Cleveland School Partnership
For over two decades, Wheaton has partnered with Cleveland Public Elementary School on Chicago’s North side. The 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. Located within the Irving Park community, this Level 1+ school (highest ranking) offers its diverse student population bilingual and ESL services and has been a leader in providing social and emotional learning programs. Cleveland’s faculty, students and their families have welcomed over 100 Wheaton student teachers since 1998.
Wheaton elementary education students who request this experience live in the city during their student teaching semester. This not only gives them more time to devote to their teaching, it also enables them to explore the city’s neighborhoods as well as Cleveland’s community.
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, over 75 education students from Wheaton College have completed their student teaching in various 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 development, major and general education credit, and significant financial savings.
History of Excellence
The Teacher Education Program at Wheaton College has been noted for its excellence. National recognition and accreditation have been achieved for decades. Since 2010, 90% of the graduates have been employed in various education fields in at least 34 states and 14 different countries. Some specific recognitions are described below.
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.
In 2018 the Education Department at Wheaton College was ranked high in the nation in the category of Best Colleges for Education in America by NICHE, a group that researches colleges and K-12 schools in the U.S.