AIKEN - The University of South Carolina Aiken ranked second in the state in a new report providing information on teacher certification and licensing.
The report, released Monday by the South Carolina Department of Education, is part of a federal program designed to help assess the quality of America's classroom teachers, beginning with the education of its future teachers.
"USCA is committed to preparing highly qualified and effective teachers for our school systems," said Dr. Jeff Priest, the head of the USCA School of Education. "We are pleased that our students have consistently performed very well on the exams required for teacher certification."
Four institutions tied for first place. They are Southern Wesleyan College, Erskine College, Furman University and Morris College. USCA followed with 100 percent of its education majors passing a basic skills exam, taken before hopeful education majors are allowed to enter the program.
"You can't just come here and declare yourself to be an education major," said Dr. Deidre Martin, the assistant chancellor for external affairs.
In a more in-depth professional knowledge exam taken before education majors can be certified by the state to be teachers, 100 percent passed.
"These scores provide valuable information," South Carolina state school Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum said. "We are committed to hiring competent, caring teachers in every classroom."
The USCA School of Education offers baccalaureate degrees in early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education in six subjects. The university currently has 276 students in the education program.
"I am not surprised one bit about the success that the teacher development program at USCA has met within the teacher certification test," said Aiken County school Superintendent Dr. Linda Eldridge. "They have an outstanding program, and we hire every single graduate we can get. Some of our very best teachers are USCA graduates."
Reach Carly Phillips at (803) 648-1395.
|Impact: As part of a federal program to assess the quality of America's teachers, USCA, which trains many of Aiken County's teachers, has been recognized by the South Carolina Department of Education.|