A New Vision for OCU's Teacher Education Program

Over the past several years under the leadership of now former department chair Valerie Wilson, the Teacher Education program experienced accelerated growth, quickly becoming the second largest program at OCU. That growth will continue under the leadership of new Teacher Education Department Chair Valerie Jones, who joined OCU over the summer with more than 16 years of teaching experience. 

Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education program graduates competent, confident, caring, and qualified teachers.  

“Graduates from OCU’s Teacher Education program are sought after,” said Teacher Education Department Chair Valerie Jones. “Almost all of the local Christian schools — and the majority of area public schools — are coming to us saying, ‘You produce quality teachers. We want them.’”

What makes OCU's Teacher Education Program Exceptional 

  • Outstanding faculty who care about students 

  • Hands-on, student-centered approach to learning 

  • Double in-classroom field experience than most other schools 

  • Students who strive to be the best in their field

Jones and her team have big plans for the Department over the next several years— 
  • Launch Adolescence-to-Young Adult Education degree 

  • Launch a Masters of Education in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies 

  • Offer graduate coursework in Summer 2016 for area teachers 

  • Launch Intervention Specialist and School Counseling licenses 

In response to the demand, the Teacher Education program is working towards offering an Adolescence-to-Young Adult (AYA) Education degree (formerly Secondary Education). Jones and her team have placed the initial inquiries into offering the program to the State of Ohio, and the team is working now to put together curriculum and other necessary items so that when the State is ready to review the program plan, OCU is prepared for it.  

“We’re preparing now to be ahead of the game, so that when the State is ready, we’re ready,” Jones said.  

Jones and the OCU Administrative Staff plan to begin offering the AYA degree option in January 2017. Ohio Christian will be the only school in the region to offer an AYA degree option. 

This fall the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) was so impressed by the quality of OCU’s teacher education programs that they awarded the program a seven-year accreditation. Most universities get a two- or five-year accreditations, so a seven-year accreditation — the longest accreditation TEAC awards — speaks to the quality of OCU’s program and commitment of our staff to providing a quality, comprehensive education. 

“Our accreditation success now would not have been possible without Dr. Wilson’s leadership over the last several years,” said Jones.  

Part of what makes OCU’s Teacher Education program exceptional is the constructivist philosophy its built upon, according to Jones, “Our philosophy of learning — constructivist theory of learning — hands-on, student centered. Teachers can still teach the standards, but without the monotony and skill-and-drill of worksheets.” 

OCU recognizes the importance of experiential learning. Graduates of OCU’s Teacher Education program will accumulate approximately 200 hours of field experience — double the required amount — before student teaching. Students are placed in a classroom as early as the second semester of their freshman year. 

Ohio Christian University is excited to have students who are stepping up to be the educators who will lead the next generation with confidence. 

 

 

About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.