News: CCU Earns 'A' in Teacher Prep from NCTQ

CCU Earns 'A' Grade for Teacher Preparation

CCU Among Top in the U.S. for Preparing Future Teachers in the Science of Reading

Colorado Christian University’s School of Education in the College of Undergraduate Studies has received an “A” grade from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for the program’s rigorous preparation of future teachers in how to teach reading.

“At CCU, our faculty and staff are committed to providing state-of-the-art, research-based learning experiences and activities for our students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to be effective teachers in today's changing classrooms,” said Dr. Debora Scheffel, dean of the School of Education. “We have a standards-based, assessment-driven education program that models what teachers will experience as future educators.”

CCU’s Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Licensure program was one of just 23% of programs nationwide to earn an “A” grade in NCTQ’s new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction, for meeting standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction — often called the “science of reading.”

National data shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students — over 1.3 million children — cannot read at a basic level.

To evaluate the quality of preparation, 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 Colorado Christian 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.

While some portion of children will learn to read naturally, 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.

CCU 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. The School of Education offers programs designed to train and equip students as part of the next generation of teachers for both public schools and private schools. It’s Christ-centered educational model is unique among education schools in Colorado, training graduates to become outstanding educators committed to impacting the next generation for Christ.

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 Colorado. Overall, just 112 programs earned an A and 48 earned an A+.

About NCTQ

The National Council on Teacher Quality: NCTQ is a nonpartisan research and policy organization on a mission to ensure every child has access to an effective teacher and every teacher has the opportunity to be effective. We believe a strong, diverse teacher workforce is critical for providing all students with equitable educational opportunities. For more information about NCTQ, visit