School of Ed, Top 4 in State, report finds


Students in the Cumberland University School of Education and Public Service can feel certain about their future, according to a report released by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission this month. According to the report, Cumberland University has the best job placement and four-year retention rate of any Tennessean teacher preparation program with more than 100 graduates a year. 74 percent of CU graduates teach three out of four years after graduation, well above the state average of 57 percent. Across all 44 institutions producing teachers included in the study, Cumberland’s employment rate is currently in the top four.

“Such an excellent placement and retention rate reflects our dedication to producing highly qualified teacher practitioners who are not just prepared for a job, but thrive in this field,” said Dr. Eric Cummings, Dean of the School of Education and Public Service.

According to the “2012 Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs,” Cumberland graduates remained in the top tier of employability and job retention since the first report in 2010. The School has graduates in over 20 school districts across the state.

Compared to the average of other traditional program graduates from the same period, Cumberland graduates produce significantly better gains in student achievement growth in two important areas: composite high school End of Course exams (EoC) and 4th-8th grade science.

Additionally, across all the tested subjects, comparisons of teacher effect data between recent program graduates (1-3 years of experience) and veteran teachers (more than three years) show that Cumberland’s recent graduates perform at the same level as veteran teachers in every tested subject and at every tested grade level.

“This means that graduates right out of our programs are as effective as teachers with more than three years of experience in all subjects,” said Cummings.

Dr. Sarah Pierce, Professor of Chemistry and
Engineering Science, leads a chemistry lab
with students at Cumberland University.

The Report Card is generated by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to show data on the effectiveness of teacher training institutions across the state of Tennessee. Funded by federal Race to the Top dollars, the Report Card is designed to provide consumers of these programs with data on which to base their decisions. It reports placement and retention rates, Praxis II test results, and teacher effect data from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) – which includes P-12 student results on state tests.

The report card includes results from all those who completed traditional and alternative programs at Tennessee universities and who were teaching in schools that report TVAAS data.

Cumberland’s five undergraduate and five graduate teacher education programs lead to 21 state-approved licensure programs. Cumberland University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).



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