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Meet Dr. Bob Pratt

He calls it his “privilege” to work with education majors “at the beginning of your teaching journey” (TE 100). He feels strongly that “SVSU is a very special place in terms of our teacher preparation. We’ll make promises – and deliver.”


Pratt_resizedI visit with prospective SVSU freshmen as they visit campus with their parents. I usually speak to a group of 25-30 in a classroom in the REC. I give some background of the teacher education program and then go into a “Letterman style Top Five” providing reasons why prospective teachers should attend SVSU. I let them know that I am advocating SVSU as a parent (more than simply as a faculty member). It seems to strike a chord (of course).

Reason #5

“Exemplary” NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teaching Education) accreditation and “exemplary” status from Michigan Department of Education.

Since teaching requires a license, the notion of local, state, and regional reputation is important to our prospective students. Accordingly, SVSU carries exemplary accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (our most recent site visit was 2009).  NCATE is the profession’s mechanism to help establish high quality teacher preparation. Through the process of professional accreditation of schools, colleges and departments of education, NCATE works to make a difference in the quality of teaching and teacher preparation today, tomorrow, and for the next century. NCATE’s performance-based system of accreditation fosters competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve the education of all P-12 students. NCATE believes every student deserves a caring, competent, and highly qualified teacher.

Furthermore, the Michigan Department of Education has also granted exemplary status to SVSU’s College of Education based on the excellence of our faculty, our curriculum, our facilities, and because of our graduates' state-wide test scores.
Graduating from an accredited institution with a teaching certificate allows the student more opportunity for employment.

Reason #4

SVSU’s field approach to developing teachers. It’s early, continuous and diverse.

SVSU’s teaching program is distinctive because of our field based approach. We guarantee our students early, continuous, and diverse experiences in public schools. This supplants the theoretical on-campus experience our students enjoy with SVSU faculty. Our students will be in the field at the beginning of their program to confirm their desire to teach. During our methods courses, students will be in urban, rural, and suburban schools; and, of course, our culminating experience is student teaching. Our field based approach is unique to SVSU and a model is that is both contemporary and innovative.

Reason #3

Faculty, programs and facilities are directed toward developing active, student-centered teaching.

Our faculty, curriculum, and facilities are oriented toward developing an active, student-centered style of teaching. In other words, we attempt to model “best practices” in public school education and teach in a way that conveys appropriate, contemporary teaching methodology. Our faculty includes highly qualified practioners, our curriculum is both theoretical and field based, and we have among the best facilities on campus if not in the region.

Reason #2

No graduate assistants teach classes at SVSU.

SVSU students are guaranteed an instructor with a terminal degree and an active research agenda. Beginning with our 100-level introductory course and all the way though our methods sequence students will enjoy qualified, full-time, professional educators.

Reason #1

His sons, Casey & Blake -- are both successful SVSU grads

Both are successful SVSU graduates (and teachers) They have always wanted to be teachers. As seniors in high school both were reluctant to attend SVSU (primarily because I was on campus, I think) but as we traveled through Michigan visiting colleges, it became clear that SVSU had a terrific campus, caring people, and the right curriculum.

Casey was a Roberts Fellow, worked in the Ryder Center, and graduated with a secondary teaching certificate as an English major. He went immediately to Purdue University where he received a Masters and a Ph.D. in 19th century American literature. He is an expert on the Transcendental authors including Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, and Poe. He is currently an assistant professor in the English department at Wingate University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Blake was a Roberts Fellow, studied abroad at Edgehill University in England, worked at the Ryder Center and graduated with an elementary teaching certificate with concentrations in math and science. He is currently a sixth grade math teacher at White Pine Middle School in Saginaw Township. While at SVSU, he met his wife, Alison Thom, who is an SVSU graduate and currently teaches 8th grade science and language arts at White Pine Middle School as well.