Education

Oakton's education pre-majors and pathways will prepare you for a fulfilling career shaping young learners.

Education is a vastly important field. There will always be a real demand for talented teachers to guide students. Being a successful teacher requires compassion, a commitment to equity, and a lifelong love for learning. It also requires knowledge and skills that only your own education can bring.

Overseen by Oakton's Division of Liberal Arts, the education pre-majors and pathways are designed to give you a solid foundation in education studies before you transfer to a four-year college or university to complete your teaching degree. Selecting education as your pre-major at the Enrollment Center or with your academic advisor will give you the opportunity to earn transferable credits taking key classes like Introduction to Education or enter the classroom as a paraprofessional educator. You'll also be signed up to receive key mailings and information.

All education pre-major and pathway students are encouraged to attend an education orientation session during their first term at Oakton. The session will provide key information on Oakton's education program and courses, articulation agreements and transferring to a four-year institution, and the Illinois Teacher Licensure Process.

Transfer Programs in K-12 Education

No university or college offers all possible K-12 teacher education programs. To determine what programs are offered at each institution in Illinois, see approved programs in Illinois, you can browse the Illinois State Board of Education's Directory of Approved Programs.

Each School of Education requires slightly different general education courses. Majors may also differ (for example, Secondary Education may differ from Special Education) within a single transfer institution.

Admission requirements to Schools of Education may be different and are often higher than admission requirements to universities themselves and higher than the requirements for graduation from Oakton. For example, many Schools of Education in the Chicago area require a 2.5 GPA or higher for acceptance.

In addition, many Schools of Education have specific general education requirements for their students. These may not completely align with the IAI-approved general education course taken as part of the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree at Oakton. As an Education student at Oakton, you should follow the recommended Education pre-major and contact the K-12 Education Program Coordinator (Katherine Schuster, schuster@oakton.edu) and an Oakton academic advisor to make sure you are taking the correct general education courses.

Oakton has transfer agreements with several area colleges and universities. These agreements are often called articulation agreements, 2+2 agreements, or dual enrollment agreements, and they detail the courses you should take at Oakton and the courses you'll need to take at the specific transfer institution to complete your BA.

Pre-majors, Pathways and Transfer Agreements

There's no single kind of educator, of course. Elementary school teachers need different skills than high school science teachers or special education professionals. To help you become the kind of educator you want to be, we offer a number of specialized education pre-majors and pathways so you can choose the one that best fits your interests and goals.

This pre-major is recommended for students who are considering completing a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education after transferring to a four-year institution. It is designed for students who have not decided upon a specific four-year college or university. Education Pre-majors are strongly encouraged to choose a transfer school as soon as possible.

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This pre-major is recommended for students who are considering completing a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in a Science or Math field after transferring to a four-year institution. It is designed for students who have not decided upon a specific four-year college or university.

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This pre-major is recommended for students who are considering completing a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in a Humanities, Behavioral / Social Sciences, or Arts field after transferring to a four-year institution.

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This pre-major is recommended for students who are considering completing a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education after transferring to a four-year institution. It is designed for students who have not decided upon a specific four-year college or university. Education pre-majors are strongly encouraged to choose a transfer school as soon as possible.

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This pathway is recommended for students who are interested in becoming Paraprofessional Educators in K-12 educational setting.

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Job Outlook

What level of teaching you choose will inform your career options.

Employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is projected to grow seven percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

The employment of middle school teachers is projected to grow seven percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

The employment of high school teachers is projected to grow eight percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Overall employment of special education teachers is projected to grow eight percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

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Meet Your Faculty

Get to know Oakton's education faculty made up of full-time and part-time instructors.

Meet our full-time faculty

Katherine Schuster
Co-chair, Co-chair of Anthropology, College Studies, Education, Psychology, Social Sciences & Sociology (ACEPSS)
Coordinator, Education and Global Studies
Distinguished Professor, Education
B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College
M.S. Minnesota State University
Ph.D. Loyola University - Chicago
schuster@oakton.edu
847.376.7118
Room 2526, Des Plaines 

Meet our part-time faculty

Carol Burns
Lecturer
B.A. Marquette University
M.Ed. National College of Education, National Louis University
cburns@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Room 2430, Des Plaines

Laura Campbell
Lecturer
B.A.S. University of Guelph
M.S.W. Loyola University - Chicago
lcampbel@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Room B206, Skokie

Jennifer Gustavson
Lecturer
B.A. North Park University
M.A. Northeastern University
M.Ed. University of Texas, Arlington
jgustavson@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Youngock Lee
Lecturer
B.S. University of Maryland at College Park
M.S.C.E. University of Maryland at College Park
M. Ed. University of Illinois at Chicago
ylee@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
R 2430, Des Plaines

Philip Prale
Lecturer
B.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
M.A.T. University of Illinois Chicago
M. Ed. University of Illinois Chicago
pprale@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

FAQ

If you already have your bachelor's degree, you'll likely need a Master of Arts in Teaching with Certification or a certification-only program. Oakton does not offer this, but we can still help. For example, if you're missing some general education credits required by your university of choice, Oakton is a great place to get caught up. Oakton also offers some technology courses—such as EDN 210: Technology in Education—that will give you a leg up.

Yes, all education courses will count toward an associate of arts degree.

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