K-State's elementary education program receives national honor

March 10, 2010

Kansas State University's bachelor's degree program in elementary education is being honored with the 2010 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award from the Association of Teacher Educators.

The honor recognizes high-quality teacher education programs featuring exemplary collaboration between local education agencies and institutions of higher education in program development and administration.

Paul Burden, head of K-State's department of elementary education, said that bachelor's graduates in the department have proven K-State's program is among the best.

"After completing our program, graduates must pass two national tests to obtain a teaching license in Kansas," he said. "In the last five years, we have had a 99 percent and 98 percent pass rate on those exams."

To be considered for the national honor, teacher education programs must meet certain quality standards and their students must perform at a high level. In addition, the programs must have well-established professional development programs where teacher candidates receive valuable field experience prior to graduating.

"K-State was among the first universities in the nation to establish a professional development school partnership in 1989," said Gail Shroyer, director of K-State's professional development schools partnerships and professor of elementary education. "Today, we have 1,500 students in our program, all of whom will receive invaluable experience in the classroom at one of our 20 professional development school sites before they graduate."

These real-world opportunities are why U.S. News and World Reports ranked K-State's education program as one of the top 50 education programs in the nation in 2009, Burden said.

In receiving the Association of Teacher Educators honor, K-State joins prestigious teaching programs across the nation including at Michigan State University, Arizona State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Oregon, University of Maryland, University of Arkansas and University of New Mexico.

Kansas State University

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