Press Releases & Statements

Northeastern Illinois University to Receive AACTE Award for Support of Global Diversity

For interviews, contact: Lisa Johnson
202-478-4502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(Feb. 6, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) will present its 2012 Best Practice Award in Support of Global Diversity to the Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) College of Education. The award, which recognizes a school, college or department of education that fosters diversity, equity and global awareness as core elements of its teacher education program(s), will be presented February 19 at AACTE's 64th Annual Meeting in Chicago.

According to the AACTE Committee on Global Diversity, which oversees the award, the NEIU College of Education's integrated curriculum, aggressive recruitment of underrepresented students, strong community ties and evident impact on the profession helped to make it a clear choice for this year's award. NEIU's institutional mission is closely aligned with the College of Education's conceptual framework, which emphasizes reflection, collaboration and transformation. Moreover, equity, diversity and global awareness are embedded within the curriculum and community based field experiences designed to serve high-need schools. Identified as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, NEIU produces the largest number of teachers of color in the region.

In addition, the institution and the college, through its collaboration with the state-based Grow Your Own Teachers (GYO) program, has formed close partnerships with local organizations and school districts to recruit parents, community members and paraprofessionals from low-income communities into the teaching profession. NEIU currently manages five of the 16 GYO programs in Illinois. Impact on the community is evident by the 22 GYO graduates who, as of May 2012, are or will be practicing teachers in schools throughout Chicago, the 105 GYO candidates who are still in their preparation programs and the additional 21 students in the GYO pipeline at partner community colleges.

“Northeastern Illinois University's Grow Your Own Teachers program has developed into a source of talented teachers who are not only dynamic pedagogues, but also change agents who intimately understand the neighborhoods in which they live and teach,” said Maureen Gillette, Ph.D., dean of NEIU's College of Education. “Their personal experiences and commitment to their communities strengthen their ability to relate to students, parents, local school council members and others in a way we have never seen before. GYO provides the opportunity for NEIU faculty and our GYO community based partners to exchange expertise on the campus and in the community in ways that improve teacher preparation and the communities we serve.”

“Through the Grow Your Own Teachers program, Northeastern Illinois University's College of Education has demonstrated its leadership and success in collaborating with communities to develop competent, dedicated and culturally aware teachers who are committed to making a difference in their neighborhood schools,” said Sharon Hahs, Ph.D., president of NEIU. “This initiative is an outstanding example of our faculty's commitment to preparing a diverse community of students for leadership and service in Chicago and the world.”

Find more information on AACTE's 2012 award winners at


AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE's reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education.