Note: The Middle Level Education program is undergoing curricular and structural modifications.  Please see the Teacher Education chairperson.

Middle Level Education Program prepares students to be teachers at the middle grades (6-9) meet both national and Illinois standards for professional teaching, the College of Education Framework and have specialized skills and knowledge regarding:

  • Developmental stage of early adolescence and the implications for teaching and student learning.  

  • Culture of contemporary youth and its implications for teaching and student learning.

  • Board as well in depth content and pedagogical content knowledge of two subject areas.

  • The integrative, interdisciplinary aspects of knowledge and applications to real world human problem.

  • Ability to implement developmentally responsive instructional and assessment practices for diverse young adolescents.

  • Engaging and motivating diverse young adolescents who have had a range of prior experiences with schooling.

  • Specialists in strategies for analyzing individual, group and classroom dynamics in order to establish and maintain productive classroom management and positive learning environments.

  • Processes for developing curriculum that is rigorous and relevant to the real life experiences of diverse young adolescents.

  • Able to implement developmentally responsive instruction within a variety of middle grades models.

  • Dispositions for working in teacher teams and collaborating with peers on integrating curriculum, discussing student needs, providing or receiving mentoring and collegial support, reflection on practice and in other areas.

Graduates of the MLED program will have met the requirements of the University and the College of Education for the degree of Bachelors of Arts. Graduates will also have met requirements of the Illinois Board of Education for licensure and for teaching math and science at the elementary and middle grades level.

MLED Program:

The structure of the MLED program is unique in that it builds on a partnership with two of the community colleges within the Chicago system. Truman and Wright College representatives recruit students to participate alongside NEIU students in the program at Northeastern Illinois University. This distinctive feature helps to build a population of diverse candidates within the program and demonstrates the cooperation between the college and university systems.

The MLED program is the teacher education element of this program which focuses on students in grades 6-8. Integrated and interdisciplinary approaches and applying what is known about young adolescents to effective teaching at the middle grades are fundamental in the development of this program.

Program Features

  • Perspective middle grades teachers are in learning communities and take their courses together with a small group of peers.

  • A team of professors are part of their learning community and “loop” or move with the MLED students as well as work together to provide an integrated experience that is supportive of each student’s professional growth and development as a teaching professional.

  • The MLED program is experiential, and students participate in clinical, service projects and field experiences in schools and in the community with young adolescents, their parents or caregivers, and their teachers.

  • Prospective middle grades teachers have many opportunities to learn about and use creative practices including using art, music, and dance in teaching content, adventure education for kinesthetic problem solving in academics, classroom management, and conflict resolution.

  • Course content is rigorous, interdisciplinary and connected to actual classroom practices.

  • Theory and practice are connected and students are provided with many experiences to try out and practice subject specific and developmentally responsive teaching methods with young adolescents.

  • Throughout the program students come together in reflective seminars (advisories) to develop communication and active listening skills, understand one another’s cultural, life values and individual perspectives, share vignettes and their reactions to their experiences with young adolescents, parents, teachers or community members with whom they are working, practice ways that are appropriate in a professional context to express empathy, think through daily dilemmas, resolve conflict, offer support and problem solve on a potential course of action. These seminars provide the foundation for establishing trusting and mentoring relationships with diverse young adolescent students, effective, developmentally and culturally responsive classroom management skills and intellectually safe learning environments.

Admission Requirements to Enter MLED Program

MLED candidates must have completed or be in good standing and in the process of completing the Math and Science Concepts Minor (see math and science concepts minor section in catalog).

  • 2.5 GPA in the Math and Science Concepts Minor (MSTQE)

  • 2.5 Cumulative GPA

  • C or better in (EDFN-216 or EDFN-306) and EDFN-305

  • Letter of recommendation from an MSTQE professor

  • Submission and review of MSTQE portfolio

  • Satisfactory on each: personal and professional standards and dispositions; and in reflective group advisory seminars (advisories)

Candidates must have completed and met all criteria for admission to the College of Education (see Elementary Education section in catalog), and been accepted by the College of Education before beginning the MLED professional sequence.

Curricular Requirements

General Education

Middle Grades teacher candidates must complete the University and College of Education general education requirements for graduation.

