Undergraduate Program One of Only 48 in the U.S. to Earn Highest Distinction from the National Council on Teacher Quality for Preparing Aspiring Teachers in the Most Effective Methods for Teaching Reading.

teacher reading to children

CINCINNATI – Mount St. Joseph University’s (Mount) teacher preparation program has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) as among the best in the nation in preparing future elementary teachers to teach children to read, earning an A+ distinction in NCTQ’s new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.

Regionally, the Mount has the only teacher preparation program to earn this high honor from the NCTQ for preparing aspiring teachers in the most effective methods for teaching reading. Further, the Mount has the only teacher preparation program to earn an above average score from the NCTQ review. The teacher preparation program is among just 48 in the country, (four in Ohio, one in Indiana, and zero in Kentucky), highlighted by NCTQ for going above and beyond the standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction—often called the “science of reading.”

“Mount St. Joseph University is honored to be recognized among the programs ensuring that future teachers arrive to their classroom equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help students become strong readers,” said Laura Saylor, dean of the School of Education, Mount St. Joseph University.

“We take our responsibility to prepare our pre-service teachers with the knowledge of how children learn to read very seriously, as it is how they will be able to make the greatest impact, close the opportunity gap, and assure every child has access to high quality evidence-based literacy instruction,” added Saylor.

National data shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students—over 1.3 million children—cannot read at a basic level. By preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best, we can change these devastating results.

To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials, class assessments, assignments, and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses for teacher candidates at Mount St. Joseph University.

To earn an A+ distinction, programs needed to comfortably exceed NCTQ’s targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically based reading instruction—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—and not teach any instructional practices that are unsupported by research, such as the debunked three-cueing method, which can inhibit students’ progress in reading.

Over five decades of research have established the components of explicit, scientifically based reading instruction that help most students become successful readers. Research suggests that over 90% of children could learn to read if their teachers used instructional methods grounded in the science of reading.

“The Mount St. Joseph University program serves as a proof point,” said Dr. Heather Peske, NCTQ president. “Other teacher preparation leaders and faculty across the country must take note. There are programs that are doing this right, ensuring that their elementary teacher candidates get the preparation in how to teach reading that they both want and deserve.”

“All teacher preparation programs are not the same. By reviewing programs, NCTQ collects evidence that programs are using what is scientifically known about how to teach reading—so every child can learn to read,” said Harrison Collier, assistant dean for educator preparation, Mount St. Joseph University.

 “This empowers college students to be wise consumers as they make decisions about which teacher preparation program they attend. Mount St. Joseph University is proud to be a leader in assuring its graduates are well-prepared and trained in scientifically based reading instruction.”

The Bachelor of Arts in Special Education (K-12) and Primary Education (P-5) Dual Licensure degree qualifies graduates to teach all students in Pre-K-5 classrooms, including those with special education needs, as well as students with specials needs in grades 6-12.

Mount St. Joseph University offers the only dual licensure in special education K-12 (mild to moderate and moderate to intense) and early childhood education P-5 in the state of Ohio.

The Dual Licensure in Early Childhood and Special Education will prepare students with the following licensures: Early Childhood (preK-5), Mild/Moderate Needs (K-12) Intervention Specialist, and Moderate/Intensive Needs (K-12) Intervention Specialist. Students are engaged in fieldwork every semester after their first fall semester in their freshman year. For more information, please visit the Dual Licensure program page here.

About NCTQ

The National Council on Teacher Quality: NCTQ is a nonpartisan research and policy organization on a mission to ensure every child has access to an effective teacher and every teacher has the opportunity to be effective. We believe a strong, diverse teacher workforce is critical for providing all students with equitable educational opportunities. For more information about NCTQ, visit www.nctq.org

About the Mount

As a Catholic institution rooted in the values of the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Joseph University excels at serving the common good. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at the Mount are inspired to think beyond the classroom and redraw the bounds of what’s possible for their futures. This is accomplished through individualized educational experiences, a safe, secure campus environment, and an all-in commitment from faculty and staff to inspire students to reach their highest potential. The Mount fosters life-long learners who serve, care, and contribute to the world beyond their front doors.