Cathy Main

Catherine Main is clinical faculty member in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  She earned a BS degree in Finance and Economics from Marquette University in 1987 and a M.Ed. degree in Instructional Leadership from UIC in 1992.  She has 25 years of teaching experiences in preschool, kindergarten, primary grades, and university settings.   Prior to working at UIC, Ms. Main taught in the Chicago Public Schools, including two years as a lead teacher at the Chicago Public Schools State Prekindergarten Demonstration Center.  As a clinical instructor, Ms. Main continues to work extensively in early childhood classrooms throughout Chicago Public schools and Chicago community agencies supporting student teachers and strengthening programs for children and their families.  Her work at UIC has included innovative and responsive program development in Early Childhood Education.  Ms. Main designed and developed a Blended Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education program and an Early Childhood Alternative certification program.  Both programs were the first of their kind to be approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and both reflect a focused, much needed, response to specific demands for early childhood teachers in Chicago.   Her alternative certification program is partnership program with the Chicago Public Schools that has licensed nearly 100 early childhood teachers in underserved communities.  The courses she typically teaches include: Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education; Internship in Early Childhood Education; Collaborating with Families, Professionals, and Community; and Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Preschool and Primary Grades. She provides consultation, professional development and program evaluation services for a variety of organizations including Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Imagination Theater, and the Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children and the Illinois Resource Center for Early Childhood Professional Development.  She regularly presents her program work at national conferences and as an invited speaker at local conferences.  Currently she is also the principal investigator on three grants:  1) Chicago Community Trust, Designing and Implementing Comprehensive Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Programs 2) Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Early Childhood Innovation grant, and most recently 3) McCormick Foundation, P-5 Mathematical Instruction Improvement.  She is the project evaluator for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Foundation grant, Math Access for Teachers and Home Care Providers,  Her most recent publications include two policy briefs focusing on early childhood reform and leadership at UIC.  She serves on several advisory groups and boards including the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Early Childhood Advisory Group, the Illinois Early Learning Council Program Standards and Quality Committee, the Harold Washington Chicago Community College Child Development & Human Services Program Advisory Board, and is a member of the Illinois Articulation Initiative Early Childhood panel.  She is co-chair of the Illinois Higher Education Learning and Professional Development Work Group, vice-president elect of Illinois Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (ILAECTE) and a member of the board for Chicago Youth Centers.