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Governors State University

Governors State University (GSU) is the only public university in Chicago's south suburban area, serving approximately 7,750 students. Established in 1969, GSU emphasizes excellence, access, and innovation, providing affordable and accessible undergraduate and graduate education to culturally and economically diverse students.

One of only two upper division universities in the nation, GSU's course work begins at the junior baccalaureate level, making it ideal for students transferring from community colleges, adults returning to college, and those seeking to increase their qualifications through a graduate degree or certificate program. Four colleges – Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Education, and Health and Human Services – offer 22 bachelor's programs, 25 master's programs, three doctoral programs, and 23 certificate programs.

Lansing, Illinois, School District #171, teachers engaged in creating online projects during a TPS-GSU Saturday Series Workshop.

Lansing, Illinois, School District #171, teachers engaged in creating online projects during a TPS-GSU Saturday Series Workshop.

Now celebrating its fortieth anniversary, Governors State University still embodies the most optimistic vision of the 1960s by providing a supportive and inclusive experimental learning environment for faculty and students to try out effective practices in education. With a belief in its students, GSU matches the best ideals of the past with the most promising innovations of the future.

The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program at Governors State University began in 2003 as part of the pilot program, An Adventure of the American Mind. GSU's TPS program delivers professional development programs that help K-12 teachers use the Library of Congress's rich reservoir of digitized primary sources to design challenging, high-quality instruction. TPS-GSU ascribes to a constructivist learning model, so therefore its ultimate goal is for participating teachers to develop learning experiences that result in students creating new knowledge.

TPS-GSU currently partners with 30 local school districts, focusing its efforts on those targeted by the State of Illinois as high-needs districts. Participating schools represent a diverse cross-section of demographics; however, the majority serve a low income, often poverty level, student population. GSU-TPS also serves pre-service teachers during their junior and senior years of study, graduate school students, and degreed students in the Alternative Teacher Certification Program.

TPS-GSU has created a dynamic infrastructure that allows the staff to maximize delivery of the program both on and off campus. All participating teachers who receive 70 hours of professional development must conduct a workshop during the subsequent school year for fellow educators. During the culminating One-Year-Later Workshop, teachers share descriptions and successes of the workshops that they conducted for colleagues. Some of these teachers' commentaries have been captured in podcasts posted on TPS-GSU's Web site for others to access and learn from their experiences.

TPS-GSU's Web site features a searchable database of primary source-based lesson plans. Additional Teaching with Primary Sources instructional materials, both static and multimedia, are also available on the Web site.