The College of Education at Georgia Regents University is joining others from around the country in responding to a recent report that indicates that the nation’s teacher-training programs do not adequately prepare would-be educators for the classroom.
The National Council on Teacher Quality published its assessment Tuesday of colleges’ education programs and their admission standards, training, and value.
“Since the council’s assessments focus on inputs rather than outcomes or performance-based measures, the report does not accurately predict future success in the classroom,” said College of Education Dean Cindi Chance. “Unlike the metrics used in the report, output-based measures allow colleges of education to more readily assess whether graduates are capable of meeting the challenges facing P-12 schools today and the impact they will have in classrooms tomorrow.”
Sandra Carraway, alumna of the college and incoming Superintendent for the Columbia County School System, spoke highly of the college and its graduates.
“Through the university’s Partner School Network, the Columbia County School System has a strong and longstanding working relationship with GRU’s College of Education. Every semester, student teachers from GRU impact student learning in our classrooms and the quality teacher preparation program provided to these students allows us to hire the very best teachers for our students and for this we are extremely thankful.”
Jim LeBrun, Superintendent for the McDuffie County School System, also complimented the program and its students.
“The McDuffie County School System believes Georgia Regent’s University graduate level educators to be extremely well prepared to face the depth and rigor of today’s P-12 curriculum while implementing current best practices blended with proven pedagogy,” said LeBrun. “We have found GRU graduates at all levels to possess the skill set, training, knowledge and dedication that effectively serve the needs of our students over the course of time. We will continue to hire the best and the brightest teachers available, including GRU graduates.”
The report has been criticized for its methodology, which has often changed, even during the course of review. This practice has prompted some to discredit the assessment and question its reliability.
“Having been a classroom teacher for 10 years and a school principal for eight, I know that success should be measured by the ability of a teacher to impact learning for all students, regardless of the challenges they bring with them to the classroom,” she said.
The goal of the university’s teacher education program is to produce high-quality educators who can clearly demonstrate the ability to impact student learning, she said.
“With a rigorous curriculum and dedicated faculty, the University System of Georgia and GRU are committed to making sure our programs meet and exceed the expectations of students, parents, school administrators, and the community,” Chance said. “Our students undergo a Content Performance-Based Assessment to ensure they can effectively integrate theory with content knowledge.”
Chaz Glick, a graduate of the program, provided an update on his experience as a first-year teacher and expressed his appreciation to the program’s faculty.
“Even with all of the ups and downs, I did enjoy my first year as a teacher and I know that it would not have been possible without my time in the education program,” he said. “I appreciate the faculty and the work they have done to create such an outstanding program.”
Established in 1968, the college continues to be the largest producer of teachers and school administrators in the CSRA and the second-largest producer of minority teachers in the state.
The National Council for Accreditation and Teacher Education (NCATE) has cited the college as a national model of excellence and several alumni, many of whom teach in area schools, are recipients of Teacher of the Year awards.
“We are committed to creating value for our students and to meeting the educational needs of our community,” Chance added. “The consolidation allows us to expand on the strengths of our faculty, our curriculum, and our programs, and to strive for better outcomes in classrooms across Augusta, our state and nation.”
About the College of Education
College of Education is comprised of three departments: the Department of Teacher Education, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, and the Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Special Education. The college has over 600 students enrolled in undergraduate programs and about 500 students in graduate programs. The college also offers free tutoring to the community at the university’s Literacy Center and continues to partner with 52 schools in 6 different counties in a Professional Development School Network to provide real-world, school experience to future teachers.
To watch a video message from Dean Cindi Chance, go to http://vimeo.com/68567252.
For more information on the college and its alumni, visit http://www.gru.edu/colleges/education/facts.php.