Why pursue your goal of becoming an elementary, special education or middle school teacher at the University of Delaware? Below are ten reasons to consider UD as your home for the next four years.
1. Our graduates are very marketable with dual certification
Elementary Teacher Education students choose a concentration in one of the following areas: middle school math, middle school English, middle school science, middle school social studies, special education, or urban education. They gain expertise in a high-needs area through their concentration, which makes them very marketable.
Students who pursue a middle school or special education concentration are eligible for certification in those areas in addition to elementary education certification. Graduates are eligible to earn teacher certification in other states through interstate reciprocity agreements.
2. High-quality coursework from nationally-recognized faculty
The Elementary Teacher Education program is nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). Students learn the content and pedagogy needed to successfully impact student learning. In 2012-2013, 41% of our graduating seniors earned the ETS Recognition of Excellence on the Praxis II Elementary Education: Content Knowledge test.
The School of Education graduate program is ranked 37th in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Faculty value close relationships with undergraduate students and work with them on research projects to help them grow professionally. They offer study abroad programs every year and senior faculty who are national experts regularly teach in the undergraduate program. The faculty teach, develop, and model best practices that students can take to their future classroom.
3. Gain field experiences beginning in freshman year
Our students receive extensive field experiences in schools, starting in their freshman year. This enables them to apply what they learn from their coursework and develop their skills throughout the four-year program, culminating in a semester-long student teaching experience. They spend approximately 200 hours in field experiences prior to student teaching and work with diverse student populations.
4. Numerous organizations and activities on campus
There are over 360 registered student organizations at UD where students can connect with others who have similar interests. The Association of Pre-Professional Leaders in Education (APPLE) is one of these organizations where Elementary Teacher Education students promote professional development, outreach, and social networking events in order to build a strong community. Annual activities include the What Not to Wear: Teacher’s Edition fashion show, Candy Grams for professors during the National Teacher Appreciation Week, and the Buddies program where upperclassmen support freshmen and sophomores in the major.
5. Study abroad
Students can study abroad on trips led by the School of Education or any other department across campus. Most trips are during the optional 5-week winter session in January. Elementary Teacher Education students will be traveling to Vienna and Budapest, Hungary in Winter 2014 and previous locations for School of Education trips include Australia, London, India, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Two UD professors teach two classes to 24-30 students on every trip.
6. Academic opportunities to prepare for the classroom and graduate school
Students can engage in experiences to enrich their undergraduate program such as working with a faculty member on a research project, participating in the Dean’s Scholar Program or pursuing an Honors Degree. These experiences provide students with the opportunity to explore ideas in-depth that they are passionate about in the field of education.
7. Resources for success
The faculty and staff want students to be successful in their program and provide many resources to support their success. Students are assigned to an advisor who helps them select their courses and identifies opportunities to grow personally and professionally.
8. Strong reputation with employers
The Career Services Center helps students with writing resumes, developing their interviewing skills and finding a job. This center hosts a job fair every year for teacher education students and there were 82 schools, districts and organizations at the fair in April 2013. The teacher education programs at UD have a strong reputation and representatives met with 699 students in thousands of interviews.
Principals who work with our graduates speak highly of them. Comments on employer surveys have included:
- “Ashley is a ‘natural’ teacher. She has had a wonderful year. I would be happy to hire more teachers like her. It is a testament to your program.”
- “Andrea is the most competent first year teacher I have ever seen. She is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Whenever she is in a meeting she quickly is recognized as an expert.”
- “Jennifer was very well prepared and ready to meet the challenges of her position…I was amazed to see her implementation of best practice in her classes. She raised up her students to reach higher goals and they did it. Her high expectations, use of technology, and ability to connect with her students have made her an exceptional teacher. UD prepared her so well! Thank you!”
9. UD is nationally recognized for its value
The University of Delaware was voted a “Best Value” in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. The University is also rated highly in the Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges and in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014.
10. Our students love UD!
Students feel a sense of community in the Elementary Teacher Education major and share how much they enjoy their program on their exit survey. Some of their comments on the strength of the program are below.
- “The ETE program truly provided a well-rounded education for all of us! By having us out in the field early in our program, surrounding us with useful resources, and through frequent exposure to shared experiences in the field, we were able to foster a strong foundation for when we transitioned into taking on classes ourselves. In the field, supportive mentors, supervisors, professors, and peers have gone up and beyond to provide us constructive feedback to strengthen our teaching. Plus, an emphasis on being reflective on one’s own teaching has also helped to shape our own best practices!” – Sarah M., Class of 2013
- “I think the program has areas of strength in exposing us to a wide breadth of core courses so that we can gain a lot of knowledge in all subject areas. I also think the education classes have very compassionate teachers, and you learn so much relevant information in them.” – Dayna J., Class of 2013
- “The program gets us experience teaching in the schools soon, which is great! The program also does a wonderful job of fostering our growth as educators by providing us with access to the latest educational research, theories and best practices.” – Teagan T., Class of 2013