Growth and Professional Performance Review

In the College of Education at NIU, we are committed to cultivating an equity-focused, inclusive, engaging and supportive learning environment for all students. Becoming an educator is a complex developmental process, and we are dedicated to providing meaningful preparation opportunities to advance candidates’ progress toward successful professional careers.

Coursework, clinical experiences and co-curricular activities within each program define the pathway leading to licensure for candidates. Teacher candidates come to NIU's educator preparation programs with different background experiences, skills, talents, opportunities, beliefs, challenges and learning needs. The Growth and Professional Performance Review (GPPR) process is designed to proactively develop and provide tailored supports toward candidates' forward progress in their programs to launch them into their careers as highly competent educators.

Universal Guidance

Monitoring Students' Professional Progress

Students are assessed throughout their academic programs using a common dispositions assessment tool. During early clinical and student-teaching field experiences, the tool is used by university supervisors, mentor teachers and the teacher-candidate to assess candidate dispositions.

Intentional Guidance

Focused Intervention and Support

  • Action plans can be developed to address observed dispositional concerns or identified areas in need of growth.
  • Ongoing check-in meetings can be scheduled with individual faculty/staff/instructors or committee/team.
  • Possible interventions can include, but are not limited to:
    • Referral to counseling
    • Referral to Career Services
    • Referral Huskie Academic Support Center (HASC)
    • Referral to partner with Cultural Resource Centers
    • Referral to Disability Resource Center
    • Referral to Office for Student Success
    • Professional mentorship
    • Peer mentorship
    • One-on-one coaching
    • Conversations on diversity and equity workshops
    • Video reflection
    • Increased observation in the field
    • Identified modules

Intensive Guidance

Departmental Committee Members

Each department in the College of Education has established an official GPPR committee and developed policies and procedures for the department process.

Purpose of the Departmental Committee

The departmental committee is responsible for reviewing any disposition concerns reported by faculty and staff, as well as developing, implementing and monitoring a support plan to address any concerns with the student's progress. Within a GPPR:

  • Student are provided the opportunity to present any appropriate information that is relevant to their reviews. (The student should consult the departmental policy regarding submission of additional supporting documents.)
  • Committee decisions will be forwarded in writing to the student, the faculty member(s) involved, the department chair and the director of the Office for Student Success.

Committee Decisions

The GPPR committee decisions can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Concerns do not warrant further action; student will be allowed to proceed in the program.
  • The student is placed on "professional probation" with specific professional development requirements outlined by the departmental committee. The GPPR chairperson will designate a professional mentor or support person for the student. The mentor and student will meet on a regular basis to review the student's progress toward completion of requirements. Upon completion of the student's professional development requirements, the designee of the committee chair and/or the student's professional mentor will update the departmental committee in writing. The departmental committee will then decide if the student should be removed from professional probation. The chair of the departmental committee then notifies, in writing, the student, the academic advisor, the department chair and the COE director of the Office for Student Success of the outcome.
    • If a student has been removed from a clinical setting, they cannot return to the school/clinical setting or attempt contact with the school/clinical setting until so determined by the GPPR committee.
    • A student who is on "professional probation" will not be allowed to continue in student teaching or their final clinical experience.
  • The student can be dismissed from the program with approval of the department chair.

Policies and Resources


Students have the right to appeal the decisions of the GPPR if they allege that the department's decisions did not follow the GPPR procedures as stated by their major departments.

  • Appeals must be filed within 30 business days of the GPPR decision.
  • Appeals should be delivered to the College of Education Office for Student Success.

Appeals Procedure

  • The request for consideration should be prepared in writing by the student and submitted to the COE Office for Student Success within 30 business days after notification of the GPPR committee decision via fax, mail, in person or email.
  • The request for consideration should be submitted with any relevant supporting documentation that the initial GPPR did not follow procedures as stated by the major department.
  • The appeals committee will not review any additional information that was not presented at the initial GPPR.

Purpose of the Appeals Committee

The Appeals Committee reviews cases and can overturn a departmental Growth and Professional Performance Review outcome only if there is evidence that the department's decision did not follow the Growth and Professional Performance Review procedures as stated by the major department.

Committee Decisions

  • Decisions will be made within 14 business days of the student's initial appeal.
  • The director of the COE Office for Student Success will communicate the appeal committee's decision in writing, to the student, the department chair, the student's academic advisor and the chair of the initial growth and professional performance review committee.
  • Decisions reached by the GPPR appeals committee can be appealed to the dean of the College of Education. The appeal should be filed in writing within 30 business days of the initial appeal decision to the dean of the College of Education. The decision of the dean will be final.

The Office of the Ombudsperson offers a non-judgmental, impartial perspective to assist in navigating university systems, resources and communication skills/opportunities to address your concern.

The Office of Career Services offers services and resources that allow students to connect their academic achievements with their engaged learning and career-related experiences, working with faculty/staff members, employers and other external partners to support students' career success.

Counseling and Consultative Services provide comprehensive mental health support to students currently enrolled at NIU.

The Huskie Academic Support Center (HASC) offers comprehensive academic services and resources, including tutoring sessions, writing assistance and academic skills development.

Diversity and Cultural Resource Centers and Programs at NIU provide programs and events that support and engage students, faculty and staff on topics related to their professional, cultural and social interest.

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) offers guidance, services and resources to help you succeed at NIU. We will work with you to determine your needs and develop a plan to meet them.

The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) is a 60-item assessment of students' awareness about and use of learning and study strategies related to following components of Strategic Learning.

Additional policies and procedures can be found in the "Academic Regulations" section of our Undergraduate Catalog.