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Olivet recognized as 2017–2018 College of Distinction for Education

Posted: Jun 20, 2017


Recently recognized for excellence by, the School of Education at Olivet Nazarene University continues to prepare students for success in their chosen career of teaching.

Recently recognized for excellence by, the School of Education at Olivet Nazarene University continues to prepare students for success in their chosen career of teaching. This is no small assignment, given the changing landscape of education in the U.S.

Incoming education students and their parents point to several distinctives when choosing Olivet for teacher preparation programs. Students and graduates underscore the value of these, too.
• As early as sophomore year, education majors are in the classroom to experience the education system they will soon be entering.
• Prior to joining Olivet’s faculty, 100 percent of faculty members have worked for multiple years in PK-12 classrooms.
Lifelong learning is a priority for faculty members with 80 percent of full-time faculty holding an earned doctorate degree in education, and the remaining 20 percent currently enrolled in a doctoral program.
Overall pass rate is 98 percent for graduating seniors who take the edTPA tests, a student teacher performance assessment test required for licensure in Illinois.
• Professors encourage and challenge education majors to integrate their faith with learning so they will enter their own classrooms as Christ-like examples and role models.

The School of Education strives for responsiveness in keeping its programs current. Within the last three years, it has:
Revised the Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Middle Grades programs to meet licensing and hiring requirements
Successfully launched a new undergraduate special education teacher training program with the first graduates in the Class of 2017

A recent graduate of Olivet and in the first class to graduate with a degree in special education, Sarah Matyskela ’17 has a large love and passion for her career. For the 2017-2018 school year, she will be teaching fifth grade special education at Liberty Intermediate School in Bourbonnais, Illinois, which is the school where she completed her student teaching.

“At Olivet, our lead professors, Dr. Ruth Reynolds and Dr. Brian Stipp, invested so much in the heart of this program and in us as pre-service teachers to give us an enriching experience,” Sarah says. “The most unique thing about our program and about the School of Education as a whole is the focus on teaching the whole child — the academics, the social, the emotional, all of it! The special education program at Olivet was designed with great detail so we as teacher candidates would walk away with not only a head full of knowledge, but also a heart full of love and excitement for the work ahead of us.”

Majors, minors and concentrations currently offered by the School of Education are: art teaching, communication teaching, early childhood education, elementary education, English teaching, English as a Second Language teaching, family and consumer science education, mathematics teaching, music education, physical education and health teaching, science education, secondary education, social studies education, Spanish teaching, special education teacher training program.

Olivet’s School of Education is accredited under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards through the CAEP Accreditation System, for a period of six years, from 2012 to 2018. Olivet also holds the accreditation and approval of the nation’s top associations, including the Higher Learning Commission.

For more information about Olivet’s School of Education, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.