FSU Teacher Education Programs Awarded National Accreditation

Monday, June 03, 2013

With a long history of producing high-quality teachers and education leaders for West Virginia, the region and beyond, the Fairmont State University School of Education, Health and Human Performance once again has proven its commitment to the highest academic standards.

The FSU School of Education, Health and Human Performance received accreditation through 2018 from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education. This accreditation decision indicates that the University meets rigorous, national standards set forth by the professional education community.

“Accreditation from NCATE is a symbol to the public at large, to incoming students, to employers of our graduates and to our Professional Development School partners that we are aware of the highest academic standards a teacher preparation program should have and that we are capable of meeting these standards on an ongoing basis. The School of Education, Health and Human Performance is to be commended for achieving this recognition and for doing so at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Dr. Christina Lavorata, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The University has maintained national accreditation for its undergraduate, initial licensure programs in Teacher Education since Jan. 1, 1954. This was the first review of the University’s graduate and advanced licensure programs, and those programs also have met the high standards expected by NCATE. More than 150 teachers graduate from Fairmont State each year, in more than 20 different teaching fields, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Of particular note in the accreditation decision is the recognition given to the University and its public school partners on the standard related to field experiences and clinical practices. The University is home to the largest school-University partnership in the state, the Professional Development School (PDS) Partnership, which includes 40 schools in six counties (Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor and Wetzel). The University also enjoys a close working partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in support of Fairmont State’s outstanding Teacher Education programs.

“The accreditation decision affirms the strength and integrity of the collaboration to support public education in local communities, the region and the state of West Virginia,” said. Dr. Van Dempsey, Dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance.

Founded in 1954, NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education. NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) have consolidated and are now transitioning into the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). For more information about NCATE, visit www.ncate.org.

For more information about Fairmont State’s School of Education, Health and Human Performance, including the accreditation process, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/schoolofeducation.


Highlights from the Institutional Report

Regarding Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation:

“A strength of the unit is its commitment to utilize the unit assessment system in TaskStream to collect, analyze, and evaluate data to improve candidate performance and programs. The unit, with the involvement of its professional community (FSU faculty, PDS coordinators, PDS host teachers, and FSU liaisons), is regularly evaluating the capacity and effectiveness of its assessment system. Data are shared regularly with appropriate stakeholders and are used to make program improvements.”


Regarding Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice:

“Evidence presented during the offsite visit, the unit's Institutional Report, and its addendum demonstrate that the unit engages in a high level of collaboration, communication, and program evaluation with PK-12 school partners. The unit is committed to maintaining a high level of collaboration through the Professional Development School (PDS) partnership.

“The unit, including faculty and PDS liaisons, and the school personnel, including the principal, the PDS coordinators, and the host teachers, are directly involved in the designing, implementation, and evaluation of the unit’s teacher education program. Regular, collaborative meetings are held to exchange ideas for improvement to the program. The professional development and sharing of resources, through collaborations such as action research projects and shared TaskStream support and access for assessments, are reciprocal and beneficial to both entities.

“The PDS partnership is an exemplary component of unit operations. This collaboration facilitates theory to practice. PDS partners and unit faculty are equally dedicated to creating the Reflective-Responsive teachers described in the unit's conceptual framework.”