Nicholls State University Among Top in U.S. for Preparing Future Teachers in the Science of Reading

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The undergraduate elementary education program at Nicholls has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality for its rigorous preparation of future teachers in reading instruction, earning an “A” grade in NCTQ’s new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.

The program is among just 23% nationwide to earn an “A” from NCTQ for meeting standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction—often called the “science of reading.” The new NCTQ analysis of teacher preparation programs’ coverage of the science of reading was developed over the course of two years, involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders, and educators. NCTQ evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 15 in Louisiana. Overall, just 112 programs earned an A and 48 earned an A+.

“This kind of award confirms the fantastic work being done by our teacher education faculty in the area of preparing our future teachers to teach high quality lessons in literacy. This in turn will help to educate our future readers in our surrounding parishes and across Louisiana,” said Dr. Rademaker, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

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 Nicholls State University.

To earn an “A,” programs needed 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.

Over five decades of research have established the components of explicit, scientifically based reading instruction that help most students become successful readers. Research suggests that over 90% of children could learn to read if their teachers used instructional methods grounded in the science of reading. Nicholls State University is proud to be recognized among the programs ensuring that future elementary teachers enter the classroom equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help students become strong readers.

Nicholls’ teacher education courses help students learn how to develop lesson plans, incorporating cutting-edge teaching strategies and technology. Classroom observations and student teaching experiences prepare future teachers for the reality of what it’s like to work in elementary education today.

Nicholls elementary education candidates complete various field experiences throughout required coursework and a residency experience that is completed at the end of the program. These experiences include observations and teaching whole group, small group and individual instruction in public school settings.

See the NCTQ report for more information about Nicholls State University’s coverage of the science of reading and to see how Nicholls State University compares to other programs in Louisiana or across the country.