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Keene State's Elementary Teacher Preparation Program Recognized

Darrel Hucks
Dr. Darrell Hucks, Education Department Chair and Professor. Photo credit: HTRM2

Keene State College’s Undergraduate Elementary Teacher Preparation Program was named among the top in the country for contributing to greater teacher diversity by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization.

Keene State College’s program is among only 21 percent of the 1,256 NCTQ evaluated programs across the country, and among two programs in New Hampshire, to be recognized in a new NCTQ report for enrolling a cohort of future teachers that is more racially diverse than the current teacher workforce in their state, and reflects the racial diversity of their local community.

“For our faculty, we recognize diversity is vitally important in the teaching workforce, but also in curriculum and pedagogy,” said Keene State Professor of Education Darrell Hucks. “We strive to prepare all of our students to effectively teach and embrace each and every learner in today’s schools, as we build on their strengths enabling them to achieve their full potential.”

A diverse teacher workforce benefits all students, particularly those of color. Research has found that having same-race teachers increases student achievement and improves the likelihood of graduating high school and attending college for students of color. Recruiting a racially diverse cohort of future teachers into preparation programs is a first and necessary step in the path to a more diverse teacher workforce.

“A diverse teacher workforce is essential if we are to achieve a high-quality teacher workforce. One can’t happen without the other. Teacher prep programs are well-positioned to take the lead,” said NCTQ President Kate Walsh. “We applaud programs like Keene State College that are leading the way.”

In the Teacher Prep Review: Program Diversity and Admissions (2021) report NCTQ analyzed the diversity of each elementary teacher preparation program by comparing the diversity of the teacher candidates enrolled in the program to two factors: the diversity of the state teacher workforce and the diversity of the local community where the program is located.

Details about the findings and data are available at

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