UNCP School of Education Rated "Exemplary"


Zoe Locklear 

Dr. Zoe W. Locklear, Dean of School of Education


The School of Education at UNC Pembroke was rated "exemplary" in the second Performance Report issued Thursday by the State Board of Education.

Overall UNCP ranked second out of 47 colleges and universities which train teachers in North Carolina, and first among universities with enrollment under 10,000. Only four schools were ranked exemplary while five were rated low performing.

UNCP outscored all but UNC Greensboro, earning 136 out of 150 points. In the first report, the School of Education scored 120 for a rating that "meets expectations" of the State Board of Education.

Each institution was rated in three overall categories, student's performance on national tests, involvement with public schools and compliance with accreditation standards.

"This is truly outstanding news, and we are extremely proud of this achievement," Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said. "Our School of Education and Dean Zoe Locklear should be especially pleased with the results of their hard work. They have proved once again that you can get an exceptionally high quality degree at a small university that puts students first."

"This is another example of the outstanding programs offered at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke," Chancellor Meadors said. "Our sincere hope is that our reputation a truly outstanding School of Education will help us attract and graduate more public school teachers for our region."

Dr. Locklear, dean of the School of Education, said her faculty took the performance standards in the report very seriously and made serious efforts to improve their scores. The good news, she said, is their hard work paid off.

"We're just so excited about this news," Dr. Locklear said. "We do a lot with a very small faculty and staff, and we do a lot that is not measured in that report."

The School of Education took several steps to improve its performance, Dean Locklear said. They include:

  • Education professors took the national teacher examinations and adjusted curriculum to focus on improving test scores. Review sessions and other steps were taken to improve student performance on national tests.
  • Increased minority student recruitment in undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Created new initiatives with the public schools to recruit new teachers and retain new teachers
  • Used grant money to engage in collaborative efforts with classroom teachers and administrators
  • Placed more emphasis on training lateral entry (uncertified) classroom teachers by moving education classes to evenings and Saturdays
  • Produced additional staff development programs for career teachers

"We are able to do a lot with limited resources," Dean Locklear said, noting that UNC Greensboro has 81 full-time faculty members compared to 13 for UNC Pembroke.

"We have a great faculty and staff who are very committed to teacher education." "We have outstanding students who are committed to their university, the public schools and the region," she said.

The performance report for colleges and universities that train teachers was mandated by the Excellent Schools Act of 1997 and measures a wide variety of areas. The State Board of Education administers the program.

"North Carolina must have not only a qualified, but also a high quality, teacher in every public school classroom in this state, and this report allows us to determine how well our colleges and universities are preparing teachers to enter the profession," State Board of Education Chairman Phillip J. Kirk Jr. said. "The most important element of this report may be the requirement that institutions identify ways to overcome deficiencies in their programs. The Board is very interested in finding ways to encourage each program to improve."

The performance report notes a 14 percent statewide increase in enrollment in teacher education programs and a 30 percent increase in enrollment in lateral entry programs.

The other schools rated exemplary were UNC Asheville and Greensboro College.

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