Expansion of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois

January 20, 2011  • Education Innovation Forum and Expo

Begun in 1989 by the award-winning teachers of Golden Apple, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program has grown to over 1,300 statewide participants today, making it one of the largest pre-service teacher internship and preparation programs in the nation. The Scholars program is designed to address the urgent need for resilient and creative teachers serving Illinois students in economically and educationally disadvantaged schools. The program supports Scholars while they pursue an undergraduate education at one of 53 Illinois universities, provides financial assistance for college, and strengthens their teacher preparation. At the heart of the program are four Summer Institutes that provide Scholars with extensive pre-student teacher internships, mentoring and course work on the art of teaching by Golden Apple Award-winning teachers. By the time Scholars finish the program and enter classrooms as teachers, they have acquired more than three times the classroom experiences than traditionally prepared teachers. Golden Apple continues the support of its Scholars after they begin their careers. Scholars are visited and mentored in their first year of teaching, and participate in the annual CORE (Center for Ongoing Renewal and Enrichment) conference for teaching Scholars and their colleagues. An i3 Development Grant would enable the expansion of the Scholars program to accept more Scholars into the program each year, to specifically prepare Scholars to teach in smaller urban and rural districts and in low-achieving probation schools, to quadruple mentoring for Scholars in their beginning years of teaching, and to study the performance of students taught by Scholars.

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