WCU School of Education’s faculty and staff gather for a photo in front of Tatum Court. Dr. Ben Burnett: “We have an exceptional faculty here at WCU and I am proud of how they are preparing tomorrow’s teachers.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has good news for undergraduate teacher preparation programs in reading – at William Carey University, in the state of Mississippi and across the United States.

In its 2020 Teacher Prep Review, the NCTQ awarded William Carey University an “A” in preparing education majors to teach reading to K-6 elementary school students. 

“As a longtime educator in the state of Mississippi, I am proud of the gains we have made as a state in the area of literacy,” said Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the WCU School of Education.

“Producing good readers is, truly, the only way we can make improvements in all of education in our state. We have an exceptional faculty here at WCU and I am proud of how they are preparing tomorrow’s teachers to continue the growth in this area.”

Teacher Prep Review’s assessment team examines required early reading courses, topics to be covered in the courses, assignments, practice opportunities, tests and quality of textbooks. During the process, the team also looks for measures that allow aspiring teachers to demonstrate their knowledge of the five key components of the science of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

“We are happy to recognize the strong preparation in reading that your undergraduate program provides to elementary teacher candidates,” said NCTQ President Kate Walsh.

The news from NCTQ was good for Mississippi, too. The only state to see significant gains in student reading scores on the 2019 Nation’s Report Card, Mississippi was ranked first nationwide by NCTQ for the average score achieved by its programs. In fact, eight of the state’s 12 teacher preparation programs in early reading earned “A” rankings.

Nationwide, the NCTQ evaluated 1,000 undergraduate programs. For the first time since Teacher Prep Review began publishing ratings, more than half of the programs evaluated in the science of reading earned an “A” or “B” – up from 35 percent seven years ago.  

For more information, visit wmcarey.edu/education.

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