ST, AUGUSTINE — Exceptional Student Education has always been a popular program at Flagler College, and now it is ranked number one in the state. The program — at both St. Augustine and Tallahassee campuses — achieved the state’s highest ranking for teacher preparation at the elementary level, alongside Lynn University and Rollins College.
Dr. Michele Gregoire, professor and chair of the college’s Education Department, said that the school’s top ranking can be attributed to the program’s core components.
“I believe our emphasis on practicum in each methods course and the amount of experience our students gain in the classroom has always been one of our strengths,” she said. “Also, our dual programs in Elementary/Exceptional Student Education and Elementary/Deaf Education have long been a model for other colleges and have provided extremely well-prepared and competent teachers for all children.”
The state of Florida has implemented numerous policies aimed at ensuring that all students have effective teachers. It measures program performance through data that includes: how many completers of a program were placed into teaching or instructional positions in Florida public schools; the rate of retention in those positions; the performance of students assigned to those teachers using statewide assessments; and the results of annual evaluations. The “Florida Teacher Preparation Programs” report provides findings from this data, which will help programs improve their design and outcomes.
There are 100 providers of teacher preparation programs in Florida. Thirty-four are public colleges or universities, and 23 are private. The additional 43 are school districts that run Professional Development Certification Programs. There is a total of 348 programs offered at these providers.