K-12 Professional Development Programs

Annotated list of K-12 teacher professional development programs sponsored by the University of Illinois area studies centers, our institutional partners, and other educational institutions.

International Travel Professional Development Opportunities for K-12 teachers:

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program provides opportunities for overseas experience. The program is open to educators and administrators with responsibilities for curriculum development in fields related to humanities, languages, and area studies. Topics and host countries of the seminars vary from year to year. All seminars are in non-Western European countries. Seminars are designed to provide a broad and introductory cultural orientation to a particular country or countries. The program is geared towards those educators with little or no experience in the host country(ies) who demonstrate the need to develop and enhance their curriculum through short-term study and travel abroad.

The following seminars will be offered in FY 2017:

Terms of the award include: (1) round-trip economy airfare; (2) room and board; (3) fees; and (4) program-related travel within the host country(ies). Participants are responsible for a cost share, usually $600.00 (to defray the costs of the pre-departure orientation), plus travel insurance, inoculations required by the country (if applicable), personal passport and visa costs.

Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC)

The Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) is a year-long, fully funded professional development opportunity for US elementary, middle, and high school teachers to become leaders in global education. Global education is integral to building 21st century skills, and teachers are the greatest resource to empower students as global citizens. TGC equips teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration.

Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship 2017

Keizai Koho Center (KKC), in cooperation with the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS), will offer “KKC Study Tour to Japan 2017” for U.S. and Canadian social studies teachers. Dates in Japan: June 26-July 5, 2017 (tentative) Primarily in Tokyo,the itinerary will be developed to provide vivid and enjoyable experiences with participants, which include:

  • Visits to Japanese schools to interact with students and teachers
  • Meetings with scholars and experts on Japanese society and its education system
  • Visits to major Japanese companies and meetings with senior company executives
  • Home stay with a Japanese family
  • Cultural and fun events.

Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will provide 12 U.S. teachers and administrators with a fully-funded opportunity to travel to Japan to learn about ESD efforts and strengthen ESD curricula in both countries. ESD is “a vision of education that seeks to balance human and economic well-being with cultural traditions and respect for the earth’s natural resources,” according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Transatlantic Outreach Program – Study Tours of Germany

Since 2002, the Transatlantic Outreach Program has sought to find the best and most qualified social studies and STEM educators and give them the opportunity to experience contemporary Germany in the most dramatic way possible: in person.

From Berlin to Frankfurt, from Stuttgart to Munich, from Hamburg to Kiel, from Dresden to Schwerin, and from Weimar to Leipzig, each corner of Germany is sampled through sight, sound, touch, and taste!

Global Teacher Leader Institute in Costa Rica

This institute will introduce global competencies and help educators integrate global themes within their daily curriculum. The innovative uses of technology to collaborate across borders will be a key component of the program. Sample topics to be addressed are comparative education, identity and belonging, and sustainable development.

Who Should Attend: For K-12 teachers and administrators, pre-service education faculty
Application deadline: February 28, 2017
Program Website


Domestic/Local Professional Development Opportunities for K-12 teachers: 

The African Presence in Mexico” K-12 Teachers Workshop
Saturday, February 4, 2017 – 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
At The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago
Registration: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/1513096
Cost: Free (Spaces are limited)
Transportation from the University of Illinois will be provided
Organized by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

China: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

March 3, 2017, The Field Museum
March 4, 2017, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, in association with the Confucius Institute at the University of Illinois, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Center for Global Studies, is offering a two-day seminar for current and pre-service teachers in grades 5-12 and community colleges. This two-day seminar will focus on Chinese history and the role of China in contemporary society.

NCTA Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop July 9-14, 2017

This is an annual week-long, intensive summer workshop for high school English and world literature teachers who are interested in incorporating Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literature into their curriculum.

Following the workshop, each participant develops a complete lesson plan for at least one of the pieces covered in the workshop. Those who turn in their lesson plan by the deadline are eligible to receive a $300 book-buying grant.