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President says Shepherd has 30 days to correct standards

August 15, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherd University President David L. Dunlop said Monday he did not know all the details behind lagging state certification standards in the school's teacher-education program, but said he was told it had to do with course outlines.

Dunlop said he was told that three class syllabi do not have the proper wording to meet the state standards.

Dunlop said he spoke with other Shepherd officials and the problem can be corrected within 30 days, the time period given to schools to make improvements.

Dunlop said he did not have many details about the situation because it deals with an area that is "so far below the level" at which he operates.

"I don't think it's going to be a big deal at all," Dunlop said.

School officials referred questions about the issue to Virginia Hicks, dean of the school of professional studies.

Hicks could not be reached for comment Monday.

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Dunlop was reacting to state Board of Education officials who say teacher-education programs at six West Virginia colleges and universities, including Shepherd, are lagging behind state certification standards.

The board last week did not approve such course work at Appalachian Bible College, Davis and Elkins College, Fairmont State University, Shepherd University, the University of Charleston or West Liberty State College.

State School Board President Lowell Johnson said if schools can't meet the requirements, they should not offer them. "They need to get their acts together," Lowell said.

Dunlop said he thinks those comments were directed at schools who have more serious problems, and Shepherd is not one of them.

Most of the problems stem from a failure by colleges to submit proper paperwork.

State policy outlining the programs that prepare teachers and administrators now requires documentation of new courses dealing with reading and special education, and requires the colleges to address how they'll prepare students for the 21st century.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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