NEIU ELED Department: Offer virtual MAT courses Spring 2022

NEIU ELED Department: Offer virtual MAT courses Spring 2022

32 have signed. Let’s get to 50!
NEIU MAT Students started this petition to Northeastern Illinois University ELED/MLED Department and

We, the cohort of MAT students who started in Fall 2020, are going to great lengths to earn our teacher certification and master's degree because we believe in the need for high-quality education for all students. We enrolled in the program in the midst of an precedented global pandemic, while teachers across the country and around the world resigned in large numbers, risked their and their family's health for their students, and fought with politicized administrations to keep themselves and their students safe. 

This week, the university informed us that only one section of each of our required courses would be offered in spring 2022 due to low enrollment. This notice came after many of us had already registered, adjusted our work schedules, and planned for childcare. Others intentionally held off on registering so they could design their schedule around the day and time of their clinical course, which was still unknown. Many of us are also still waiting for our clinical placements for spring, and many of us have already been placed in schools that are too far from campus to allow us to arrive on time for a 4:15 class. 

The university is now removing all choice and flexibility from our schedules, and this will have varying impacts on the MAT students. We are already required to complete at least 100 hours of observation for each clinical course, which puts a huge strain on our ability to hold the jobs we need to pay tuition and support our families. Requiring us to take two 4:15 classes will further burden us and prevent several of us from being able to graduate on our desired and the university's recommended timeline. 

We do not want to sacrifice our learning because we need to arrive late to class or delay our ability to address the teacher shortage by postponing graduation.

We began our graduate courses at NEIU entirely on Zoom. Despite being remote, we formed friendships, completed collaborative projects, and learned well from beloved professors. We appreciated the ease with which we could attend class last year, and the commute time from home to work, from work to our clinical placements, and all of those places to NEIU's campus has been tiring. For some of our former classmates, it has been impossible. 

NEIU has proven that virtual courses are possible, valuable, and flexible for both students and faculty. It is a reasonable demand, therefore, that instead of closing additional sections of MAT courses next semester, courses be offered virtually. 

Perhaps the Wednesday courses move to Zoom while the Tuesday courses stay on campus. 

Perhaps the clinical courses could be offered as blended or entirely asynchronous sections. 

Perhaps courses alternate between Zoom and campus to lighten students' commuting burden without losing all in-person connection. 

Offering all classes on Zoom, with only a handful of carefully scheduled campus meetings, would be a solution amenable to everyone. 

Dr. Adeodu, do not worsen the teacher shortage in Chicago and force many students out of a program we have found invaluable by refusing to be flexible. The faculty has already taught these courses online. They can do it again. 

In every course we have taken in this program, we have learned that teaching requires adaptation and accommodation. We have learned that it should be student-centered, and that there must be dialogue between teacher and students. We are simply asking you to model these values for us now and accommodate our need for remote options. 

32 have signed. Let’s get to 50!