Education and Behavioral Science Achieves Continuing Accreditation
JONESBORO – The College of Education and Behavioral Science at Arkansas State University is announcing its continuing national accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
A-State is one of 46 providers across the country this month to receive accreditation under CAEP's nationally recognized teacher preparation standards.
“Our steering committee, faculty, and partners worked diligently to provide information and evidence to demonstrate excellence in our education preparation provider programs," stated Dr. Mary Jane Bradley, dean of the college. "We will continue to review programs for continuous improvement and growth.”
Accredited institutions meet high standards so their students are prepared to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate, according to Dr. Christopher A. Koch, CAEP president, who added that seeking CAEP accreditation is a significant commitment by the institution.
CAEP is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that assures quality and promotes improvement. More than 800 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system, including many previously accredited through former standards.
Dr. Joanna Grymes, associate professor of early childhood education and coordinator of the CAEP process at A-State, explained the significance of the continued accreditation.
“This is a relatively new accrediting body, and the standards and expectations CAEP has for educator preparation programs are different than the last accrediting body (NCATE). In Arkansas, the educator preparation programs offered by colleges and universities must successfully complete the CAEP accreditation, which is an outsider’s evaluation of how well A-State prepares teachers for the public schools."
She said there are five general standards: (1) how well students are prepared to know the content they will teach and how to teach that content; (2) how well A-State collaborates with public school partners; (3) how well the institution recruits students into the education field and supports them in successfully completing the program; (4) how positive an impact the program graduates have on students in their first three years of teaching; and (5) how good is the data collected and how well it is used to make program improvements.
"A-State was fully accredited and met all five standards," she continued. "The accreditation decision highlighted, for example, the great support we have from our public school partners and the community, and the strength of those collaborations. It also identified for us areas where we knew we needed to continue to strengthen our programs. We have already begun work on those areas and are excited about our progress.
"This was a team process with faculty and staff in the College of Education and Behavioral Science and across A-State, as well as our public school partners. Our Accreditation Steering Committee, made up of nine faculty and staff, worked tirelessly for our success, and Dr. Mary Jane Bradley’s leadership was critical to the process.”
Dr. Lance G. Bryant, associate dean, added, “This process has been extremely beneficial by allowing us to review internally how we’ve done things in the past and how we can improve various policies and procedures in the future to ensure that Arkansas State University continues to offer quality professional education programs for many years to come.”
Overall, 147 preparation providers from 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have received CAEP accreditation. The list of 46 providers achieving accreditation or continued accreditation this month also included Eastern Kentucky, Florida International, New Mexico State, Northern Illinois, and South Carolina.
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