The Lithuanian Institute of Education developed from what was initially a series of college-level Lithuanian education courses, initiated in 1958. In 1960, this course cycle was reorganized into the Lithuanian Institute of Education, Inc. The first rector of the Institute was Prof. Albinas Liaugimas. The chief founder of the Institute was Domas Velicka. In 1961, the Institute developed an extramural division for students living outside the Chicago area, which drew students from around the world – Europe, South America, Australia, Canada, and various cities in the United States.
The purpose of the Institute is to train teachers for the broad network of Lithuanian schools in the U.S. and elsewhere. Classes are on Saturdays. The primary fields taught at the Institute are: Lithuanian Language, Literature, History, Folklore, Education, and Teaching Methodology. Internships are arranged for students of the Institute at various Lithuanian schools. The Institute’s program is three years, with a final thesis required for graduates planning to teach at the high school level. To date, over 400 students have graduated from the Institute.
The Institute has its own library, which is open to the public and consists of over 9,000 books.
The Institute organizes various projects, such as the instructional video series and the video interview series featuring Lithuanian émigrés in the U.S. recalling life in the DP (Displaced Persons) camps in Germany during WWII and their subsequent arrival in the United States. In 1982 the publications of the Institute were integrated into the catalogue system of the Lithuanian World Archives.
The current rector of the Institute is Prof. Jonas Rackauskas, and the director is Ruta Konciene.