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Undergraduate Handbook

Student Affairs

Student Academic Affairs Office

The Student Academic Affairs Office (SAAO) is a unit devoted to enhancing the overall educational experiences of our undergraduates. SAAO prides itself on supporting our undergraduate students, helping them reach their highest potential, and in ensuring that they are successful in all phases of their collegiate experience and beyond. Our staff are experts in advising students in meeting their degree requirements and in helping them develop into the education professionals they aspire to become.


The University of Illinois provides a variety of services designed to meet a broad range of student needs and concerns. A few of them are listed below and can be contacted directly for more information.

Counseling Center
610 E. John St, (217) 333-3704

Career Center
715 S. Wright Street, (217) 333-0820

Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL)
100 & 101 Library, (217) 333-2305

University of Illinois Writer's Workshop
251 Undergraduate Library, (217) 333-8796

Office of Minority Student Affairs - Student support, tutoring resources for all students
130 Student Services Building, (217) 333-0054

McKinley Health Center
1109 S. Lincoln Avenue, (217) 333-2701

Disability Resources & Educational Services
1207 S. Oak St, (217) 333-1970

Office of the Dean of Students/Student Assistance Center
300 Turner Student Services Building, (217) 333-0050




Registered Student Organizations

The College of Education sponsors RSO's related to the professional development of students in any major who are interested in education.

Vis a Vis

To provide an opportunity for students to tutor children one-on-one or serve as a classroom aide in the local Champaign-Urbana elementary, middle, and high schools.

TRiO Upward Bound

Works to increase minority student enrollment at universities across the country by providing high school students with encouragement, support and the academic requirements and skills necessary to compete at a major academic institution.

America Reads/America Counts Program

Focuses on helping children in pre-K through the 6th grade read independently and well. America Counts tutors work with children in pre-K through the 8th grade to help improve mathematical and problem-solving skills.

Recruitment takes place at the beginning of the fall semester. Students who are eligible for FWS of $1,000 or more for the academic year are eligible to participate in this program.

Interested students should contact Office of Student Financial Aid, (217) 333-0100.


SOAR is an after-school tutoring program that provides literacy support and homework help to Latina/o emergent bilingual/biliterate students in grades 2-5 by pairing them one-on-one with students from the University of Illinois. Each semester approximately 100 dedicated and enthusiastic university students from a wide variety of academic majors volunteer their time weekly to provide academic support to program participants. SOAR is a collaboration between the College of Education and the Champaign Unit 4 School District that takes place at the International Prep Academy (IPA), 1605 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign.

Study Abroad

Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange

The Study Abroad program at the University of Illinois offers numerous opportunities for students who wish to study off-campus in another country. Students may study abroad for a semester, summer, or academic year and may select from exchange programs all over the world. 

Office of International Programs

260 Education Building

The Office of International Programs in the College of Education provides study abroad experiences valuable to education students, such as classroom observation, assisting with teaching, and even leading a class. The programs provide opportunities for participants to work directly with students, engage with local communities, and begin to develop a global network with educators and pre-service education students in other cultures.  

Education Success Initiative

The Student Academic Affairs Office (SAAO) in the College of Education addresses all undergraduate student issues. It is the common goal of all SAAO personnel that each and every undergraduate student has every opportunity to succeed. To this end, the Education Success Initiative (ESI) was developed in the fall of 2007. The ESI program is designed to support students in their quest to succeed academically at the university level and reach their goal of becoming an education professional.

Students meeting designated criteria will be invited to participate in ESI. The ESI Adviser meets individually with all ESI students at the beginning of the semester and a plan is established between the student and adviser that outlines agreed upon meeting dates and goals for the semester.

Once a student is recognized as an ESI candidate and participation is requested by the College, the student should realize their compliance will be an expected component of the petition process should the student ever find it necessary to petition the College regarding their academic status.

What are the components of the program?

Students meet with the ESI Adviser on a regular basis throughout the semester to monitor their academic progress and determine a specific course of action to succeed academically at the university level.

In order to monitor academic progress, students will be encouraged to meet with their instructors throughout the semester and gather feedback on their standing in classes. This information will be shared with the ESI adviser on a regular basis.

A commitment to solid study time is a prerequisite to academic success. Students will plan and track study hours on a weekly basis.

