The Misericordia University Department of Teacher Education was one of 16 undergraduate and graduate programs in Pennsylvania – and the only one in Northeastern Pennsylvania – to earn an A from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for demonstrating excellence in preparing new teachers to teach reading.
NCTQ released its latest report on the Early Reading standard for its 2020 edition of "Teacher Prep Review" on Jan. 27. The A grade recognizes Misericordia University for providing "strong preparation in early reading instruction" to teacher education students in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education/Special Education, dual major program, according to the announcement. The assessment provides what the NCTQ calls a "landscape analysis of teachers' preparation in reading," and a way to help ensure that "every child has an effective teacher and that every teacher has the opportunity to be effective."
"We are happy to recognize the strong preparation in reading instruction that your undergraduate program provides to your elementary teacher candidates. This program was part of a small group – only about a quarter of programs nationwide – to qualify for an A," Kate Walsh, president of NCTQ, stated in the announcement letter to Misericordia University.
"The A grade issued by NCTQ in strong preparation in early reading instruction is another affirmation of Misericordia's longstanding tradition of preparing exemplary classroom teachers," stated Jodi Loughlin, D.Ed., associate professor of teacher education at Misericordia University. "Our reading program is committed to providing an effective, research-based curriculum which enables our teacher candidates to learn and apply literacy knowledge based upon the five components of reading within elementary and special education classrooms."
Dr. Loughlin is the department's reading specialist and is responsible for the scope and sequence of the program's reading curriculum.
Misericordia University faculty were credited for providing explicit and repeated instruction on each of the five components of reading instruction; support for instruction with 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 fieldwork. The five pillars of reading instruction are phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension. The assessment included analysis of every reading course required by the Misericordia University teacher education program, a review of each course's syllabus, and a thorough reading and rating of textbooks used. Since the inception of the "Teacher Prep Review," NCTQ has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and as many as 1,400 textbooks across the country.
In addition to the Early Reading standard review, NCTQ's Teacher Prep Review involves a range of evaluations and rankings of more than 2,400 programs that prepare new teachers. NCTQ officials expect to release scores for the remaining evaluation areas later this year.
For more information about the teacher education program at Misericordia University, please call 570-674-6400 or visit www.misericordia.edu/education.