The College of Education is a professional college committed to preparing accomplished beginning and advanced–level professionals who can advance the learning and development of their students and who are ready to become leaders in their fields. The College seeks to foster the learning and development of PK–16 students through our educator preparation programs, leadership, research, advocacy, and partnerships. Educational inequities exist on multiple levels; therefore, we aim to prepare educators with the skills and commitments necessary to ensure equity for all students in the public schools and classrooms they will lead.
The college programs prepare educators, counselors, psychologists, administrators, researchers, and educational specialists. Graduates work with individuals from infancy through adulthood in schools, community agencies, colleges, and universities. Educational programs are accredited and approved by the following: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Maryland State Department of Education, American Psychological Association, Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Professions, and Council on Rehabilitation Education. The unit is directed by the Dean of the College of Education, Donna L. Wiseman, Ph.D. The fall 2010 program enrollments include 928 undergraduate majors and 1,145 graduate majors.
The University of Maryland, College Park provides unique opportunities to obtain a high quality teacher education. The University's status as a Research I, Flagship University means that faculty must demonstrate not only excellent teaching but must also conduct high quality research that advances knowledge about education. Maryland also offers highly diverse environments for practice and study in its urban and suburban school districts. The College is home to the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education, which offers applied research initiatives and partnerships with area school districts to study problems related to the minority achievement gap and improving urban education.
Education professionals assume many roles, and need to draw upon many types of knowledge including knowledge of subject matter, curriculum, learners, educational goals and assessment, social context, and pedagogy. The knowledge base from these areas, including that associated with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards, has guided the development of performance standards in initial teacher preparation programs in the College.
As part of the state flagship institution, the College creates model teaching and teacher preparation programs involving research and service in early childhood (PreK–grade 3), elementary (grades 1–6), secondary (grades 7–12,) and special education. The secondary education programs, which require a major in a content area associated with the teaching major, include English, art, mathematics, science, second language education, social studies, and foreign language education. The special education programs lead to special education teacher certification in an early childhood, elementary, and⁄or secondary education area with an emphasis on severe disabilities. The College also recently developed a new middle school program in mathematics and sciences, which will prepare candidates to teach in middle school settings (grades 4–9).
The College has spent the past few years restructuring its teacher education programs to improve the content of the programs and to address critical shortage areas. The departments have placed increased emphasis on developing multiple pathways for teacher preparation, including new post-baccalaureate models, which require a shorter preparation period. Additionally, the College is working with the Arts and Sciences units on campus on a number of initiatives that are designed to increase the number of teachers in science and mathematics.
For the 12th consecutive year, the College of Education has maintained its ranking as one of the top schools of education in the country. The College was rated no. 23, according to the U.S.News & World Report survey released on March 16, 2011. In addition, all of its ranked programs and departments list in the Top 25 of their categories, with the Counseling and Personnel Services department continuing its record as number one in the country for twelve years in a row.
Especially noteworthy, the campus was one of 26 sites across the nation selected to participate in a three–year NSF Math and Science Partnership grant to promote institutional change to strengthen science teacher preparation. At the core of the project, known as the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI), is the opportunity to work collaboratively with campus leadership and faculty to strengthen science and mathematics teacher education as a sustained institutional priority. Also significant, the University is participating in the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), a 21 state project based at Stanford University in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the Council of Chief State School Officers. As the lead institution in Maryland piloting the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), we are finding it to be incredibly helpful in assessing our own candidates, and more important, in their assessment of their own students. The TPA is a nationally-recognized and normed assessment that will allow us to compare our candidates with others around the country, ultimately raising the standard for teacher preparation on campus, in Maryland, and nationwide. The TPA is not only expected to play a major role in elevating the professional and pedagogical preparation we provide to our candidates, but also in documenting our graduates’ impact on P-12 student learning, which is increasingly a paramount concern for school systems.