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April 8, 2004

Board of Regents Report Shows ULM Receives High Marks on Quality of Teacher Preparation

In a report released today by the Louisiana Board of Regents, the University of Louisiana at Monroe scored an "A+" and an "A" on the Institutional Performance Index.

The report, the 2003-2004 Teacher Preparation Accountability System, is essentially broken down in two parts: the Institutional Performance Index (quality score) and a Quantity Index.

ULM's quality score is excellent. It is based on a combination of students' PRAXIS scores and their ratings on the graduation satisfaction survey. ULM has a 100% passage rate on the PRAXIS examination and an "A" on the Graduate Satisfaction Survey resulting in a total score of an "A" on the Institutional Performance Index. "We are pleased with the outstanding ratings of the quality of our teacher preparation programs. The high ratings on the graduate satisfaction survey by our program completers make us especially proud," said Dr. Luke Thomas, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

ULM's score on the quantity index of the report indicates that the university should have more students completing their high quality teacher education program. The "C" score is an indication of the number of 2002-2003 program completers at ULM. "We were prepared to see our quantity decrease this year because of enrollment decreases during the past few years. The score essentially reflects enrollment numbers from 4 years ago. However, we expect to see an increase in the quantity scores of this report in about 2-4 years when the scores begin to reflect our recent enrollment increases," said Thomas.

"ULM had 40 alternate Certification teachers complete the program in August who were not counted in these final completer scores. If they had been counted, ULM would have had an "A" or "A+" in quantity," said Dr. Jeanne Burns, Associate Commissioner for Teacher Education Initiatives for the Louisiana Board of Regents.

ULM President James Cofer says, "We are not surprised by our scores this year. We are excited to hear that our students feel prepared in the classroom thanks to our high quality teacher education program, but we knew that we would not rate as high in the quantity area. The scores you see in this report are based on our lowest graduating class in years. In fact, our enrollment went up this past fall for the first time in 8 years and included a 5% increase in teacher education enrollees. However, this particular increase will not be reflected in the state quantity scores until students entering fall 2003 complete the program in 4 years. We are proud of our programs that focus on preparing high quality teachers and we do have efforts in place to recruit more education majors in the future."

ULM is working now to increase their numbers and continue to emphasize recruiting for teacher education especially in high need areas such as mathematics, science and special education. Just this week ULM has been recruiting out of state.

Examples of ULM's recruiting efforts:

-The Dean from the College of Education and Human development and other professors and administrators routinely accompany ULM recruiters at recruiting events that are held throughout the state, at surrounding states and on the ULM campus.

-There is a new initiative in place to work with science teachers in the region

-ULM is currently utilizing the aide of TeachNortheast recruiters to increase enrollment

-The Teacher Cadet Program allows ULM to work with area high schools and students that are interested in going into teacher education. This program will be expanded soon.

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