MANHATTAN — The Kansas State University College of Education is the winner of a national award from the Association of Teacher Educators for developing innovative and collaborative elementary education programming.

Announced on the final day of its virtual annual conference, Feb. 13-17, the college was presented with the Billy G. Dixon Distinguished Teacher Program Award. The association established the award to honor outstanding teacher education programs that exemplify collaboration and emphasize exceptional quality.

The award highlighted three of the most recent programming efforts of the college's curriculum and instruction department: the Master of Arts in teaching; the online Bachelor of Science in elementary education; and the Kansas Statewide Teacher Education Pathway for Underserved and Place-bound, or K-STEP UP, program.

"These programs reflect the efforts of our exceptional faculty who always seek ways to make our programs available to as many students as possible," said Todd Goodson, professor and chair of the curriculum and instruction department.

The online master's in curriculum and instruction, which includes the Master of Arts in teaching, is ranked 10th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The online bachelor's in elementary education was developed in 2016 and was recognized for its yearlong student teaching experience for place-bound students. This is a significant departure from how the teacher preparation program traditionally operated with future teachers completing a semesterlong internship at a school with a longstanding relationship with the college.

K-STEP UP is an innovative teacher pathway program that charts a student's path from high school to the student's local community college to the online teacher preparation program at K-State. It is targeting underserved and place-bound students in Kansas City and Liberal, Kansas.

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