Utah Tech University’s elementary education program earned a grade of « A » from the National Council on Teacher Quality for rigorously preparing prospective teachers to provide reading instruction.
Utah Tech is among only 23 percent of programs nationwide to earn an « A » in the board’s new report, Teacher Preparation Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instructionto teach the most effective methods of teaching reading, often called the « science of reading ».
« Reading science is a passion of mine, » said Angie Child, an associate professor of education at Utah Tech. “I love the support I have from the UT faculty and teacher education department as I strive to teach SoR to our students. This support enables me to teach the content, concepts and effective teaching strategies our students need to implement SoR in their classrooms when they leave us. »
National data shows that more than one-third of fourth-grade students — more than 1.3 million children nationwide — cannot read at a basic level. Research suggests that over 90% of children could learn to read if their teachers used teaching methods based on the science of reading. By preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best, Utah Tech is working towards this goal.
To evaluate the quality of the preparation provided, a team of NCTQ experts analyzed Utah Tech programs, including class schedules and topics, core reading materials, classroom assessments, assignments, and opportunities for practice education in required literacy courses. To achieve an « A, » UT had to meet the council’s goals for coverage of the five core components of science-based reading instruction—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—and teach no more than three instructional methods that they are not supported by research on effective teaching of reading.
« Literacy preparation at Utah Tech University has always been research-based, » said Brenda Sabey, dean of Utah Tech’s College of Education. “Dr. Child has always used its exceptional knowledge and experience to successfully prepare our students in the science of reading.
Additionally, Utah Tech’s elementary and secondary licensure programs have earned full 7-year accreditation from the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation. National accreditation ensures the quality of Utah Tech’s educational programs through a self-learning and peer review process that ensures accountability and continuous improvement. In its review of Utah Tech, the committee noted that UT prepares candidates to work effectively as professional educators who can adapt to different contexts and continue to grow professionally.
« The program’s close relationship with local partner schools ensures that applicants are well supported and able to meet the educational needs of the community, » said Mark LaCelle-Peterson, president and chief executive officer of AAQEP.
Encompassing elementary and secondary education programs, Utah Tech’s Department of Education develops skilled teachers by providing engaging and rigorous instruction in essential teaching areas, hands-on experience in a variety of settings, and mentorship from expert professors. Through the integration of community leadership, scholarship, reflection, and partnerships, UT prepares students to be outstanding teachers within diverse and evolving communities.
To learn more about Utah Tech University’s elementary education program, visit education.utahtech.edu/elementary-educationreview the NCTQs full report for more information on Utah Tech University’s implementation of the science of reading or go to www.aaqep.org for more information on accreditation.