University News

WIU Program Accepts First Student to Teach in Wisconsin Tribal Schools

May 28, 2021

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL – Students at Western Illinois University will have the opportunity to gain teaching experience at Native American tribal schools starting in Fall 2021.

The College of Education and Human Services and the Office of Study Abroad and Outreach are working to give students the opportunity to complete their student teaching at three tribal schools in Wisconsin. Elementary and secondary education students at WIU may apply for this opportunity, with scholarships available to cover room and board expenses, paid for by the WIU Foundation.

The first student chosen for the program for the Fall 2021 semester is English Education graduate student Adrienne Tinsley, of South Holland, IL.

The Tribal School Teaching Program is a revival of a program from the 1970s and 1980s.

"We're just now getting the program restarted," said Greg Montalvo, assistant dean of Educator Preparation at WIU. "WIU had a similar program in the 1970s and 80s where students completed student teaching in Montana. For this revived program, we've identified three schools in Wisconsin that we thought would make good opportunities for our students." The schools are the Menominee Tribal School, the Oneida Nation School and the Indian Community School (ICS)."

The 16-week program, which will take place during the fall semester, will allow students to experience teaching at each of the three facilities. Students will spend four weeks at the Indian Community School, followed by four weeks at the Menominee Tribal School, ending with an eight-week stay at the Oneida Nation School. The students will work with tribal school cooperating teachers in the subject and teaching level appropriate for the Illinois Professional Educator License.

"This program is going to be a great opportunity for those students who want to get hands-on experience in the field outside of Illinois. We're hoping to continue this program for as long as we can, and hopefully someday expand internationally," Montalvo continued. "We have faculty members who have contacts with educators in both Puerto Rico and Spain, and even Norway, and we hope to see the program expand in the coming years if all goes well."

The program is supported by the WIU Foundation and the Fellheimer Trust

To learn more about this program and apply, visit

Posted By: Ethan Hager (
Office of University Communications & Marketing