Jump to main content

COVID-19: News and Campus Updates | University Resources | COVID-19 County Status | Fall 2021 Plans

In light of Campus closure and as a precautionary measure regarding COVID-19, employees in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences are working remotely in an effort to best support our campus community. We ask for your patience as some services may be limited and response time may increase. We appreciate your understanding as we prioritize health and safety. Updates will be published to UNC's COVID-19 information page as the situation develops.

About the Education and Behavioral Sciences

The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences consists of three schools: Psychological Sciences, Special Education and Teacher Education; and six departments: Applied Statistics and Research Methods, Counseling Psychology, Counselor Education and Supervision, Educational Technology, Leadership, Policy and Development: Higher Education and P-12 Education, and School Psychology; and one program: Distance Opportunities Interpreter Training.  All of these units provide high quality teaching and excellent academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the undergraduate level the College offers degree programs in psychology, special education and educational interpreting. The School of Teacher Education works with academic programs in other Colleges to prepare teacher candidates for licensure. Through programs administered at the graduate level, the College prepares the education professionals (e.g., teachers, school psychologists, principals, school counselors), researchers, and academics of the future. 


As the premiere education institution in the state of Colorado, the College of Education contributes to the betterment of society through research, professional service, and the preparation of a diverse and comprehensive array of education professionals who are life-long learners, skilled in pedagogy and content, knowledgeable of standards and assessment, and capable of working effectively with all populations in a changing global environment.


The College of Education and Behavioral Studies supports the belief that education is transformational; that candidates who successfully complete our professional education programs can make a difference in the lives of their students and clients. The vision of the College of Education and Behavioral Studies is to lead conversations around issues of human enlightenment, social conscience, and mutual caring. This ideal includes helping candidates acquire the knowledge, the ability, and the will to impact all students' life chances. Our vision is to inspire in candidates a heightened and consequential sense of responsibility for stewardship of our schools and our communities.

Commitment to Diversity

Diversity in the Teacher Preparation Curriculum

UNC is committed to the inclusion of topics on diversity into teacher preparation programs.  It is critical for teacher candidates to understand issues pertinent to diversity. 

Read the Report

College of Education and Behavioral Studies

Statement on Diversity
The College has included beliefs and affirmations about diversity in several important documents including the mission statement and the conceptual framework.

Read the Report

Native American Innovative Leader Program (NAIL)

UNC  was awarded a grant through the Office of Indian Education (OIE), designed for 35 Native American teachers from any tribe who wish to advance their career in leadership.

Read the Report

Diversity and Equity Committee

This committee prioritizes diversity issues across the College, including supporting the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students; advocating for the infusion of diverse curriculum.

Learn More

Teacher Quality

The preparation of high quality teachers and other education personnel is in our DNA at UNC. From our beginnings as the State Normal School in 1889, UNC has maintained a focus on educator quality. Currently, UNC prepares the largest number of teachers across the widest array of areas (early childhood, elementary education, 16 secondary areas, special education, art, music, and physical education) in Colorado. Programs are located in several cities across the state: Greeley, Denver, Loveland, and Colorado Springs. All are designed to prepare educators through four-year programs and through shorter alternative routes available to individuals with an undergraduate degree. UNC also prepares other school personnel, including principals, school psychologists, and school counselors. Enrollment in our preparation programs has been growing. 

 This section of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences website, titled “University of Northern Colorado Teacher Quality” (UNCTQ), details the processes and outcomes of our focus on teacher quality. Here you will find information about the data we collect on our teacher candidates and graduates. Education programs at UNC monitor student performance throughout the program of study. We survey our students after they graduate to determine their perceptions about their programs in light of their job experiences. Importantly, we follow up with those who work with and employ our students and graduates, including for example teachers, principals and human resource personnel, to gain an external perspective about quality. External validation is also sought through various accrediting and review bodies that provide a regular and thorough analysis of our programs. 

Also included among the data on this website is information about faculty research and grant writing outcomes. In order to maintain and enhance program quality it is critical that faculty members remain current in their area of expertise. The outcomes of research into, for example, child development or reading, are incorporated into classroom instruction.

