West Virginia Universitys five-year teacher education program has won the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award from the National Association of Teacher Educators.

The program is a component of WVU s College of Human Resources and Education and receives support from the Benedum Collaborative, a partnership between Human Resources and Education and five counties in north-central West Virginia. The Benedum Collaborative is designed to improve the quality of teaching in K-12 schools and education nationally. Counties involved are Monongalia, Harrison, Preston, Taylor and Marion.

The award was created to honor teacher education programs that exemplify excellence in teacher education and exemplary collaboration between local education agencies and higher education institutions.

We have one of the strongest partnerships in the country with dedicated school-based partners who are truly invested in both teacher education and shared school improvement efforts,said Diane Yendol-Hoppey, WVU PK -20 Collaboratives coordinator and Benedum Collaborative director.The success of our partnership is also a reflection of the commitment and support of each county superintendant.

WVU won based on a written proposal and a presentation that included a program overview and description, evidence of effectiveness and ongoing evaluation and the adaptability of effective program components to other teacher education programs.

We are honored to receive this award,said Dee Hopkins, WVU Human Resources and Education dean.In receiving it, we celebrate our success and progress toward our goal, which is establishing high-quality programs for new and practicing teachers in West Virginia. Not only is this a vital ingredient in bringing educational reform to the state, but it is also essential in meeting our needs for economic development and enhanced quality of life.

We also acknowledge and applaud the amazing graduates of our program and the commitment of our professional development school partners in Monongalia, Harrison, Preston, Taylor and Marion counties,she added.

WVU switched from a four-year bachelors program in 1995, revamping its curriculum and moving to a five-year program that confers both a bachelors and a masters degree. It also requires 1,000 hours of field experience over a three-year period in a professional development school. PDSs are K-12 schools that have an intensive, collaborative relationship with the college.