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Best Rated Colleges for Future Teachers: Making the Wise Choice
You’ve decided you want to become a teacher, that you want to make a difference, that you are ready to enter one of the most challenging and rewarding professions in the world, and now you have to find the school to prepare you for your journey. As with all potential career fields, there are colleges that do it better than others, and other factors to consider as you select your teaching pathway.
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The Best of the Best!
The authority of choice for college rankings is a report that comes out from the US News and World Report each year that ranks colleges and their various educational programs. The best education program rankings are scored on a scale from 1-100 and based on peer assessment, superintendent assessment (they’re the ones who hire the graduates from the colleges), student-faculty ratio, quality of faculty, and quality of students among other factors.
The cream of the crop in 2010 for future teacher colleges come from all over the United States. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee takes the top spot this year scoring a perfect 100 and features an enrollment of 779 students and a cost of $1,568 per credit. The east coast rounds out the top 3 with the Teachers College at Columbia University and Harvard University. The next tier of best rated colleges has a west coast flavor with Stanford University, featuring a select enrollment of 381 students, the University of Oregon, and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Others that finish in the top 10 include John Hopkins, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, UC Berkeley, University of Washington, and the University of Texas- Austin. Many of these same schools also show up in the top 25 education schools that are listed at http://www.schoolaah.com/Education.htm
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Count the Cost
With the average first-year teacher making a starting salary of around $40,000, cost is a factor as you consider what makes the best college for future teachers. You should think long and hard about taking on $30,000 in student loans as you get ready for your teaching career.
The Longhorns of the University of Texas - Austin (ranked 10th, $7,396 per year) lead the pack when it comes to the cost and quality combination and their school of education has had a strong reputation in the elementary, secondary, and collegiate teaching world for years.
Other schools that have the dynamic quality and cost combo include: University of Kansas (ranked 17th, $270 per unit), Indiana University (ranked 19th, $330 per unit), University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill (ranked 30th, $5,413 per year), Texas A and M (ranked 31st, $222 per unit), and Utah State (ranked 31st, $3,458 per year). All of these future teacher programs have great rankings and reasonable rates, but you must be in-state to reap the benefits of the cost effective quality.
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Reality Check… Live Local, Look Local
There are so many factors to weigh when considering the right choice for schooling as a future teacher such as cost, access, location, the philosophy of the school, and student-to-teacher ratio; however, the reality is that in most cases where you learn is where you land!
The fact is most future teachers end up teaching in the community where they do their credential work. There are a number of reasons for this including the fact that out-of-state tuition fees are so expensive, and credentialing requirements change from state to state making it hard to get a job in a different state from where you graduate. Probably the biggest factor for the local connection is that the networking and experience you get from your student-teaching or internship usually outweighs the name of the school on your diploma when you get to the hiring stage of your journey. So look for the best, do your research, consider the costs and the realities, and go make a difference future teacher!