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Furman’s teacher education program receives national honor from CAEP

Fourth-grade teacher Sarah Brower ’22 with students at Fairforest Elementary School in Spartanburg District 6.

Last updated September 23, 2022

By Furman News

Furman University’s education department has received national honors from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in recognition of the strength and quality of its teacher education program.

The university was one of 30 recipients across the country selected for the 2022 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement. Furman’s teacher education program was granted national accreditation by CAEP last year for meeting all standards and not receiving any stipulations or recommendations for program improvement.

“We are very proud of our students, staff and faculty and the work they do, day in and day out,” said Nelly Hecker, chair of Furman’s education department. “CAEP is the gold standard for educator preparation. This recognition provides validation that our students are investing in a program that will provide them with the knowledge of content and teaching strategies needed in today’s schools.”

Furman’s teacher residency program, now in its 22nd year, has strong partnerships with local school districts. The five-year retention rate — reaching almost 90 percent — is far higher than the national average, which ranges between near 60 to 75 percent according to reports from the National School Boards Association and the National Center for Education Statistics.

The program has 66 alumni who have been named school or district teachers of the year in the past five years. Many alumni are also engaged in ongoing research, attesting to the program’s vision to prepare educators who are scholars and leaders.

“Accreditation standards are rigorous and so are our programs,” said Michalann Evatt, coordinator for assessment and accreditation for Furman’s education department. “Students engage in quality field and clinical experiences and make a meaningful impact on preK-12 student learning as teachers in the classroom.”

The CAEP accreditation process evaluates the performance of educator preparation programs and focuses particularly on whether candidates will be prepared, by completion, for the challenging responsibilities that educators face in America’s classrooms. The Murray designation was named for Frank Murray, key advocate for a single set of educator preparation standards to unify the profession.

For more information, contact Nelly Hecker at 864-294-3086, and

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