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University of Cincinnati Teacher Preparation Programs Earn High Marks

Programs granted continued NCATE accreditation, first in nation to receive CAEP accreditation.

Date: 5/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Pamela DeCoste
Phone: (513) 556-2021
Other Contact: Katelyn Scott
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-2884

UC ingot   The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) at the University of Cincinnati (UC) is pleased to announce that the University’s educator preparation programs have been granted continued accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Teachers College sign

Especially noteworthy, and rare, the accreditation Board deemed no areas necessary for improvement. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education, NCATE ensures quality in teaching education. 

During the review process, UC also hosted a parallel visit with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and will be the first and only university in the nation with the distinction of having CAEP accreditation, until October 2013 when other universities can also earn accreditation. NCATE and CAEP accreditation of UC’s educator preparation programs will continue through fall 2018, and the two accreditation organizations will consolidate this summer.

“We are thrilled to be granted re-accreditation and to be recognized as a leader in education,” said Sam Stringfield, professor and director of the school of education. “This reaffirms the value of our educator preparation programs and speaks to our commitment to provide comprehensive training in teacher preparation and educational leadership.”  

Achieving accreditation by CAEP required submitting a parallel institutional report and evidence as well as meeting new standards. The accreditation process also included a voluntary peer review and comprehensive evaluation of the unit that oversees teaching education offerings at UC. Using NCATE and CAEP unit standards – a set of research-based national standards – a Board of Examiners conducted an offsite review of evidence and an on-site visit to evaluate the quality of UC’s programs, unit operations, and its capacity to deliver its programs effectively. 

Reviews are based on the degree to which units meet the following standards:
NCATE Unit Standards:
  • Diversity
  • Field experiences and clinical practice
  • Candidate knowledge, skills, and professionalism
  • Assessment system and unit evaluation
  • Faculty qualifications, performance, and development
  • Unit governance and resources

CAEP Unit Standards:
  • Candidate knowledge, skills, and dispositions
  • Data drive decisions about candidates and programs
  • Resources and practices support candidate learning
“Our ability to meet and exceed these standards is a testament to the dedication and hard work of many faculty and staff members,” said Lawrence J. Johnson, UC’s interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, who serves as the head of the educator preparation unit. “We will continue to deliver on our mission and drive important results like this for UC and CECH.” 

During the accreditation review, UC also piloted a “Transformation Initiative” with CAEP, which aims to prepare effective educators for urban schools and transcends national accreditation. Universities that adopt a Transformation Initiative engage in rigorous research investigation of a chosen aspect of educator preparation to inform the profession and / or offer research-proven models for replication, according to CAEP. One of the overarching objectives of the Transformation Initiative is to transform lives, schools, and communities.  

“This is an extra effort, above and beyond the standards, in which we demonstrate our commitment to be a national model and provide research-based strategies for preparing teachers and other school personnel,” said Annie Bauer, professor of special education and coordinator of the accreditation review. 

The Transformation Initiative research agenda covers many key areas. Among them: studying the impact of increased field-based experiences and coursework; placing an emphasis on culturally responsive instruction; developing rigorous assessments of pre-service teachers; and using nationally-standardized performance assessments of teaching. 

“I applaud the work and vision of our faculty members, who pushed the Transformation Initiative agenda, and our accreditation committee and its coordinators: Professor Anne Bauer and Jim Vondrell, director of the Office of Assessment and Continuous Improvement,” said Edward Latessa, interim dean of CECH. “This unique distinction reflects – and will propel – our commitment to continue reaching great heights.”      

UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services has been dedicated to excellence in teaching for more than a century. With more than 32,000 alumni, 5,300 undergraduate and graduate students and 150 faculty and staff, the college prepares students to work in diverse communities, provides continual professional development and fosters education leadership at the local, state, national and international levels.