SUU Among Best in Nation for Preparing Elementary Math Teachers

Published: July 19, 2022 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU among the best for elementary math teachersThe National Council on Teacher Quality has recognized Southern Utah University’s elementary education program as one of the best for ensuring future elementary teachers have the essential content and skills they need to teach mathematics.

“SUU’s Teacher Education Program prepares future K-8 elementary teachers to meet the needs of their K12 learners with significant opportunities to acquire the skills of math instruction,” said Dr. Tony Pellegrini, department chair for Teacher Education. “These skills have valued added to by our preservice teachers through the pedagogical supports our teachers acquire to address methods of math instruction across a wide continuum of K-12 learner needs and expectations.”

SUU earned an A+ designation from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a national research and policy organization that regularly evaluates the core requirements and practices of over 1,100 programs that prepare future elementary teachers. The University is among only 79 programs in the nation to earn this distinction and stands apart by meeting 100% of the instructional goals across each of the elementary mathematics topic areas.

Research studies have found that elementary math skills are a strong predictor of whether or not a student will graduate from high school. Recent data has found that students in many states have lost more learning in math than in reading over the past two years and pre-existing gaps in math achievement have worsened since 2020 between low-poverty and high-poverty schools and between majority-White and majority-Black schools, so the need for elementary teachers to be well-prepared to teach mathematics has never been more urgent.

“We know how much math matters in setting a foundation for students,” said Dr. Heather Peske, NCTQ President. “The biggest in-school difference we can make for students’ math learning is to make sure their elementary teachers understand key math content and know how to teach math effectively. SUU should be proud to be among the top teacher preparation programs in the country working towards this goal.”

NCTQ evaluates programs for their coverage of both the key mathematics content that elementary teachers need, as well as how to teach those concepts. The recommended minimum instructional time that future elementary teachers need in these essential math topics was set based on guidance NCTQ received from teacher preparation programs, mathematicians, and math educators as part of an expert panel. See the full NCTQ report at

SUU’s Department of Teacher Education is not only one of the best in the nation, it’s also one of the most affordable. Graduating teachers that are competent in their subjects and have effective classroom management, the program aims to instill an appreciation of both liberal arts and science. Students in the program have rich learning opportunities and hands-on experiences to gain the knowledge they need to work in the classrooms of the future.

Tags: Teacher Education College of Education and Human Development

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