The Dwight Schar College of Education at Ashland University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel. Ashland University's educator preparation programs have been approved by the Ohio Board of Regents. These include all applicable degree, licensure and endorsement programs offered through the College of Education.
A Brief History of the College
The founders of Ashland College took as one of their objectives the education of young people who would become teachers. Ashland College's 'Normal School' in 1879 had more than 100 enrollees and that phase of the work of the college tended to dominate the course offerings for years thereafter. No year in the history of the college was without a majority of the students studying to become teachers, either through the short 'Normal' program or, later, the four-year degree curriculum in education" (Clayton, 2005, p. 173). By 1881, Ashland College had already established a 4-year course of study with 67 normal students being instructed by 8 instructors (Federal Security Agency: Office of Education, 1883).
In 1908, the teacher education program at Ashland College was called the Normal Department: "The College, offered distinct courses of study in the classics, classical divinity, science, philosophy, and literature; the Preparatory Department; Normal Department; and Special Departments, listed as Music, Art, Business (Bookkeeping), Shorthand and Typewriting, Penmanship, Elocution and Oratory" (Stoffer, 2007, p. 58). In 1913, the Normal Department became the School of Education. The College adopted semesters for the first time and the curriculum was reorganized. According to Stoffer (2007) "Curriculum was reorganized into six groupings of courses (refer to as the "Group Plan") that allowed students greater flexibility in choosing a focus (what today would be called a major) for their collegiate education" (p. 58). In 1915, the Ohio State Board of Education provided Ashland College with the "Recognition . . . for graduates of Ashland's Education program to be granted provisional certification in the state without passing a state examination" (Stoffer, 2007, p. 58), and in the same year "the faculty approved the conferral of the Bachelors of Arts degree on all candidates who completed the requisite hours for the degree" (Stoffer, 2007, p. 58).
In 1915, the "catalogue announced for the first time the offering of a summer school program for teacher education" and L.L. Garber was “credited with obtaining state recognition of the college's normal school program and its continuing advancements" (Stoffer, 2007, p. 58). "The four-year Bachelor of Science in Education degree first appeared in the 1925-26 catalogue" (Stoffer, 2007, p. 92) and in 1927, "students preparing for elementary school teaching could take a two-year Normal course, though those preparing for secondary education were required to take the four-year bachelor's program" (Stoffer, 2007, p. 92).
In the 1960s, "two other significant leaders were added into new fields of Ashland College education. They were Dr. Martha Topp Radabaugh in the field of special education, and George Tarbuck in economic education" (Clayton, 2005, p. 173). In 1969, "Ashland College possessed a teaching training facility that was the envy of private colleges and respected by state institutions" (Clayton, 2005, p. 173). Further it was noted that "Dr. Ernest J. Kozma, professor of Education and Director of the new Division of Education was assigned to 'secure accreditation of teacher training at Ashland College by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)'" (Clayton, 2005, p. 173).
On August 11, 1974, "Plans were approved for the use of the ground floor of Bixler Hall. The bookstore was moved from that location to the new student center, leaving most of the area vacant...There was increased student demand for an improved facility for Special Education, including speech pathology and audiology. These courses were taught in the Arts - Humanities building and in a small home, and needed to be located in one area along with the Education Department of which they were a part. I recommended that the ground floor of Bixler Hall be developed as office of Education, and as a center for Special Education. The Board approved" (Clayton, 2005, p. 255).
In January 1976, the college opened the Masters of Education program. Approval from the Ohio Board of Regents for graduate education was granted in 1975. The program was accredited by North Central Association. In 1988, Dr. Gene Telego had already served as the Dean of the School of Education and Related Professions for the last thirteen years of his twenty years at Ashland. He received his undergraduate degree at Ashland. Dr. Telego stated that the School of Education was among the best because “teacher education at Ashland College provides students with the best and current educational thought and meaningful hands-on experiences in schools" (Ashland College, Yearbook, 1988).
"One if the most highly regarded programs at Ashland College is teacher preparation. Ashland College's total education program has been evaluated as one of the best in the state. Because of this, Ashland College has been selected to take part in the Classroom of the Future project and a $1.3 million Reading Recovery project. The college also received national recognition from the Association of Teacher Educators and was presented the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award. School-based experience is an important part of the education training at AC, with students receiving practical experience during each of their four years. This work includes teaching classes, tutoring individuals and working with professionals in the field. Students in the Education Department have many majors to choose from, Included among these are Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Education, Health Education, and Sports Communication" (Ashland College, Yearbook, 1989).
The two-story, 52,000-square-foot (4,800 m2) Dwight Schar College of Education building opened in March 2006 and is home to the undergraduate teacher education program as well as the master of education program and doctor of education program. The building features 12 classrooms, four seminar rooms, 60 faculty and staff offices, several commons or meeting areas, a media center, peer teaching studio with one-way viewing mirror and 165-seat lecture hall.
Clayton, G. L. (2005). Whispering pines and purple eagles. Ashland, USA: Ashland University.
Report of the Federal Security Agency: Office of Education. (1883). Report of the Commissioner of Education for the year 1881. Washington: Government Printing Office.
Stoffer, D. R. (2007). A gleam of shinning hope. Ashland, USA: Ashland Theological Seminary.