The National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) recently-released third annual report, “NCTQ Teacher Prep Review” concludes that Clayton State University’s Teacher Education program's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree produces Georgia’s best-prepared high school teachers.
Overall, the NCTQ report ranked Clayton State's MAT 32nd out of the 430 secondary programs in the national study, the highest national ranking of any Teacher Education program in the state of Georgia.
NCTQ is a Washington, D.C.-based research and policy group that, according to its website, “was founded in 2000 to provide an alternative national voice to existing teacher organizations and to build the case for a comprehensive reform agenda that would challenge the current structure and regulation of the profession.” The council ranks colleges’ teacher preparation programs using criteria like admissions standards, curriculum, and how much time students actually spend in classrooms teaching.
The NCTQ website especially noted Clayton State’s selection criteria for its Teacher Education students, labeling said criteria as a “strong design” and commenting, “the program fully meets the standard because candidates for admission must have obtained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher overall or in the last two years of undergraduate coursework and taken a standardized test of academic proficiency used commonly for graduate admissions, both of which provide assurance that they have the requisite academic talent.”
In June 2013, the Unit Accreditation Board (UAB) of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) re-accredited the Clayton State Teacher Education unit for the next six years. This re-accreditation decision indicates that the unit and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community.
According to Dr. Ruth Caillouet, chair of the Clayton State Teacher Education Department, her program has met all NCATE standards for the second review in a row. In particular, the Clayton State Teacher Education unit in 2013 was commended for its strengths in Standard 2 (Assessment System and Unit Evaluation), Standard 3 (Field Experiences and Clinical Practice), and Standard 5 (Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development). The unit was also commended for reaching the Target level, the highest mark for Standard 5; Faculty Qualifications.
The Clayton State Teacher Education program is also preparing for its next accreditation under a new umbrella organization called the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), whose standards are even more rigorous.