College Choice ranks UTA’s online master or education in curriculum and instruction best in country

College Choice named The University of Texas at Arlington’s online master of education in curriculum and instruction the best in the country in its list of the nation’s top 35 programs. The independent online college ranking publication measured quality, reputation, affordability, value and student satisfaction.

College Choice’s methodology includes an analysis of the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data, U.S. News & World Report data and information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

UTA is ranked No. 1 in the nation. Only three other Texas universities appear on the list. UTA is the only institution in North Texas.

“UTA is addressing a critical shortage of classroom teachers through innovative measures which prepare effective professional educators,” Teresa Taber Doughty, dean of the College of Education, said. “This No.1 ranking illustrates hard work by the college’s faculty and staff who ensure teachers in Texas and across the nation are not only qualified but also inspired. When a teacher ignites a love of learning in his or her students, schools improve and neighborhoods can transform. The impact of an effective teacher extends far beyond the classroom into the community.”

The College of Education’s programs have gained significant national attention in 2017. The National Council on Teacher Quality ranked UTA among the country’s top 3 percent of elementary school teacher preparation programs. U.S. News and World Report ranked the college’s graduate programs No. 112 in the nation. In a previous list, College Choice ranked the College of Education’s undergraduate teacher preparation programs No. 1 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, No. 2 in Texas and No. 5 in the nation.

More than 2,790 teachers have graduated from UTA’s online master of education degree programs since they launched in 2009. Currently, 905 students are enrolled in the programs.

Students enrolled in UTA’s online master of education degree in curriculum and instruction programs choose from three areas of specialization:  literacy studies, math or science. Each is uniquely designed to teach best classroom practices by following a student-centric model.

“What we do is innovative and impactful,” Ann Cavallo, associate dean for research and graduate studies in UTA’s College of Education, said. Cavallo is also a Distinguished University Professor of Science Education.

“Our master’s students are all experienced teachers. We shift their focus away from lecturing to their students and prepare them to provide students experiences and activities that support deep-structured learning. Engaging students in direct experiences develops the reasoning, logic, and critical thinking skills they need to fully grasp complex concepts and processes.”

The goal of the program is to educate teachers in what’s known as the Learning Cycle/5E model of teaching – engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.

“We must be true to our own philosophies so teachers are fully and actively engaged in learning experiences,” Cavallo said. “The program is extremely interactive. Our students try teaching procedures and strategies they learn in their own classrooms, then come back and discuss their experiences. They share with teachers all over the country, some of whom might be in remote places. They collaborate, think about and talk about what teaching really is. Good teachers are those who always reflect on their teaching and gauge their students’ learning, while constantly thinking, ‘How can I make their learning better?’”

UTA’s online master of education in curriculum and instruction programs are accredited by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.