College of Education receives merit from National Council on Teacher Quality


Brynn Lundy/The Lion's Roar

The Cate Teacher Education Center on campus is utilized to educate the university’s education majors. The College of Education is an accredited program and recently received high marks from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

A national education organization recently gave high marks to the university’s education program.

The National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonprofit organization that advocates for education reform and evaluates teacher preparation programs around the country, has given the College of Education two “A” ratings for its clinical practice and classroom management during its most recent Teacher Prep Review.

According to NCTQ’s website, only 49% of teacher preparation programs ensure proper classroom management, while only 10% of programs provide sufficient clinical practice.

The university’s College of Education is one of only 17 teacher preparation programs in the country to receive an “A” rating for both classroom management and clinical practice.

Paula Calderon, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education, shared her reaction to the distinction.

“I was honored, excited but not surprised because we know that we have a top-notch program,” expressed Calderon. “I don’t want that to sound arrogant, but we do have a great program.”

NCTQ recognized the College of Education in 2019 with an “A” ranking for their efforts in teaching early reading. Calderon also detailed other previous recognitions the program has received.

“We are also a nationally accredited program, which shows that our program has put in the time and the effort to create great teacher candidates who have a positive impact on pre-K through 12th-grade students,” shared Calderon.

Calderon explained what aspects of the program she believes led to the NCTQ’s high ratings for the college of education.

“We have put a lot of effort in redesigning our programs and making sure that our teacher candidates have more than adequate time in the classroom teaching during their field experiences and during their residency so that when they are hired and go into the classroom, our students are day-one ready,” noted Calderon. “They know exactly what to do on Aug. 6 when the doors open to the classroom.”

She also explained how classroom management and clinical practice tie in together.

“In order to effectively deliver instruction, the teacher must have a good command of the classroom,” said Calderon. “So, classroom management and clinical practice go hand-in-hand in that we teach our teacher candidates how to have control over a classroom. By classroom management, I am not talking about discipline, I am referring to management before it gets to a disciplinary action. Our teacher candidates have good command of the classroom so that they can deliver instruction and make sure that they are having a positive impact on the students.”

Calderon shared that the College of Education recently learned of the recognition and that she believes the university has done a good job of promoting the high marks they have received.

She also noted that this distinction by the NCTQ could help the university recruit more students.

“It confirms what we already know: that we are preparing our teacher candidates to be effective and excellent classroom teachers,” said Calderon. “Our hope is that it puts the College of Education and Southeastern in a great light and puts the word out for future teachers that Southeastern is the place to come to get your teacher education degree.”