Trevecca’s School of Education has a long history of providing excellence in education. That commitment to excellence was on display in the Tennessee Board of Education’s annual Educator Preparation Report Card, released Feb. 15.
Trevecca was one of seven Tennessee teaching programs to move from an overall performance score of 2 to 3 and received the highest score of 4 in two of three categories: employment and provider impact.
“Trevecca has long been devoted to graduating quality teachers, and the report’s findings celebrate this,” said Dr. Suzann Harris, dean of Trevecca’s School of Education. “In recent years, we have worked diligently to implement major program changes across every content area offered for licensure.”
Required by the state Board of Education, the report card evaluates graduates of 40 state university and college teaching programs as well as non-traditional teacher preparation programs. The report grades programs across three areas: candidate profile, employment status of graduates and provider impact, which measures classroom observation and student growth scores.
“The report showed that 80 percent of our education graduates have teaching jobs in Tennessee within a year of graduation,” Harris said. “Furthermore, nearly 100 percent of our graduates have teaching positions not only in Tennessee public schools but also in schools, private and public, across the nation.”
The employment category also ranks rate of employment as well as retention rates. Trevecca ranked well above the state average in rate of employment of graduates three years after graduation and third-year retention rate, earning 13.9 points out of a possible 15 in the category.
In terms of enrollment, Trevecca ranked among the top 10 largest teacher preparation programs at private colleges and universities.
The report, which assesses teaching programs across the state, also considered the number of graduates with endorsements in high-demand areas, such as English as a second language, special education and secondary math and science.
“We’re committed to recruiting diverse candidates as well prospective educators who want to teach in high-need areas that the Tennessee Board of Education has identified,” said Dr. Tandy Taylor, director of teacher education. “We want to find ways to continually challenge and prepare our teaching candidates.”
Knowing that education is a constantly evolving field, Dr. Judy Bivens, coordinator of assessment and improvement in the School of Education, says the report card’s data helps the faculty to shape and continuously improve Trevecca’s teacher preparation program.
“The report card helps us to see what we’re doing well, but also areas where we might need improvement,” said Dr. Judy Bivens, coordinator of assessment and improvement. “From our candidate selection process and the implementation of a new program assessment system to redesigning field experience requirements, we’ve left no stone unturned as we’ve evaluated our program.
“To effectively prepare candidates to excel in the classroom,” Bivens continued, “we must strive to excel in every area of our teacher preparation program.”
School of Education officials cited a recently formed local education agency (LEA) partnership with the Wilson County School system, which they say enhances the student experience and helps the faculty ensure that graduates gain experience as well as learn relevant teaching practices.
“Agreements like this primary partnership agreement enrich our ability to prepare teacher candidates to have an impact in the classroom,” said Dr. Amy Conditt, director of school partnership and accreditation. “This allows them to gain real-world experience and develop relevant teaching practices that impact student achievement, from pre-K all the way through high school.”
To read the report in its entirety, visit teacherprepreportcard.tn.gov.