New Deal Teacher Academy offers new opportunities for students

By Lauren Grimaldi

Staff Reporter

College of Education Dean Thomas Philion works on the finishing touches to the New Deal Teacher Academy. Photo Credit: Lauren Grimaldi

College of Education Dean Thomas Philion works on the finishing touches to the New Deal Teacher Academy.
Photo Credit: Lauren Grimaldi

A great teacher can offer new opportunities to students they never thought that they would have. Educators can show their pupils guidance throughout their academic careers and more often than not become true sources of emotional support for students who need it most.

 Roosevelt’s new program, The New Deal Teacher Academy (NDTA), seeks to further develop prospective teachers to educate children from a plethora of backgrounds, including but not limited to, those who speak different languages or come from low income areas.

College of Education (COE) Dean Thomas Philion shared more about this new program.  

“The idea probably started about two years ago; we had a faculty retreat where we spent a day brainstorming ideas. We knew we were going to be starting down a road of redesigning our programs,” Philion said.

He added that he ultimately invited faculty from Roosevelt’s other colleges to share their input with the COE staff. According to Philion, these meetings resulted in the idea of making the NDTA more of an umbrella program, one that could be branched throughout the many different fields of study that the university offers to its students.

“Following in the footsteps of the New Deal, we want to prepare teachers to be able to go out into the city of Chicago and other communities to really be able to engage and impact the learners who are most in need,” Philion said. “Typically, those are students who come from low income and diverse backgrounds. That’s kind of the focus of the NDTA.”

College of Education Student Specialist Lilibeth Castillo added additional background to the NDTA and how it will benefit those who hope to pursue a career in education.

“NTDA will also aim to ease our students into learning about the licensure requirements and prepare students to meet those requirements throughout their enrollment in the program,” Castillo said. “The purpose of NTDA is to strengthen and prepare students to become exceptional teachers through partnerships that will enhance the quality of their experience.”

According to Castillo, students can get involved by contacting her at By doing so, she says she can assist students with the next steps to applying to the program.

Additionally, the COE encourages students to attend the forthcoming informational events they are holding. The first of these series of informational meetings regarding opportunities for education students was held on Nov. 14. Subsequent events will be held on Jan. 23, Feb. 20 and March 26.

“We are looking for anybody who has ever considered becoming a teacher or is unsure about whether or not they want to become one, but think they might have some talents to offer,” Philion said.

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