Fairmont State University’s teacher education program has a long history of national and state accreditation and program approval. At the national level, we are currently accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Fairmont State University has been NCATE accredited continuously since 1954. NCATE has been the leading accrediting agency for the preparation of education professionals and the accreditation of more than 630 colleges of education. The NCATE accreditation continuous improvement process has supported our commitment to maintaining high quality undergraduate and graduate programs for the preparation of educators. Recently, NCATE merged with the other major nation accreditation organization to form the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). West Virginia has signed its first partnership agreement with this new organization and we look forward to working with CAEP as we engage in the continuous improvement of our educator preparation programs and maintain our national accreditation.
During the transition to CAEP, NCATE continues to operate as a coalition of 33 national professional education organizations that support quality teaching. To achieve NCATE accreditation, institutions must have provided evidence of competent teacher candidate performance and a coherent, well-designed program and assessment system. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize NCATE as an accrediting body. NCATE accreditation provides recognition that FSU’s teacher education program has met rigorous national professional standards for the preparation of educators.
The FSU Conceptual Framework describes our vision for the preparation of educators and guides the development and continuous improvement of our programs, courses, and assessment system; as well as the teaching, scholarship, and service of our faculty and the performance of our candidates to help all students learn. The foundation of our conceptual framework is the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards (WVPTS). While each institution has its own unique conceptual framework, teacher education programs evaluated by NCATE met a common set of national standards. CAEP has recently adopted a revised set of national standards that we will subscribe to as we continue our national accreditation process (CAEP Accreditation Standards).
In addition to the NCATE process, we participate in the individual review of our programs through the West Virginia Department of Education’s Curriculum Analysis Report (CAR) process. The CAR process evaluates the structure and the outcomes of each program against West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards (WVPTS) and corresponding national specialized content standards. At the state level we also regularly refile our programs to document improvements, innovations, and alignment of courses, clinical experiences, and assessments with the WVPTS.