DePaul University, with more than 23,000 students, is the only one of the nation's ten largest private universities where the faculty priority is on teaching. Founded on the Vincentian principle of access for everyone, DePaul remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. All curricula emphasize skills and attitudes that educate students to be lifelong, independent learners. DePaul's location in Chicago, Illinois, provides countless opportunities for class projects, research, internships and experiential learning programs that bring theory to life.
DePaul University joined the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program in 2006 following participation in the pilot program An Adventure of the American Mind (AAM). In its first year, DePaul's AAM program delivered professional development for K-12 teachers on DePaul's campus, which limited participation. The following year, the AAM program at DePaul University began offering onsite professional development to schools in Cook and later DuPage counties to improve accessibility. TPS-DePaul University discovered that delivery in schools provides opportunities to duplicate what teachers will experience using their school's technology resources and when implementing activities in their own classrooms.
TPS-DePaul University has the good fortune to be partners with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and its Department of Libraries and Information Services. This department supports approximately 24,500 teachers throughout the city who seek to more effectively integrate online educational resources, such as those available at the Library of Congress, into teaching and curriculum.
Through this partnership and other CPS networking opportunities, the TPS program at DePaul University effectively delivers professional development throughout the city of Chicago. Eighty-five percent of the 408,601 students in Chicago Public Schools are from low-income families. Providing a professional development program that is effective for teachers in urban schools must be flexible and meet the needs of the teachers that face the challenges of poverty, violence, cultural diversity, and a large number of languages. Before each professional development program session begins, TPS-DePaul University surveys teachers for curriculum needs, topics and areas of interest and study, and information about school goals and mandates. This information helps to build a framework for every program session.
The ultimate focus of DePaul's TPS program is to have teaching with primary sources become integral in teaching practices with measurable outcomes in student engagement and learning. Currently 1,500 in-service educators participate in DePaul's TPS program by sharing classroom activities and resources, presenting at major conferences, and participating in advanced TPS programs. TPS-DePaul University provides professional development to pre-service teachers in classes such as Children's Literature, Teaching History and Social Studies in Secondary Schools, and also works with students on projects that bring parents and children together to improve literacy within family and community.
The TPS program at DePaul University's Web site is a valuable and accessible source of information, including professional development opportunities, monthly newsletters with lesson plans tied to celebrated calendar events, Chicago-specific resources, and much more.