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ECU education program lauded by NEA

(July 28, 1994)   —   An award-winning teacher education program at East Carolina University has chalked up some more national recognition for its efforts to improve the training of school teachers.
The National Education Association (NEA) announced recently that the Model Clinical Teaching Program at ECU is one of ten picked as an “exemplary teacher education program” in the NAE’s National Center for Innovation. As a result, the NAE will feature East Carolina’s program in presentations to colleges, universities and school systems throughout the country.
In informing the ECU School of Education about the selection, Chartes T. Williams of the NEA, praised the school for its work in restructuring teacher education.
“We believe the uniqueness of your program provides a model worthy of replication throughout the nation,” Williams said.
Now in its sixth year, the Model Clinical Teaching Program provides a year-long internship for senior education majors in an elementary school classroom. This approach alternates campus studies with teaching practice and is an alternative to the traditional 10-week student teaching requirement.
Dr. Betty Beacham of the ECU School of Education attributed the program’s success to a “partnership between the university and the public schools.”
Under the partnership, Beacham said students, university faculty and classroom teachers work together to make decisions on the best teaching practices. This collaborative nature of the program “has generated a mutual sense of ownership and commitment to a common mission,” she said.
In one result, 97 percent of the Model Clinical Teaching Program graduates have remained in teaching after five years compared to the national average of less than 60 percent.
The NEA drew 78 applicants seeking selection in the National Center for Innovation. The selected participants will take part in national meetings, research ventures, and other projects that will display their successes with restructuring teacher training.
Earlier this year ECU also won recognition from another national organization. In February, the Model Clinical Teaching Program won the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education award from the Association of Teacher Educators.