IU East’s School of Education graduates receive top marks in the classroom

Indiana University East’s School of Education ranks as one of the top public universities producing the most effective teachers in Indiana.

group of teachers in classroom to learn at conference session

IU East alumna Megan Scales leads a session on classroom management during the Teacher to Teacher conference hosted by IU East’s School of Education in September.

The Indiana Department of Education evaluated first, second, and third-year teachers based on four performance standards: highly effective, effective, improvement necessary, and ineffective as part of its annual performance evaluations, RISE. The annual performance program was established in 2011.

This year, 99 percent of IU East recent graduates teaching received a rank of highly effective or effective.

Of the 441 IU East graduates teaching in their first three years, 426 received a rank of highly effective or effective. There were 15 teachers who were not evaluated, and three were ranked as needs improvement.

Dean of the IU East School of Education Jerry Wilde said IU East graduates typically receive scores somewhere around the 95th percent score.

“The most impressive thing for me is that our alumni (teachers) not only score well on the state required assessments but when you evaluate them in the classroom, they’re second to none,” said Wilde. “They’re outpacing everyone.”

The School of Education has had nearly an 100 percent employment rate for the past two years for both the elementary and secondary programs.

“None of us (faculty in the School of Education) are shocked by these ratings. We’re very happy,” Wilde said. “We know we have a strong academic program, and we know how hard we’ve worked to prepare our students to teach professionally. We know when they leave IU East, they’re ready to teach.”

The School of Education also collects its own data to evaluate graduates. Jamie Buffington-Adams, associate dean and associate professor of education, connects with alumni to find out how they’re doing and to reflect on the emerging transitions teachers face in the classroom. Buffington-Adams and Wilde then go over the data to determine what adjustments may need to be made for the degree program to better equip students for the classroom.

“One of the things that we do is that we continue to monitor graduates,” Wilde said. “We also host events on professional development to give our teachers an opportunity to compare notes with each other, areas they need support, or to share the areas where they’re finding productive solutions.”

In September, the School of Education hosted a Teacher to Teacher (T2T) conference on campus to provide teachers with an opportunity to share issues and to problem solve. Topic areas ranged from technology to mental health issues to grant writing and working with parents.

“Our graduates have made the transition to where they are no longer our students, but our colleagues,” Wilde said.

IU East’s School of Education offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. The school also offers a Transition to Teaching program which supports qualified individuals who want to transition from a career outside of education into being a licensed teacher. At the graduate level, the school offers a Master of Science in Education.

For more information, contact the IU East School of Education at (765) 973-8224.