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Bay Path University Program Among Top in the U.S. for Preparing Future Teachers in the Science of Reading

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Undergraduate Program Earns an “A” Letter Grade in New Report from the National Council on Teacher Quality

Longmeadow, Massachusetts—The undergraduate teacher preparation program at Bay Path University has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for its rigorous preparation of future teachers in how to teach reading, earning an “A” grade in NCTQ’s new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.

The program is among just 23% nationwide and three in Massachusetts to earn an “A” from NCTQ for meeting standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction—often called the “science of reading.”

National data shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students—over 1.3 million children—cannot read at a basic level. By preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best, we can change these devastating results.

To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials, class assessments, assignments, and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses for undergraduate elementary teacher candidates at Bay Path University.

To earn an “A,” programs needed to meet NCTQ’s targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically based reading instruction—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—and not teach more than three instructional methods that are unsupported by the research on effective reading instruction.

While some portion of children will learn to read naturally, over five decades of research have established the components of explicit, scientifically based reading instruction that help most students become successful readers. Research suggests that over 90% of children could learn to read if their teachers used instructional methods grounded in the science of reading. Bay Path University is proud to be recognized among the programs ensuring that future elementary teachers enter the classroom equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help students become strong readers.

“Bay Path University is proud of the recognition we have received from NCTQ over the last few years,” says Dr. Ellen Rustico, Assistant Dean of Education and Licensure Programs. “All of the faculty in our teaching program are licensed educators with a deep understanding of how the brain learns to read and years of experience handling challenges in a classroom. We bring this expertise to our work with educators in districts across Massachusetts, and we routinely work with them to develop learning experiences for seasoned teachers and teachers-in- training.”

Bay Path’s undergraduate elementary education program prepares students to earn an initial license issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students interested in teaching outside Massachusetts received the background and experience to pursue certification and licensure in other states.

The new NCTQ analysis of teacher preparation programs’ coverage of the science of reading was developed over the course of two years, involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders, and educators. NCTQ evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 19 in Massachusetts. Overall, just 112 programs earned an A and 48 earned an A+.

See the NCTQ report for more information about Bay Path University’s coverage of the science of reading and to see how Bay Path University compares to other programs in Massachusetts or across the country.


 About Bay Path University

Bay Path University was founded in 1897. Bay Path’s enrolled population of over 3,000 includes traditional undergraduates; adult women at The American Women's College, the first all-women, all-online accredited degree program in the country; and women and men master’s and doctoral students. Bay Path’s goal is to give students confidence in the fundamentals of their chosen field, the curiosity to question the ordinary, the leadership to show initiative, and the desire to make a difference.