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Arizona State teacher prep programs among the best in the nation

(Facebook/Arizona State University)
LISTEN: ASU teacher prep programs among the best

TEMPE, Ariz. — A national report that evaluates teacher-preparation programs found several of Arizona State University’s programs are among the best in the nation.

The National Council on Teacher Quality released its latest national rankings last week for traditional and alternative programs preparing both elementary and secondary teachers.

It ranked ASU’s Masters and Arizona Certification (InMAC) program fourth in the graduate and alternative route secondary programs category. The report also ranked the InMAC program 19th in the graduate and alternative route elementary programs category.

At the undergraduate level, ASU’s special education program ranked first, its secondary program ranked third and its elementary program ranked 10th.

Carole Basile, dean of the ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said there are several reasons why she thinks the InMAC secondary and elementary programs rank among the best in the country, including how students are being trained.

“I think we have been very balanced in terms of ensuring that our students are receiving the right kind of content knowledge and a tremendous amount of clinical experience,” Basile said.

She added students are also taught to meet 174 teaching standards adopted by the Arizona State Board of Education. That include classroom management and lesson planning.

This NCTQ report came up with the rankings by assessing the programs on three key factors, including teachers’ content knowledge in areas like reading, literature and math.

The report also looked at what sort of teaching practice opportunities aspiring teachers are given and the required criteria they must meet to be admitted into the program.

“The reason why Arizona State is doing quite well is that they’re doing quite well in those key design elements,” said Robert Rickenbrode, director of teacher-preparation studies for the NCTQ.

Rickenbrode added the report also found there’s an ongoing disconnect between the preparation teachers receive and what they need to know once they are working inside classrooms. He noted it oftentimes takes teachers up to five years inside the classroom to know how to do their jobs well.

The report also looked at other Arizona universities.

The University of Arizona’s graduate secondary-preparation program ranked 63rd, its graduate special education program ranked 47th and its undergraduate elementary-preparation program ranked 217th.

Northern Arizona University’s undergraduate special education program ranked 45th.

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