The purpose of this evidence collection is to document program and graduate quality and also to direct program improvement. For example, because of data collected we have changed the content of coursework and required that all teacher candidates have an experience in a diverse school. Faculty members from across the campus are currently working on major revisions to the secondary teacher preparation programs. These revisions are based on evidence we have collected about our programs, along with mandated changes in the field and research-based practices. They will involve changes to the liberal arts core, education coursework and teacher field experiences. 

The evidence on these pages demonstrates our commitment to the preparation of top-quality educators. We welcome feedback. Please email me at Eugene.sheehan@unco.edu if you would like to comments about our data or our programs.

Eugene P. Sheehan

Executive Summary

Programs across the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (CEBS), along with units in other colleges across the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), devote significant resources and effort to monitoring the performance and quality of students and graduates. The programs use multiple methods, including surveys of students, graduates, and employers, external reviews, focus groups and the examination of data, such as pass rates on tests, college GPA, and evaluation on various performance rubrics. Data collected are used to inform program quality.

This section of the CEBS website, titled “University of Northern Colorado Teacher Quality” (UNCTQ), details the processes and outcomes of our focus on teacher quality. Here you will find information about the data we collect on our teacher candidates and graduates. Education programs at UNC monitor student performance throughout the program of study.

For example, as we monitor the academic progress of students in teacher preparation programs we find that their average GPA is higher than that of non-teacher candidates in the same content classes. Teacher candidates’ overall GPA averages in the “B” range, primarily because they must maintain minimum grades in content classes. And all teacher candidates must pass the content-focused licensure test prior to student teaching.

Surveys of our graduates generally indicate our students believe they are well prepared to begin work as teachers. For example, in a recent state-wide survey conducted by researchers at the University of Denver, UNC students agreed that their program had prepared them well for most aspects of their job as teachers. On a four-point scale they rated at three or higher many aspects of their program preparation including a range of aspects of classroom management; language, literacy, and reading instruction (including teaching phonics); ability to teach mathematics; ability to use a range of assessments to improve their teaching and learning; and knowledge of content. No item was rated below a two. In their comments they endorsed the student teaching experience and made recommendations to lengthen and strengthen that experience.

Importantly, we follow up with those who work with and employ our students and graduates, including for example teachers, principals and human resource personnel, to gain an external perspective about quality. Every year we survey human resource personnel from school districts at the UNC Teacher Employment Days. This permits us to gather real time information about the knowledge and potential of our teacher candidates from personnel professionals who have just interviewed applicants from across the region. Interviewers rated applicants from UNC as “Meets Expectations” or higher on all survey questions over a multi-year period. Indeed, applicants from UNC were rated as “Above Expectations” by school personnel professionals on the majority of the survey questions.

These surveys, along with other survey data, lead us to believe that our programs do a good job of preparing beginning teachers. The survey data can be found off of the Data link on the Teacher Quality pages.

External agencies provide information on the quality of our programs and graduates. All teacher preparation programs at the University of Northern Colorado are fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. After a review of program materials (syllabi, handbooks, rubrics, and assessments) and a multiday visit to campus during which a team of external examiners interviewed faculty, students, and school personnel, NCATE found no areas of weakness and recommend approval of education programs.

The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education also review and authorize the educator preparation programs. As with NCATE these state agencies have also endorsed UNC’s educator programs.

Other national bodies accredit educator programs in CEBS. For example, the American Psychological Association has accredited School Psychology programs and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accredited Counselor Education and Supervision programs.

U.S. News and World Report rated UNC’s online education programs as ninth best in the country in 2012/2013. This rating is available online. UNC programs were also ranked number one by U.S. News and World Report for Student Engagement and Accreditation.

The National Council on Teacher Quality regularly comments on teacher preparation programs. Their most recent report is titled State Teacher Policy. Various blogs have been written about the reviews emanating from this group, including the CEBS education dean.

