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Head of the class: Shorter University dominates among schools of education

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Shorter University’s School of Education earned top marks in the state according to Program Effectiveness Measures released this week by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Shorter’s total score on the measures was 187, which is higher than those earned by other programs in the state. Shorter’s score was two points higher than the University of Georgia, the next highest rating in its category. The score earned Shorter a Level 4 rating; which recognizes the program for providing a level of performance above expectations.

“We are thrilled by the new performance measures,” said Dr. Dana King, a Shorter graduate who serves as Dean of the University’s School of Education. “Shorter has been a Level 4 provider for four years in a row. This measure is especially important because it looks at outcomes while teacher candidates are students and how well our graduates are performing as first- and second-year teachers.”

Dr. King added, “Our teacher candidates can be extra proud today. Shorter’s scores are a testament to their hard work as teacher candidates and as classroom teachers. We also celebrate the impact of our faculty and their dedication to preparing future educators. We are blessed to have a faculty who never want to stop being better. It’s a great day to be a Shorter Teaching Hawk!”

Shorter University President Dr. Don Dowless said, “The state measures showcase the excellent work of our Education majors and graduates as well as the dedication of our faculty to providing the best possible training for students. We are proud of how they are moving forward toward success. Our Education faculty are committed believers who honor the Lord with their excellent service, and they do a marvelous job of training future educators to have a positive impact on the students, schools, and communities they will serve.”

The measures of program effectiveness evaluate educator preparation programs using measures collected during candidates’ time in the program, such as certification assessments required by the state, and measures collected following completion once candidates are in the classroom, such as classroom observations by supervisors and surveys of employers and newly employed teachers.

Shorter’s School of Education also recorded a 100 percent placement rate for its most recent graduating class.

“Our graduates are highly sought after,” Dr. King said. “We get at least one call a week from a principal looking to fill needs within their schools. Our teacher candidates are placed in more than a dozen counties for clinical practice. We also work hard to be good partners with our area schools.”

The primary purpose of the state measures is to give educator preparation programs detailed information that they can use to improve. They also provide the public with valuable information on educator preparation programs, particularly individuals considering entering a program themselves.

“While these measures do reflect important data about program effectiveness, they cannot capture all aspects of a preparation program, nor are they meant to,” Dr. King said. “For instance, these scores do not reflect the number of candidates who go on to successfully earn school level accolades such as ‘Teacher of the Year’ or advanced degrees. The scores also do not capture the number of Shorter University teacher candidates who are offered jobs on the spot at job fairs and interviews. Last, the scores do not reflect the impact our candidates make on the students they encounter in classrooms every day.

The Program Effectiveness Measure ratings of all Georgia educator preparation program providers are available to the public on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission dashboard at www.gapsc.com.

Rapidly approaching its 150th anniversary, Shorter University is a Christ-centered university committed to excellence in education. U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review annually include Shorter on their lists of best Southeastern Colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, associate’s and master’s programs.

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