Boise State’s undergraduate elementary and secondary Teacher Education programs have been ranked in the top 5 percent of such programs in the country by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).
NCTQ ranked the two Boise State programs as part of its evaluation of 1,612 teacher preparation programs across the United States.
The undergraduate elementary program is ranked 40 out of 788 elementary programs nationally. The undergraduate secondary program is ranked 37 out of 824 secondary programs in the country.
“A commitment to continuous improvement is helping the College of Education transform teacher education,” said education Dean Rich Osguthorpe. “This commitment means we are producing graduates who are ready on the first day of their careers to prepare their students for college, work and life.”
Teacher candidates at Boise State go through a rigorous review prior to admission to any teacher education program. The process includes not only looking at grades, but also writing an essay, responding to a case study “problem of practice” and participating in interviews.
In pre-program field experiences and a professional-year clinical experience, candidates engage in multiple performance assessments in a public school classroom, resulting in evaluation based on the Framework for Teaching developed by Charlotte Danielson and validated in the Measures of Effective Teaching study.
Osguthorpe noted that candidates are not sent into the public schools to sink or swim. “Each teacher candidate has a faculty advocate who helps assure the candidate’s success,” he said.
The Boise State programs also place and support candidates in extended clinical experiences. In the first semester of their senior year, Boise State teacher candidates spend approximately three days a week in a school classroom working with a mentor teacher and developing capacity to lead teaching during a following semester. The candidate gradually takes on more and more responsibility.
In the second semester, the candidate works with a mentor teacher and partner school in order to lead instructional planning and implementation, including all of the professional responsibilities of an educator related to the established licensure standards.
“Candidates are able to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions over time,” Osguthorpe said. “This is in line with what quality teacher education programs are asked to do and is grounded in research-based methods.”
NCTQ’s review of teacher preparation programs focused on the knowledge, skills and academic attributes new teachers need to be classroom ready when they graduate. Drawing from a set of 18 standards, NCTQ applied the relevant standards to elementary, secondary or special education programs. NCTQ is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization located in Washington D.C.