About Us

A Living Laboratory for Teacher Ed

The Laboratory Schools at Illinois State University, Metcalf and University High School, serve as clinical experience and practice sites for pre-service teachers and experimental teaching activities. The schools provide a “living laboratory” for research and applied practices to improve teaching and  educational practice.

A strong, innovative curriculum… University High School is a modern, well-equipped educational facility serving 600 students in grades nine through 12. With students enrolled from many school districts, University High is a diverse community of learners. Because the school is committed to providing a laboratory environment in which the very best classroom practice can flourish, the curriculum is innovative, strong, and continually reviewed.

The ninth grade curriculum, for example, is interdisciplinary in nature and reflects the belief that learning is enhanced when connections can be made between and among content areas. At the other grade levels, courses are offered at regular and accelerated levels, and numerous advanced placement courses are available.

Advanced technology and a wide range of activities… University High strives to keep pace with changing technological challenges by offering internet access to students through the University, as well as providing all students with their own netbook. Firm in the belief that co-curricular programs enhance the experience of the high school student, University High also offers more than 60 programs in academics, athletics and the arts.

At University high, students can choose from a wide range of curricular and co curricular offerings. The school is proud of the level of commitment and involvement reflected in the activities of its students.

A diverse enrollment Students are selected from applications received at each school. To fulfill the research and teacher education mission, the student population at Thomas Metcalf and University High Schools is representative of schools throughout Illinois.

The total enrollment of the laboratory schools is limited by state law to 1000 students. The maximum number of students that can be admitted from McLean County Unit 5 School district is 642; the maximum for Bloomington School District 87 is 246. The remainder of the students may be admitted from other districts in the state.

Students usually are not admitted after the school year has started. Applications for admission are available in the main office starting the first week of February.

Our Role in Teacher Education

The College of Education at Illinois State continues the tradition of preparing future educators as well as responding to the professional development needs of today’s educators in both school and nonschool settings.

The university is consistently recognized nationally among the ten largest producers of teachers among American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education institutions.

Nearly one of every seven teachers in the classrooms of Illinois public schools holds a degree from Illinois State. Many alumni hold positions of educational leadership, including college presidencies, agency administrative posts, and offices in professional associations.

The lab schools play an important role in this teacher training mission by:

• Providing a school in which excellence in education theory and practice can be observed, studied, and practiced by teacher candidates and other pre-service school professionals.

• Providing an environment in which research and development activities may be conducted.

• Providing a comprehensive, high-quality academic program for Metcalf and University High School students.

• Promoting effective, high-quality education throughout the teaching profession and to aid other educators in the process of improving the quality of education in their schools.

Both laboratory schools at Illinois State University, Metcalf and University High School, engage in multiple activities that support all parts of the stated mission.