School of Education

A Best in Class Education Program

Few professions will grow as fast in the coming decades as teaching. Even fewer professions will be as rewarding and as significant to our society.

If you are ready to make a real difference in the lives of children and youth, look to the School of Education at Elmhurst University for inspiration and for the professional knowledge and experiences to prepare you for a challenging and vital profession.

Explore Academic Programs

Undergraduate Programs

An education degree at Elmhurst University is about best practices that are grounded in research and theory. Our education undergraduates are highly sought after and their extensive school-based experience gives them a critical head start in the field. It also is about practical, hands-on experiences. Future teachers are immersed in real-world applications in schools and practicing teachers are challenged to apply new ideas and best practices in their classrooms and schools.

We offer 17 teacher education programs that lead to Illinois teacher licensure. Our graduates are teaching at every level throughout the United States and abroad. More than 1,700 Elmhurst alumni are teaching in Illinois schools alone.

Graduate Programs and Endorsements

  • M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership: a progressive alternative to conventional programs in curriculum and instruction and approved for the new Teacher Leadership endorsement in Illinois.
  • M.S.Ed. in Special Education: enables teachers to provide research-based special education services in their classrooms and schools and includes approved curriculum for the Special Education (LBS1) endorsement.
  • ESL and Bilingual Endorsements: The ESL and bilingual endorsements may be added to a Professional Educator License (PEL) and would be valid for grades PreK-12. The bilingual endorsement requires passing a Target Language Proficiency exam.
  • Special Education Endorsement (LBS1): Teachers can use this endorsement to educate children, adolescents and adults with developmental, learning or emotional disabilities.
  • Teacher Leader Endorsement: Teachers learn skills that can benefit them in leadership roles such as curriculum specialist, instructional coach, mentor teacher, department chair, lead teacher or professional development facilitator.

School Spotlight: Next-Gen STEM

Education professor Theresa Robinson is helping Elmhurst develop the next generation of science and math teachers in Illinois classrooms.


Preparing Teachers to Make a Difference

The School of Education at Elmhurst University prepares innovative and responsive professionals to uphold diversity, equity, and social justice through engagement in transformative education.

Samina Hadi-Tabassum, Elmhurst University

My name is Samina Hadi-Tabassum and I am the new Dean of the School of Education. I graduated from Northwestern University with a major in English Literature and a minor in Biology. I then taught middle school students in Houston, Texas as a Spanish bilingual science teacher. I completed a doctorate in anthropology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University while working as a literacy specialist in the Newark Public Schools. My research focuses on the intersection of race, culture and language and my book publications examine dual language programs as well as racial integration in American public schools.

The School of Education at Elmhurst University offers undergraduate majors in educating young children, special education, elementary, middle school and secondary programs as well as in different disciplines such as music and physical education. We offer a rigorous teacher education program that prepares candidates to teach a wide range of students successfully through our coursework and field-based experiences in diverse school settings. Our master’s degree programs focus on teacher leadership, special education and offer a wide range of endorsements through hybrid learning platforms.

Our graduates are sought out by principals and superintendents because they have consistently proven to create successful classrooms and help to lead strong schools, even when the contexts can be challenging. We have a long track record of developing teachers and leaders who are strongly committed to all students’ learning and who are highly knowledgeable about curriculum development and have strong instructional skills.

Our graduates can manage the thousands of interactions that occur daily in the classroom with flexibility and grace. They understand the importance of subject matter knowledge such as mathematics, social studies and science and how to teach it in diverse ways. They can support students through differentiation, interventions and enrichment as well as understand the importance of language and literacy across the curriculum. They can work effectively with all types of families, colleagues and schools to integrate much-needed resources and activities to help each child succeed.

We hope you can join the growing number of graduates from our School of Education who are making a strong impact in their classrooms, schools and communities.

Samina Hadi-Tabassum, Ed.D., Dean of the School of Education

Mission, Goals and Core Values

The School of Education at Elmhurst University prepares innovative and responsive professionals to uphold diversity, equity, and social justice through engagement in transformative education.

The School’s mission statement describes qualities of teachers that all PK-12 students need:  innovative and responsive professionals who uphold diversity, equity and social justice. Each teacher education program integrates content specialization, professional knowledge, and practice-centered learning. Teacher preparation programs at Elmhurst University take place within the context of liberal education. For program candidates, this underscores the interdependence among theory, research, and practice, and positions our candidates to be advocates for students and leaders in our profession.

  1. Develop and implement innovative approaches to content knowledge development that integrate cross-disciplinary knowledge through culturally responsive pedagogy.
  2. Demonstrate how instructional planning, delivery, and assessment utilizes multiplicity of literacies present in our changing and interdependent world.
  3. Transform student learning opportunities using equitable and responsive instructional practices and assessments.
  4. Create classroom environments that are inclusive and representative of students’ cultural backgrounds within the classroom, school, and community.
  5. Engage in authentic experiences with, stakeholders (learners, families, colleagues, community) to develop collaborative practices both in and outside of the classroom that cultivate equitable and socially just learning environments.
  6. Engage as critical reflective practitioners who are committed to inclusive schools that ensure a quality anti-racist education for all students.

The values of the School of Education at Elmhurst University provide the foundation for all of our professional interactions and teacher education programs.


We will listen, communicate, and question to provide the best possible educational environment and experience for all students and their families.


We will explore and identify inequalities in educational systems and processes to provide inclusive and equitable experiences and opportunities for ALL students.


We value collaboration as the basis for developing and sustaining strong relationships with students, school partners, families, colleagues, and program alumni and alumnae.


We achieve excellence through ongoing reflection, professional development, scholarship, and participation in collaborative learning communities.

School of Education (BA, MS, M.Ed.)

Requirements for educator licensure vary by state and may involve more than successful degree completion Graduates who apply for licensure in another state may need to complete other requirements, such as completing an application, paying a fee, additional coursework, and passing associated state licensure exams. The School of Education programs at Elmhurst University are accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education through the State Educator Preparation and Licensing Board. The school offers 17 teacher education programs that lead to Illinois teacher licensure at the undergraduate and graduate levels. All students must obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License before applying for licensure in another state. Please note that employment, salary, and occupational advancement are not guaranteed.

For more information on a state-by-state basis, see Professional Licensure Disclosure: Education.

Illinois State Board of Education Licensure

The School of Education continues to maintain program approval status with the Illinois State Board of Education. Information regarding program approval status can be found at the Illinois Educator Preparation Profiles at

Elmhurst University is required to provide detailed information about accountability for programs that prepare teachers. These disclosures will assist students and their families in making informed enrollment decisions.

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Chalking the Line Blog

An illustration of a teacher advocating for students.

Prof. Deb Meyer covers everything education in her blog.


School of Education Newsletter

School of Education August 2023 Newsletter, front page

Welcome to the first edition of the School of Education Newsletter!


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