The Early Childhood Education (ECED) program, housed in the Department of Early Childhood through Secondary Education, at the University of West Georgia received the 2018 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs.

The infusion of high-impact teaching and learning practices in the curriculum - including service - learning projects, collaborative assignments, global learning opportunities and technology innovations - was what most impressed the committee, according to the official award letter.

The program boasts enrolling the second largest number of teacher candidates in the state and recently increased its graduation rate from 80 percent to 88 percent. Additionally, ECED students exceed the state of Georgia’s EdTPA pass rates, an assessment used by programs across the country to measure their skills and knowledge needed in the classroom.

Another point of pride cited by the committee was the selection of a COE graduate for the Teacher of the Year award in 10 of 19 schools in their service area. One alumnus, Dr. Steve Barker of Coweta County School System, was named Georgia’s 2018 Superintendent of the Year.

Q&As

Q. What is the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs?
A. Created in 1996, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents award recognizes excellence in a department that displays strong commitment to teaching and student success. The distinction is highly coveted throughout the University System of Georgia (USG).

Q. Who is eligible to receive the award?
A. The Board of Regents rewards excellence in teaching and student success through a systemwide awards program. Each of the 26 institutions within the USG is invited to annually nominate one academic department or program for the Regents’ Excellence in Teaching Department/Program Award.

Q. Who determines the recipient of the award?
A. Submitted portfolios are thoroughly reviewed by a committee of faculty and administrators from across the USG.