Elon program ranks among top 40 nationally for elementary teacher preparation

The National Council on Teacher Quality placed Elon University above the 90th percentile based on the quality of its teacher education programs. 

The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks Elon’s program for elementary teacher preparation among the nation’s best, with the university earning particular note for its math instruction program. 

Ann Bullock, dean of the Elon School of Education
Elon ranked in the 95th percentile in the NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review based on the quality of its elementary teacher preparation program, placing it in a tie for 33rd nationally and among only three North Carolina institutions to rank in the 90th percentile or above. Elon was among nine programs nationally to earn an “A+” grade for the quality of its math instruction preparation for prospective teachers. 

“We’re thrilled with the rating, as it accurately reflects the quality of the education program we have at Elon,” said Ann Bullock, dean of the School of Education. “Our program includes high-quality practices including field-based assignments in each course that are done with strong school partners. Candidates receive focused feedback as they become teachers through the field-based practicums and evidence-based courses they are enrolled in.”

The nonprofit, nonpartisan National Council on Teacher Quality examined 875 traditional undergraduate programs that prepare elementary school teachers for the classroom, and last reported its assessment of those programs in 2014. Among the areas of improvement since the last report two years ago, the council found that programs are doing a better job teaching reading instruction and are increasing the diversity of the students they are preparing for the classroom. 

“When programs improve, the big winners are of course future teachers and the children they will one day teach, but also the programs themselves,” said Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality. “They are showing a willingness to change to better meet the needs of public schools. Programs who adopt an evidence-based model of teacher preparation are leading the way for others to follow.”

The “Landscapes in Teacher Prep” report from NCTQ that accompanied the rankings noted that areas where programs need improvement. Those areas include teaching elementary math, science and STEM content, raising admissions standards, establishing student teaching as a useful experience with structured feedback and becoming more selective about the qualifications for those in the education field who mentor student teachers. 

“So much of what teachers do in their first years relies on what they learned in their preparation programs,” said Arne Duncan, another former Secretary of Education. “I am quite happy to see signs of movement being made by programs and hope they use the results of this Review to guide their further improvement.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality is a research and policy organization located in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2000, it is committed to “restructuring the teaching profession led by a vision that every child deserves effective teachers.” NCTQ lends transparency and public awareness of four institutions it believes has the greatest impact on teacher quality: states, teacher preparation programs, school districts and teachers unions.

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