Eastern Illinois University
The second largest provider of certified public school teachers in the state of Illinois, Eastern Illinois University (EIU) boasts high retention in the profession, with more than 80% still teaching five years after entering the profession. EIU consistently ranks in the top tier of Midwest colleges and universities in its class by U.S. News and World Report and is one of The Princeton Review's “Best Midwestern Colleges.”
Founded in 1895 as the Eastern Illinois Normal School, Eastern Illinois University is located in the heart of Charleston, Illinois, within the predominantly rural east central region of the state. The community and university work together and support one another at all levels including reciprocal representation on boards and committees; local businesses and professionals offering internships; and student volunteer efforts in schools. EIU is well represented in schools throughout Illinois and nationwide, and takes pride in being the leading educator of teachers and educational administrators in the region. Academic undergraduate and graduate programs educate a diverse student body of more than 12,000 students. President William Perry has stated, “Our goal at Eastern is to become the best university in the country at integrating the academic and personal development of our students. We are committed to excellence, strong personal relationships, access to an Eastern education, and service to our community, region, state, nation, and world.”
The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program at Eastern Illinois University began in January 2004 as part of the pilot program, An Adventure of the American Mind. TPS-EIU collaborates with east-central Illinois educators to create, share and use learning activities and tools to increase student understanding through interaction with the valuable digitized primary sources of the Library of Congress.
Educators enthusiastically engage in TPS professional development workshops facilitated on site at schools. Participants explore Library of Congress resources in the familiar setting of their schools, using the technology available. The TPS program at Eastern Illinois University has provided workshops for more than 70 schools and hundreds of presentations for professional organizations and other audiences. EIU's TPS program has evolved to meet the needs of educators and reaches beyond the region to teachers throughout Illinois and other states through its Web site and a monthly newsletter. Both the Web site and newsletter offer information and resources to help teachers use Library of Congress digitized primary sources with their students.
East central Illinois is very proud of its historical connections to President Lincoln. Charleston was the site of a Lincoln-Douglas debate and was the home and final resting place of Lincoln's father and step-mother, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln. Lincoln himself practiced law in the area and visited Charleston on multiple occasions. Inspired by this history and the excitement surrounding the upcoming Lincoln Bicentennial, EIU's TPS program has developed and facilitated new Lincoln-themed professional development activities for teachers.
One such event is the Learning with Lincoln Institute held each summer for alumni of Teaching with Primary Sources professional development. This advanced TPS program focuses on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. Teachers applying to participate in the program currently teach across all grade levels and disciplines. The Institute is held on the EIU campus, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and at local sites with historical significance. Teachers create a learning activity, which they field test in the following school year. The Learning with Lincoln Institute has developed a network of teachers throughout the region that is expanded by a sister program hosted by the TPS program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Eastern Illinois University is very proud to be part of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program.