NCATE accreditation is a performance-based system, founded on evidence, demonstrating that teacher candidates know the subject matter and can teach it effectively so that students learn. At Sam Houston State University, the College of Education Educator Preparation Program is a practitioner-based program. It must prove that candidates can connect theory to practice and be effective in the P-12 classroom (NCATE, 2011).
As a professional education unit that is accredited by NCATE, we are:
- Involved in ongoing planning and evaluation;
- Engaged in continuous assessment and development;
- Committed to a process where faculty and programs reflect new knowledge, practice, and technologies; and are
- Dedicated to continuous improvement in response to the evolving world of education and educational reform.
NCATE’s mission is to provide accountability and improvement in teacher preparation through a standards-based assessment system with the goal of encouraging accredited institutions to employ continuous improvement, founded on accurate and consistent data.
NCATE’s standards provide assurance that SHSU candidates are engaged in a rigorous process to prepare them for a career in teaching. The process is rich with knowledge, skills, dispositions, and field experience through an integrated curriculum that establishes a systematic preparation program in which the candidate transitions from classroom to methods to student teaching. This process ensures the application of knowledge and the acquisition of skills through a residency-styled model of student teaching in which the student teacher is supervised, coached, and instructed by experienced educators that include Mentor Teachers, University Supervisors, Focused-Content Supervisors, and University Instructors. Our candidates are observed on a regular basis and their effect on P-12 student learning is comprehensively evaluated.
The accreditation process involves partnerships with local, area, and regional school districts, regional service centers, and the community. The participation by our partners in education is greatly appreciated. Through successful collaborations with our local stakeholders and the administration, faculty, students of SHSU, expertise, talent and commitment were harnessed across campus on all levels to accomplish this process.
NCATE, the largest accreditation body in the United States, is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education and highly acclaimed, nationally, as an accrediting body for institutions that prepare educators for professional roles in schools. At SHSU, the COE has benefited from the distinction of NCATE accreditation since 1954, when NCATE was founded. Of Texas’ 38 public four-year universities, only 13 have NCATE accredited educator preparation programs. Within the Texas State University System, only SHSU and Lamar are accredited by NCATE.
As a University, achieving the NCATE Recognized status indicates that we are a member of an elite group with the distinction of “National Recognition”. NCATE accredits more than 600 institutions, nationally, producing two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates each year. Through this rigorous process, accredited institutions remain current, pertinent, and productive, which benefits the candidate, school districts, and students.
As an NCATE accredited program, the College of Education ensures that the best-prepared teachers will be in classrooms teaching the next generation of leaders how to solve problems, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively.
In November 2010, NCATE merged with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) to become the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), combining the two premiere accrediting organizations as a single accrediting agency for reform, innovation, and research in educator preparation.