Welcome to Project Success

The Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University offers Project Success, a project focused on increasing the number and improving the quality of mainstream teachers in Northern Illinois who have English language learners in their classrooms. The grant supports teachers with tuition and classes at Northern Illinois University.

Number 1

Enable mainstream teachers who have English language learners in their classrooms to complete the 18 hours of graduate-level course work leading to either the ESL or bilingual approval from ISBE.

Project Success is currently recruiting mainstream teachers (who have English language learners in their classroom) for a cohort that will begin in spring 2012. Teachers will complete the six courses leading to the State of Illinois' ESL and/or bilingual approval/endorsement in the 2012 calendar year. Courses will be offered in the Hoffman Estates area (exact location to be announced later).

During the fall and spring semesters, these classes generally meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings from about 5:00 to 8:00pm. The spring semester 2012 will begin approximately the week of January 23 and end the week of April 30. Classes offered during the spring semester include EPFE 505 Foundations of Language Minority Education, and LTIC 501 Multicultural Education: Methods and Materials. All participants will receive a subscription to LiveText, the course management system used in the College of Education, as an additional benefit. Training in the use of LiveText will be provided during the first week of classes in January. The fall semester will begin the week of September 3 and end the week of December 3. Classes offered during the fall semester include LTIC 520 Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language in Content Areas, and LTIC 547 Assessment of Language-Minority Students.

During the summer term, class meetings will follow a more intensive schedule given the shortened time frame of the summer term. The following is a tentative schedule for summer.  This will be finalized early in the year.  Beginning approximately May 14, classes will follow a Tuesday-Thursday schedule, meeting from 5 to 8pm.  Beginning the week of June 11, classes will meet four days a week, from 4 to 7pm. LTIC 535 and LTIC 545 will Mondays through Thursdays on alternate days. Our goal is for all classes to end before July 4. Participants are expected to clear their calendars of other work obligations during this time.

Number 2

Serve the more rural districts of northern Illinois by offering a second cohort of classes similar to objective 1 that will run concurrently in an online/hybrid format.

The primary target audience for this cohort will be mainstream teachers working in primarily rural school districts in the following counties of Northern Illinois: Carroll/JoDaviess/Stephenson (ROE 8), Bureau/Henry/Stark (ROE 28), LaSalle (ROE 35), Lee/Ogle (ROE 47), Marshall/Putnam/Woodford (ROE 43), Rock Island (ROE 49), Whiteside (ROE 55) and DeKalb (ROE 16).

A hybrid format implies a limited number of face-to-face (F2F) meetings with the majority (about 80%) of interaction conducted online. All participants will receive a subscription to LiveText, the course management system used in the College of Education, as an additional benefit. In addition, some instructors will use Blackboard, the course management system supported by NIU, in addition to LiveText.


The university has recently revised its rules regarding the requirement for immunizations for students taking classes at off campus sites within the Kishwaukee College district. Effective immediately, all NIU students taking classes that meet within the KC district must also comply with NIU's immunization policy. Students accepted for the online cohort of Project Success starting in January 2010 will be required to adhere to this policy as all face-to-face meetings of the online classes will meet at Kishwaukee College in Malta.

During the fall and spring semesters, F2F meetings will generally take place on Saturdays, from 9am to 5pm. The site for these classes will be Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois. Part of the first session in January will also be devoted to training in how to use LiveText and Blackboard. The order of classes for this online cohort will be the same as the order of classes for the F2F cohort (see objective 1). The dates for F2F meetings in the spring semester will be set by mid-October 2011.  For the 2011 cohort, these dates were January 29, March 5, April 2, and April 30. The dates for the F2F meetings in the fall semesters are August 27, October 1, October 29, and December 3.  The dates for the 2012 cohort will follow a similar pattern.

During the summer term, class meetings will follow a more intensive schedule given the shortened time frame of the summer term. The two classes offered in the summer are LTIC 535 (bilingual methods) and LTIC 545 (applied linguistics). For the 2011 cohort the first F2F meeting for both classes was Saturday, May 14, from 9am to about 4:30pm. The second F2F session for LTIC 535 was Saturday, June 11, from 9am to 12:30pm. The final F2F session for LTIC 535 was Saturday, June 25, from 9am to 12:30pm. The second F2F session for LTIC 545 was Wednesday, June 15, from 4 to 7pm. the final F2F session for LTIC 545 was Wednesday, June 29, from 4 to 7pm. You can expect the schedule for 2012 to follow a similar pattern.  This schedule will be finalized early in the year.  Participants are expected to clear their calendars of other work obligations during this time.

Acceptance into the online/hybrid cohort of Project Success comes with a commitment by participants that they will attend ALL face to face sessions. If you know that you have teaching or other commitments that will prevent you from attending all face to face sessions, you should carefully reconsider your application to this program. Each class meeting in the spring and fall semesters have four face to face sessions scheduled on approximately one Saturday a month. Each class meeting in the summer has three face to face sessions which may be scheduled on a Saturday or mid-week. Missing even one of these face to face sessions can result in a lowering of your course grade by one letter grade. Students missing more than one face to face meeting of any one class will be asked to withdraw from the class, and possibly from the cohort. As this is the last year of funding for this grant, participants having to drop any class in this sequence will have to make up the course work at their own expense in order to qualify for the endorsement they are seeking.

Number 3

Provide training for administrators in school districts serving increasing numbers of English language learners. 

This training will be provided through administrator academies; those administrators needing the ESL and/or bilingual approval may be eligible to enter one of the cohorts.

Number 4

Increase the effectiveness of teacher training programs.

Increase the effectiveness of teacher training programs by extending the NIU teacher educator academy to other institutions with certification programs but without the resources to provide training for to teacher candidates working with language diverse communities.  These academies provide training to faculty, field supervisors, and cooperating teachers on how to incorporate effective practices for teaching English language learners into the teacher training program and their preservice teacher mentoring program. Information about the 2012 teacher educator academy is now available.