Individual meeting topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Self Assessment
  • Time Management
  • Test Anxiety
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Study Skills (textbook reading, note taking, etc…)
  • Goal Setting
  • Motivation
  • Procrastination
  • Learning styles
  • Stress
  • Success
  • Career Choice


If you have any questions about the Education Success Initiative program, please contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at

Petitions and Forms

On occasion, students may submit special requests for individual consideration, including course substitutions and reasonable exceptions to College policy. Two different petitions are used by students to submit such requests. Information about all forms and petitions can be found on our website.

Undergraduate student petitions 

Undergraduate student petitions should be submitted for requests involving course approvals/substitutions, overload/underload semester hours, and other matters over which the College has jurisdiction. Decisions on college petitions are made by the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in conjunction with academic advisers and departmental chairs/heads.

Students wishing to change their registration after the deadline should be aware that approvals of such petitions are not routinely granted. An undergraduate petition must accompany credit/no credit and grade replacements requests made after the deadline. Check the campus academic calendar for specific dates.

Council on Teacher Education Petitions 

Council on Teacher Education petitions are required for matters over which the Council on Teacher Education has jurisdiction. The following are examples of the types of requests that must be submitted on a Council petition: requests to be certified with less than a 2.50 grade point average, substitution or waiver of early field experience, substitutions to meet the special and professional education requirements, and requests to student teach in the event the student has less than a 2.50 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, cumulative, content area and/or professional education grade point average and/or is on academic probation. Final decisions on Council petitions are made by the Executive Director of the Council on Teacher Education and/or the Licensure Officer with input from the student’s Dean and adviser. Petitions authorizing a substitution for any requirement should be kept until the degree has been completed.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Office of Student Financial Aid is located at 620 East John Street. Students who have federal- or state-funded aid packages should direct all questions regarding financial aid to the staff in this office. The following list of financial aid packages i s a brief description of some assistance programs earmarked for future educators. Please consult the Campus Financial Aid website for more information on the variety of scholarships available.

Illinois Future Teacher Corps Scholarship

The Illinois Future Teacher Corps (IFTC) Program is generally for students who are academically talented and demonstrate financial need with junior standing or above with priority given to minority students, individuals pursuing a teacher shortage discipline, and/or to those who make a commitment to teach in a hard to staff school. The IFTC Scholarship Program is administered by ISAC and carries a five-year commitment for teaching service in Illinois. For additional information about IFTC, contact a client services representative at 1(800) 899-4722 or

Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program (SETTW)

Academically talented students who are enrolled in a public five-year institution and who are seeking initial licensure in any area of special education may be eligible for the Illinois SETTW. This program is administered by ISAC and will exempt individuals from paying tuition for up to four calendar years. Recipients of this scholarship must be Illinois residents and agree to teach in the special education field in an Illinois school for two years. For additional information about the SETTW, contact an ISAC client services representative at 1 (800) 899-4722

Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program

Students who are planning to become preschool, elementary or secondary school teachers and who are of African American, Hispanic, Asian or Native American origin may qualify for the MTI Scholarship Program. For additional information about MTI, contact an ISAC client services representative at 1 (800) 899-4722.

Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois (Illinois Scholars Program)

The Golden Apple Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, which promotes excellence in Pre-K through 12th grade education. Based in Chicago, the foundation recruits academically talented and ethnically diverse high school graduates for successful teaching careers in high need schools throughout Illinois. A limited number of positions in the program are open to college sophomores who attend one of the colleges or universities that partner with the program. Golden Apple Scholars agree to teach for five years in an Illinois school of need in exchange for financial assistance from the foundation. More information about the Golden Apple Scholars program is available online

Virtual Job Board

The Virtual Job Board is a service provided to students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The job board is intended to assist students in finding part-time employment. Please see the website for details. 


Handshake is a University wide recruiting platform that offers tens of thousands of job and internship openings.

College of Education Students Awards Program

The College of Education annually awards undergraduate and graduate merit scholarships, which are funded from gifts of alumni and friends of the College of Education. Undergraduate applicants must be enrolled in the College of Education or the Minor in Secondary School Teaching, be in good academic standing (not on Academic Warning), and maintain satisfactory and continuous progress toward the degree objective. Each applicant is reviewed based on academic performance, application essays, and potential matches with donor award criteria. The scholarship amount varies. Detailed information is available online