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Middle Level Education program among top in the nation

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

ARLINGTON – The University of Texas at Arlington College of Education and Health Professions has received major recognition for its efforts to provide beginning teachers with extensive clinical practice and ongoing professional development.

The National Professors of Middle Level Education has named the College of Education and Health Professions as an Outstanding Middle Level Education program. NaPOMLE is an affiliate of the Association for Middle Level Education, formerly the National Middle School Association.

Kimberly K. Ruebel

Additionally, the organization designated Kimberly K. Ruebel, UT Arlington associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, as its sole Outstanding Professor of Middle Level Education for 2011.

“These awards confirm what we already know – our mid-level faculty are creative and innovative and are preparing our mid-level candidates to enter the teaching field fully equipped to be teachers of tomorrow,” said Jeanne Gerlach, associate vice president for K-16 Initiatives and dean of the College of Education and Health Professions.

The Outstanding Middle Level Education program distinction is shared with only one other school: Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga.

Of her award by NaPOMLE, Ruebel said the credit should be shared with her colleagues in the College of Education and Health Profession’s Middle Level Program. 

“We have worked tirelessly over the last few years in response to the clear push for restructuring of current teacher preparation,” Ruebel said. “The first and foremost goal of UT Arlington’s Middle Level Education program is to make certain that novice teachers are equipped to teach the young adolescents of today.”

Research into what academics describe as “the induction years” has shown that teacher development is a process, which begins during teacher training and continues into the first several years of teaching, including much more than mentoring.

School districts, by and large, view this as an opportunity to mold and develop future hires over an extended period of time. Extensive and ongoing professional development, as well as peer interaction for reflection, planning, and data analysis are all necessary components of the induction process.

The Middle Level (grades 4-8) Certification program at UT Arlington consists of two years of clinical training. Prior to student teaching, candidates engage in approximately 600 hours of fieldwork, while student teaching is a full-time experience lasting 18 weeks.

In nominating Ruebel for the honor, Nancy Ruppert, president of the National Professors of Middle Level Education, highlighted Ruebel’s dedication.

“Her advocacy for middle level education and her collegiality is an example to all of us of what it means to be a good team member, to be visionary, to be an advocate, to work tirelessly, and to share one’s passion,” she said.

To learn more about UT Arlington’s College of Education and Health Professions, visit www.uta.edu/coehp.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,439 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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