October 6, 2015
15-239

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Named a Best Value by National Council on Teacher Quality

Pictured are faculty, staff, and students from the Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, Reading, and Deaf Education at Valdosta State University.

VALDOSTA — The National Council on Teacher Quality has named Valdosta State University’s James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services a Top 5 Best Value in Georgia. This is the first time that a national education policy organization has conducted a comprehensive measure of quality that also factors in affordability, average teacher salary in each state, and the ability to prepare future teachers for the realities of the classroom.

VSU was the only comprehensive institution in the University System of Georgia to make the Top 5 Best Value in Georgia list. Its graduate programs for middle grades and secondary education majors were ranked No. 4, while its undergraduate programs for middle grades and secondary education majors were ranked No. 5.

Through its Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, Reading, and Deaf Education, VSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Education in middle grades education, a Master of Arts for Teachers in middle grades or secondary education, and a Master of Education in middle grades concentration areas mathematics and science.  

Dr. Barbara J. Radcliffe, head of VSU’s Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, Reading, and Deaf Education, said that being named a Top 5 Best Value in Georgia “affirms the high-quality instruction and meaningful learning opportunities we offer to our teacher candidates. This achievement puts a well-deserved focus on the excellence and commitment of our faculty to preparing top-notch middle and high school teachers within the state and across the nation. We are also fortunate to have the support and dedication of our local middle and high school partners who contribute to our VSU students’ professional preparation by mentoring them and providing valuable teaching and learning experiences within their schools and classrooms. From the time our candidates start their professional programs until the time they complete their student teaching, they are connected to and involved in middle or high school classrooms.

“Our middle and secondary education programs are exemplary. Our focus remains on continual program improvement, our candidates’ success, and their impact on middle and high school students’ learning. The faculty and students in Valdosta State University’s Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, Reading, and Deaf Education will continue to demonstrate excellence in education within our community and beyond.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality analyzed 1,100 colleges of education across the nation to determine the Top 25 overall and the Top 5 in each state, although not all states had five schools and several had none. Out of 825 secondary programs reviewed — this includes what is known as middle grades — VSU was ranked 98th nationally.

“In searching for my college fit, I found VSU to be a diverse school that offers many different educational opportunities, affordable tuition, and an innovative campus,” said Ashley N. DeMott, a senior middle grades education major from Moultrie. “I am proud of and thankful for my decision to attend VSU and have especially come to love the community and faculty that we have here. They are irreplaceable.”

“I take any opportunity in the field as a growing and learning experience, and our professors are continually pushing us to our personal greatest,” the 22-year-old continued. “We have had a variety of placements that allow us diverse opportunities to work with students and teachers in local schools. Some of the most educationally impactful moments have been when I am working with students and a professor pokes his or her head in. While it does rush my nerves a bit, I am thankful for the individual feedback that is a result of their involvement in placements. One of my favorite aspects of our program here at VSU is the support and scaffolding that we are given along the way. While there have been many times that I felt lost and overwhelmed, I was reminded by one of the caring professors that they are going to prepare us; we just have to trust the process.”

DeMott plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Education in middle grades education, with concentrations in language arts and reading, in May 2016. She looks forward to the day she has her own classroom and her own students and is able to give them a solid foundation upon which to continue their studies in high school and beyond. She hopes to instill in each of her future students a love of learning and help them gain confidence as they grow into teenagers and young adults.

The Dewar College of Education and Human Services is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and is an American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education award-winning institution. Teacher preparation programs within the college, such as those offered by the Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, Reading, and Deaf Education, are accredited by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Bachelor of Science in Education in middle grades education is recognized by the Association of Middle Level Education.   

Contact Barbara J. Radcliffe at (229) 333-5611 or bjradcliffe@valdosta.edu to learn more.

On the Web:

http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/education/middle-secondary-reading-and-deaf-education/welcome.php

http://www.nctq.org


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.

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