Skip to main content

About the College

Legacy of Excellence

2018 ESU programs included the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse

In Spring 2018, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was included in the WWC. The Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification mentors teachers through the process of working towards their national board certification. In 2007, Reading Recovery was first included in WWC, and it has maintained its standing there. Emporia State is one of less than two dozen universities in North America housing a Reading Recovery University Training Center.


ESU Education Alumni Win Awards Trifecta

Alumni of The Teachers College at Emporia State were named Superintendent of the Year, Kansas Teacher of the Year, and School Counselor of the Year. The three honored alumni are Sue Givens, superintendent of El Dorado USD 490, and two Blue Valley USD 229 educators — Jason Sickel, music instructor, and Kristi Dixon, counselor.

2016 Kansas Masons Create New Literacy Center

The largest gift ever given to Emporia State University was celebrated when the Kansas Masonic Foundation gave $4 million to Emporia State to fund the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center.

Learn more

2015 Teacher Preparation Program Receives National Award

Emporia State's Professional Development School received the 2015 NAPDS Award for Exemplary PDS Achievement.

Learn more

2014 Hornet Connected Learning Launched

Hornet Connected Learning, a 1:1 tablet and Chromebook-based learning initiative, was launched to prepare students to teach effectively with evolving technology.

Learn more

2013 Patterson Scholars Program Established

Best-selling author James Patterson contacted Emporia State's then-President Dr. Michael D. Shonrock to offer the scholarships. Wrote Patterson: “I’ve been looking to bring the Teacher Education Scholarships to more schools and, after studying a number of institutions and programs, I think The Teachers College would be a great addition.”

Learn more


Town hall discussion led by U.S. Secretary of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited The Teachers College and the National Teachers Hall of Fame at Emporia State University to highlight the importance of the teaching profession. The visit was part of the 2012 Cross-Country, Back-to-School Bus Tour: "Education Drives America"

Watch the video of the event


"Preparing Teachers to Lead and Succeed: Emporia State University’s Teachers College" published by USDE

"Graduates of The Teachers College are highly sought-after by school districts because of their depth of knowledge and thoroughness of training and experience they bring to the classroom. Each beginning teacher comes to the hiring district with a guarantee and, in the 18 years of the program, only five teachers have been referred for remediation. Ninety-two percent of ESU teachers remain in the classroom for more than five years—almost twice the national average—and principals rate alumni highly on a wide range of knowledge and skills."

--from US Department of Education

2011 Featured in US Dept of Education Video

The hallmark of The Teachers College experience is highlighted in this production, explaining the college's involvement with 34 professional development schools – public schools modeled after teaching hospitals – where teacher education students do much of their learning in real world situations, working with faculty and public school teachers.

Watch the video


Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Clinician in Teacher Education Award

Receiving awards in 2009, 2008, and 2002 from the Association of Teacher Educators makes The Teachers College at ESU the institution receiving the most awards for the collaborative and individual faculty efforts in the last decade.

Dee Holmes, Instructor in the Elementary Education, Early Childhood, and Special Education department, received the award for  Distinguished Clinician in Teacher Education in 2009.


" doesn't take an elite university and a big endowment to create a good teacher education program."

At a speech delivered at Columbia University, U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan mentioned The Teachers College at ESU.

Watch the video


American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Former Dean of The Teachers College and then-Provost, Dr. Tes Mehring received the 2009 Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education.


Horizon Award recipients

Awards for the college are great, but recognition of our graduates is better. In 2009, nine of the 32 Horizon Award recipients in Kansas are Emporia State University graduates. The Horizon Award identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms in Kansas.


International Reading Association - 

Certificate of Distinction

The Certificate of Distinction honors outstanding reading preparation of teachers through recognition of only those distinguished programs that consistently prepare well–qualified reading teachers who know about and use  evidence-based practices. The certificate was awarded to the Elementary Education Reading Program.


Association of Teacher Educators -

Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award

ESU received the ATE's Distinguished Program in Teacher Education award for its partnership with the Olathe School District in the Olathe Professional Development Schools. The award honors outstanding teacher education programs exemplifying collaboration between local education agencies and institutions of higher


Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

ESU received the 2008 Best Practice Award for Collaboration with Community Colleges award for its collaborative partnership with Butler Community College.


"...blazing the trail to better practices."

Edutopia, a magazine published by the George Lucas Foundation, identified ESU as one of 10 schools of education "blazing the trail to better practices." ESU was cited for pioneering a system of professional development programs for local school districts in Kansas, creating a university student assessment system to measure student success, and requiring preservice teachers to complete instructional-technology courses that incorporate robotics as a useful tool for modeling teaching strategies.


"ESU is the Camelot for teacher education."

Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College, Columbia University, and president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, authored Educating School Teachers, a national study of America’s education schools, published in 2006.

He cited four "exemplary" programs in the nation: Emporia State University, Alverno College, Stanford University, and University of Virginia. ESU is included for its curriculum, student teaching, partnerships (e.g., Professional Development Schools), and the commitment of the ESU faculty to raise the quality of the entire state education system. "ESU is the Camelot for teacher education," Levine said during a visit to the campus.

Read Levine's full report


Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award

ESU received the Distinguished Research in Teacher Education award for its Multicultural/Diversity Assessment Project, a multi-year project that developed valid assessments for measuring how well students learned multicultural/diversity content knowledge.