POWERED BY THE JERRY J. DAWSON CIVIC LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE IN MACON COUNTY ILLINOIS

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Learn More about How DCLI Partners with Educators to Improve Civic Leadership in Our Community

Teaching is not merely a profession it is a service.  The teaching profession is a service to community, it is a service to our state and it is a service to our country.  The passion and commitment of educators in both, traditional and nontraditional educational settings is critical to the continued advancement and development of our community.  

 

Over the most recent years, Decatur Public Schools has been unable to fill multiple vacancies prior to the start of each school year.  In addition, there is some forecast that predict the number of teacher vacancies will continue to increase if alternatives to teacher preparation and development are not established.  Research also suggests that teacher shortages are not uniform across the board.  They are more severe in some areas and certain demographics.  Often times schools in areas with a high-poverty rate, a higher percentage of minority students or rural schools face the greatest difficulties in recruiting and employing educators.

 

DCLI will develop a teacher education pipeline to education in collaboration with Decatur Public Schools and the community.  

 

Goals

  1. Directly impact teacher shortage in Decatur Public School District 61 through the development of an engaging teacher education pipeline.

  2. Over the eight-year life of the Jerry J. Dawson Leadership Institute will prepare a minimum of 40 licensed paraprofessionals prepared to transition to a full-time teacher education program. 

  3. Jerry J. Dawson Civic Leadership Institute will provide students additional support in researching and applying to teacher education programs to ensure that future educators are not saddled with debt.

 

Key Collaborators 

  1. Amanda Duckworth, Counselor @ Dwight D. Eisenhower High School 

  2. Leslie Risby, Innovative Programming

  3. Denise Crews, VP for Academic Services @ RCC

 

Programming and Engagement 

Build a diverse pipeline to education with a direct connection to Decatur Public Schools.  DCLI’s education program will begin with students working towards and completing the requirements to become a licensed paraprofessional while being actively engaged in the area of teaching and education interest.

 

  • WHAT WILL MAKE THIS PROGRAM UNIQUE?

  • HOW DO WE CONNECT STUDENTS TO ENGAGING EDUCATION PRACTICES AND OPPORTUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE PROGRAM?

  • HOW DO WE CONNECT STUDENTS TO COMMUNITY?

 

PARTICIPATION EXPECTATIONS

 

Rising High School Juniors & Seniors

  1. Attend 

    • Education Information session

    • Week long DCLI Leadership Series (May)

  2. Complete 

    • Program application for participation 

  3. Requirements

    • Complete Richland Admissions Application

    • Service learning activity in Education  

 

High School Graduates

  1. Attend 

    • Education information session

    • Week long DCLI Leadership Series (May)

    • Monthly leadership sessions

  2. Complete 

    • Program application for participation 

  3. Required to 

    • Complete RCC scholarship application

    • Complete FAFSA Form

    • maintain a cumulative “C” average in coursework 

    • Complete Essential Skills & Resilience 

  4. Participate

    • Monthly educator meetings & workshops arranged by DCLI

    • Planning and executing community service activity focused in or around education 

    • Mentoring high school juniors and seniors that are interest in becoming educators 

 

Planning

  1. Information & Program Session(s)

  2. Student Application 

  3. Student Participant Interviews

  4. Notification of Acceptance / Cohort Identification

  5. Orientation: Registration & Financial Aid

  6. Leadership Series 

  7. Summer Engagement 

    • Coursework at Richland Community College

    • Education Internships

 

Resources & Additional Information

Paraprofessional Requirements (Requirements of isbe.net)

  • At least 19 years of age 

  • 1 of the following 

    • Associate’s degree or higher

    • 60 semester hours of coursework 

    • High School Diploma or GED and a score of 460 or higher on the ETS Parapro
      The ParaPro Assessment (For Test Takers) at ets.org

    • High School Diploma or GED and the following scores on the ACT Workkeys:

      • Applied Mathematics/Applied Math (with a score of 4)

      • Reading for information/Workplace Documents (with a score of 4)

      • Coursework must be at the 100-level or higher from a regionally accredited college or university.

      • Paraprofessional licenses are valid for 5 years, and may be renewed with the payment of registration fees.