Tuesday, November 22, 2011

School of Education Completes On-Site NCATE Accreditation Visit

The Andrews University School of Education hosted the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Board of Examiners (BOE) for a continuing accreditation site visit, Nov. 13-16.  A final decision on continuing accreditation from BOE is expected in March 2012. Andrews University has held continuous accreditation by NCATE since 1973.

Five BOE members and one member representing the Michigan Department of Education participated in the site visit. All members are current education faculty, and/or administrators from both public and private institutions of higher education from across the United States.  

Before coming to the Andrews campus, the BOE members conducted a preliminary review of institutionalmaterials. During their campus visit, the team interviewed some 170 administrators, School of Education and College of Arts & Sciences faculty members, teacher education candidates and alumni, and K–12 school partners. In addition, they evaluated all written program materials. The team then created a preliminary report based on the team’s review of all the evidence provided.

“The School of Education and College of Arts & Sciences faculty, staff, candidates, and community partners, value continuing accreditation as an opportunity for acknowledgement of academic excellence,” says Jim Jeffery, dean of the School of Education. “Preparation for our continuing accreditation visit has allowed the School of Education and College of Arts & Sciences to collaborate in many positive ways. It has also allowed us to profile our faculty accomplishments, student performances, and relationships with community schools.” 

Before leaving campus, the NCATE Board of Examiners team chair conducted a short, positive, exit interview with university administrators. Within five weeks of the site visit, the School of Education will receive the full final BOE report from NCATE. The School of Education has one month to submit a response to the findings and recommendations within the report. NCATE’s Unit Accreditation Board will render a final decision by March 2012 regarding the School of Education’s approval for continuing accreditation.

According to Jeffery, both the School of Education and College of Arts & Sciences have worked continuously to review and revise programs to assure they meet the high standards of our specialty professional organizations (SPA’s), the Michigan Department of Education and NCATE. All of this is done to ensure that Andrews University is effectively preparing future educators to significantly and positively influence the lives of all children.

NCATE is the major authorized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for schools, colleges, and departments of education that provide professional preparation for elementary and secondary teachers and other school professionals: school counselors, school psychologists, curriculum and instruction specialists and school principals. The Andrews University School of Education offers BA and BS degrees in elementary education. As well, the School of Education collaborates with the College of Arts & Sciences to jointly offer 18 secondary education majors and minors in fields ranging from the sciences to social studies. 

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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104