; emphasis is on critical analysis and reflection on relationships between teachers, schools, and society

CI 199 (Spring only)

Credit: 1 hour

Students wishing to work with faculty on research projects should enroll in this course which covers the fundamentals of education research and engages students in a research project with a faculty member in the College of Education. The class will meet with the course coordinator on a regular basis for the first month to explore how education research is done, connect with a faculty member to establish a research project, and complete a literature review for the research topic. After that students will meet with the faculty researcher and with the course coordinator on an arranged basis. The student will connect with the research for data collections and analysis. Students will be expected to write a research paper with the guidance of the course coordinator and to present at the campus undergraduate research symposium.

EPSY 200

Credit: 1 hour

Course affords students an opportunity to consider important topics impacting current educational practices. Students select six scholarly presentations from an approved list. The presentations are delivered by outstanding visiting and resident scholars in education and related disciplines. Three times during the term, students gather to consider the issues raised by the presentations. Course expectations include: attending six presentations, attending the three course discussion meetings, reading the course text and selected publications, and developing written reflections based on presentations attended.

EPS 199: Leadership in Global Engagement (Spring only)

Credit: 3 hours

Course focuses on interactive exchange experiences between University of Illinois students and  students from the University of Macau Honours College.  The purpose of the course is to provide students with a platform to engage in discussions and projects that explore aspects of leadership, communication, and intercultural encounters.  Topics explored in this course include individualist and collectivist cultures; public and private behaviors; projections of cultural similarities; cultural conformity; stress in intercultural encounters; communication styles; generalizations and stereotypes; rank and power, ethnocentrism; family relationships; dealing with conflict; and being an effective intercultural communicator.  The course has a limited enrollment.

Other Opportunities:


 James Scholars can use eHCLA’s (electronic Honors Credit Learning Agreements) in conjunction with the instructor of one of their regular classes. The project is determined by the instructor of the course. Students may also elect to use eHCLA’s to work with a professor on research projects outside the classroom. Please see refer to Participating Faculty Researchers for details. 

Study Abroad

Study Abroad – If participating in a spring/winter break or summer study abroad program (taken from Illinois), students can  earn James Scholar credit by presenting their experience AT A SPRING SEMESTER EVENT.  NOTE: James Scholar Credit must be the immediate semester but is based on the commitment to present at a spring venue.  So students who study abroad in the summer will earn fall James Scholar credit but it is based on their presentation in the spring and does not constitute their spring project since it counted for fall. Students interested in earning James Scholar credit for study abroad will need to create a 4-5 minute video about their educational experience and present at one of the James Scholar spring events. Contact the College of Education Admissions and Records Officer at with questions and for video and presentation details. 

PLEASE NOTE: Semester long study abroad trips automatically fulfill the James Scholar requirement for the semester the student is abroad. The semester long study abroad does not require a presentation.