Editor’s note: This story was originally published on December 25, 2016.
By the time Nick Morrow graduated at the top of his class at the University of Houston this December, he already spent a whole year in the classroom: two semesters at two different schools in Fort Bend.
“I think that’s probably the most impactful, just being able to teach lessons in the classroom and seeing how to organize and plan lessons,” Morrow said. “It was just a really awesome experience.”
That year-long residency in student teaching goes beyond the state’s requirements for new teachers.
It’s a major reason why UH’s College of Education scored among the best programs in the country for new elementary school instructors.
“I think our kids are stepping out of the University of Houston and into a classroom probably performing at a level that’s closer to a second-year teacher than a first-year teacher,” said Bob McPherson, dean at the College of Education at UH.
Recently, the National Council on Teacher Quality recently surveyed some 2,500 programs. The nonprofit, which is funded by private donors and foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focused on areas, including:
- how selective admissions were;
- early reading;
- elementary math;
- overall elementary content;
- student teaching; and
- classroom management
At UH, McPherson explained that over the last several years, they not only expanded the student teaching, but they also hired 80 percent new faculty, including researchers.
The college has also teamed up with the Houston Independent School District to recruit top students to enter the field.
McPherson said that next they’ll beef up math training for new teachers, one area where they got a poor grade from NCTQ.
As for Morrow, 29, he’s planning to substitute teach in the spring while he looks for a full-time position. It’s a career switch from audio engineering. His dream is to teach science to elementary students.
“When I was growing up, Bill Nye was a big inspiration to me. So I kind of want to be like the Bill Nye for kids,” he said.
Here’s how NCTQ ranked other teacher prep programs for elementary education in Texas. For more information, click here.
|2016 Percentile Rank||UNIVERSITY|
|99||Texas A&M University|
|99||Dallas Baptist University|
|99||University of Houston|
|97||University of Texas at Arlington|
|95||Texas State University – San Marcos|
|92||University of Texas at Austin|
|91||University of Texas of the Permian Basin|
|84||University of Texas at Dallas|
|82||University of Mary Hardin – Baylor|
|81||University of Texas at San Antonio|
|79||Texas A&M University – Kingsville|
|79||University of North Texas|
|76||Texas A&M University – Texarkana|
|76||Midwestern State University|
|74||Southern Methodist University|
|72||University of Texas at Tyler|
|68||Texas Lutheran University|
|63||Concordia University Texas|
|60||Sul Ross State University|
|60||University of St. Thomas|
|57||Howard Payne University|
|49||University of Houston – Clear Lake|
|49||Texas Woman’s University|
|49||University of the Incarnate Word|
|45||Texas A&M International University|
|38||Stephen F. Austin State University|
|34||University of Houston – Victoria|
|32||Angelo State University|
|32||Sam Houston State University|
|19||West Texas A&M University|
|17||Wayland Baptist University|
|9||University of Houston – Downtown|
|*||St. Mary’s University|
|*||Texas Christian University|
|*||Texas Wesleyan University|
Lubbock Christian University
*No percentile rank reported because NCTQ was not able to review all key standards.