HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Coker College’s teacher preparation program has received national accreditation, including two special commendations, by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The national certification that Coker has met the “rigorous professional standards for the preparation of teachers and is a nationally accredited institution,” was recently approved by the South Carolina Board of Education in Columbia.
“This singular recognition, national acknowledgment of the excellent preparation we provide to our teacher candidates, exemplifies a broader, institutional aspiration that has become known as our determination to redefine ready,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt. “As I shared at a recent dinner that Coker hosted to honor supervising teachers in the region, the work being done in the Wiggins School of Education is raising the bar for all of us. Although the world our students will help lead is becoming ever more competitive, moments like this serve as a welcome reminder that members of the Coker community are ready.”
Yale University’s Dr. James P. Comer concurs.
“In the nearly three years I’ve been engaged in Hartsville’s PULSE initiative, I’ve been wholly impressed with Coker College’s commitment to excellence at every level,” said Comer, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center. “NCATE standards are comprehensive and exacting. Coker’s teacher candidates and the students they will someday serve can be confident in the courses they are charting.”
For Wiggins School of Education director Susan Henderson, the achievement creates an opportunity to recognize the program’s partners.
“We are delighted to have recognition on a national level for our strong teacher education program,” said Henderson. “This success is possible because of the committed partnerships of teachers and administrators in local school districts and because of dedicated graduates, students, faculty and staff of Coker College.”
In addition to receiving the national and state endorsements, Coker’s program won praise from NCATE for the ways that both faculty and students are willing and able to modify their individual approaches in order to accommodate enhanced opportunities for learning.
“The reviewers noted, via two separate, special commendations, that Coker’s students recognize ‘when their own professional dispositions may need to be adjusted and they are able to develop plans to do so,’” said Coker College Provost Tracy Parkinson. “Similarly, they praised our faculty’s focus on student learning, noting that Coker’s faculty ‘adjusts instruction to the learning needs of their students.’”
Music Professor William Carswell, who chairs the Department of Dance, Music and Theater and coordinates Coker’s music education program, notes that Coker’s commitment to a rigorous, liberal arts core brings special advantages to Coker’s teacher candidates.
“We are fortunate to have world-class faculty supervisors working with the education majors at Coker. The students benefit greatly from the relationships fostered in the college classroom with professors who are experts in their respective disciplines,” said Coker College associate professor of music William Carswell. “These relationships result in a stronger, more productive student-teaching experience for our future educators.”