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Press Release for Tuesday, June 11, 2013

UNF Teacher Education Programs Demonstrate Excellence and Retention

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102


The University of North Florida produces some of the best and most committed educators as based on accountability data available in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS). UNF teacher-graduates have high college GPAs, graduate with the skills they need to be successful teachers, stay in the profession longer, and are positively rated by their employers.


Recent data released in a Jacksonville Public Education Fund study indicates that about 50 percent of the teachers hired in Duval County leave the profession within five years. The statistic statewide is about 40 percent. UNF graduates continually exceed the state retention rate. Graduates remain highly satisfied with the level of preparation they have received and employers who are surveyed consistently rate UNF teacher education graduates higher than other teachers they hire.


“Since the University’s beginnings 40 years ago, the COEHS has established itself as the premier producer of teachers in North Florida,” said Dr. Larry G. Daniel, dean of the COEHS at UNF. “It’s very important that these data are based on program outcomes and substantiate what we know from our day-to-day work with our students and graduates. We recruit excellent students, our faculty holds them to rigorous standards and we require that every major outcome be demonstrated in a classroom with children before they graduate.”


While the COEHS has kept accountability data for many years that indicate the effectiveness of programs and graduates, newer data systems available from the Florida Department of Education provide substantial evidence of the high quality of teachers graduating from the UNF’s programs. Data on FCAT scores of students in the classrooms of UNF graduates are also promising as noted by the “value-added model” scores of UNF graduates included in the report.


These data have been compiled along with other outcome data collected by the University and are available on the COEHS website. Data speak to a number of aspects of the quality of graduates who become teachers:


  • Average entrance GPAs (after first two years of college) are around 3.2
  • All graduates—100 percent—pass all sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam before program completion.
  • UNF graduates have a high retention rate after assuming initial teaching positions.
  • Graduates and their employers are very satisfied with the effectiveness of the program.

“As a Professional Development School for the UNF College of Education, I have had the privilege of seeing firsthand the effectiveness of teacher education graduates from UNF,” said Timothy M. Feagins, Woodland Acres Elementary School principal. “The teacher preparation program partnered with the schools gives the teacher education graduates an authentic experience that helps them become proficient teachers as they begin their careers. UNF students that complete their internship at Woodland Acres Elementary are always well-prepared and eager to complete whatever task necessary to work for the betterment of the children.”


Data on retention after initial employment in teaching are strong. Six cohorts of graduates from UNF who took teaching positions the year following graduation are included in the report:


  • Graduates in 2004 2005         66 percent retained for eight years
  • Graduates in 2005 2006         64 percent retained for seven years
  • Graduates in 2006 2007         64 percent retained for six years
  • Graduates in 2007 2008         69 percent retained for five years
  • Graduates in 2008 2009         71 percent retained for four years
  • Graduates in 2009 2010         72 percent retained for three years


To view the COEHS accountability website, visit .


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.