National Council Commends ATU’s Teacher Preparation

ATU Elementary Education File Photo

Arkansas Tech University has earned recognition as one of the top 15 elementary teacher preparation programs in early reading instruction in the United States.

The National Council on Teaching Quality (NCTQ) evaluated more than 1,000 traditional elementary education preparatory programs for its published report “2020 Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction.”

Of those more than 1,000 programs, only 15 received an A+ score from NCTQ. Arkansas Tech is one of those 15.

“We are so honored and excited that our program in preparing elementary teacher candidates to provide early reading instruction has earned this honor,” said Dr. Linda Bean, dean of the ATU College of Education. “Reading is a fundamental skill that will carry a child through the rest of his or her education and life. Excellence in nurturing reading skills is among the most sought-after skills in elementary teachers. This is an award that our faculty, our staff, our current students and our alumni achieved together through their commitment to and passion for teaching.”

When reviewing programs, NCTQ checks for explicit and repeated instruction of each component, support for instruction through high-quality textbooks that accurately detail established principles of scientifically-based reading practices and opportunities for teacher candidates to demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests and instructional practice.

Fifty-one percent of the programs surveyed by NCTQ this year received an A or B rating for their coverage of key components of the science of reading, up from 35 percent seven years ago.

“The progress being made by programs comes as a real shot in the arm,” said Kate Walsh, NCTQ president. “The resistance to teaching what is scientifically-based has been so formidable. The scale is now tipping in favor of science, and the real winners here are the students who will learn to read.”

View NCTQ’s complete report at

Learn more about the ATU College of Education at