Wednesday, April 9, 2014

National Accreditation In Sight

Salon Cassia was filled with faculty and staff from the College of Education, College of Business, and the College of Science, Mathematics, and Technology to hear the recommendations of visiting team members from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The room was filled with anticipation as the team chairman described the process.

There was even a period of uneasiness when he addressed the ways that a unit could respond if they felt that the accreditation team made unfavorable findings. He then began identifying the standard and announcing the committees recommendations. What was needed to meet standard was then to be discussed.

We all stood in anticipation as he carefully outlined the recommendations for each standard. The first standard, content knowledge, was considered acceptable. He then noted that there were no recommendations for improvement. Wow! Number one was done.

The second standard, assessment, was one that we all felt uneasy when the process started. Never had we ever thought to assess our programs to the depth that we finally proposed and met. However, we knew that we had worked hard in this regard and weren't surprised when it was announced as met and with no conditions. Number two down!

After much discussion about a year ago, we all decided to take standard three to target, field experiences. Personally, I knew that allot of work had been put on this standard, but it was one that would be difficult to meet. When chairman announced that we had met the standard and there were no conditions, I think several of us felt like fainting, or at least, like shedding tears of joy. This is what we're here for and having met that standard was beyond our wildest dream.

I won't bore you we the rest of the play by play, but to only say that everyone of the other standards were met without conditions. Final accreditation will be announced during the summer or possible the fall. We know we've done well and can't wait for the final word.

As we were all excited and ready to jump for joy about what we accomplished the chair said that he had two other announcements to make. Oh Boy? What could these be? Would we be deflated after being up so high? Well, Jerry made the announcement that we had taken two of the standards beyond expectations, something which is rare in any NCATE accreditation visit. He also stated that we would be one of the very few to be recommended meeting all standards and having no conditions. That's remarkable. He announced that assessment and clinical practice were exceptional. The icing on the cake was announced and then a few tears actually were shed by the faculty.

We can't take the news lightly. All of the College of Education faculty worked tirelessly for five years to reach this milestone. I can't say enough about the faculty in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation. You should be more than proud of all the effort that you gave.

I won't mention any names because almost everyone was recognized for their contributions. We all were in it together and this recognition serves as proof about how strong and committed this faculty is to excellence.

Thank you. I'm so proud of everyone.

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