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SFU’s undergraduate education program receives ‘A’ from National Council on Teacher Quality

February 20, 2020 Tags: Health Sciences and Education

Early Education Reading Preparation

Saint Francis University’s Bachelor of Science in Early Education program has received an ‘A’ grade from the National Council on Teacher Quality in the 2020 Teacher Prep Review. The score reflects the strong preparation in reading instruction that the undergraduate program provides to elementary teacher candidates.

SFU’s program was part of a small group - only about a quarter of programs nationwide - to qualify for an ‘A’ grade. The score was based on the University’s explicit instruction on each of the five components of reading instruction; support for instruction with high-quality textbooks that accurately detail established principles of scientifically-based reading practices; and evidence that teacher candidates must demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests, and fieldwork.

“A focus on literacy development is significant within the early childhood program. Language and literacy are essential skills in preparing children to succeed in school,” said Dr. Stephanie Ivory, chair of the Undergraduate Education Department at Saint Francis. “Early literacy experiences impact academic achievement, grade retention, graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life.”?

Dr. Ivory added that while pedagogy in relation to literacy is woven throughout numerous courses in the undergraduate education program, there are three specific courses within the program that offer a spiral curriculum to cover the stages of literacy development from birth through adolescence.

Now in its fourth edition, the Teacher Prep Review assigns a team of literacy experts to examine every course a program requires in early reading, as well as rating the quality of the textbooks used in each course. These experts also look for clear evidence of dedicated course time as well as measures where aspiring teachers must demonstrate their knowledge of the five key components of the science of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

“Theory and practice is the bond that prepares our students in the Education Department. Our goal is to provide an environment for our prospective early childhood majors to foster pedagogical skills and showcase talents in practical, authentic educational environments,” said Dr. Ivory. “Knowledge, competence, and service merge to nurture a lifelong commitment for excellence and equity in our schools and society.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group committed to modernizing the teaching profession based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. The NCTQ recognizes that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession's many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers.

About Undergraduate Education at SFU

With?22 education degrees and concentrations offered,?SFU Education provides an environment in which prospective early childhood, middle childhood, and secondary teachers can develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will enable them to become reflective decision-makers. Each program offers real teaching experience, small class sizes with individualized focus, attention and support.?98% of our recent graduates?are employed or enrolled in graduate school, and interstate certification?agreements allow graduates with PA certificates to qualify for licensure in 45 states.

Undergraduate Education at SFU

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