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Release: June 9, 1999

Iowa Board of Education approves UI teacher preparation programs

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Board of Education has approved the five-year continuation of the University of Iowa College of Education’s teacher preparation programs.

A team appointed by the Iowa Department of Education’s Bureau of Practitioner Preparation and Licensure evaluates each teacher training institution in the state on a rotating basis every five years. The team evaluates the preparation of K-12 teachers as well as a variety of other K-12 education specialties, including counseling, administration and speech pathology.

The team visited the UI from Oct. 26-29, 1998, examining documents and interviewing faculty, students, staff and administrators who work with UI education students.

"I think the process has helped us focus on the strengths of our program and helped us determine what aspects we want to stress in the future," said Richard Shepardson, interim dean of the College of Education.

In a report issued after its visit, the evaluation team -- made up of representatives from the Iowa Department of Education, school districts, universities and colleges -- suggested several areas of improvement. Shepardson said those have been addressed, and the Department of Education recommended to the Board of Education approval of the five-year continuation prior to its formal vote June 3.

One concern cited in the report was the absence of a common student feedback form for the different teacher education programs. Shepardson said a prototype of the form was developed this spring and pilot-tested with the elementary students who were completing their programs. Addressing another area of concern, he said the college developed a common mission statement for its various practitioner preparation programs.

"It’s always good to have an outside, objective look at your program," Shepardson said.

With a five-year continuation of its programs approved, the College of Education need only submit annual updates to the state Department of Education, as is required of all 31 teacher-training institutions in the state.