Dordt College News

“Full approval” rating given to Dordt education department

May 16, 2011

The education department continues to stand as a hallmark of Dordt’s academic program, and its latest rating by the State of Iowa is another testament to that long-held tradition. Dordt received a “full approval” rating from the State of Iowa, with all standards being “met” or “met with strength,” the highest rating available.

Of the three schools on the board’s agenda for this round at the Board of Education meeting, Dordt was the only institution in this category. Evaluators said, “The campus community is extremely welcoming. Teacher candidates are willing to share their calling, gifts, and talents. A pervasive sense of joy is demonstrated through authentic passion and commitment to the institution’s mission. There is a sense of community throughout the college.”

The approval included summary comments of praise from both classroom supervisors and Dordt education students. “Teachers and administrators praised both the teaching ability and professionalism of Dordt students. They look forward to Dordt students coming to their buildings.” The report also noted, “Students could not have been more appreciative for the teaching and support they have received from their professors at Dordt, particularly their education professors.”

Education Professor Tim Van Soelen was encouraged by the rating and comments received. “It is very confirming and affirming to our department to receive such a positive report from the state accreditation team. The opportunity to be reviewed by a team of educational professionals was welcomed as it is so good to have outside eyes examine the ways that we prepare the next generation of teachers.”

The report also listed areas for continued growth. “We are excited to implement their suggestions to prepare teachers for service in diverse settings, equipping them with God-centered reflective and transformative skills, knowledge, and dispositions for teaching, learning, and leading,” said Van Soelen.

Dordt College’s Education department offers a four-year bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education (curriculum and instruction). The department is offering an online master’s degree in educational leadership for the first time this summer.

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