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Lipscomb University recognized among top in the nation for academic selectivity of teacher preparation programs

The College of Education has once again been recognized for its excellence in teacher preparation

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Students raising their hands in classroom setting

Lipscomb University’s undergraduate and graduate elementary teacher preparation programs have been named among the top in the country for maintaining selective academic admissions requirements by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization. 

NCTQ has ranked Lipscomb University’s programs among the top in the nation in an evaluation of nearly 1,300 programs in the United States and has earned the highest distinction for selective admissions requirements in a new NCTQ report, Teacher Prep Review: Program Diversity and Admissions (2021) released. 

“Lipscomb’s College of Education believes that classrooms must be staffed with caring and competent individuals who have the passion and knowledge to make a difference in the lives of children,” said Deborah Boyd, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Education. “Preparing teachers to be successful in the classroom begins with having high standards for those who are admitted into our programs to ensure they have the qualities that are essential to educating and equipping their students for success.” 

Deborah Boyd

Deborah Boyd, dean, College of Education

While academic aptitude is not the only quality of a successful teacher, it is a critical factor. The NCTQ release cites 60 years of research and evidence from nations whose students academically outperform students in the United States that proves that there is strong correlation between the academic aptitude of a teacher and student achievement. 

"More rigorous admissions standards for aspiring teachers pays off, delivering the caliber of teachers every student deserves," said NCTQ President Kate Walsh. "We applaud programs like Lipscomb University that are doing the important work of preparing a world-class teacher workforce that our students deserve." 

Because no single indicator of academic aptitude is failsafe, the methodology employed by NCTQ to determine if programs set adequate admissions standards gives programs multiple paths to meet the bar, including applicants’ SAT/ACT performance, audition requirements, minimum GPA for each applicant, or average GPA for each cohort of new teacher candidates. Explore the findings and data for Lipscomb University here. 

This is the latest recognition of the quality and effectiveness of Lipscomb University’s College 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. 

Lipscomb’s College of Education is also consistently recognized as one of the most effective teacher preparation programs in the state in the Tennessee State Board of Education’s annual Teacher Preparation Report Card. In October, the College of Education was one of seven Educator Preparation Programs to be awarded Tennessee Department of Education Grow Your Own competitive grants to form or expand state-recognized Grow Your Own Partnerships to increase access and remove barriers to the teaching profession. It has been awarded numerous grants in recent years to develop literacy programs and other teacher preparation programming. In 2019, the college was awarded a $2.49 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to develop an innovative leadership development program for principals focused on character, academic excellence and business acumen in the rising generation of leaders. In addition, 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. 

Lipscomb’s College of Education offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs including Education Specialist and Doctorate of Education degrees.  

Learn more about Lipscomb University’s College of Education.