The University of North Georgia’s College of Education has produced thousands of teachers that make a positive impact on students and their communities throughout this region. Dean Bob Michael talks about the effectiveness and unique aspects of UNG’s teacher preparation program.
How is UNG’s teacher education program different than other programs nationally or around the state?
|Dean Bob Michael|
University-based teacher preparation programs have much in common, including maintaining state, regional, and national accreditation, strong partnerships for field placements in area preschool-grade 12 (P-12) schools, and emphases on quality and accountability. The UNG teacher preparation programs are distinctive in their focus on extended field placements in area P-12 schools. For example, students in our Early Childhood Education program, dual majors in the Early Childhood and Special Education programs, and majors in our Middle Grades Education program have, at minimum, 50 percent more field placement hours than students in many other programs in the U.S. These placements are in partner schools that participate in our Professional Development Communities (PDCs).
What do these PDCs involve for UNG education students?
PDCs involve a minimum of a full year placement in an area public school; in the Early Childhood and Early Childhood/Special Education programs, this placement is for two full years following the same calendar as the partner schools. In addition, each Professional Development School is assigned to a College of Education faculty member, who provides supervision, instruction and professional development services to the schools. Our students in these PDC schools remain at the school site during the entire school day. In addition to taking their regular teacher preparation classes at the school site, they also serve as tutors, co-teachers and teachers in their classrooms.
How are teacher preparation programs assessed and how successful is UNG’s program?
Teacher education programs have a robust assessment system that provides data at the student/course, faculty, program, and unit levels. Assessments are conducted both internally at the course, student, faculty and program levels, and externally at the program and unit levels. The external assessments and evaluations include student performance on the state certification examinations in the various teaching areas, and UNG students consistently score at the 90-100 percent pass rate for these exams. Also, programs are evaluated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commissions and the Council for the Assessment of Educator Preparation, formerly the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, to ensure quality and effectiveness.