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Distinctives of the Education Department

Cleveland School Partnership

Education Department at Wheaton CollegeNow in its second decade, Wheaton College’s partnership with on Chicago’s north side was initiated in 1997 by Principal Jack Rocklin and education professor Dr. Jill Lederhouse. Cleveland School was selected as a professional development site for Wheaton’s teacher education program because it provides a realistic, yet positive, urban experience in a large, metropolitan school district. Two features of the school include its diverse student population and its strong emphasis on dance and the visual arts.

Although many people visualize a career in urban education as teaching a bare-bones curriculum from outdated textbooks in an old, run-down building, one visit to Cleveland School quickly dispels this impression. Replacing the mental image of drafty, cracked and boarded-up windows, peeling paint and leaky pipes is a warm, sunlit hallway with fifteen-foot ceilings, brightly painted classrooms and newly finished hardwood floors. The building, designed by Perkins, a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, offers a safe, spacious, welcoming environment for learning mathematics, literature, dance, art, and many other subjects of a rich kindergarten through eighth grade curriculum.

Students not only teach in the city but live there as well, sharing apartments with other Wheaton students doing internships in the Urban Studies Program and returning to campus for their weekly senior seminar course.

International Student Teaching

In 1990, Wheaton College helped form the Christian College Teacher Education Coordinating Council (CCTECC) which is a voluntary organization of Christian colleges and universities providing qualified students with opportunities for an international student teaching experience. Since that time, several dozen education students from Wheaton College have completed their student teaching in various mission and international schools around the world. These placements provide rich cross cultural experiences and unique challenges. Some have combined this experience with the six month internship for the  Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) program.


In 1951 Wheaton College became an innovator in using outdoor learning with the development of the Northwoods Campus at HoneyRock located in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. HoneyRock, with its Wheaton Passage program, gained an international reputation in the use of camp programming to train college students in leadership, education, and discipleship. The college owns 800 acres of land, 100 buildings, 3 climbing facilities, a 40-element challenge course, 45 horses, 100 watercraft, a well-equipped library, computer lab, and is situated on the shores of Long Lake, one of a chain of 27 inland lakes.

The Department of Education has partnered with Honey Rock for over 40 years and education faculty teach at HoneyRock each year. In this unusual setting, education students have the opportunity to take classes or gain valuable experience by teaching and counseling elementary and middle school children for up to four weeks of the summer. Key benefits include: holistic personal development, distinct educational philosophy, leadership and ministry training, major and general education credit, and significant financial savings.

Models of Excellence Award

The Department of Education at Wheaton College was presented the Models of Excellence Award for 2004 by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) at their 2004 Extended Annual Meeting. This award was based on the program's strong emphasis on the liberal arts and the preparation of preservice teachers to be reflective practitioners with a broad educational foundation. The award reflects Wheaton College's commitment to the liberal arts throughout the institution. AILACTE consists of more than 200 liberal arts colleges with teacher education programs.