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Oct. 30, 2018
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) on Sunday evening presented Northwest Missouri State University with its 2018 Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award.
Northwest, which also earned the McAuliffe Award in 2006, becomes just the third institution in the nation to receive the award two times since its inception in 2002. The honor also marks the third time in four years that AASCU has recognized Northwest with an Excellence and Innovation Award.
“We take great pride in this national recognition as it recognizes an amazing and dedicated faculty and staff committed to a never-ending journey of continuously improving what we do,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Northwest’s DNA includes teacher education and AASCU’s recognition emboldens us to continue adjusting to needed teacher preparation enhancements. We are humbled and honored to receive this award and these continuing national recognitions solidify Northwest as an innovative leader focused on student success.”
The McAuliffe Award recognizes the culmination of Northwest’s work, begun in 2014 with collaboration and resources from University leadership and pre-K-12 partners, to overhaul the curriculum and clinical field experiences offered by its School of Education. The faculty-led redesign of the School’s curriculum placed greater emphasis on students’ access to diverse clinical practice – now totaling more than 600 hours – in urban, rural and suburban settings.
The redesigned programs involved extended partnerships with more than two dozen school systems, with an emphasis on assessment and instruction practices yielding high-impact results for student learning. The new curriculum also has Northwest students engaged in practice by the third week of their freshman year.
Additionally, students participate in a professional learning community to learn from their experiences, while the curriculum focuses on improving students’ instructional techniques and classroom management strategies as well as multi-subject, integrated lesson plans.
“At Northwest Missouri State, we’ve been in the business of preparing great educators for more than 100 years, and receiving this recognition honors the innovative spirit our faculty showed in redesigning and strengthening our already strong programs,” Dr. Tim Wall, the dean of Northwest’s School of Education, said. “Our work helps Northwest students become teachers who positively impact society and make a difference that will be well-appreciated for generations.”
Northwest, which was founded in 1905 as the Fifth District Normal School for the purpose of training teachers, has evolved into a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs on its Maryville campus as well as its Northwest-Kansas City location at the Northland Innovation Center and through Northwest Online.
Since 1906, the Horace Mann Laboratory School has been a hallmark of Northwest and its teacher training program, providing an on-campus clinical teaching environment for University students while serving local children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Additionally, early childhood programs for children age 3 through pre-kindergarten are offered at the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families.
The mission of Northwest’s School of Education centers on the preparation of effective teachers and leaders to apply best practices to positively impact learning. One-hundred percent of students graduating from the School complete a profession-based internship or teaching practicum as part of their degree, and 100 percent are employed or enrolled in graduate school within sixth months of completing their undergraduate degrees.
Additionally, 100 percent of K-12 graduates at Northwest scored above the state average as “Effective Educators” on the Missouri Educator Evaluation System, and 95 percent of principals say their Northwest graduates were “well-prepared” to teach, according to a 2016 survey.
“Our story begins and ends with excellence,” Wall said. “We provide students with rich clinical practice in all settings – rural, urban and suburban. We prepare educators who learn in diverse classrooms and schools, allowing Northwest teacher education graduates to fully develop. They are effective from the start of their careers, and this incredible recognition speaks to the quality of the students and their effort. It also speaks to the amazing faculty and staff who work so hard to prepare each and every Northwest education student, every day. It is a blessing to do what we do. It is wonderful to be recognized for excellence, and it wouldn’t be possible without our school partners throughout Maryville, the state, and the region.”
AASCU’s Excellence and Innovation awards program, now in its fifth year, honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in the areas of regional and economic development, student success and college completion, sustainability and sustainable development, teacher education, international education, and leadership development and diversity.
AASCU also recognized Northwest for sustainability and sustainable development last year and for international education in 2015.
To learn more about Northwest’s School of Education, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/education/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468