An NIU College of Education department is beginning the new semester with a new name.
Meet the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
Formerly known as Literacy and Elementary Education, the department changed its moniker to better reflect the diverse teaching, learning and faculty that make it up.
“With the Program Prioritization process, we had two new faculty members join us from the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. It seemed really important then to think about who we are and the programming that we offer,” Chair Anne Gregory said.
“What we found is that there were very few people who thought that our name actually represented us and our expertise. We’ve also had questions from potential students saying, ‘I can’t find you,’ ” Gregory added. “With that said, we considered other alternatives.”
Degree programs in the department include:
- bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and middle-level teaching and learning;
- master’s degrees in elementary education, curriculum and instruction, literacy (with concentrations on bilingual/ESL and reading); and
- a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction (with specializations in curriculum leadership, literacy education, secondary education and integration of science, social studies and environmental education).
To begin the process, Gregory invited nominations for new names at the beginning of the fall semester. She then checked those ideas with the dean and the provost to avoid potential conflicts, conducted an online poll to narrow the choices and finally held a paper-ballot vote of the remaining five suggestions.
Curriculum and Instruction – a fairly common naming standard at other universities – “just makes sense,” Gregory said. “It’s more illustrative of who we are and what we do, and it gives us some flexibility moving forward.”
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