Fairmont State University’s Teacher Education program has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement. It is one of 42 providers from 23 states and the District of Columbia to receive accreditation for their education programs by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
The spring 2019 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council resulted in 42 newly-accredited EPPs, bringing the total to 238 providers approved under the CAEP Teacher Preparation Standards – rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.
“We have set a high bar for our teacher preparation program. Our program and CAEP accreditation validates the hard work we are doing,” Dr. Amanda Metcalf, Associate Dean for the School of Education, Health and Human Performance, said. “A strong education program is a must for those aspiring to be an effective teacher. Our CAEP accreditation validates the work we are doing in providing our students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to facilitate quality learning experiences in the schools.”
CAEP is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. Approximately, 800 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including some previously accredited through former standards.
“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”
Educator preparation providers seeking accreditation must pass peer review on five standards, which are based on two principles:
- Solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators, and
- Solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.
If a program fails to meet one of the five standards, it is placed on probation for two years. Probation may be lifted in two years if a program provides evidence that it meets the standard.
“Students and their families can be confident they are investing in a teacher preparation program that is nationally accredited,” Metcalf said.
Dr. Sharon Smith, department chair of Education added that the accreditation process requires teamwork, not only in the School of Education, Heath and Human Performance and the faculty and staff of the University, but with county school districts, administrators, and public school teachers.
“We are very fortunate to work with a strong, collaborative partnership of Professional Development Schools (PDS) and dedicated teachers who contribute valuable feedback, ideas, time, and talents,” she said. “We are grateful for the efforts of all those who supported and helped us receive an exemplary accreditation.”
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (www.CAEPnet.org) advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.