Note that:

  1. the MSTQE minor fulfills the general education and COE requirements in mathematics, physical and life sciences and
  2. Schools and Society 104 is approved as a course that is accepted toward the social science general education requirement.
Educational Foundations
EDFN-305Philosophical And Historical Foundations Of Public Education (Prefer taken prior to admission to College of Education)3
Select one of the following:3
Child And Adolescent Development:Individual Differences (with 20 clinical hours)
Education And Individual Differences (required prior to admission to the College of Education)
Select one of the following:3
Educational Psychology (This course replaces EDFN-307 and MLED candidate may take prior to admission to College of Education)
Psychology Of Instruction And Learning (MLED students only take this course if they have not completed EDFN 217. Can only be taken after admission to the College of Education)
Total Hours9
MLED Cognate Courses
PEMT-342TCooperative Learning In Adventure Education (students are encouraged to take this course early in their program of studies. May be taken before or after admission to the College of Education)3
SPED-201Special Needs Child In The Inclusive Classroom (prerequisite EDFN 216 or EDFN 306. Includes 25 early field and service learning hours)3
HLED-199Health & Wellness Of The Emerging Adolescent Student (May be taken before or after admission to the College of Education)3
SOC-104Schools And Society (course is approved toward general education requirements and may be taken before or after admission to the College of Education)3
Total Hours12

Block I - 6 cr.

Students must have met all MLED entrance requirements and have been accepted to the College of Education.

MLED-301Curriculum & Instruction In The Middle School (with emphasis on developmentally responsive curriculum, instruction and assessment for the early adolescent). Must be taken concurrently with ELED 302)3
ELED-302Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts3
Block I Reflective Seminars (advisories)
Total Hours6

Block II - 6 cr.

Students must receive a B or better, a positive evaluation of professional dispositions and a recommendation from the MLED-301 instructor to proceed in the following courses or into the interdisciplinary methods and clinical block. Courses in Block II may be taken now or at any point prior to student teaching.

ELED-304Methods Of Teaching Inquiry-Based Social Studies3
ELED-312Teaching Strategies For English Language Learners & Multicultural Students3
Block II Reflective Seminars (advisories) back rubric
Total Hours6
  • Recommendation to COE by MSTQE Program

MLED-301Curriculum & Instruction In The Middle School (2/3 time on best practices in curriculum and instruction at the middle level)3
ELED-312Teaching Strategies For English Language Learners & Multicultural Students3
ELED-302Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts3
ELED-304Methods Of Teaching Inquiry-Based Social Studies3
(may be taken in this or subsequent blocks prior to admission to ELED-329)
Total Hours12

At the end of Block III, and prior to authorization for the clinical internship of 150 clinical hours and prior to authorization to register for:

TED-316AMiddle Level Literacy3
MLED-335Teaching Science At The Middle School/ Elementary Levels W/ Problem Solving3
MLED-340Teaching Mathematics At The Middle School/ Elementary Levels W/ Problem Solving3
MLED-328MClinical Experiences In Elementary/Middle School Math1
MLED-328SClinical Experiences In Elementary/ Middle School Science1
  • Obtain one recommendation from:

    MLED-301Curriculum & Instruction In The Middle School3
    Select one of the following:3
    Teaching Strategies For English Language Learners & Multicultural Students
    Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts
    Methods Of Teaching Inquiry-Based Social Studies
  • 2.75 GPA in professional sequence

  • 2.5 GPA in Math and Science Concepts Minor

  • Maintain 2.5 cumulative GPA

Block III - 11 cr.

Enroll in this Block by authorization, which includes:

  • Satisfactory Disposition Round Table.

  • Satisfactory in the program advisory seminar

  • Portfolio round table and review

  • Recommendations from the MLED-301

Interdisciplinary Mathematics, Science and Literacy Methods with Linked Clinical Internship.

To enroll in this block a student must have approval from both the MLED program and the College of Education Office of Clinical Experience and Student Teaching (CEST). Students must meet all application deadlines and attend informational meetings as required by the CEST office and the MLED program.

The methods and clinical experiences courses in math, science and content area literacy are linked and taught in an interdisciplinary block. Students take these courses concurrently in a cohort. The methods instructors are also the clinical internship facilitators and work with the cooperating teachers as well as observe, coach and supervisor their students in their clinical experiences and reflective seminars.

