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Tech College of Education Teacher Prep Meets Expectations

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech College of Education Teacher Prep Meets Expectations

The Tennessee Tech College of Education scored in the “meets expectations” category on this year’s State Educator Preparation Report Card.

10 of the 42 Teacher Preparation Programs included in the state study received an “exceeds expectations” classification. Dean of the College of Education Lisa Zagumny said it is harder for a program as large as Tech’s to reach that distinction due to the way the study’s criteria are weighted.

“Given the size of our program at Tech and the number of endorsement areas that we offer, I’m happy with the meets expectations,” Zagumny said. “We are always in a cycle of continuous improvement in which we strive to exceed expectations.”

The report shows that Tech has 782 teachers in a three-year cohort, the second most in the state, behind only MTSU. She said the program is working to revise some programs of study to better prepare teaching candidates.

“Teachers are the heart of the community,” Zagumny said. “There is absolutely no greater way to immediately impact your community than to be a teacher. Our Ed Preparation Program, we meet with our district partners every day to try to meet their needs and that together, we’re doing the best to prepare teachers for Tennessee.”

Zagumny said the scores are based partially on data reported from the school like demographics, endorsement areas, and assessment scores. She said state-collected data like teacher retention rates and student growth scores are also part of the criteria. She said Tennessee Tech offers the highest number of endorsement areas allowed by the state, which is not weighed as high as some of the criteria more commonly found at smaller schools.

“There’s sort of a catcher,” Zagumny said. “We can’t sacrifice quality for efficiency.”

She said the number of teachers going through the traditional 4-year program is lower than it once was due to the rising popularity of job-embedded pathways to teaching. She said people looking to begin a second career who do not have a bachelor’s degree in education are put through a separate program of study. She said the dip in candidates using the traditional pathway has affected the report cards across the state.


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