North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College awarded McCormick Foundation grant for principal preparation

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North Central alumna Mavis DeMar, principal of Hermes Elementary School, Aurora.
North Central alumna Mavis DeMar, principal of Hermes Elementary School, Aurora.

Sept. 15, 2011—North Central College is participating in a McCormick Foundation-funded study to help the state determine new requirements for principal preparation programs at Illinois colleges and universities.

North Central’s inclusion as a recipient of grant funds from the McCormick Foundation is the latest example of how North Central College’s undergraduate and graduate degrees in education are among the most rigorous in the State of Illinois, says Kristine Servais, associate professor of education and coordinator of master of education programs at North Central.

“The study will determine what all principals in Illinois will need to know to be proficient in early childhood, bilingual and special education,” Servais says. “As part of our participation in this pilot study, we will survey our alumni who work as educators and involve our partners in local school districts to determine strategies for principal preparation.”

A main goal of the grant is to establish a better connection between early childhood education and K-12 education. Within a few years, colleges and universities in Illinois that offer principal preparation programs will include early childhood content.

Changes in state law require all teacher- and principal-preparation programs to redesign their programs by 2014. Existing standards such as the Type 75 certifification for administrators are being phased out, and all higher education programs will have to earn certification by the state.

Students may complete North Central’s graduate programs in education in as little as 18 months. North Central’s blended cohort approach means candidates may take courses with many of the same students for the duration of the program, but they may also opt out at any time and resume their studies during another term. Students set up a schedule using a five-year calendar of courses offered for leadership administration, teacher leadership in curriculum and instruction, and a reading endorsement.

Visit to learn more about graduate studies in education at North Central College, or contact Wendy Kulpinski at 630-636-5840 or

The McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its six grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, two museums, and a civic outreach program, the Foundation helps build a more active and engaged citizenry. It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets. Visit to learn more.