Our Mission


Our mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need.

Our leading-edge education preparation through the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program delivers exceptional teachers who make an impact from day one. We help students - in Illinois and beyond - thrive in the classroom and in life.

Through recognition of master teachers and school leaders with the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership and career support, Golden Apple also advances critical teacher performance and career longevity.


The Illinois Teacher Shortage Crisis

There is a critical shortage of high-quality educators statewide and nationwide. In September 2018, in Illinois there were more than 1,000 unfilled teaching positions. While in the past 10 years, colleges of education in Illinois universities experienced a 50% decline in enrollment


Golden Apple Scholars: Illinois’ Future Teacher Pipeline

The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program prepares highly-effective, diverse teachers to teach in the most challenging school environments in our state. Our Scholars remain in teaching at much higher rates than teachers prepared by any other program.

Despite dwindling enrollment in colleges of education at many universities, each year interest from highly-qualified applicants to our program far outpaces the funding necessary to support expansion of our capacity to prepare more Golden Apple Scholars.


Scholars By The Numbers


Partnering with Education Leaders

Golden Apple is the hub to provide highly-effective teachers to Illinois schools-of-need and we’re collaborating with our award-winning Golden Apple Fellows and expert partner organizations to make a greater impact.

Award-winning Golden Apple Fellows instruct, mentor and coach Scholars. By pairing the expertise of our Golden Apple Fellows and expert partner organizations, we bring the right resources to our Scholars during their preparation to ensure that they have everything that they need to reach their future students and excel in the classroom in schools-of-need.


What Illinois Principals Are Saying About Scholars


 Learn More About Our Mission & Impact


If you want to improve educational outcomes for students in Illinois schools-of-need, Golden Apple is the best investment you can make.