The University of Houston College of Education ranks among the best in the nation at preparing undergraduate students to serve as elementary school teachers, according to a new report released Thursday.
The college ranks in the nation’s top 1 percent of undergraduate programs that prepare elementary school teachers, based on the analysis from the National Council on Teacher Quality. The nonpartisan nonprofit, headquartered in Washington, D.C., evaluated 875 public and private undergraduate teacher-preparation programs for its 2016 review.
“I am continually proud of our faculty, staff and students for their commitment to strong teaching,” said Robert McPherson, dean of the UH College of Education. “We at the College believe in high standards, meaningful instruction and practical experience as we prepare our teaching candidates for one of the most important jobs in the world.”
The UH College of Education received high marks from the council for its selective admissions criteria, its high-quality student-teaching program and its focus on strong classroom management skills. The college also met the requirements for using research-based strategies to train teacher candidates to teach young children to read.
“No evaluation system is perfect, but we at the college are always working to improve and to ensure our teachers are well prepared to enter today’s diverse classrooms,” said McPherson, who has served as dean since 2011.
The UH College of Education has been at the forefront of promoting rigorous and relevant teacher training. It recently became the first in Texas to be accredited under the more stringent standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The college also is participating in the $34 million teacher-preparation transformation project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In addition, the college has partnered with the Houston Independent School District as part of a program to improve diversity, selectivity and consistency in teacher education. The Teach Forward Houston effort recruits students in the top 20 percent of their high school class to the college; those who later return to HISD to teach can receive tuition reimbursement through the district.
The UH College of Education graduated roughly 300 teacher candidates in 2016.