Press release by Jackson State University:
Jackson State University College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) early elementary education program has earned an A+ distinction from the National Council on Teacher Quality(NCTQ). The new report recognized the COEHD as one of the best in the nation in preparing future elementary teachers to teach children to read.
“We used our research and recognized the importance of the five components of reading, and we’re teaching it to our students so they can go into the classroom and be effective,” said Jerri Haynes, Ed.D. Dean of COEHD. “I am very pleased and excited about the A+ distinction because it says that we are competitive with the programs at the R1 institutions and we will reap the benefits of our students going out and making a difference.”
Jackson State is among an elite 48 programs nationwide, including three Mississippi institutions, highlighted by NCTQ for going above and beyond the standards set by the literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction.
“The NCTQ’s assessment of our program exemplifies the dedication of the faculty and staff. Their hard work manifested into this well-earned distinction,” expressed JSU Provost Alisa Mosley, Ph.D. “I applaud the efforts of the College of Education and Human Development, and I anticipate the recent successes will lead to additional advancements for Jackson State University.”
To earn an A+ distinction, programs needed to exceed NCTQ’s targets for coverage of five core components of scientifically-based reading instruction—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—and not teach any unsupported instructional practices. NCTQ evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 10 in Mississippi. Overall, only 23% of programs earned an A or A+ grade.
“The Jackson State University program serves as a proof point,” said Heather Peske, Ph.D., 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.”
The new NCTQ analysis of teacher preparation programs’ coverage of the science of reading was developed over the course of two years, involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders, and educators.
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 for undergraduate elementary teacher candidates in the college.
NCTQ is a nonpartisan research and policy organization on a mission to ensure every child has access to an effective teacher and every teacher has the opportunity to be effective. The council believes a strong, diverse teacher workforce is critical for providing all students with equitable educational opportunities.