Education officials say today's workforce is more competitive, and requires students---even in grade school---to be more prepared for what's ahead of them. There are new standards from an organization called the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation, and Missouri Southern has become the first in Missouri to meet those standards.
Mary Black has invested into her future by going to college.
Black says, "Whenever I first came into school, there's the big question of what do i want to do?"
Since graduating MSSU a few days ago, she has already also invested into the lives of many others. She's an eighth grade special education teacher.
"My mom is a teacher and my brother has special needs, and the two of them just inspired me, and I knew right away that I wanted to go into special education," says Black
Black is among the first at MSSU who have more credentials behind their teaching degrees. MSSU has recently revamped its teaching program.
"As I went on into the courses, I heard more about 'we're changing some things.' It wasn't really until my student teaching experience I knew that changing some things meant," says Black.
The classroom environment has changed, and so have the demands on teachers. To meet this change, there are now more stringent admission requirements into MSSU's teaching program, including higher ACT scores, and new exiting requirements for the program. There are also higher curriculum standards.
"When our teachers step into that first classroom, on the first day, we know they are ready to go," says Lorinda Hackett, MSSU's department chair for teacher education.
"We know we need to continue to change with times and to produce better teachers as our schools change and evolve," says Hackett.
Black says the new requirements weren't easy to pass, but all the extra work was worth the peace of mind.
"I don't have a single doubt that I'll be able to approach whatever comes my way," says Black.
Much to the disappointment of some students, it'll be harder to stump Miss Black.
Evaluators from the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation began their review of MSSU's teacher education program in the fall 2015 semester. MSSU officials say their program passed with no areas needing improvement.
Click here for more information on the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation.
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