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How do we help first-year teachers manage their classrooms on day 1?

Making data on teacher preparation programs widely available, easily understood

Challenge

First-year teachers often face a significant learning curve. If new teachers are also underprepared, they put their students at a disadvantage and are more likely to leave teaching, adding to the nationwide teacher shortage.

High-quality teacher preparation programs, including 4-year undergraduate and alternative programs for candidates who have an undergraduate degree, are key to ensuring that first-year teachers are ready to manage a classroom on day 1.

For more than 15 years, Westat has supported the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) efforts to collect data on about 2,000 teacher preparation programs across the country.

Solution

We help states collect, analyze, and report data on their teacher preparation programs. The data are available at the Title II Higher Education Act website, a site we maintain for ED. It includes state-by-state information on the

  • Names of universities or organizations providing teacher preparation
  • Enrollment trends
  • Requirements for entry for each program
  • Enrollment by gender and race or ethnicity
  • Number of students who have met the program requirements
  • Average passing rate of program participants

Results

The website allows state administrators, teacher preparation program administrators, prospective teachers, and members of the public to learn about state-approved programs.

State education administrators can use the data to guide their program evaluations. Prospective teachers can use the data to determine which preparation program might be a best fit for them.

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