Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Education is one of 35 colleges and universities across the nation recognized for “effectiveness in preparing future teachers for knowledge in their anticipated subject areas.”
The honor comes from the Washington, D.C.-based National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan research and policy group committed to “modernizing the teaching profession based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers,” according to OWU officials.
NCTQ examined 800 schools and chose to recognize 35 with an “A” grade for meeting its “high school content standard,” which involved a review of Ohio Wesleyan’s course content offerings, degree plans and admissions selectivity.
“Teachers deserve the opportunity to be prepared, and we congratulate these colleges and universities for leading the pack in taking steps to give teachers a solid base in subject knowledge,” Kate Walsh, president of NCTQ, said in a news release announcing the honored schools. “The most critical step is to make sure that the coursework is rigorous and strong, holding students accountable for achieving mastery in the subjects they intend to teach.”
Ohio Wesleyan earned recognition following an NCTQ review of its program resulting in a bachelor of arts in secondary education in physics with minor in adolescent/young adult education. Overall, OWU offers programs for teacher licensure at the early childhood, elementary school, middle school and high school levels.
Amy McClure, chair of the OWU Department of Education, said the university is committed to “preparing teachers who are ready to step into the classroom and teach effectively from day one. … Our education majors spend more than 450 hours in local classrooms observing and assisting teachers and teaching lessons based on ideas they developed in methods courses.”
OWU’s Department of Education also is accredited by the Washington, D.C.-based National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), an organization dedicated to ensuring that teacher-candidates graduate with an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey the material effectively to their students.
The NCTQ recognition was announced Wednesday in conjunction with a survey of high school students conducted by San Francisco-based YouthTruth, a nonprofit that seeks to capture “student perceptions to help educators accelerate improvements in their K–12 schools and classrooms.” According to the YouthTruth survey, 32 percent of high school students question whether their teachers are getting enough training in the subjects they teach.