Tusculum scores high in evaluation of university’s training of students to teach reading to children

GREENEVILLE – Reading is fundamental to a child’s development, and Tusculum University has earned high grades on the undergraduate and master’s levels for its preparation of teachers to impart this vital skill to youth.

Tusculum’s Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies and the Master of Arts in teaching, both of which position graduates to teach students in kindergarten through grade 12, were recently evaluated by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The organization awarded the bachelor’s degree an “A” and the master’s degree a “B” in scores issued recently for the kindergarten through fifth grade licensure parts of the two programs.

“These are excellent scores and reflect the quality of our faculty and the students enrolled in these programs,” said Dr. Tricia Hunsader, Tusculum’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, who also serves as dean of the College of Education. “We are grateful for this external validation of our programs but will not rest on our laurels. We will look for more ways to train our teaching students and provide elementary school children with even stronger reading skills.”

Tusculum focuses considerable attention on preparing its teaching candidates to create successful learning environments in their classrooms and the rest of the school.

Dr. Miriam Stroder, an assistant professor of education and chairwoman of the teacher education department at Tusculum, said the university requires undergraduate students to take three literacy courses and master’s students to enroll in two. The classes are research-based and aligned with findings presented in the National Reading Panel report published in 2000. The National Council on Teacher Quality uses the NRP published findings to measure teacher preparation programs, she said.

As part of its rigorous review, the council examines what courses Tusculum provides to its students, Dr. Stroder said. The national organization evaluates the lessons, assessments, reading assignments and opportunities to practice teaching that Tusculum provides its students. All of this review is essential because these undergraduate and graduate students will have an important responsibility as teachers to share the gift of reading, which has a lifelong impact.

“When people can read well, they become better learners, achieve greater heights in life, are better citizens and make wiser decisions,” Dr. Stroder said.

For more information about Tusculum’s College of Education, please visit https://web.tusculum.edu/collegeofeducation/.