Many things have changed over the past quarter century. But, year after year, Spartan educators have continued to prove that Michigan State University leads the nation in elementary and secondary education.
This year, the MSU College of Education community can celebrate once more. U.S. News & World Report has ranked MSU #1 in elementary and secondary teacher education for the 25th consecutive year—solidifying its extraordinary reputation for preparing teachers, educating graduate students and conducting research that improves education across the spectrum of K-12.
And that’s not all. For the first time this year, MSU has also been ranked #1 in curriculum and instruction.
“These rankings show that people around the country think our faculty, staff and students are incredible,” said Dean Robert Floden, who has been on the faculty since before the first graduate program rankings were released by U.S. News, in 1995.
“This isn’t about just a few individuals,” he said. “It shows that we continue, every year, to hire terrific faculty and to train students who go out and amaze people with the quality they are bringing to their jobs.”
Nine programs in the top-12
That quality exists across the range of graduate programs offered by the MSU College of Education.
The rehabilitation counseling program also ranks #1 in the nation, holding on to the top spot this year after programs in the field were re-ranked for the first time since 2015.
That’s four #1 programs!
In total, nine educational specialty areas—every one available at MSU that U.S. News ranks—are within the nation’s top 12. The rankings are compiled based on a survey of education school deans across the country.
Here is the full list of MSU College of Education programs ranked in U.S. News’ 2020 edition of “Best Graduate Schools:”
- Elementary teacher education – #1
- Secondary teacher education – #1
- Curriculum and instruction – #1 (up from #2)
- Rehabilitation counseling – #1 (tied)
- Higher education administration – #3
- Administration/supervision – #5 (up from #8)
- Education policy – #7 (up from #9)
- Educational psychology – #7
- Special education – #12 (tied)
In addition, the college’s online graduate programs in education are ranked #5 in the nation, according to a separate ranking from U.S. News.
Overall, the College of Education is now ranked #23 in the nation, or #13 among public universities.
According to international rankings, MSU stands even higher—4th in the world for education in the most recent ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, and 11th in the Times Higher Education ranking.
Land-grant greatness: Looking back
When the #1 rankings in elementary and secondary education began, Bill Clinton was serving his first term as president, Google was three years from reality and gas averaged $1.15 a gallon.
MSU had long been known as a pioneer in teacher education, but the five-year teacher education model was new. The Teacher Preparation Program became an academic model for peer institutions, and part of the first wave of programs to offer full-year internships.
During the last 25 years, more than 13,500 Spartans have been certified as new teachers through MSU.
Along the way, master’s and doctoral programs related to teaching and curriculum have expanded and evolved. Graduate students, whether attracted to MSU from throughout the world or former Spartan educators returning to expand their careers, play an integral role at the intersection between cutting-edge research and practice.
The land-grant commitment to make a difference in real classrooms distinguishes the faculty, and keeps many of the best scholars at MSU for decades.
“This is one of the few places where I could have had a career that had teacher prep and research as the main focus, and I could be equally focused on both of them,” said Charles “Andy” Anderson, a renowned science education scholar and member of the MSU faculty since 1979. “When you think about elementary and secondary education, they require that kind of connection.”
For more insights on what makes MSU stand out in the education fields, check out this top-10 list.