Troy University among best in U.S. in preparing future teachers in the science of reading

Published 3:06 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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Troy University’s undergraduate program in Elementary Education has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for its rigorous preparation of future teachers in how to teach reading.

Troy’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (K-6) program earned an “A” grade in NCTQ’s new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction, which was released on Tuesday.

The program is one of only 112 programs nationwide to earn an “A” from NCTQ for meeting standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction — often called the “science of reading.”

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“I am so proud of our Department of Teacher Education faculty for setting high standards when teaching the science of reading to our Elementary Education students,” said Dr. Fred Figliano, Interim Dean of the College of Education. “Their hard work allowed us to receive high scores from NCTQ. This recognition highlights the College of Education’s commitment to producing the finest elementary teachers in the southeast.”

Developed over the course of two years involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders and educators, the new NCTQ analysis evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 18 in Alabama.

To earn an “A,” programs needed to meet NCTQ’s targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically based reading instruction — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension — and not teach more than three instructional methods that are unsupported by the research on effective reading instruction.

To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials, class assessments, assignments, and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses for undergraduate elementary teacher candidates at Troy University.

Troy’s Department of Teacher Education Chair Dr. Joe Johnson said the recognition affirms Troy’s compliance with the Alabama Literacy Act, which requires teacher education programs to fully incorporate the science of reading in the literacy curriculum. NCTQ found that Troy’s literacy curriculum is based on research-based and evidence-based reading practices mandated by the Alabama Literacy Act, he said.

“NCTQ awarding Troy’s undergraduate Elementary Education program an A for how we prepare our students to teach literacy is a notable accomplishment,” Dr. Johnson said. “It is an acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication of the Troy University literacy faculty, Dr. Dana Evans, Ms. Cathy Lott, Dr. Julia-Kate Rabitaille, and Ms. Annette Walters, and their efforts to ensure our graduates are fully prepared to teach students critical reading skills. Our department is proud of our faculty and their efforts and is pleased to see further validation of our program from NCTQ regarding how we prepare our students to teach reading in the future.”