Teacher preparation

The National Council on Teacher Quality named UMSL’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program among the top in the country for selective academic admissions requirements. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis continues to be lauded for the quality of its academic programming.

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, unveiled on Tuesday, is a testament to the College of Education’s dedication to educating the region’s top teachers.

The NCTQ, a research and policy organization, has named UMSL’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program among the top in the country for maintaining selective academic admissions requirements.

Dean of the College of Education Ann Taylor said UMSL education students meet the highest standards and are instructed in the most up-to-date evidence-based practices. Specifically, the program focuses on engaged, experiential learning and provides a foundation in working with diverse, urban populations.

“We have outstanding programming for anyone wanting to be a teacher,” Taylor said. “In fact, we recently redesigned teacher preparation around the very best knowledge and practices in cognitive science as part of our participation in a select national project with Deans For Impact, ‘Learning by Scientific Design.’ We are proud, therefore, when any organization formally recognizes aspects of the high-quality preparation we provide – even more so when the focus of its praise is on the quality and rigor of our students. It is they who become the K-12 teachers of our region and power all our futures.”

According to the report, only 28 percent of the evaluated programs, including UMSL’s, earned the highest distinction for selective admissions requirements.

“We applaud programs like the University of Missouri–St. Louis that are doing the important work of preparing a world-class teacher workforce that our students deserve,” ​NCTQ President Kate Walsh said.​

This accolade is the latest in a string of accomplishments for the College of Education. This past fall, faculty members received more than $8 million in funding to support several projects.

Shea Kerkhoff, assistant professor of literacy, and two co-principal investigators in the Department of Educator Preparation and Leadership received $5.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education to promote evidence-based literacy strategies and to create digital literacy resources. In total, 40 St. Louis-area schools will receive professional services as part of the grant.

April Regester, associate professor of special education, and her co-principal investigators received $2.1 million in funding from a five-year Department of Education Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities grant to expand the UMSL Succeed Program.

Jerome Morris, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Urban Education, won the prestigious Lyle M. Spencer Research Award to Transform Education. Morris received a $1 million award to investigate his theory of communally bonded schooling.

UMSL faculty and alumni have also been individually recognized for their teaching proficiency.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education named education alumnus Darrion Cockrell the 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year, while the Missouri Art Education Association recently named Jennifer Fisher, assistant teaching professor of art education, as the 2021 Art Educator of the Year.

Read the full report: www.nctq.org/TPRDiversityAdmissions2021

Burk Krohe

Burk Krohe

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