Undergraduate Program One of Only 48 in the U.S to Earn Highest Distinction from the National Council on Teacher Quality for Preparing Aspiring Teachers in the Most Effective Methods for Teaching Reading
The undergraduate teacher preparation program at Marian University’s Fred S. Klipsch Educators College (KEC) has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) as among the best in the nation in preparing future elementary teachers to teach children to read, earning an A+ distinction in NCTQ’s new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.
Marian’s program is among just 48 nationwide and is the only A+ program in Indiana highlighted by NCTQ for going above and beyond the standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction – often called the “science of reading.”
National data shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students—over 1.3 million children—cannot read at a basic level. By preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best, we can change these devastating results.
To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided to Marian University’s undergraduate elementary teacher candidates, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials, class assessments, assignments, and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses. To earn an A+ distinction, programs needed to comfortably exceed NCTQ’s targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically based reading instruction—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—and not teach any instructional practices that are unsupported by research.
“Marian University’s Klipsch Educator’s College program serves as a proof point,” said Dr. Heather Peske, NCTQ President. “Other teacher preparation leaders and faculty across the country must take note. There are programs that are doing this right, ensuring that their elementary teacher candidates get the preparation in how to teach reading that they both want and deserve.”
Over five decades of research suggests that over 90 percent of children could learn to read if their teachers used instructional methods grounded in the science of reading. Marian University is proud to be recognized among the programs ensuring that future elementary teachers enter the classroom equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help students become strong readers.
The elementary education degree at Klipsch Educator’s College offers students a unique opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. Specializations in elementary education and Master of Arts in teaching or elementary education and master’s in special education are available. A traditional four-year degree in elementary education is also available.
“Through the vision of our leadership and dedicated work of our faculty and staff, in 2017 we began the journey of aligning our undergraduate literacy courses with the body of research we refer to as the Science of Reading," said LaTonya Turner, Ph.D., dean of the Klipsch Educators College. "Through the continued professional development of our literacy faculty, we are now in a place to offer a top-rated education for our aspiring teachers. We look forward to offering a master's degree in Reading Science beginning next year. We are committed to changing the trajectory of reading failure and we believe we can do so by providing our students and alumni-teachers with increased knowledge in the Science of Reading."
The new NCTQ analysis of teacher preparation programs’ coverage of the science of reading was developed over two years, involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders, and educators. NCTQ evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 18 in Indiana. Overall, just 23% of programs earned an A or A+ grade (112 programs earned an A and 48 earned an A+).
“The Klipsch Educators College continues to be recognized as program of high distinction and quality,” said Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener. “We are beyond proud of the commitment and dedication of our dean and talented faculty to elevate the Klipsch Educator’s College teacher preparation program to the top two percent of the nation.”
See the NCTQ report for more information about how Marian University compares to other programs in Indiana or across the country.