Dr. Lila Sybesma '81 Associate Professor of Education


Ed.D., University of South Dakota
M.A., University of Sioux Falls
B.A., Northwestern College

VPH 200A

Dr. Sybesma specializes in early childhood education and reading. She is certified to teach in K-6 elementary education and began her career serving as an elementary education teacher for 19 years. A former president of the Northwest Iowa Reading Council, she has led numerous workshops for teachers. She recently worked with Northwestern's education department to achieve national accreditation for the college's teaching program.

EDU228 - Children's Literature

This course focuses on the history of children's literature and its uses in the classroom. This course provides an introduction to the criteria and selection of Children's literature for elementary school students. Various genres are detailed, and ideas for curriculum integration are discussed. A study of illustrations and authors is included. (2 credits)

EDU229 - Introduction to Early Childhood

This course examines both the typical and atypical growth and development ofchildren ages birth through grade three in the areas of cognition, languagedevelopment, physical motor, social-emotional, mental health and adaptivebehavior. Candidates will learn how these areas impact development andlearning in the first years of life and will use this knowledge to plan,develop, implement and evaluate integrated learning experiences for home,center and school environments based on knowledge of the child, the family,and the community. Candidates will also use relevant national and stateprofessional standards for designing content and informing and improvingpractices for children and their families. (3 credits; alternate years,consult department) Note: This course requires 25 hours of field experience.

EDU230 - Organization and Administration of Early Childhood Programs

This course examines the principles of administration and operation ofprograms for children ages birth through grade three and their families,including program development, supervision, staff evaluation, and continuingimprovement of programs and services. Candidates will understand thesignificance of lifelong learning by participating in professionalactivities relevant to early childhood education, special education andearly intervention. Candidates are required to complete pre-student teachingexperiences in at least three settings that offer early childhood education.(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) Note: This course requires25 hours of field experience.

EDU319 - Communication and Collaborative Partnerships for Special Educators

This course examines how successful early childhood education depends uponreciprocal and respectful partnerships with families, communities andagencies. Candidates will understand the dynamic roles within and betweenfamilies, schools and communities and how to create a community of supportfor children and families through interagency collaboration. Candidates willlearn how to collaborate with supervisors, mentors and colleagues to enhanceprofessional growth within and across disciplines to inform practice and toadvocate for developmentally and individually appropriate practice.Utilizing collaborative partnerships, candidates will learn how to createsafe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments that engagelearners in meaningful activities and interactions. Prerequisite: EDU 206.(2 credits; alternate years, consult department)

EDU326 - Teaching Reading and Language Arts

A foundational course for the teaching of language arts at the elementaryand middle school levels. Candidates will understand and utilize materials,lesson design, methods and procedures to teach reading, writing, spelling,handwriting and grammar. Prerequisite: EDU206. (3 credits) Note: This course includes a field experience. Candidates must earn a "C" orbetter to fulfill program requirements for elementary licensure.


Sybesma, L. J. (2009, Fall). Teacher: Christlike servant. Christian School Teacher, 1-6.


"Cognitive Development in Play” Denison, IA April 4, 2009

“Early Childhood Education” Career College Fair Northwest Iowa Community College, Sheldon, IA October, 2008

“Including Christian Perspective in Your Reading and Writing Program” Heartland Conference Sioux Center, October 2008

“Writing the Right Way” Heartland Conference Sioux Center October 2007

“Building a Lesson” IRA Iowa Reading Association Des Moines, IA April, 2007

Served on accreditation team for a local school (2015)

Developed online Early Childhood Endorsements and coursework (2012-2016)

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

International Reading Association (IRA)

Northwest Iowa Reading Council (NWIRC)

Nominated for Northwestern College Professor of the Year

Endowed Professorship