William Carey officials: School of Education ‘largest in the state’

By JOSHUA WILSON,

William Carey University recently announced that its school of education is the largest in the state, according to national and state data.

University officials said in a press release that the announcement “comes after data for academic year 2017-18 was posted in late January by the U.S. Department of Education and confirmed through the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s website.”

According to the press release, 521 undergraduate and graduate students received degrees from Carey’s education school in 2018. University officials said that, according to the data, the university “out-performed the next-largest school of education by almost 70 graduates.”

“Of the top five schools of education in Mississippi, two showed decreases in number of education graduates in 2018,” said the release.

Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of Carey’s education school since 2014, said that the university is committed to solving Mississippi’s teacher shortage.

“We are all passionate about helping the schools in our state,” he said. “Having the largest number of graduates from the combination of our graduate and undergraduate programs is encouraging to us, but we still have a long way to go to make a truly significant impact on the teacher shortage.”

Burnett said the university is always looking for practical ways to tackle the teacher shortage, such as entering into partnerships with several school systems to offer alternate route programs to help those with bachelor’s degrees to earn teaching certificates.

The education school is also, through a scholarship program, helping assistant teachers complete their education degrees and earn teaching certificates, he said.

Carey’s education school operates on both the Hattiesburg campus and the Tradition campus, which is located in Biloxi. According to the university’s website, the education school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees along with specialist and doctoral degrees. Many of the school’s education degrees are offered online or in a mixed face-to-face and online format.

In an August 2019 press release, university officials said the education school marked a 25 percent increase in undergraduate student enrollment from the previous year.