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WSSU’s elementary ed program earns an ‘A’ from the National Council on Teacher Quality

Student teaching in elementary class
Elementary Education major Devin Rankins works with students at Moore Elementary School during his student teaching in Spring 2019.

Winston-Salem State University’s elementary education program has been recognized as one of the best in the nation—earning an “A” grade from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).

The score specifically evaluates the scientifically based methods for teaching reading taught to elementary teacher candidates. A team of literacy experts examine every course in early reading and assesses readings, assignments, practice opportunities, and tests. The experts look for clear evidence of dedicated course time, as well as measures where aspiring teachers must demonstrate their knowledge of the five key components of the science of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

“We are pleased to receive recognition for the quality of our teacher preparation programs,” said Beth Day-Hairston, chair of the Department of Education. “Our students can leave our program confident that they are prepared to help bring down our nation’s illiteracy rates, which particularly affect students of color.”

WSSU’s program was part of a small group across the nation—only about 25 percent of programs nationwide—to qualify for an ‘A’ rating.

According to NCTQ, “The latest findings are a positive sign for newly energized movement across the nation to bring down notoriously high rates of illiteracy in the United States. Each year, well over a million public school students arriving in the fourth grade are added to the nation’s ranks of nonreaders. Two-thirds are black and Hispanic children struggling in the face of an inequitable education system. Reading ability is a key predictor of future educational gains and life success, making successful reading instruction essential to achieving educational equity.”

Since 1925, Winston-Salem State University’s Department of Education has been delivering programs that foster the holistic development of all students. For more information visit Elementary Education program.

About Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

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