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This item originally appeared in the January 13, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

By MARY LYNNE O'NEAL

Staff Writer

For half a century, Louisiana Tech's teacher graduates could rest assured that they were well-qualified and ready for the classroom.

Dr. Lawrence Leonard, professor of curriculum, instruction and leadership is Tech's National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education coordinator.

Tech's College of Education has met the required standards to receive official approval and recognition from the NCATE through the year 2010, he said.

Leonard said he is very proud of everyone who works to contribute every year.

"It's a team process that everyone from faculty and staff to administrators work for every single year," Leonard said. "Our people demonstrate quality commitment to producing qualified teachers to come from our school."

According to the NCATE's mission statement, the organization is the teaching profession's mechanism to help establish high quality teacher, specialist and administrator preparation. They accredit 588 institutions that produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year. Tech has been accredited every year since 1954.

Every five years, NCATE sets standards that every school has to meet in order to be accredited. According to NCATE's web site, some of the standards are as follows:

-- Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that they plan to teach as well as skills necessary to convey it so that students learn.

-- The university must carefully assess this knowledge and skill to determine candidates may graduate.

-- The institution must have partnerships with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn.

--Candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations.

-- University faculty must model effective teaching practices.

-- Resources, including information technology, must be available to prepare candidates to meet new standards.

Dr. Jo Ann Dauzat, dean of the College of Education, said this is an especially meaningful accreditation, and she is proud of the results.

"Our college was one among the few in our state and nation which inaugurated the NCATE procedures," she said.

Jennifer Capenos, a junior elementary education major, said it is a great honor for Tech to be accredited for so many years.

"It's really cool that they do that because it's important to make sure that the schools today are hiring teachers that are very educated in what they do," Capenos said.

"They are making sure that kids are getting the best education they need, and that's what matters most."


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