First University Students Complete Illinois School Administration Program
Mark Rasar, left, John Marshall Metropolitan High School, Chicago, and D'Wayne Bates, right, Evanston (Ill.) Township High School, are the first to complete the University's Type 75 certification program for Illinois school administrators. Dr. Sally Pryor, center, North Park University School of Education, is coordinator of the University's Type 75 program.
North Park’s 'Type 75' certification program began in February
CHICAGO (December 20, 2011) – The first two students enrolled in a program that North Park University initiated this year have completed requirements to earn a state certification that qualifies them for certain administrative roles in Illinois public schools. The students, D’Wayne Bates and Mark Rasar, completed the University’s 33-hour "Type 75" certification program Dec. 10, when they presented results of their required in-school internships, the final step in the certification program.
Type 75 is an advanced administrative certificate required in Illinois to be eligible for administrative positions in kindergarten through grade 12. Dr. Sally Pryor, School of Education associate professor and coordinator of the University's Type 75 program, said Bates and Rasar were among seven students that began North Park's certification program in February 2011. The students attended classes and seminars nearly every Saturday this year. All students in the first cohort who took the state-required test in November passed, she said, and Bates and Rasar are the first to finish their internships. Five other students in the program are just beginning their practicums, Pryor said.
Bates chose to attend the North Park University program because it was close to his home and affordable. The program, including the internship experience, led to "a complete transformation" in his on-the-job thinking, Bates said. "The first thing I learned is that I now won't start a project without a vision in mind," he said in an interview. Knowing the end result of a project helped him think like an administrator, he said. Bates, a former wide receiver for the Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Wildcats, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, wants to work in athletic administration. He is an assistant to the athletic director and football coach at Evanston Township High School. For his practicum, Bates developed a multi-dimensional outreach program for athletes entering high school from middle school.
Bates’ internship mentor, Chris Livatino, the school's athletic director, said the department was fortunate Bates did his internship work at the Evanston school. "What we got from D’Wayne was another associate athletic director," he said. "We’re a much better athletic department for the time he spent with us."
"I feel I'm ready for the next level, whatever that may be in this athletic administration path,” Bates said. "I'm very confident to move forward. That's been the transformation over the year."
Rasar is a social science teacher at John Marshall Metropolitan High School, Chicago, and also directs "Response to Intervention (RTI)," a process that seeks to improve academic and behavioral success for students. Marshall High School is a Chicago "turnaround" school. Rasar completed an internship that focused on RTI, stressing accountability, and working "smartly" with a goal of improving and increasing student learning. He wants to be a dean of students or assistant principal.
North Park’s Type 75 program gave Rasar confidence he could be an effective administrator, he said. "I've been put in real-life situations. I've been given the experience, I've read the research. Dr. Pryor always challenged me to move a step higher, to go beyond what I thought I was capable of. I think that's the big difference between last year versus this year. Having that experience is just huge. It makes a big difference."
"Mark selected something that would grow him," said Dr. Matt Curtis, Turnaround manager, Chicago Public Schools and Rasar’s internship mentor. "One of the things he brought was integrity. He was good at it, and Mark got buy-in with the staff. Mark grew as an administrator."
North Park University’s program featured instructors who have been successful as school administrators, Rasar said. “You have to hire the best, and I really believe that North Park went out and found the best people for this program," he said. “If you want to really learn what it's like to be an educational leader, and learn from people who truly care and want to grow their students, then you’ll come to North Park for this program.”
The University brought public school practitioners to its program, such as a former business manager to teach a school finance class and an attorney who has practiced school law for nearly 30 years, Pryor said. Type 75 Certification programs, such as the North Park University program, must be approved by the State of Illinois, she said. The University's program is committed to delivering a quality educational experience in smaller-sized classes, Pryor emphasized.
"To become a good leader and develop as a leader you have to have the opportunity to think through different situations, go through simulations and case studies," she said. "Our goal is to develop ethical leaders who have a vision of what they could do to make things better for students and teachers. So, we gave them lots of experiences."
North Park University continues to recruit for the last Type 75 cohort to begin in July 30, 2012.
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