FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab
SRU College of Education continues NCATE accreditation streak
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's College of Education, a national and state leader in providing high-quality teachers for today's classrooms, continued its 53-year record of earning accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education when it was recently re-accredited.
"Seeking accreditation is a long, arduous process, but well worth it because it tells potential employers that SRU offers a quality, innovative program. It also tells those considering enrollment in SRU's teacher education programs that education will meet nationally accepted standards," said Jay Hertzog, dean of SRU's College of Education. "Slippery Rock University's teacher preparation programs have long been at the forefront ensuring our graduates have the latest tools and theories necessary to enter the classroom ready to teach. Accreditation by the Washington, D.C.-based NCATE serves as a solid vote of confidence that we are continuing to offer first-rate teacher preparation programs. SRU was among the first programs in the nation to earn NCATE accreditation in 1955 and we are proud to continue that tradition."
Only 20 of the 95 teacher preparation institutions in Pennsylvania have NCATE accreditation.
SRU's latest accreditation was granted at the Unit Accreditation Board's fall meeting. The accreditation followed a 24-month self-study and a five-day on-site visit by NCATE reviewers who talked with current students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators as part of their review.
SRU's latest accreditation process was a pilot program for NCATE with the report and documentation done online rather than in paper report form.
NCATE oversees professional education accreditation for departments, schools and colleges across the nation. SRU's most recent accreditation approval covers both the initial teacher preparation program and the advanced preparation level program. The accreditation remains in effect through 2015. The next accreditation application process is scheduled to begin in 2013, with a formal, on-site visit slated for spring 2015.
"The NCATE accreditation is one of the most sought-after accreditations by schools and colleges offering teacher preparation programs. I am proud, as the entire University community should be, that we have again met and exceeded NCATE standards, and I congratulate those in the College of Education for their fine work and attention to detail that made this accreditation possible," said Robert Smith, SRU president.
"Because of this accreditation, employers talking with SRU education majors about potential teaching jobs will know they have received an education that has prepared them to meet the challenges of today's classrooms. They will know our graduates are prepared to help their students reach their full potential," Smith said.
"This accreditation decision indicates the unit and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community." said James G. Cibulka, NCATE president. "Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you and your professional education unit for displaying the high quality necessary to be granted national accreditation."
NCATE currently accredits 623 institutions which produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year. Ninety-nine institutions are candidates or pre-candidates for accreditation. NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public.
Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey it so students learn. The college or university must carefully assess this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate.
NCATE requires institutions to have partnerships with P-12 schools that enable teacher candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn. Candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations. College and university faculty must model effective teaching practices. And the school, college, or department of education must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.
NCATE updates its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research in order to ensure the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to a data-driven performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do. The new system expects teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom. SRU was among the first schools to meet those new accreditation standards when they were first implemented.
Multiple types of performance assessments are expected throughout the programs of study. Candidate qualifications are assessed upon entry, and candidate competence is assessed throughout the program as well as prior to student teaching/internship work, and before completion of the program.
Meeting NCATE accreditation standards also helps institutions prepare new teachers for new, more rigorous licensing standards in many states. NCATE accreditation standards incorporate the model state licensing principles developed by a task force of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
>The U. S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education. NCATE is composed of more than 30 professional and policymaker organizations representing millions of Americans committed to quality teaching. It was founded in 1954 by the teaching profession and the states.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
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