Teachers with degrees from Cumberland University are among the most prepared for success in Tennessee classrooms according to a new state ranking system. Cumberland University’s educator preparation program (EPP) overall received the highest marks on the Tennessee Board of Education’s new Teacher Preparation Report Card. The Report Card reveals how effectively the state’s colleges, universities, and other providers are training teachers for success in the classroom. Cumberland’s overall performance ranking is the highest (category 4), which is shared with seven other educator preparation programs. Of those seven, only three are university-based. Cumberland University’s program ranked ahead of Middle Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt, Tennessee Tech and the University of Tennessee.
“Cumberland University’s graduates make the case every day in the workforce that we are one of the South’s best universities. These new rankings show that Cumberland University is not just part of Tennessee’s secondary education success but that we are helping to lead the movement,” said Cumberland University President Paul Stumb.
Employment is one of the areas the Report Card measures. In Cumberland’s case, 73 percent of completers (students who have received their teacher’s license) were placed in Tennessee public schools within one year of receiving their initial license. The state average is 65.5 percent. Another measure is the percentage of completers who were placed and remain teaching in Tennessee public schools the following year. CU has 95.6 percent of graduates who remain teaching after their first year, compared to the state average of 91.4 percent.
Eric Cummings, dean of CU’s School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts, attributes the University’s high ranking on the the 2016 Tennessee Teacher Preparation Report Card, to his faculty. “We have sought out the best full-time, adjunct and mentor teachers who enhance the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of candidates through excellent instruction. Our faculty work exceptionally hard to produce top-tier teachers as graduates, and this ranking demonstrates that fact to stakeholders across the state,” Cummings said. “Our program is also designed to help students who are not best-suited for teaching to find another professional avenue while still at the university.”
Cummings also attributed the program’s success to the university’s partnerships with area school systems who are placing faith in Cumberland’s graduates. “We have worked to maintain partnerships with Lebanon Special Schools and Wilson County Schools as primary partners, along with many other districts as state-approved partners such as Trousdale County. We simply would not be able to have achieved this ranking without these partners. They give us access to their classrooms for field experiences, the involvement of their teachers and leaders as practitioner faculty, and the assignment of excellent mentors for our student teachers,” Cummings said.
Cumberland University has one of the longest, richest histories of any higher education institution in the state. Founded in 1842, the University flourishes today with exceptional faculty and fully-accredited academic programs steeped in the liberal arts, including three distinct schools: the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions; the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts; and the Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business. With a student body approaching 2,000, 25% of whom live on campus, our unique residential living and learning experience allows students to find their sense of belonging. Athletics also are a strength of Cumberland University, as its teams in 20 sports regularly compete for conference and national championships. Its world-renowned baseball team has claimed the NAIA national championship title three times since 2004. At Cumberland University you can Learn What’s Possible!