In addition to the math, science and literacy clinical seminars, cohort students and professors teaching in the interdisciplinary block will come together on a regular basis to reflect, analyze and discuss clinical internship experiences as a whole including not only teaching of content and content specific pedagogy, but effective concepts of general pedagogy, the overall classroom dynamics and management, the learning environment, time management, pacing and other issues that contribute to being an effective teacher.

TED-316AMiddle Level Literacy (With 50 clinical hours in language arts and literacy)3
MLED-340Teaching Mathematics At The Middle School/ Elementary Levels W/ Problem Solving3
ELED 328 A or B1
MLED-328MClinical Experiences In Elementary/Middle School Math (2/3 at the 6-9th grade level and 1/3 at the k-5th grade level)1
MLED-335Teaching Science At The Middle School/ Elementary Levels W/ Problem Solving3
MLED-328SClinical Experiences In Elementary/ Middle School Science (at the middle level)1
Total Hours12

Block III Reflective Seminars (advisories) During Block IV Students’ must do the following before proceeding to Student Teaching.

  • Pass the ICTS Subject Area Examination

  • Meet all the Program and College of Education requirements and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 GPA of 2.75 in professional education courses as well as a 2.5 in the math and science concepts minor.

Block IV - Student Teaching

Enroll in this Block by authorization, which includes:

  • Satisfactory participation in the advisory sessions

  •  Portfolio round table review

  • Disposition roundtable

  • Earned grades of “B” or better in MLED-328S, MLED-328M and ELED 328 section 99

ELED-329Student Teaching In Elementary Education, K-99
Block IV Advisory Seminar

MLED Program Exit Criteria

  • Completion of all NEIU, MLED and COE General Education Requirements
  • ​Completion of all MLED Program professional education sequence courses and requirements
  • B or better on student teaching evaluation submitted by clinical supervisor and cooperating teacher.
  • ​Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Maintain an MSTQE Math and Science Concepts Minor minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • ​Maintain a professional sequence GPA of 2.75
  • Submit a completed and juried portfolio
  • Submit documentation of positive disposition exit review.
  • ​Submit the Individual Plan for Professional Growth

See Teacher Education, Elementary Education section for additional requirements.

PEMT-342T. Cooperative Learning In Adventure Education. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide theory and application of experiential learning, with application to the elementary and middle school classroom. The focus is on discovering self-knowledge, developing trust and promoting teamwork, establishing effective learning environments, learninig principles of conflict resolution, and understanding and manging classroom group dynamics. There will be active hands-on participation in a variety of expereiential activites, includeing the opportunity to co-facilitate learning experiences with peers and middle-school students, which will promote fuller understandingof the power and utility of expereintial learning. There will be opportunities to work with students and teachers in elementary and middle schools.

HLED-199. Health & Wellness Of The Emerging Adolescent Student. 3 Hours.

Concentration of concepts related to the physical, mental, and social dimensions underlying personal health of educators and emerging adolescents. Emphasis on motivation for intelligent self-direction of health behavior based upon current scientific facts. Introduction of concepts related to the physical, mental and emotional dimensions underlying personal health and development of children, emerging adolescents and their teachers. Emphasis is on how these developmental issues impact students' classroom, social and learning behaviors.

SPED-201. Special Needs Child In The Inclusive Classroom. 3 Hours.

The course for pre-service elementary and middle school teachers presents the historical, philosophical and legal foundations of the continuum of services for special needs children. The characteristics of individuals with disabilities is presented within the context of Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Also included is diversity of exceptional populations with implications for service delivery.
Special focus on: 1) developing sensitivity and understanding of the challenges experienced by students with special needs, 2) delivery of services to special needs students in the general education classroom, 3) collaboration between the general education and special education teacher for the benefit of all of the students in the classroom. Twenty hours of field experience and a twenty hour service learning project are required.

MLED-301. Curriculum & Instruction In The Middle School. 3 Hours.

The relationship of theory to practice is studied in a variety of middle school curricula. Analyses and interpretations of teaching-learning processes are conducted. Special attention is directed to: (1) instructional objectives in planning, (2) application of theories of adolescent development, learning, classroom management, and instructional methodology to multicultural curriculum development, (3) unit and lesson planning, and (4) evaluation techniques. Strategies for meeting the needs of students with special needs are explored.

ELED-312. Teaching Strategies For English Language Learners & Multicultural Students. 3 Hours.

