February 17, 2020

Nicholls’ Teacher Prep Program Recognized Amongst Top Programs

Nicholls’ Teacher Prep Program Recognized Amongst Top Programs

According to a report, Nicholls State University’s Department of Education’s Teacher Prep program was recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality as one of the top programs in the country for its strong dedication to evidence-based reading instruction.

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction on January 27, 2020. On the science of reading instruction in teacher preparation, their report found significant progress.

Nicholls State University was one of 15 undergraduate programs and the only college in Louisiana state to earn an A plus for exemplary coursework.

Dr.Alyson Theriot, teacher education department head, stated “We are proud to earn an A+ rating on our early reading instruction in our elementary education program. I feel that we are able to prepare our teacher candidates to teach reading by providing high-quality instruction here on our campus and allowing them to practice what they learn in mentor teachers’ classrooms in our partner school districts. It is a joint effort between our department and the P-12 schools.”

According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, Nicholls covers five essential components of reading-phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. These are covered with explicit and repeated instruction on each component, support for instruction with high-quality textbooks that accurately detail established principles of scientifically based reading practices, and opportunities for teacher candidates to demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests, and other instructional practice.

These findings point towards a positive note when it comes to the national movement to bring down high rates of illiteracy. Of the 1000 evaluated traditional elementary teacher preparation programs, over 51 percent of the programs earned an A or B grade for their coverage of the key components, for the first time since the ratings began in 2013. This increase is up from 35 percent from seven years ago.

Successful reading instruction is directly essential to achieving educational equity. If a child lacks reading ability, it impacts their future educational advances and quality of life. What’s more, each year more than one million public school students beginning the fourth grade are unable to read.

“If a child is not reading at grade level, that child will struggle in every subject,” said Dr. Sue Westbrook, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. “This honor showcases the positive impact our teachers are having on the Bayou Region. I would like to thank the Department of Teacher Education for all they do for the children and citizens in our community.”

“The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization that is committed to modernizing the teaching profession. We conduct research to assist states, districts, and teacher prep programs with teacher quality issues. We don’t just call attention to what’s wrong, but offer concrete solutions to help solve teacher quality challenges.”

Nicholls State University is a student-centered regional institution located in Thibodaux, Louisiana. They offer accredited degree programs and unique learning experiences with a goal to prepare their students for life beyond the classroom and to have a successful career. They are dedicated to the education of their diverse student body while also providing a rich cultural and educational environment.

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