Published on February 6, 2018 by Sara Roman  
professor in classroom

Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education’s Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Instructional Leadership  program received national recognition status from the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) on its first submission. ELCC is a national Specialized Professional Association (SPA). This addition brings the total number of nationally recognized programs to ten for Samford’s education school, the highest number of nationally recognized programs in the state of Alabama.

The program was submitted for a rigorous external program review. It was assessed on the quality of the curriculum, number and quality of field and clinical experiences and the quality of faculty. “The program review process provides a framework that has pushed educator preparation programs to continually self-assess and conduct evidence-based analysis of their programs and their efficacy,” said Karen Bost, Orlean Beeson School of Education data manager. “These evidence-based shifts, rooted in continuous improvement, are helping to ensure that education preparation programs are more likely to produce successful educators.”

Samford’s Ed.S. program is the only program in the state of Alabama to be nationally recognized by the (ELCC). The program is directed by Jane Cobia.

“I am extremely proud of the tireless work put forth by our faculty and staff to ensure our students are receiving the highest level of instruction,” said Michael Hardin, university provost and education interim dean. “The national recognition of our Ed.S. program is a reflection of the incredible work done daily at Orlean Beeson School of Education.”

Submitting programs for national recognition is not a requirement in the state of Alabama, but faculty and staff in the education school have made a goal to have all programs nationally recognized. “We will continue to take the necessary steps toward recognition because we take great pride in ensuring our programs meet the high level of distinction outlined by national guidelines,” said Bost.

Many programs are recognized by more than one SPA due to having multiple certifications in the program. Each certification within the program must meet the requirements for its respective Specialized Professional Association. Eight out of the ten nationally recognized education programs have received national recognition on their first submission. According to Bost, preparing a report for SPA submission is a tedious process. Collecting data and preparing the report can take years, and often, submissions do not receive recognition without multiple revisions.

Other School of Education Nationally Recognized Programs

  • B.S.E. in Early Childhood, Special Education, Elementary, Elementary Collaborative is recognized by the Association of Childhood Education International, the National Association of Education for Young Children and the Council for Exceptional Children.
  • B.S.E. in Secondary English is recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • B.S.E. in Secondary History and Social Studies is recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies.
  • M.S.E. in Secondary Social Studies is recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies.
  • M.S.E. in Secondary Physical Education is recognized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
  • M.S.E. in English is recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • M.S.E. in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education is recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Association of Childhood Education International.
  • M.S.E. in Instructional Leadership is recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.
  • M.S.E with Gifted Certification is recognized by the National Association for Gifted Children/Council for Exceptional Children.
  • Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership is recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

All recognized programs are listed on the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation website as well as the respective national specialized professional association websites.

The education school hopes to have all programs meet the requirement for national recognition. “The official stated vision of the education school is to be distinguished for excellence as a committed, Christian community and widely recognized for quality education,” said Hardin. “To see our programs continue to be recognized nationally at a level of excellence is rewarding and a continuous step toward fulfilling our vision.”

The school has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education since 1954.

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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 2nd nationally for student engagement and US News & World Report ranks Samford 86th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,729 students from 47 states and 30 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 1st nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.