Close Menu

Whitworth School of Education receives national Model of Excellence Award

January 23, 2013

Whitworth University’s School of Education was selected as the winner of the 2013 Model of Excellence Award by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education. Whitworth submitted an application for the award in the category of Global Awareness and Action, which encompasses global education, intercultural education and diversity.

AILACTE commended Whitworth for depicting a strong emphasis on diversity through cross-cultural experiences and field immersion in intercultural education. Judges ranked Whitworth’s application as excellent in all three categories in which it was rated: quality of narrative, quality of supporting materials and letters of support.

Dennis Sterner, dean of Whitworth’s School of Education, says AILACTE’s acknowledgment recognizes the School of Education’s significant accomplishments in incorporating global education, intercultural communication and diversity into multiple course curricula.

“We have been diligent about integrating these topics in our programs over a long period of time,” says Sterner, who served as president of AILACTE from 2000-02. “For example, our Jan Term intercultural immersion requirement in teacher education has been in place for more than 25 years and is still an exemplary program that few institutions have matched. More recently, we have initiated international education events and have received a Strategic Initiative Fund grant for our Diversity in Education Enhancement Project.”

Sterner credits the work of professors and staff members in the School of Education for Whitworth’s achievement of the Model of Excellence Award.

“The accomplishments that culminated in this award have truly been realized only because of the dedication and commitment of every faculty and staff member in the SOE,” he says. “We provided significant evidence of the many opportunities afforded to our students and the impact that those opportunities have had on their lives. Those opportunities and that recognition can only happen when there is support across all aspects of the SOE.”

Next month, at the AILACTE’s annual conference, in Orlando, Whitworth will receive a plaque commemorating its Model of Excellence achievement.

In addition to praise from AILACTE, the School of Education’s most recent evaluation by the state deemed Whitworth “exemplary” in providing students with experiences with diverse populations.

Whitworth has long been affiliated with AILACTE, having been an active member since the association’s founding in 1980. The national 2007-08 AILACTE Scholar Award was given to Lisa Laurier, an associate professor of education at Whitworth. Barbara Sanders, currently Whitworth’s interim provost, received the same award for the 1998-99 academic year, in addition to serving as AILACTE Western regional representative from 2003-08.

The mission of AILACTE is to focus teacher education on the moral dimensions of schooling and education. The association encourages member institutions to emphasize the importance of both individuals and community, the obligations that individuals have in community, the role that individuals and communities have in a democratic society, and the principle of equity of access to knowledge.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs


Dennis Sterner, dean of the School of Education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4411 or

Andrea Idso, interim public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or