SOURCE: Wilmington University

Wilmington University

December 08, 2016 11:34 ET

Wilmington University Teacher Prep Program Goes to Head of the Class

Wilmington University's undergraduate teacher preparation and licensure programs earn high marks in national and state rankings

NEW CASTLE, DE--(Marketwired - December 08, 2016) - Wilmington University's bachelor of science program in elementary education ranks in the top 3% of undergraduate teacher preparation programs in the nation according to the most recent survey of the field by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).

The non-partisan educational research group's ratings assessed the effectiveness of more than 800 schools' elementary education licensure programs by examining their candidate selection processes, their methods of teaching content knowledge and the quality of their practice opportunities.

"Your program is evidence-based and informed by the best available research," wrote NCTQ senior managing director for teacher preparation strategies Rob Rickenbrode in an e-mail to Dr. John C. Gray, Dean, Wilmington University College of Education.

The NCTQ ratings, which follow a June 2014 report in which it urged a continuing need for improvement in teacher preparation programs, are scheduled for publication in the December 8 edition of the organization's Teacher Prep Review.

"We're pleased at the recognition we've received by a respected organization," said Gray. "It's the only group that looks at every program across the country. It carries a lot of weight that we look pretty good when our school is compared to nationally known programs."

This is not the only accolade the College of Education has earned this year. In the Delaware Department of Education's (DDOE) educator preparation program scorecards for 2016, all of the University's teacher licensure and certification programs are classified as high level Tier 1 or 2 programs. The scorecards (Delaware Educator Preparation Program Reports) are a statewide initiative to improve the quality and transparency of teacher preparation programs. They evaluate the ability of academic programs to recruit, train and place educators for optimal performance and retention.

"The new ratings illuminate the fact that Wilmington University provides Delaware with 40% of its educators at a time when the pool of available teaching talent is shrinking, and a proposed solution to help flagging schools is to make it more difficult to become a teacher," said Gray.

"Our approach is to create and sustain a high-quality program, and we are slowly building that reputation," he said, thanks to both the real-world experience that Wilmington University's educators bring to their classrooms and the accomplishments achieved by the prospective teachers in the programs.

For example, the College of Education's faculty is staffed with a team of seasoned schoolteachers, principals and superintendents. "We're professors, but we're teachers first," said Gray.

Wilmington University originated Delaware's first year-long, student teacher residency program, which gives its student teachers top-to-bottom classroom management experience. Dr. Kathleen Bowski, a recent doctoral graduate who is researching under professor Pamela Curtiss, Ph.D., studied the transformative effects of such in-depth mentoring for a peer-reviewed paper she will present at the American Educational Research Association's annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in April, 2017.

Gray added that the university's education graduates tend to make positive impressions on their employers, as shown in high teacher retention rates as well as commitment to the community. Wendy Turner, who earned her master's degree in elementary education in 2010, was recently named Delaware's 2017 Teacher of the Year. She is the eighth out of the last 10 state Teachers of the Year who have been graduates of Wilmington University to be so honored.

"We have shown that we help people who want to be teachers to achieve their goals, regardless of their background or career path," Gray said. "That's the true mission of the College of Education and why we're so committed to it."

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit institution committed to providing flexible, career-oriented, traditional and online associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. Ranked as the second fastest growing nonprofit doctoral institution in America 2004 - 2014 by The Almanac of The Chronicle of Higher Education, affordable tuition, academic excellence and individualized attention are hallmarks of the University that enable greater student success in their chosen careers. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email at, or visit our website:

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Contact Information

  • Laurie Bick-Jensen
    Director, Public Relations
    Wilmington University