UW-W produces top-notch teachers

Katelyn Black, Lifestyle Editor

UW-Whitewater is celebrating another top mark for the university – this time being named the number one university in the state for teaching licensure, coming in at just shy of 700.

The data, collected by the Department of Public Instruction, states that during the 2016-2017 academic year, UW-W ended up with exactly 663 teaching license candidates, with some students earning more than one.

And, according to senior elementary education major, Allison Erck, and Stephanie Berto, academic department associate, these high numbers are truly no coincidence.

The 27 education programs offered, along with the outside education-based programs, like Aspiring Educators, help prepare students for real life jobs long before they cross the graduation stage.

“I had so many great opportunities to learn in practical settings. I took two jobs at Lincoln Elementary where I’ve made amazing connections with students and staff,” said Erck. “I’ve volunteered through the America Reads program in a wide variety of classroom settings and was able to discover the grade level and content area I feel most passionate about.”

In addition to exploring grade levels and teaching in Wisconsin and the overall United States, Erck is also getting the chance to travel to Sweden next month through her student teaching placement program and experience teaching in an even broader, more global sense.

And for seniors, like Erck, who are finishing up their UW-Whitewater journey, having offers before they even finish their final credits is just as helpful for getting ahead as the programs themselves.

Berto attributes this to UW-Whitewater’s reputation for creating these ideal teaching licensure candidates.

“I think UW-Whitewater has a really good reputation, the college really helps to prepare students for a career in education,” said Berto. “The majority of the students who graduate with a licensure in teaching are either employed or accepted into a graduate program.  School districts will contact the different departments in College of Education and Professional Studies asking for ideal candidates that can fill their vacancies, knowing our students are coming equipped with the skills and talents these school districts are looking for in their ideal educator.”

For more information on the 2016-2017 licensure numbers, as well as stats from previous years, visit dpi.wi.gov.