Faculty members incorporate their research into their instruction. In 2012 faculty affiliated with the teacher preparation programs published 58 research papers, 12 book chapters, and 7 books. The topics ranged widely and included: the home-school relationship, the provision of special education services, student motivation, principal preparedness, the use of e-text books, and childhood counseling and trauma.

Annually, faculty members across the teacher preparation programs receive external fundingto support their programs and their scholarship. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 faculty in CEBS received six awards totaling $1,142,114, with the majority of these awards focusing on the preparation of educators. Other grants make funds available for the provision of professional development to teachers in the schools. For example, faculty in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences received funds to train enhance the teaching of mathematics and sciences to English Language Learners.

While less scientific, we also receive unsolicited feedback from students and teachers and the value of our work in teacher preparation is highlighted in the media. A facebook posting in December 2012 by one of our graduates typifies the reflections of our candidates:

My last day is tomorrow with the kids and I've already shed a few bittersweet tears with a couple students. Yet, I had two moms end my day on a sweet note. ♥ One mom came in right after school to talk and told me that her daughter is extremely upset that my last day is tomorrow and she was wondering if I was going to come back to see the kids again. So sweet. :) Then, two hours later at Texas Roadhouse, I had another mom come to my table and tell me that her son is going to miss me and was at home upset. She went on to tell me that I've been an inspiration to her son and that she hopes I come back to see the students because I've definitely made an impression on him. ♥ *I love my job and what I do - I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm so happy that I've picked such a rewarding career and I'm more thrilled than ever to be a part of such a great community who has embraced me with open arms.
The UNC Center for Urban Education was highlighted in the NBC Education Nation series. This UNCTQ website contains a sampling of these testimonials and media citations.

The pages on this UNCTQ website provide a range of data sources that we use to monitor and enhance program and graduate quality. The data about our programs, in conjunction with information from organizations such as the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education ensures our programs are current with changes and recommendations in the field. Faculty members and administrators regularly review these data in order to make informed changes to programs. We use course evaluation feedback to improve teaching and the surveys to direct larger changes. For example, a group of faculty from across the campus is developing significant recommendations to enhance the secondary teacher preparation programs. These recommendations include changes to the Liberal Arts Core for secondary teachers, placement in the school sooner and for a longer period of time, and updates to education coursework that incorporate the new teacher evaluation standards and that prepare teachers to work with the increasingly diverse student population.
The evidence on these pages demonstrates our commitment to the preparation of top-quality educators. We welcome feedback. Please email me at eugene.sheehan@unco.edu if you would like to comments about our data or our programs.


Jennifer Nicole (Estes) Ellis 

MA Special Education: Deaf Education

UNC has helped open a door to a career that I absolutely love.  It’s exciting to be on this journey knowing I have been equipped with the necessary tools and cutting edge research to make a difference for our future generations as they set sail on their own journeys.

Mary Beth Waller

MA Special Education: Generalist

Thanks to UNC I am most aware of best practice within the teaching profession.  I am not only excited but also prepared to begin to work in collaboration with others to ensure that best practice is implemented in the positions I pursue.  

Meagan Barnes

K-12 Sports and Exercise Science

Through my involvement in the teaching program, I have obtained rich content and pedagogical knowledge I can apply in my own classes to create an environment which is conducive to each students’ learning style. 

Mohammad Alhanaya

MA in Special Education:
Gifted and Talented

Every single day in this program means discovering myself, exploring new aspects of gifted education, building awareness, and creating a magnificent future, not only for me, but also for my country’s gifted education programs.

Rolando Davila

K-12 Sports and Exercise Science

I was able to develop relationships with friends which have lasted to this day and develop relationships with the SES faculty to be able to continue to go to them for advice, support, feedback, and for anything else if it is work or life.

Tia Wieland

Early Childhood Education

The UNC Teaching Program has done far more than teach me the ABCs of teaching- it has given me all the tools and support I could ever need to be a successful teacher and be out there in the real world of education. 

 Venessa Austin

Secondary Education: History

UNC had assisted me in making my dream of earning a teaching degree possible. The professors in the STEP program at UNC are dedicated to creating well prepared educators for our future nation and world. 

Read Full Testimonials