This interdisciplinary certificate enables students to draw on a variety of disciplinary perspectives and research methodologies when studying educational theories, policies, and practices. It allows students to focus their examination on, among other topics, the origins and organization of knowledge, education and schools; prominent educational philosophies or the work of an individual thinker; the interconnectedness of race, gender, and socioeconomic class and the effect on learning; and educational policies. This certificate is designed for those students-whether they are future teachers, parents, researchers, policymakers, or informed citizens-who seek a richer understanding of education and schools and who wish to delve more deeply into educational policies and practices.
Students will work closely with faculty members in the Foundations of Education program area to develop an appropriate course of study. In fulfilling the requirements for this certificate, students will use the tools and disciplinary perspectives at the heart of Foundations of Education: philosophy, history, and sociology. The capstone for the certificate is the independent study, the internship, the workshop, or the capstone course in the student’s major. The independent study may be a research project, a service project, or a creative and artistic project. The internship or workshop is designed for those students who wish to assist a faculty member with teaching a particular course in the Foundations of Education program area.
Students may elect to specialize in one disciplinary area or to embrace a broader approach that draws from the different disciplinary perspectives. Students will develop their plans of study in consultation with a certificate advisor. With the consent of the student’s major department, courses applied toward the certificate may meet major and general education requirements. Study toward the certificate is open to any NIU undergraduate student with consent of department. All requirements for the certificate must be completed within six calendar years.
The certificate of undergraduate study in foundations of education requires a minimum of 12 semester hours. Course work from the list below is chosen in consultation with certificate advisor.