Monday, November 26, 2007
Oakland University education program earns an “A”
By Dawn Pauli, staff writer
Oakland University’s teacher education programs ranked at the top when examined by the Michigan Department of Education. Oakland University received 68 out of 70 points, based on performance scores including the pass rates on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification exams, results of surveys of student teachers, program completion rates, diversity in enrollment and whether the schools are preparing teachers in special education, math and science.
|OU education student Kristina Hansen in the classroom.|
New federal rules require the Michigan Department of Education to give performance scores to each teacher-preparation institution in the state.
“This is a testament to the quality of our education program. We have outstanding faculty, many of whom have been awarded teaching excellence awards, and talented students,” said Mary Otto, dean of OU's School of Education and Human Services. “The external validation is wonderful for OU students and graduates.”
Otto said one of the reasons the program has excelled is because of the amount of classroom experience candidates are required to have before they begin their student teaching internship.
"Our graduates are able to walk into the classroom and hit the ground running because of the many hours spent in classrooms during their coursework at OU," Otto said. “We know that translating their OU education to the classroom is the real key to helping students in our public and private schools. I hope the graduates of the OU education program feel good about their classroom work, since that is what really matters.”
Oakland University places student-teachers in more than 45 districts throughout the tri-county area. Currently approximately 900 students are getting valuable on-the-job experience working with students in classrooms.
“Graduates express, on their final program evaluations, that the continuous presence that they were required to have in public schools, and the diversity of experience required, were two of the greatest strengths of the program,” said Sherrill Karppinen, director of school and field services.
“In addition, we continue to see increased interest expressed by out of state school district recruiters regarding our graduates.”
OU graduates are regularly nominated and recognized for their excellence in teaching. Beverly Fanelli, teacher in Chippewa Valley Schools, is a 2004 Presidential Awardee in Mathematics and is a co-recipient of the 2007 Walter P. Chrysler Award for Closing the Technology Gap in Education.
Master’s degree students present annually at the American Education Research Conference.