Honor Roll: Selective Programs that Achieve High Diversity

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Studies have shown teachers who have strong academic backgrounds tend to be more successful in the classroom. This finding should not be surprising--when is being smart ever a handicap?--yet there are a lot of educators who insist that it's not that important for a teacher to be smart. Without getting into what's most valuable in a teacher, we argue that it is "smarts" that enable teachers to master the job of teaching--to think quickly on their feet, communicate effectively with their students, and make spontaneous decisions--which some estimate number 1,500 a day.

NCTQ's Selection Criteria Standard examines if the teacher prep program is housed in an institution of higher education that is sufficiently selective (based on average SAT/ACT score or Barron's ratings) indicating that applicants are likely to be in the top half of the college-going population. If not, we check to see if the teacher prep program sets its own criteria to admit academically skilled candidates, requiring a standardized test of academic proficiency and/or minimum or average GPA that likely would put the program's teacher candidates in this top half. See Understanding Our Selection Criteria Standard.

In the past, advocates of increasing the diversity of the nation's teaching force, which is around 82 percent white compared to about half of the students, have expressed fears that raising the selectivity of teacher preparation programs would hurt this diversity effort. This, perhaps unconsciously, assumes that aspiring teachers of color cannot meet this higher standard.

Our research proves that teacher prep programs can be both selective and diverse. We found that among the 225 programs that met our selectivity criteria (the 26 percent who received an A grade), half were both selective and diverse. This study defined a diverse program as one with a proportion of teacher candidates of color greater than the program's institution as a whole or greater than the state's teacher workforce.

In addition, we found that among the programs located in institutions with relatively open admissions policy, more are requiring at least a 3.0 GPA for admission. This went from 44 programs in 2014 to 71 today.

These examples show that teacher prep programs can be both selective and diverse. The following 113 programs show that programs need not assume they must continue low standards in order to educate a more diverse teaching force.

State  Institution
AK University of Alaska Fairbanks
AZ Arizona State University
AZ University of Arizona
CA Loyola Marymount University
CA University of Redlands
CA University of the Pacific
CO University of Colorado Boulder
CO University of Colorado - Colorado Springs
FL Florida International University
FL University of Miami
GA Mercer University
ID Northwest Nazarene University
IL DePaul University
IL  Illinois Wesleyan University
IL University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
IN Goshen College
IN Indiana University - Bloomington
IN Purdue University
IN Saint Mary's College
KS Newman University
KS University of Kansas
KY University of Kentucky
KY University of Louisville
MA Boston College
MA Gordon College
MA Mount Holyoke College
MA Smith College
MA Stonehill College
MD University of Maryland - College Park
MI Calvin College
MI Michigan State University
MI University of Detroit Mercy
MI University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
MI University of Michigan - Dearborn
MN Bethel University
MN College of St. Benedict and St. John's University
MN Hamline University
MN St. Catherine University
MN University of Minnesota - Duluth
MN University of Northwestern - St. Paul
MN University of St. Thomas
MO Maryville University of St. Louis
MO  Rockhurst University
MO St. Louis University
MO University of Missouri - St. Louis
MO William Jewell College
NC Guilford College
NC High Point University
NC University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
NE Creighton University
NE University of Nebraska - Lincoln
NJ College of New Jersey
NJ Seton Hall University
NY Barnard College
NY College of Mount Saint Vincent
NY Columbia University
NY CUNY - Hunter College
NY Five Towns College
NY Manhattan College
OH John Carroll University
OH University of Cincinnati
OH University of Dayton
OH Xavier University
OK University of Oklahoma
OR Oregon State University
PA Arcadia University
PA Drexel University
PA Elizabethtown College
PA Messiah College
PA Misericordia University
PA Pennsylvania State University
PA Saint Joseph's University
PA University of Scranton
RI Providence College
SC College of Charleston
TN Belmont University
TN Lee University
TN Maryville College
TN University of Tennessee
TX LeTourneau University
TX St. Edward's University
TX Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
TX Texas Christian University
TX University of Houston
TX University of St. Thomas
TX University of Texas at Arlington
TX University of Texas at Austin
TX University of Texas at Dallas
UT Brigham Young University
UT University of Utah
VT University of Vermont
WA Pacific Lutheran University
WA Walla Walla University
WA Western Washington College