Campus cooperation key for NCATE

Amye Buckley

They spent the last four years preparing for the visit, now Missouri Southern’s Teacher Education department is ready for its accreditation visit.

Members of the National Counsel for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will be on campus Oct. 4 – 8.

Dr. Al Cade, department head of teacher education, said there is involvement in the program across campus and the community.

“We survey our graduates, we survey our administrators, we survey our cooperating teachers and we get yearly feedback of how well we are doing as far as preparing teachers,” Cade said.

“This is only one example of our working with our stakeholders,” said Jack Green, assessment coordinator for the school of education.

The department has stringent entrance requirements. Students must have an ACT of 20 or higher, hold a 2.75 or higher GPA and complete 55 or more credit hours before they can apply to the program. During the course of the Teacher Education program administrators use a variety of assessment methods: tests, surveys and internal assessments.

During their junior block students spend 30 hours of field observation in local schools, giving them a feel for the teaching experience.

“By the time they enter our program this is what they want to do,” Cade said. “They know it is challenging, but it is very, very rewarding.”

The student placement rate is over 90 percent. Department members say the visit is just an opportunity to share the work they do everyday.

“I think we would try to improve whatever we could whether we were to be assessed or not,” said Keith Robertson, director of clinical field experiences for the school of education. “I hope we do not do anything artificial. When they leave we are still going to be us.”