Patricia Cassin-Graft Student Teacher Assistance Fund Award

Patricia Cassin-Graft, Class of 1957, and Michael J. Graft, Sr. have established the Patricia Cassin-Graft Student Teacher Assistance Fund at National Louis University. The fund is a permanent endowment supported by the Graft family, other alumni and friends. The fund is meant to assist National College of Education students who are dedicated to serving under-served schools, who face financial stress and who recognize the importance of the philanthropic values that have made these funds available.

Currently, the fund seeks to assist graduate or undergraduate NCE students who will complete their final student teaching requirements. This scholarship can provide funds of over $4,000 to cover the cost of tuition the student’s student teaching term.

The fund does not provide cash awards. Recipients of the award receive a credit to their account at National Louis University to offset the cost of tuition during their term of student teaching. 

The award looks for candidates of exceptional talent who: a) are committed to teaching in low income communities; b) show promise of becoming highly qualified teachers and role models; and c) have significant financial need.

Students who are interested in being considered must meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Be a full or part time degree candidate concentrating in early childhood, elementary, secondary or special education.
  • Maintain a grade point average of 3.25 or higher
  • Completion of all pre-requisite courses for student teaching by the time student teaching begins
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a National Louis University faculty member to stscholarships@nl.edu
  • Submit an essay describing your aspirations and financial needs
  • Complete the 2015-2016 FAFSA and demonstrate financial need as assessed by the University’s financial aid office
  • Intention to teach in the Chicago Public Schools or other urban low-income schools where the need for teachers is the greatest  

To be considered for this award the student should prepare an original written narrative that includes all of the following topics in the order presented below:

PERSONAL: Your name and Student ID

COMMITMENT TO TEACHING

  • Why you want to teach
  • Your favorite age group to teach, and why
  • Your favorite subject to teach, and why

LEADERSHIP

  • Why you want to teach in an under-served school
  • What you think your biggest challenge in the classroom will be as a new teacher and how you will overcome that challenge
  • Why you think you should be selected among the other applicants who meet the criteria for this scholarship
  • How you will sustain your commitment to teaching
  • How you will "pay it forward" if you receive an award

 CIVIC/VOLUNTEER INTERESTS AND AWARDS

  • A description of any off campus volunteer work or causes in which you have participated over the last two years
  • Description of other scholarships or awards received in the past

FINANCIAL NEED

  • A general description of the financial need you will face during your student teaching
  • A general description of other financial resources available to you, and other financial obligations that you have

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Any additional information that you think may be useful for consideration
  • You must also upload a resume and fill out the application form with contact information, including the name and phone numbers of your current place of employment, if you are employed
  • Note on essays: Typographical, grammatical, and editorial quality of essays are weighed as a reflection, in part, of an applicant’s ability to communicate and teach language and communication skills.  Applicants may seek assistance and review of their essays, at no charge, from the University's Department of Library & Learning Support (LLS). Feel free to contact LLS at x3374 or learn@nl.edu.
  • Applicants may email Dr. Suzanne Martinez at Suzanne.Martinez@nl.edu or Lesley Niggemann, Administrative Assistant, at LNiggemann@nl.edu.

Finalists will be asked to interview in person with University representatives and the Graft family. There will be one interview date scheduled for fall applicants and one scheduled for winter and spring applicants. No phone meetings or rescheduled interviews will be conducted.

Recipients of the award may be asked to participate on an occasional basis in special events.

Scholarship Application

The application deadline to apply for the winter and spring terms is Friday, November 20, 2015.  For more information about this scholarship and to complete the application, please visit 

All submitted applications will receive an acknowledgement email confirming receipt. If you do not receive a response to your application within 24 hours, it is your responsibility to contact us so that we can work together to identify the issue.

Please note that only complete applications will be reviewed.  All application materials including the online application, essay, letter of recommendation and resume must be submitted by the application deadline for the term for which you intend to student teach.  The decisions of the scholarship committee are final.  

Please note that AUSL residents and NTEC students are not eligible for this scholarship.

Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    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.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • ELGIN

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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  • NORTH SHORE

    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.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • LISLE

    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.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • WHEELING

    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.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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  • WISCONSIN

    NLU has a proud history of serving graduate students in southeastern Wisconsin. We currently offer all Wisconsin residents online programs in non-licensure education as well as a variety of business-related degrees.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
    Info » | Directions »