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June 13, 2005

College of Education and Human Development Receives Accolades for Redesign of Teacher Preparation Program

As part of the high-stakes redesign of teacher preparation programs started in 2000, 20 colleges and universities across the state, including the University of Louisiana at Monroe, were required to redesign all teacher preparation programs. The redesigned programs are submitted to a team of external evaluators selected by the Louisiana Board of Regents. These evaluation teams review each program and recommend that a program is either fully approved as submitted, approved only if specified changes are made, or not approved at all.

ULM recently received an exceptional review-all redesigned graduate teacher preparation programs submitted in this cycle were fully approved with no stipulations. ULM is the only university or college whose redesigned programs were approved with flying colors, i.e., with no stipulations.

Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at ULM, Dr. Luke Thomas, said, "We could not be more pleased. We worked tirelessly and all faculty and staff in the College of Education and Human Development along with colleagues from the College of Arts and Sciences are to be commended for their service and dedication to teacher education and to this university."

Included in the review for initial teacher preparation are M.A.T. degree programs in Art Education, Foreign Language, Health and Physical Education, and Music Education; advanced teacher preparation programs include the M.Ed. degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a major in either Early Childhood, Elementary Education, Instructional Technology Facilitator, Middle School, Reading, or Secondary Education, and M.Ed. degrees in Educational Leadership or Educational Technology Leadership. Among program strengths cited by reviewers are strong alignment with professional standards, conceptual framework, and assessment strategies; well-established processes and structure; and incorporation of portfolio procedures consistent with requirements for National Board Certification.

ULM officials are pleased with the results and so is Sally Clausen, President of the University of Louisiana System.

In a letter to ULM President James Cofer, Clausen said, "Upon review of the recent statewide external evaluation results for our education programs, it was quite amazing to see that there was essentially only one institution that received a complete clean bill of health without any stipulations for its programs submitted - The University of Louisiana at Monroe!"

Clausen also stated the national reviewers recommended a special commendation to be given to ULM for its Educational Leadership program.

"This is a great example of the dedication that higher education has to ensuring that high quality programs exist for teachers and leaders to ultimately impact the learning of students in our Louisiana classrooms," said Clausen.

Dr. Phyllis Sanders, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction and PK-16 Coordinator at ULM, said, "It speaks volumes about us. It is a very intense process and it takes a lot of collaboration and hard work. We basically got a slam dunk."

Dean Thomas is enthusiastic about the completed work, but says there is more to do. "We still have to redesign our graduate special education programs for advanced candidates, so we cannot rest yet."

The College of Education and Human Development at ULM offers opportunities for career and professional advancement in an environment conducive for growth and development fostered by a faculty and staff committed to the highest standards of excellence. The College is comprised of four departments, all offering programs that prepare professionals for service in P-12 schools. Including the redesigned programs, ULM's CEHD offers a total of 28 programs (18 undergraduate and 10 graduate degree programs) for initial teacher preparation as well as 14 graduate programs with specialization in 25 areas for advanced teacher preparation. In addition, other programs and options are offered in Psychology, Kinesiology, Substance Abuse Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Community Counseling, and Exercise Science.

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