Trinity Christian College Education Unit Palos Heights, Illinois
Institution Comment Comments submitted by: Rhoda Mattson, Director of Education Unit
Trinity Christian College, a private liberal arts baccalaureate college with a 50-year history in the Chicago area, has a well-known reputation for rigorous academic work based on a solid general education core and planned coursework in a major field. Significant field education opportunities further prepare our education students for their vocational callings to be effective teachers who make a difference in the lives of their students. Trinity prepares and inspires teachers for the 21st Century who are able to promote student learning, advocate for justice and equality, and energize and improve education through community engagement and service. Indications of quality can be found in a multitude of measures. At the all-college level, Trinity is a member of the North Central Association and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Based on extensive data and a structured process, Trinity’s Education Unit is accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education. Trinity’s leaders collaborate and share data with peer institutions through the Council of Chicago Area Deans of Education and the Associated Colleges of Illinois. We continually collect and analyze data from numerous internal and external sources (e.g., state tests, alumni, cooperating teachers, and employers) and use this data to drive changes and improvements to ensure that our programs remain effective and relevant. In employer surveys, Trinity graduates receive exceptional ratings for positive impacts on student learning. Trinity’s faculty is current in pedagogy and scholarship and actively participates in local schools, professional presentations, and publication of research. The rating of an institution’s education program is a complex process that must involve on-site review for accurate, ethical, and professional assessment. The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) appears to have disregarded its own commitment to quality in the research methodology for this report by examining only syllabi from select teacher education courses, instead of experiencing the quality of our institution by conducting on-site faculty and student interviews, evaluating graduate performance outcomes, and attending education classes and field placements. Although the report notes that Trinity’s education program meets many standards at the highest level, the standards in the NCTQ report lack expected rigorous review based on appropriate research of effective teacher education practices. Trinity wants readers to make informed conclusions about the quality of teacher education programs based on much more than NCTQ’s report findings. Trinity Christian College remains committed to our mission to graduate students who are well-equipped to bring the discipline of rigorous academic work into their chosen vocations and the practice of Christ-like service toward others in their personal and public lives. A review that is narrowly focused on selected standards and coursework fails to capture the essence of our mission and performance-based information about graduates. We encourage those who seek a top-quality education program to visit our campus and learn about our program in a comprehensive and meaningful way.
Education Unit Palos Heights, Illinois www.nctq.org/edschoolreports Comments submitted by: Rhoda Mattson, Director of Education Unit 1