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Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University put its mark on teacher education quality as it led the way in a new national teacher education accreditation process.

     SRU's College of Education became the first in Pennsylvania to earn a five-year accreditation under newly established guidelines by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

     "NCATE sets the standard of excellence for teacher education and provides leadership for reform in teacher preparation," says Dr. G. Warren Smith, president, Slippery Rock University.

     "One measure of quality in higher education is accreditation by national review organizations, and NCATE is the national body responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education programs. I congratulate the faculty of our College of Education for not only continuing our record of NCATE accreditation, but also for being a pioneer under the new guidelines," Smith added.

     This accreditation is the latest milestone in acknowledging solid quality at Slippery Rock. Last year, the entire university received a highly laudatory re-accreditation report from the Commission on Higher Education Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Smith explained.

     Dr. C. Jay Hertzog, dean of the college, added, "This accreditation is one way to ensure the public that SRU is graduating well-qualified students ready to meet today's teaching challenges. This is a very prestigious honor that recognizes the excellence of our faculty, students, alumni and partner schools."

     SRU has held NCATE accreditation since 1954 and is one of only 15 of the 92 teacher education programs in Pennsylvania to have this mark of quality.

The new guidelines stress assessment of pre-service teachers as they move through the university's curriculum. The accrediting body's review system fosters quality, competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve the education of all students. NCATE accredited institutions annually produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates. Under its review program, 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. NCATE requires universities to have partnerships with school districts that enable teacher candidates to develop teaching skills, and requires teacher candidates to know how to use technology to aid learning.

     The dean explains the accreditation process included a four-day, on-site visit by a five-member evaluation team including teachers, school specialists and teacher educators who interviewed university and public school faculty, administrators and students. The process also required an extensive pre-visit report. He urges those considering the teaching profession to seek an NCATE-accredited institution when choosing where they will study.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Hertzog is available for interviews concerning the importance of NCATE accreditation. NCATE's Web address is:



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