School of Education Programs Scored Among the Best in Missouri

Mar. 15, 2017

School of Education Programs Scored Among the Best in Missouri
Sign language class for future teachers, one of the many courses that make Webster's School of Education alumni among the best prepared in the state.

JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI - Webster University’s School of Education is doing a fantastic job preparing K-12 teachers for the classroom, Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) concluded this month in its public reporting of the Annual Performance Report for Educator Preparation Programs. DESE rated educational training programs in the state and concluded that all of the Webster University School of Education programs rated in this new system were scored at “Tier One,” the highest score possible.

Webster is one of only nine institutions where all of the programs listed were scored in Tier One. This is the first year the state has used these Annual Performance Reports (APRs) to publically report on the quality of education programs offered at Missouri’s institutions of higher education.

“Webster has always prided itself on strong education programs.  It is nice to see these reports confirm this,” said Professor DJ Kaiser, director of Assessment and Accreditation in the School of Education. “The APR concluded that our 7 most popular education programs for initial certification received the highest marks possible from the state.”

The APR collected data from 2012 to 2016 to evaluate the success of teacher preparatory efforts at more than 30 colleges and universities in the state. Scores are calculated based on four quality indicators: certification assessment pass rates, content or program GPA, surveys of first-year teachers, and surveys of those first-year teachers’ principals.  Through this process, DESE surveyed nearly 15,000 first-year teachers in the state and reviewed the other quality indicators.

The APR then sorted the results into a 4-Tier system that reflect the standards set by the state of Missouri for teacher certification. Programs with enough graduates and sufficient data for at least two indicators then received an overall score.

The APR sorted the scores into the following categories:

  • Tier One, the best results with 90 to 100 percent of the teachers exceeding expectations
  • Tier Two, very good results, with 70 to 89 percent of the teachers meeting expectations
  • Tier Three, fair results, with 50 to 69 percent of the teachers nearing expectations
  • Tier Four, poor results with 0 to 49 percent of the teachers not meeting expectations
  • Could Not Score. Just about every school in the APR had several programs in this category. Programs in this category generally either did not have enough graduates working in Missouri schools to generate statistically sound results, or did not have enough graduates respond to the survey.
Social Studies Methods course
"Hands on history" in Elementary Social
Studies Methods course

Overall, seven of Webster’s education programs had enough completers and strong quality indicators to be scored in the highest tier on the APR.

“Our programs are more than just putting students in classrooms and having them listen to lectures. Rather, we focus on a lot of interactive skills, discussions and offering students real-world experience that better prepares them for the realities of the modern classroom,” said Brenda Fyfe, dean of the School of Education. “Our faculty and the curriculum they have developed is truly among the best in the state, and I think that’s reflected in our high scores in this report.”

According to DESE officials, the new reporting system has been in the works for about five years, and was developed through a collaborative effort between the state and the universities being assessed. The state plans to use this evaluation system until 2019, when a modified survey that should return more granular data is expected to be implemented.

More information on the APR and access to all Missouri EPPs’ reports may be found at https://dese.mo.gov/communications/news-releases/missouri-releases-first-annual-performance-reports-educator-preparation.

 

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