Education at Chicago State University

College Of Education BuildingOur college serves as the foundation upon which Chicago State University was built in 1867 as a Teacher’s College. The College of Education is representative of an extremely diverse set of programs that can support you on your pathway to achieving your career goals. A common aspect of all of our programs is a commitment to educator preparation for a variety of settings. While many of our programs lead to endorsement and educator licensure in the State of Illinois we also have programs in recreation, higher education, and information science. As a Minority-Serving Institution, we are focused on meeting the needs of our students through coursework and programs that demonstrate an understanding of and a commitment to diversity. Learn More about our robust programs. Congratulations on taking the next step on your educational journey!

Congratulations on taking the next step on your educational journey!


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Box Car

In 1867 in a leaky railroad boxcar, a normal school was formed, Teacher Training School (then renamed Cook County Normal School). Over the next 150 years, this school grew from Chicago Normal School to Chicago Teachers College, and eventually to Chicago State University (CSU).  Up until 1967, there were two branches of Chicago Teachers College:  North Branch and South Branch.  The North Branch became Northeastern Illinois University, and the South Branch became Chicago State University.  

The Chicago Normal College was the preeminent institution for progressive education, with faculty and students coming from all over the country and world to see how the curriculum was being formed and implemented. During the 1930s, the College was at the forefront of Special Education curricular development. Furthermore, the institution acknowledged the need for partnering with countries and universities on the African continent.  We have worked with students and faculty from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. 

CSU started as a predominantly white institution (PWI), with many of its students coming from the north side of Chicago.  As the Ellis Island of universities, it has been a port of entry for many immigrant and non-White students.  If students have a modicum of talent and are willing to work hard, they can earn a bachelor degree.  It is the first university in Chicago to unconditionally accept African American students, and it is the only public university on the south side of Chicago.  When speaking to alumni, most of them have said that CSU was the only institution of higher education that would accept African Americans.  Even the community college system stayed segregated until the 1960s, while CSU accepted students of all ethnicities starting in the 1920s.

Chicago State University HistoryThis photographic history of Chicago State University was written by CSU colleagues and can be purchased from Dr. Seo for $22.00 by emailing her at

Our mission is to provide quality programs aligned with the principles of social justice and equitable practices supported by wrap-around services that address the needs of students. Scholarly research, advocacy, partnerships and innovation highlight the college’s approach to teaching and learning.

The College of Education prepares, supports, and empowers students to become educational leaders and change agents who transform and improve the lives of others.