GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
A leaner, more specific set of standards for those hoping to become teachers was recently announced.
The proposed criterion for teacher-preparation programs is aimed to help improve the quality of education across the United States.
“The education major is growing here. We actually have numbers in our initials classes to get into that we have not seen in years,” said Valerie Dobbs, director of Center for Teacher Education at Colorado Mesa University.
However, as this career path continues to grow, a new set of standards for these possible future educators may take effect.
“These new standards also talk about the most important thing which is, not what you taught, but what did the students in front of you learn,” said Dobbs.
The Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation is proposing more specific, outcome-based criteria than any prior set in the last 60 years. However, Colorado Mesa University has been doing something like this for quite some time.
“They talk about a very long internship. We have a year long internship here, and we've been doing that for over 6 years,” said Dobbs.
That clinical partnership and practice criteria is part of the council's 5 new standards which the organization is hoping will improve the way classes are taught.
It’s an experience Marie Huber, senior at CMU, is hoping will help make her a better English teacher.
“You see a lot of things that you're like oh, I really want to incorporate that into who I want to be,” said Huber. “But you also see, I hope I never do that, or I hope I’m never like that.”
Officials say it's important for these college students to learn hands-on from experienced teachers.
“These are novas teachers,” said Dobbs. “Nationally, they're not perfect yet but we expect them to graduate with very high skills because they are in front of kids and it matters.”
Programs must now also do follow-ups and gather data of how their graduated teachers are doing after that last bell in college rings. This way, they can make any possible changes to better their current program.
All of the education students at CMU must complete a portfolio to graduate. It must show not just their teaching skills, but what exactly their students learned during their teaching.
For more information on the standards, click here.