Online program helps teachers get IB certification
By Kristen Torres | Student reporter
Edward Gadient considers his studies in the School of Education among the most valuable experiences he’s had.
Graduating from Loyola with a master’s degree in secondary education in 2014, Gadient is now teaching design to high school students at the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute in Chicago.
Learn more about the new IB certification program at the School of Education website.
“The professors at Loyola lent a lot of assistance to make sure I was growing as a student and teacher,” Gadient said. “The school’s framing on social justice as part of teaching meant I left with a good experience and invaluable education.”
Gadient’s degree also came with an International Baccalaureate (IB) certification—giving him the ability to teach in IB-certified schools around the world.
“The certification makes you so much more marketable as an educator,” Gadient said.
All undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Education have the option to become IB certified. Up until now, however, only student-teachers had the ability to enroll in the certification courses. But this summer the School of Education is rolling out its first IB accreditation course for practicing teachers.
“Because of the push Mayor Rahm Emanuel is putting toward creating more IB schools, we felt an increased demand to give all educators a chance at remaining competitive,” said Kristin Davin, PhD, program advisor for the Teaching and Learning Certificate for Practicing Teachers at Loyola.
The new program is entirely online and consists of four courses taken over a seven-month period. Teachers have a capstone course that requires them to use research implemented in their classrooms to evaluate their teaching methods.
“Teachers begin in early summer and finish their certification by the end of the fall semester,” Davin said.
Lorianne Zaimi, principal of the Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies in Edgewater, sees the new program as an advantage for local educators.
“It’s often difficult for teachers to get access to IB training locally,” Zaimi said. “Having certification classes available at a Chicago university means the city will potentially be able to quell its demand for IB teachers.”
Gadient also sees the start of the new program as a step in the right direction.
“The work I did during my IB program was among the highest quality during my master’s program,” he said. “The IB program pushes you to do better—it gives you an edge.”