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Lipscomb University once again named one of top teacher prep programs in the nation by NCTQ

Lipscomb's College of Education is consistently among the top teacher prep programs in the nation

Kim Chaudoin  | 

photo of student in a classroom raising their hands

The Lipscomb University College of Education’s undergraduate and graduate elementary teacher preparation programs have once again been named among the top in the nation by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization, for strong training in classroom management strategies and high-quality clinical practice experiences. 

Today NCTQ released its 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management, which finds encouraging progress in teacher preparation programs’ adoption of evidence-based classroom management strategies that are universally effective, regardless of student age or the subject being taught. For the first time since NCTQ began publishing ratings in the 2013 Teacher Prep Review, half of the nearly 1,000 traditional elementary teacher preparation programs evaluated earn an A or B grade, up nearly 30% from seven years ago.  

Lipscomb University’s undergraduate and graduate elementary teacher prep programs stand out as among only 17 elementary programs in the country that earned an A in both clinical practice and classroom management, and serve as a model of excellence for others according to the NCTQ report. 

Deborah Boyd

Deborah Boyd

Lipscomb University and the other top-performing programs are recognized for their strong clinical experience requirements, including calling for candidates to spend ten or more weeks in an experienced teacher’s classroom, with at least four days per week or the equivalent in the classroom each week; screening mentor teachers for mentorship skill and/or instructional effectiveness as measured by student learning, among other skills; and requiring program supervisors to give student teachers written feedback based on observations at least four times during the clinical practice experience. 

“Teaching is a profession whose skills are first developed and then honed by extensive clinical experience enhanced by expert feedback from mentors and supervisors,” said Deborah Boyd, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Education. “Lipscomb’s teacher prep program has long invested in building and refining such clinical experiences designed to prepare novice teachers to meet the challenges of today’s classrooms.”  

Lipscomb’s College of Education is committed to providing high-quality experiences for its students.

“In our teacher prep programs, we understand the value of having educator candidates in the classroom early in the program and throughout their preparation. For this reason, we have made a commitment to providing high-quality clinical experiences for these candidates,” said Megan Parker Peters, director of research and evaluation for Lipscomb’s College of Education. “This commitment allows them to leave our program with a breadth of in-classroom experiences that support their future success as educators.”

According to the NCTQ report, evidence for the importance of high-quality clinical experience is undeniable. A National Research Council report said that clinical practice experience is one of three “aspects of preparation that have the highest potential for effects on outcomes for students,” and recent research has found that having a high-quality clinical practice experience can mean a first-year teacher starts out as effective as a typical teacher in her third year.  

Teaching is a profession whose skills are first developed and then honed by extensive clinical experience enhanced by expert feedback from mentors and supervisors. Lipscomb’s teacher prep program has long invested in building and refining such clinical experiences designed to prepare novice teachers to meet the challenges of today’s classrooms. — Deborah Boyd, Dean, Lipscomb's College of Education

Additionally, these top programs necessitate their aspiring elementary teachers demonstrate during student teaching, residency, or equivalent clinical practice their ability to implement all five classroom strategies, including

  • establishing rules and routines that set expectations for behavior;
  • maximizing learning time by managing time, class materials, and the physical setup of the classroom, and by promoting student engagement;
  • reinforcing positive behavior by using specific, meaningful praise and other forms of positive reinforcement;
  • redirecting off-task behavior through unobtrusive means that do not interrupt instruction and that prevent and manage such behavior, and
  • addressing serious misbehavior with consistent, respectful, and appropriate consequences. 

“In previous editions of the Teacher Prep Review, the predominant approach to classroom management instruction by most programs was that establishing classroom rules and planning great lessons will prevent student misbehavior,” observed NCTQ President Kate Walsh. “As any teacher can attest, engaging classes alone are seldom enough. We are heartened by the growing acknowledgment of the many benefits of building new teachers’ skills in these key strategies. And we hope that more programs will follow suit with quality clinical experiences, particularly in placing heavy emphasis on the selection of a mentor teacher.” 

Two women doing lesson plans

This is the latest recognition for Lipscomb’s College of Education. This month, the college was one of seven Educator Preparation Programs to be awarded Grow Your Own competitive grants by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) to increase access and remove barriers to the teaching profession. Earlier this year, for the ninth consecutive year, the college was among the top-rated teacher preparation programs on the 2019 Educator Preparation Report Card, compiled by the Tennessee State Board of Education.

Since 2013, the National Council for Teacher Quality has consistently ranked Lipscomb’s College of Education programs among the top 25 in the nation, ranking them as high as No. 1 nationally in 2014. Lipscomb's undergraduate secondary teacher preparation program is among the 120 programs in the NCTQ book Start Here to Become a Teacher, and the organization gave Lipscomb one A+ and three A grades in various teacher preparation categories.

In 2015, the College of Education was ranked the No. 15 best value in the nation and among the 35 "Top Colleges for Content Preparation" in the nation by NCTQ. The College of Education was named the 2016 Model of Excellence in Partnerships by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education among numerous other state and national honors in recent years. 

Now in its fourth edition, the Teacher Prep Review assigns a team of experts to evaluate teacher preparation programs on their adherence to evidence-based classroom management strategies and their requirements that support quality clinical practice experiences. 

Lipscomb University’s College of Education offers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate, Education Specialist and Doctorate of Education programs. Learn more.