College of Education receives national honors

By Matt Daray

Three College of Education and Human Services teaching programs have earned national recognition, and one has been cited as a model for other school programs.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education awarded National Recognition — the highest honor possible — to the early childhood education, English and language arts, and social studies and history teacher education programs.

Reviewers for all three programs said students who graduate from the programs had a pass rate of more than 80 percent on state exams.


Christina Voss, lecturer of English and language arts; Cathy Mogharreban, associate professor and coordinator of childhood programs, curriculum and instruction; and Grant Miller, assistant professor in curriculum and instruction for social studies and history, are the program coordinators whose programs earned the recognition.

Representatives came on behalf of NCATE to review these programs.

The positive recognition left faculty, such as Susan Aud, the assessment system coordinator, thrilled. She said she is proud of the recognition because she believes the faculty’s work is underappreciated and most of the faculty works because they really love their jobs.

Aud is responsible for collecting data on the performances. She said the NCATE determines what schools deserve recognition based on evidence of learning, such as hands-on experience. She also said there are several programs waiting to provide an updated report so they can also become nationally recognized.

Aud said there is a new certification test in place for teachers, which requires them to video-record themselves teaching in class.

She said SIU has such strong teacher programs because of student-teaching internships, which allow seniors to get in-the-field experience for an entire semester. She said this extra time allows students to receive more experience and be more flexible with their personal lives.

She said the university began the internship program in the 1960s, when students would get practice teaching children at local schools and Pulliam Hall, a former grade school.


The high praise also pleased John McIntyre, professor of curriculum and instruction and SIU’s NCATE coordinator.

McIntyre said he used to be on the board of directors for the council. He said the board judges each program by determining standards based on criteria such as curriculum, faculty and budget.

McIntyre said the programs are trying to include more in-field experience by having teachers talk to students and offer virtual and real-world field trips.

The social studies program met all requirements in every category, enabling students to educate younger students about the various aspects of social studies such as geography, social studies, psychology, economics, political science, civics and anthropology.

This success has now set higher standards for the program,  Miller said.

Miller said he wants the social studies education program to remain known for its recognition. He said he plans to improve the program by sharing work with other departments and offering new learning opportunities such as offering iPads in classes.

The English and language arts program also met NCATE standards and requirements, with reviewers noting a number of assessments aligned with NCATE standards and extensive student assessment data collection.

Representatives also gave positive reviews for the Education of Young Children. The review said the assessments provided evidence of opportunities for candidate learning as well as evaluation of candidate performance.

The hard work of the department has been gratifying, Mogharreban said.

She said the early childhood program was asked to have one of its assessment instruments used as a national model. She said the program is very strong and will continue to be improved.