Executive Dean of the National College of Education
Alison Hilsabeck, Ph.D., is Executive Dean of the National College of Education (NCE) at National Louis University. Under her leadership the 125-year-old college, founded by pioneering women educators to train teachers in immigrant communities, has pursued an agenda of innovation in teacher and school leader preparation vital for meeting the evolving demands of American education.
Dr. Hilsabeck leads one of the state of Illinois’ largest and most established colleges of education, one which serves more than 5000 students each year in programs from the baccalaureate through doctoral levels. NCE alumni have earned 60 Golden Apple Awards – among the most prestigious teacher honors in Illinois – more than any other school of education. The college is widely recognized for its literacy programs (including two faculty members inducted into the International Reading Association’s Hall of Fame), expertise in ESL/Bilingual education, focus on urban schools, and work with Latino and other new American communities.
Recognizing the need to combine resources and competencies with diverse peer organizations to achieve transformative educational goals, Dr. Hilsabeck has brought NCE’s strengths in teacher preparation and the evaluation of teaching effectiveness to a number of signature partnerships. These include a decade long relationship with the nationally acclaimed Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), for which NCE serves as degree-granting partner; an exclusive principal-training partnership with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP); and degree-granting and research collaborations with Chicago Teaching Fellows, Teach for America and New Leaders for New Schools. Under Dr. Hilsabeck’s leadership, NCE also partnered with the Chicago Public Education Fund to extend national board certification support for teachers in the Chicago Public Schools.
During Dr. Hilsabeck’s administration NCE partnerships have been recognized with more than $60 million in grant funding. NCE is the only institution in the U.S. to partner on two Teacher Quality Partnership grants, one with AUSL to extend urban teacher residency model, and a second to revitalize undergraduate teacher preparation co-developed with University of Illinois-Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University and Loyola University of Chicago.
Dr. Hilsabeck has served her professional peers throughout her 25 years in higher education, and in 2013 she moved into the role of Executive Dean, allowing her to focus on key projects that will advance NCE and NLU's overall strategic goals. These include building a focus on engaged research through a study of the effectiveness of NCE grads that will also establish the distinctiveness and quality of NCE’s teacher preparation programs; strengthening NCE's reputation in innovation by focusing on the Adaptive Cycles of Teaching Project, which leverages emerging technologies to build a platform for integrated and experiential learning; and advancing NCE's external presence through representation at key regional and national professional and political venues.