Published on June 14, 2023 by Kameron Brown  

Samford University Orlean Beeson School of Education’s undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs have been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) as among the best in the nation in their new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction. Samford is one of only two schools in the United States to have earned an A+ distinction for preparing aspiring teachers in the most effective methods for teaching reading.

According to the NCTQ, “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.”

The NCTQ has called teacher preparation the clear solution to the United States’ literacy crisis and Samford’s Orlean Beeson School of Education has taken this call seriously.

“When there is an opportunity to improve our teacher preparation program, our faculty are immediately on top of it,” said Anna McEwan, dean of Orlean Beeson School of Education. “They tenaciously pursue excellence whether recognition is attached or not. Of course, we’re grateful when others recognize our hard work!”

Amy Hoaglund, professor and assistant dean, has been instrumental in working with the NCTQ to raise the bar at Samford.

“The redesign of the courses ensures that Samford's teacher candidates receive essential training based on current research on how children learn to read, while pairing the training with structured, authentic practical applications in field experience,” Hoaglund said.

One way the university continues to prepare students pursuing careers in teaching is by equipping them with the skills needed to be successful in the ever-changing field of education.

“Samford University’s programs serve as a proof point,” said 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.”

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.

Learn more about NCTQ.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.