Daytona State College Program Among Top in U.S. for Preparing Future Teachers in the Science of Reading

Undergraduate Program Earns an “A” in New Report from the National Council on Teacher Quality 

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (June 13, 2023) – Daytona State College’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) for its rigorous preparation of future teachers in how to teach reading, earning an “A” grade in NCTQ’s new report, “Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.”

The undergraduate teacher preparation program is among just 23% nationwide and nine in Florida to earn an “A” from NCTQ for meeting standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction—often called the “science of reading.”

“We’re honored to have our program recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality,” said Daytona State President Dr. Tom LoBasso. “Learning to read as a child is fundamental to everything we do in life. The students in our teaching program understand that and bring their passion to the classrooms.” 

National data shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students—over 1.3 million children—cannot read at a basic level. Preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best can change these alarming results.

To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials, class assessments, assignments, and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses for undergraduate elementary teacher candidates at Daytona State College. To earn an “A,” programs needed to meet NCTQ’s targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically based reading instruction—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—and not teach more than three instructional methods that are unsupported by the research on effective reading instruction.

“The demand for elementary school teachers – in Florida and nationwide – has never been greater,” said Donald May, Chair of DSC’s School of Education. “A career in teaching gives graduates the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of their students and guarantees opportunities for lifelong learning and a broad range of advancement opportunities.”

While some portion of children will learn to read naturally, over five decades of research have established the components of explicit, scientifically based reading instruction that help most students become successful readers. Research suggests that more than 90% of children could learn to read if their teachers used instructional methods grounded in the science of reading. Daytona State College is proud to be recognized among the programs ensuring that future elementary teachers enter the classroom equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help students become strong readers.

Daytona State’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program prepares students to design, develop and implement instructional strategies and classroom management techniques for kindergarten through sixth grade students. In addition to reading, the program covers writing, math, science and social studies.

The new NCTQ analysis of teacher preparation programs’ coverage of the science of reading was developed over the course of two years, involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders, and educators. NCTQ evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 22 in Florida. Overall, just 112 programs earned an A and 48 earned an A+.

See the NCTQ report for more information about Daytona State College’s coverage of the science of reading.

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Offering more than 100 certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, Daytona State College is the leader in education and workforce training needs of Volusia and Flagler counties and beyond for more than 60 years. The College enrolls approximately 23,000 students a year at its seven campuses, with graduates serving in critical fields including healthcare, emergency services and public safety, business, education, hospitality, engineering, technology, digital media, and more.

Daytona State has been recognized as a leader in higher education numerous times. U.S. News & World Report ranks the College among the Top Tier Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center ranks DSC among the top 50 most affordable public four-year institutions in the country, with less than half the tuition of the national average. And U.S. News & World Report has ranked DSC among its Top Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans multiple times.

About NCTQ
The National Council on Teacher Quality: NCTQ is a nonpartisan research and policy organization on a mission to ensure every child has access to an effective teacher and every teacher has the opportunity to be effective. We believe a strong, diverse teacher workforce is critical for providing all students with equitable educational opportunities. For more information about NCTQ, visit