Ongoing Task Force Groups


Begun in 2015 to advance and update the Center’s earlier initiative, Diversity at the Blackboard (2006), Project LEAD (Leaders in Education Advocating for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is a collaborative endeavor that brings faculty and diverse students from multiple campuses together to build a structure and toolbox to:

  • Identify and explore the demographics of the teacher and student pipeline and collaborate to improve the numbers alignment so that more students across Illinois experience a diverse teacher and teachers who are allies supporting diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Understand and celebrate the value of a diverse pool of teacher candidates to all students, teachers, schools and districts;
  • Celebrate the profession of teaching & inspire others to celebrate and elevate teaching;
  • Increase and support the number of talented and diverse candidates of color who become teachers and the significant contributions they make to the profession;
  • Network & collaborate with both faculty and students across each campus and from campus to campus and along with education stakeholders, build a toolbox and structure to encourage others to consider the profession of teaching and to sustain candidates during their preparation and into the profession; and
  • Advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion for all.


Identifying, developing and sustaining programs for teacher leadership pathways and vesting teacher leaders with the knowledge and skills to impact policy and practice and promote impactful professional learning in their schools and districts.


Promoting teacher retention in high-need schools by providing teachers and leaders with a network of colleagues and resources. PDN offers six strands of learning through webinars hosted online and in person by Center colleges and universities.  The PDN is open to all teachers and leaders especially those serving in high-need schools. PDN sessions introduce teachers to Center institutions and faculty and address a variety of topics, including personalized learning and differentiated instruction, technology, social and emotional learning, culturally relevant/ sustaining pedagogy, teacher leadership and education policy and meeting the needs of Illinois’ increasingly diverse student body.  PDN concludes each academic year with a full-day Summer Institute for Educators featuring national and state education leaders.


The CLINICAL PRACTICE TASK FORCE is exploring what Clinical Practice should do differently, how can it be meaningfully assessed, and what it looks like in practice as well as how EPP’s can collaborate in advancing the effectiveness of Clinical Practice.CAL PRACTICE TASK FORCE

The teacher pipeline – from initial interest, to preparation, to recruitment, to support in the beginning teacher’s first years –  is integral to the work of the Center.  A current focus of the Center is exploring clinical practices followed by apprenticeships.  Here is a recent presentation from the Center Partnership: THE TEACHER PIPELINE:  ALL ABOUT APPRENTICESHIPS with Dr. Lisa Barron, Austin Peay University, Tennessee.  You can watch her presentation here:

Also, Dr. Barron’s handouts can be accessed here:

To learn more about Apprenticeships and their promise for the teacher pipeline, check out our Apprentice Resource Page:


The Culturally Responsive Teacher and Leader Standards Task Force meets monthly to unpack these new state standards and share ideas about implementing the standards in teacher and leader preparation programs in order to strengthen programs and prepare candidates to integrate them into their teaching with fidelity.  The standards include:
Standard 1: Knowledge of Self and Relationships to Others                                               
Standard 2: Systems of Oppression
Standard 3: Knowledge of Students as Individuals                                                               
Standard 4: Students as Co-Creators
Standard 5: Leveraging Student Advocacy
Standard 6: Family and Community Collaboration
Standard 7: Content Selections in All Curricula
Standard 8: Student Representation in the Learning Environment$file/06.Cc%20Part%2024-Rules.pdf
Monthly work includes deep dives into implementation of each standard and their assessment as well as timely discussion around these questions:
1.    What do we understand?
2.    What questions do we have?  Do we need to bring in some additional resources to clarify the standard or a part of the standard?
3.    How are the new standards like the IPTS standard on diversity and what we currently do?  How are they different?
4.    What ideas can we generate to implement the standards with fidelity?
The task force is developing the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards Tool found here:
This site is a living resource that is ever evolving and our Task Force provides relevant updates and learnings from it at our monthly sessions.