COE Develops Partnership with Chicago-Based Nonprofit to Boost Enrollment

Enrollment in teacher-prep programs has dropped significantly over the past several years.  While causes of the decrease are varied and many, the effect is increased pressure on colleges of education—including DePaul’s—to develop strategies to mitigate the enrollment shortfall.  A new partnership with a local nonprofit is one way DePaul is addressing the challenge.

This summer, DePaul welcomed two cohorts of teacher-prep students from the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a locally based nonprofit responsible for managing 32 Chicago Public Schools serving more than 18,000 students.  AUSL provides intensive training to develop highly-effective teachers through a yearlong, residency-based training model.

The partnership with DePaul elevates AUSL’s training and development model to another level, providing motivated AUSL participants an accelerated path to a master’s degree—the program takes one year—in either secondary education or special education.  Participants spend four days a week taking academic coursework at DePaul and the fifth day training in an actual classroom.

Implementing the partnership was a collaborative effort between the College of Education (COE) and Enrollment Management and Marketing (EMM).  COE began developing the structure of the partnership and negotiating the terms in 2014.  EMM managed recruitment of the participants, facilitated the application process and serves as the liaison on day-to-day operations.

The partnership provides multiple benefits to AUSL participants.  DePaul is one of the few area institutions offering a special education master’s degree, a strong career-enhancer given the demand for special education teachers.  Participants also receive a scholarship from DePaul, as well as tuition assistance from AUSL, which significantly reduces the overall expense.

In addition to the two teacher-prep cohorts, DePaul and AUSL collaborated to launch a principal-prep cohort last winter.  The three cohorts have had a noticeable impact on COE enrollment, combining to enroll 46 students.  Those 46 students represent 5 percent of the projected graduate enrollment in the college for fall 2015.

To learn more about the DePaul-AUSL partnership, contact Suzanne Depeder, associate vice president of Graduate and Adult Admission in EMM.