Schools to participate in Placement Day

By Sheryl Cajka

Graduating seniors and alumni looking for careers in education will have the opportunity to interview for positions in several states early next week.

Eighty-three schools, including 23 from out of state and 60 from Illinois, will participate in the NIU Mid-America Teacher Placement Day on April 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Duke Ellington Ballroom, said Neal Vickers, assistant director of the Career Planning and Placement Center.

School district representatives will be looking for students serious about finding a job in education, he said.

Positions include teaching, administration, social work, nursing and anything else relating to education.

Vickers said students should come dressed appropriately and with a resume, prepared to interview with administrators.

Since some school districts have had to cut back on their budgets, fewer positions will be available, he said.

However, the number of students looking for work will be higher.

In addition, growing school districts will be looking for extra staff, he said.

Vickers said NIU alumni can attend the event if they lost their jobs or if they want to find a job with more opportunities.

Although 100 districts came to NIU last year, the number of districts attending this year is better than expected since many school systems have had their budgets reduced, he said.

“When you have a tight budget, recruiters are only here because they are very serious about needing people (to work),” he said. “When you consider how the year has been, having 83 schools is extraordinary.”

In addition, nine NIU students per district were called back for a second interview last year.

“Placement rates are higher although there are fewer positions available in lean times,” he said.

Vickers said he advises students not to spend all of their time waiting to interview with one particular school district.

The event will be cosponsored by the Career Planning and Placement Center and the College of Education. Students and alumni can register at the door.

NIU is sponsoring the event in conjunction with four other state universities including Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, and the University of Illinois at both Chicago and Urbana.