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Consortium Study: Student Teaching and NLU

Cover of University of Chicago Consortium Study On August 21, NCE Director of Research and Innovation Kavita Kapadia Matsko and her colleagues from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research released a policy brief that summarizes key findings from recent studies they completed on student teaching in Chicago.  This is the UChicago Consortium's first brief on student teachers and the student teaching experience in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the nation's third-largest school district.

The brief, "On the Path to Becoming a Teacher: The Landscape of Student Teaching in Chicago Public Schools," synthesizes findings from research done in partnership with researchers from National Louis University, University of Michigan, and Stanford University.  CPS teacher data was used, along with surveys of student teachers and their mentor teachers (2015 and 2016), to understand where student teachers were placed, who served as mentor teachers, and what factors were good indicators of first-year teacher performance.

High-level findings include:

  • Mentor teachers matter.
  • First-year teachers who were mentored by high-quality teachers (as ID'd by the district's teacher evaluation system) typically earn higher evaluation ratings than first-year teachers who had mentor teachers with lower evaluation ratings.
  • Mentor teachers' instructional support and guidance mattered more than years of experience or status as National Board Certification.  What mattered was mentor teachers' modeling effective teaching practices, and coaching with constructive feedback in a safe learning environment.
  • Mentor teachers' assessments of their student teachers (at the end of student teaching) predicted which teachers perform better during their first year.
  • Student teachers' self-reports of their own level of preparation at the end of student teaching were not related to their performance as a first-year teacher.
  • Most of Chicago student teachers are placed in higher performing schools on the city's North Side.  But there was no difference in first-year teacher performance whether they trained in a high-achieving school or if they trained in a lower-achieving school.  First-year teachers did better if they spent their first year as teacher of record in the school where they did their student teaching.

Please read more about this consortium study in our NLU blog.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

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