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College of Education

UofSC College of Education named one of the top teacher prep programs in country

May 2019 - The undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program recently was named one of the top in the country by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization.

As part of a new book, Start Here to Become a Teacher, NCTQ named 120 undergraduate programs that excel in preparing teacher candidates to meet the demands of their future classrooms. Using nearly two decades of extensive research in teacher preparation, NCTQ assessed programs on critical, evidence-based measures, including:

  • Rigorous admissions process;
  • Emphasis on research-based approaches to teaching reading and math for elementary candidates;
  • Content knowledge for secondary candidates;
  • Training in classroom management strategies that work for all students; and
  • Quality student teaching experiences.

Of the 872 undergraduate programs reviewed, University of South Carolina - Columbia was recognized as a leader in the field.

"It is an honor to be recognized as one of the top undergraduate elementary teacher education programs," says Fenice Boyd, chair of the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education. "Faculty take great pride in mentoring our undergraduate students to become the teachers of tomorrow, and along with our partners in local schools, we believe our model enhances and strengthens their knowledge, skills and dispositions for teaching young children. We are thrilled that NCTQ recognizes our quality program."

Start Here to Become a Teacher is intended to serve as a guidebook for aspiring teachers. In addition to naming top undergraduate teacher prep programs, the book calls out common myths about teaching and what successful teachers love most about their jobs, features an affordability index describing the places where renting an apartment on a teacher’s salary is more or less feasible, gives advice on the best courses to take, and provides information on making sure a student teaching experience pays off and on how to land a first job.

“The universities named in Start Here are exemplary in their dedication to training the next generation of great teachers,” says Kate Walsh, NCTQ President and book author. “We commend these institutions for the thoughtful manner in which they’ve grounded their approach to teacher preparation in what research shows to actually be effective.”


About the National Council on Teacher Quality

The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers.


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