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Language & Literacy Program Wins National Award

Texas Christian University’s College of Education Language & Literacy Program received the Wisniewski Teacher Education Award, an honor presented annually to recognize an outstanding teacher education program at a college or university. College of Education Dean Mary M. Patton accepted the award during the Society of Professors of Education (SPE) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. TCU is only the second Texas college to receive the national award.

The SPE, founded in 1902, is the oldest scholarly, educational organization still operating in the United States. Founding members include well-known educational scholars, such as John Dewey, Charles De Garmo, and Edward L. Thorndike. The SPE Board created the award in 2000 to “select and honor an institution which has made singularly significant contributions to the theory and practice of teacher education.” Criteria used by the Committee focus on “integration of theory and practice, strength of foundational study, and effective innovation in the field of teacher education.”

About the Program

The Language & Literacy program began in 2007 and prepares future middle and secondary English Language Arts, Reading/ESL teachers, offering curriculum, observation and practice for culturally responsive teaching. Dr. Jan Lacina, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Cecilia Silva and Dr. Robin Griffith serve as program leaders and submitted the award nomination, writing that they “aspired to do a better job of preparing future English teachers for changing U.S. demographics.”

The program integrates teacher certification course work with ESL readings and diverse field experiences placements with the European Teacher Education Network; International Newcomers Academy; TCU/Paschal Writing Camp; Rosemont 6th Grade Experience; Catholic Charities Refugee Experiences; and PreAP urban English classes. Students complete unique projects such as memoir writing, book trailers, writing portfolios, and curriculum for English language learners.

Accelerated Master’s student Alix Vail said the Paschal Writing Camp provided “an opportunity to practice writing strategies and how to reach different kids.”

Nationally Recognized for Literacy

TCU’s College of Education received the International Reading Association’s (IRA) Certificate of Distinction, 2009-16; The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) 2015 Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity; The Center for Research, Evaluation and Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE) 2013 Exemplary Field Based Practices award; and The AACTE and Southern Poverty Law Center 2012 Culturally Responsive Teaching award.