Bryan College Defends Teacher Prep Program

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Bryan College officials responded on a report that it was one of just two educator preparation providers in the state that did not meet state expectations.

Officials stated, "Tennessee universities graduated 500 fewer teachers in 2018 than the year before with only 3,063 graduating from teacher prep programs.  Across the state, the 13 percent drop indicates fewer students choosing teaching as a profession.  The state of Tennessee provided a new report card in 2016 which was designed to make the report card easier to use for individuals who want to become teachers.

Whether the individuals are high school students making college decisions or adults looking to make a career change, the report card was designed to provide easily understandable information about teacher preparation programs across the state.

The state noted that of the 58.7 percent “completers” from Bryan College, more than 80 percent were still teaching in their third year of their profession.  Officials from the college’s education department noted that while they were disappointed in the report card’s findings, they are encouraged by the opportunities it provides. 

The report card only includes data from those graduates who teach in one of Tennessee’s public schools.  Many of Bryan College graduates teach in out of state public schools, private Christian schools, and other international mission opportunities that are opened because of their education background.  In fact, Bryan’s total placement is currently 87% when those schools are included. The  actual break down is 58.7 percent in Tennessee public schools, 18.2 percent private schools, and, 10.1 percent international/mission opportunities.

 

The school’s second year retention data exceeded the state with 95.8 percent remaining in their position.  Third year retention was also up to 80 percent. Bryan graduates are prepared and remaining in education rather than being overwhelmed and changing fields.  

 

Since the state’s visit to the campus last October, we’ve reviewed and evaluated our curriculum, coursework and assessment.  We’ve identified areas that are being refined and enhanced not only to meet state requirements, bur more importantly, to attract the best of the best among students considering teaching as a profession.  We believe this gives us the unique opportunity to position Bryan College as the top-of-mind choice for future teachers and look forward to the coming days.

With this in mind, the college is hosting their inaugural Education Day on March 27 focusing on education majors from schools around the region.  A panel discussion with advisory board members, graduates and current students will provide insights into the school’s education department. 

Concerning the report card findings, we know we must do better. However, what we also know is that once our students are in the classroom, they are highly successful.  One of our recent grads was named Hamilton County educator of the week and others have attained exciting jobs across the country. We want to use these successes as best practices to attract future educators.  While our goal is to meet or exceed the state’s expectations, those are much lower than our own. The future is very bright for our school’s teacher prep program and in turn, that brightens the education experience for the lives our teachers will touch.”


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