The Athens State University College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and by the Alabama State Department of Education. Athens State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the baccalaureate degree. The College of Education (COE) offers 7 undergraduate teacher certification programs in addition to several secondary certification options. It has long had a proud tradition of serving as one of Alabama’s leading teacher education colleges.
Alabama State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter remarks, “Teacher preparation is the next big thing in ongoing efforts to raise the profile of the profession of teaching. Teaching is a wonderful career with professional options that include leadership, professional development and growth, specialization, and all sorts of varied opportunity. I support efforts to raise up the profession of teaching, continue to crowd the career field with quality, and excite new applicants and young educators as well as seasoned professionals about the practice of teaching.”
Hunter adds, “I thank the leadership and faculty of Athens State University for setting the example in teacher preparation.”
Athens State’s mission, preparing teacher candidates to become reflective practitioners who are knowledgeable and collaborative professionals, ensures that we maintain focus on the importance of providing quality programs that meet the educational needs of ever changing student populations. In accordance with our mission, continual assessment-based improvements are being made. Our goal is to provide rigorous yet flexible programs for students that encourage wider skill sets with multiple credentials.
Most recently, we revised our conceptual framework, leading to updates in programs, curriculum and the development of 3 new specializations including Educational Technology, Instructional Design, and English Language Learners, also offering future teachers the opportunity to broaden their qualifications. Prior to graduating, Athens State University COE students complete Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) and Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) training.
In addition to program curriculum, students are provided with valuable opportunities to observe and be involved in real life teaching situations. During P-12 school visits students learn pedagogy and management strategies and are allowed to practice their teaching skills. Athens State University enjoys a robust relationship with our K-12 partners around the state of Alabama. During the 2012-13 academic year, we worked with approximately 228 schools to provide over 1,570 teacher education students with classroom field experience. In addition, more than 280 of our teacher education students completed internships in approximately 115 schools throughout the state.
How do our graduates rank? According to the 2011-2012 Principal’s Survey, Athens State graduates are possess qualities and characteristics of highly effective teachers. Ninety nine percent of the principals surveyed rated Athens State graduates as either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” on the following teacher quality indicators:
“With the belief that the teacher is the most important factor for success in a classroom, we are pleased to know that institutions like Athens State provide Morgan County Schools with quality teachers every year,” state Morgan County Schools Superintendent Bill W. Hopkins, Jr. “They produce graduates who have a broad understanding of subject matter and a firm grasp of how to use research based strategies to teach the standards.”
Hopkins continues, “The quality of educator provided by Athens State and others like them makes us confident that when a new teacher steps into his/her first classroom, they are ready. Ready to teach; ready to manage; ready to inspire; ready to lead and make an amazing impact on the lives of our students. Having a University that consistently provides us with caring, high quality teachers who possess an enthusiasm for being on our team and preparing our students for all of the challenges of being successful in the 21st Century, is priceless. The Morgan County School System is stronger because of Athens State and Universities like them that have a commitment to produce outstanding educators.”