Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

March 5, 2007

Contact: Marisa Ramirez
713.743.8152 (office)
713.204.9798 (cell)

QUEST Program Recognized by National Teacher Association

HOUSTON, March 5, 2007—A comprehensive teacher education program at the University of Houston that prepares teachers for urban schools was recognized as the 2007 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).

The award for the UH Quality Urban Education for Students and Teachers (QUEST) was presented at the ATE annual award ceremony in San Diego.

The honor recognizes outstanding teacher education programs that show collaboration between local education agencies and institutions of higher education in program development and administration. Other finalists for the award were Ball State University and Old Dominion University. Past winners have included State University of New York, Pennsylvania State University and Indiana State University.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by this prestigious organization for offering a quality preparation program for those called to teach children who need the most attention,” said Juanita Copley, professor and chair of the UH Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “We are proud of our program. We are proud of our teachers. We are proud of our school partnerships and this accomplishment.”

QUEST is a three-tiered program that prepares teachers to teach in urban schools. With an eye on state standards, QUEST focuses on collaborating with UH colleges, Houston-area school districts and community programs, while emphasizing school-based experiences, mentoring and evaluation, and use of technology. Students learn about urban schools and teaching “at-risk” students, work in partnership with 35 Houston-area school districts and are guided, monitored and evaluated at every level. More than 200 prospective teachers enroll in the program each year and can be recommended for teacher certification upon completion.

The UH QUEST program has produced the state and national student teachers of the year (2006). It is estimated one of every five students in Texas are in schools where QUEST educators are teaching, Copley said.

“Our program is important because we work to close the achievement gaps among students by developing educators who can teach effectively, according to the needs of the students and the school district, and grow professionally with the guidance of experienced teachers,” Copley said. “Teachers from the QUEST are in demand because they make a difference.”

The Association of Teacher Educators was founded in 1920 and is an individual membership organization devoted solely to the improvement of teacher education both for school-based and post-secondary teacher educators. ATE members represent more than 700 colleges and universities, more than 500 major school systems and the majority of state departments of education.

For more information about the UH QUEST program, please visit

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at