This course explores a variety of cultural values, languages, and the process of social integration of American ethnic groups that children bring to middle level classrooms and the teacher's role in enhancing each Early Adolescence's learning experiences. Decision making skills in selecting content area instructional strategies for English Language Learners and Multicultural groups will be the emphasis. Field experiences will be done in conjunction with course assignments.

ELED-302. Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts. 3 Hours.

Course designed to provide candidates with an overview of the theory, best practices, curriculum design and materials used in teaching language arts in K through middle school classrooms. Language Arts instruction includes mastery of six language arts competencies: reading, writing, listening, talking, viewing and visual representation, and emphasizes integration of the arts including drama, movement and vocal expression. The course addresses differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners including special needs students and English Language Learners. It is a writing intensive course affording students the opportunity to demonstrate competency in writing in various genres.
Prerequisites: College of Education Admission YES and ENGL-101 minimum grade of C.
Corequisites: ELED-301, ELED-300, SPED-317.

ELED-304. Methods Of Teaching Inquiry-Based Social Studies. 3 Hours.

A study of theories and methods for teaching social studies with an emphasis on social justice education in the elementary and middle school. The candidates will gain an understanding of selected issues such as, critical and multicultural pedagogy, learning styles and integration of literature and language arts. Candidates will engage in critical thinking, problem solving, inquiry and discovery learning and collaboration. The course will also address differentiation for special needs and English learners, planning, assessment, and reflection.
Prerequisites: ELED-300 minimum grade of B and College of Education Admission YES.

TED-316A. Middle Level Literacy. 3 Hours.

MLED-340. Teaching Mathematics At The Middle School/ Elementary Levels W/ Problem Solving. 3 Hours.

A study of instructional methods and materials for teaching mathematics to all K-9 students, focusing on the development of lessons and units that promote mathematical thinking, utilization of basic mathematical principles, and inquiry approaches to learning. Strong emphasis on : (1) planning and methodology to meet the unique needs of middle school mathematics students and (2) integrating science throughout the middle school mathematics curriculum. Includes 50 clock hours of clinical experience with local k-9 teachers of mathematics who effectively integrate science into curriculum.

MLED-328M. Clinical Experiences In Elementary/Middle School Math. 1 Hour.

A supervised clinical experience designed with less emphasis on observational experiences and more on direct involvement in the instructional process. Includes a biweekly seminar meeting on campus and 50 clock hours of individual visits to a local K-8 school with a strong emphasis on middle level mathematics teaching that effectively integrates science into the curriculum. Must be taken with the academic methods course and academic and clinical experiences courses for science. Currently taken only by MSTQE math-science minors in the term before student teaching and completion of the program.
Prerequisites: MLED-301 minimum grade of C and MLED-340 minimum grade of C and MLED-335 minimum grade of C.

MLED-335. Teaching Science At The Middle School/ Elementary Levels W/ Problem Solving. 3 Hours.

A study of instructional methods and materials for teaching science to all K-9 students, focusing on the develoment of lessons and units that promote scientific thinking, utilization of basic scientific principles, and inquiry approaches to learning. Strong emphasis on: (1) planning and methodology to meet the unique needs of middle school science students and (2) integrating mathematics throughout the middle school science curriculum. Includes 50 clock hours of clinical experience with local K-9 teachers of science who effectively integrate mathematics into curriculum.

MLED-328S. Clinical Experiences In Elementary/ Middle School Science. 1 Hour.

A supervised clinical experience designed with less emphasis on observational experiences and more on direct involvement in the instructional process. Includes a biweekly seminar meeting on campus and 50 clock hours of individual visits to a local K-8 school with a strong emphasis on middle level science teaching that effectively integrates mathematics into the curriculum. Must be taken with the academic methods course and academic and clinical experiences courses for mathematics. Currently taken only by MSTQE math-science minors in the term before student teaching and completion of the program.
Prerequisites: MLED-301 minimum grade of C and MLED-340 minimum grade of C and MLED-335 minimum grade of C.

ELED-329. Student Teaching In Elementary Education, K-9. 9 Hours.

This course provides the teacher candidate with sixteen weeks of full day supervised classroom teaching experience combined with weekly class discussions. Teacher Candidates must submit a completed edTPA portfolio. Concurrent enrollment in EDFN-308.
Corequisite: EDFN-308.