Posted by William Nunnelley on 2000-09-05

Samford University's Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies has been named a semi-finalist by the U.S. Department of Education in a national awards program for Effective Teacher Preparation. The Samford program is one of a select group in the nation selected as a semi-finalist.

The competition recognizes "exemplary teacher preparation programs that provide evidence that their graduates are effective in helping all students improve their learning."

In keeping with the national priorities on reading and mathematics, the competition focuses on programs that prepare elementary teachers as well as on programs that prepare middle and/or high school mathematics teachers for initial certification.

Judges have already commended the Samford program for its thorough certification requirements and professional success of its graduates. Samford requires that all of its teacher education students receive certification in four areas: early childhood , early childhood special education, elementary education and elementary special education.  Collected data has shown that Samford graduates make a significant increase in K-12 student achievement at their school of employment.

As a semi-finalist, Samford will receive a site visit Sept. 6-8 by a four-member team. The team will interview education faculty and students on campus, graduates of the education program, and principals and teachers at schools which receive Samford student teachers.

Following the visits, a national awards panel will recommend finalists to the U.S. Department of Education, which will select no more than five programs for national recognition.

Samford officials will learn later this fall if the teacher education program has been selected for the honor.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.