NCTQ Lauds ATU for Teacher Preparation in Reading

ATU Education Classroom Spring 2023
A file photograph from a class preparing elementary educators at Arkansas Tech University during the spring 2023 semester.

Arkansas Tech University has earned an A letter grade from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for its preparation of future educators to teach reading.

The rating is included in the NCTQ report “Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.” Only 23 percent of undergraduate teacher preparation programs in the United States earned an A for meeting standards established by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction.

“Reading is a fundamental skill that sets the stage for all subsequent learning,” said Dr. Linda Bean, dean of the ATU College of Education and Health. “Our faculty members in teaching and educational leadership work diligently to ensure that the importance of reading is imparted upon our teacher candidates and that they graduate equipped with the skills necessary to help their students achieve their literacy goals. This rating from the National Council on Teacher Quality is a significant achievement and a testament to the quality of our faculty and programs.”

National data cited by NCTQ shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students — over 1.3 million children — cannot read at a basic level.

To earn an A, programs were required to meet NCTQ’s targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically-based reading instruction — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension — and not teach more than three instructional methods that are unsupported by the research on effective reading instruction.

To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi (including lecture schedules and topics), background reading materials, class assessments, assignments and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses for undergraduate elementary teacher candidates at ATU.

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