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Emporia State Program Named to USDE What Works Clearinghouse

February 19, 2018

The US Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse added a program affiliated with Emporia State to its database of effective programs in education. The program named recently to the WWC is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification mentors teachers through the process of working towards their national board certification.

“We are excited by this announcement,” Dr. Ken Weaver, dean of The Teachers College at Emporia State said. “To meet the criteria to be included in the WWC requires a program to meet rigorous standards with their research in showing the program is effective in classrooms across the country. This is evidence that Emporia State works diligently every day to advance the most effective professional practices in the nation.”

The Great Plains Center announced earlier this year 25 Kansas educators were among the 4,000 nationwide who attained first-time certification from NBPTS. 

“This process of board certification is similar to how a doctor becomes certified in a special area,” said Alvin Peters, director of the Great Plains Center. “This is voluntary — no state, school district, or program is demanding them to go through this process and each teacher can take from one to three years to complete the process.” 

Over the past eight years, the Great Plains Center has an overall 76 percent initial certification rate, nearly double the national average of 40 percent. As national board certificates are valid for 10 years, teachers must go through the process again to recertify. The center has a 100 percent renewal rate with candidates achieving recertification on their first attempt. This is the 13th consecutive year the center’s renewal rate has reached 100 percent.

The What Works Clearinghouse was established in 2002. The work of the WWC is composed of representatives of firms with expertise in education, research methodology, and the dissemination of education research.

“This news is important as it means two of the programs housed at the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence are included in the clearinghouse,” said Dr. Roger Caswell, executive director of JIEE. “In 2007, Reading Recovery was first included in WWC, and it has maintained its standing there. By both programs being represented in WWC, it validates what we do at JIEE in reaching out and helping teachers know and do more for the children in Kansas classrooms.”

In its 36 years at Emporia State, JIEE has served as a resource for practicing teachers to receive professional development. Its programs serve to increase educators' abilities and skills. Working with NBPTS, JIEE was one of the pilot sites when the process was first developed more than 20 years ago. In 1998, JIEE became the home of the Kansas Regional Reading Recovery University Training Center.

“JIEE is truly unique in what it offers the professional education community in Kansas,” Weaver said. “Colleges of education across the country typically use their teaching faculty to guide efforts such as National Board certification and Reading Recovery. JIEE provides directors of these programs whose sole purpose is to work with teachers seeking professional support. There are only a handful of universities that mentor teachers through the national board process, and our Reading Recovery Training Center is one of just 23 in North America.”

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