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June 21, 2013

ECU defends teacher prep programs

Ada —

East Central University has made several improvements to the college’s teacher preparation program in the past two years, ECU officials said Wednesday.

ECU is defending its teacher prep courses in light of a new report which slammed the college’s undergraduate elementary education program. The report by the National Council on Teacher Quality, which surveyed more than 1,000 teacher preparation programs around the country, said that ECU’s elementary education program was not giving students the tools they need for success.

The report, which used a four-star system to rate participating schools, gave zero stars to ECU’s undergraduate elementary education program and Northeastern State University’s undergraduate special education program. Those programs were flagged with consumer alerts, indicating that students who enrolled in them were unlikely to receive effective training.

Dr. Brenda Walling, dean of the College of Education and Psychology at ECU, said the report relied on outdated documents instead of interviews with professional teachers, recent graduates and school administrators. Walling said the authors should have spoken to practicing teachers and other people familiar with the college, which would have painted a more accurate picture of the elementary education program.

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