Wesley College Department of Education Receives Professional Accreditation
Wesley College’s Department of Education has proven its commitment to
producing quality teachers for our nation’s children by achieving accreditation this
month under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for
professional accreditation of teacher education.
NCATE currently accredits 623 institutions which produce two-thirds of the nation’s
new teacher graduates each year. Ninety-nine institutions are candidates or
pre-candidates for accreditation.
NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and
members of the public. Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the
subject matter that they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey it so that students learn. The college or university must carefully assess this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate. The institution must have partnerships
with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn. Candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations. College and university faculty must model effective teaching practices. And the school, college, or department of education must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.
NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research in order to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to a data driven performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do.
The new system expects teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom. Multiple types of performance assessment are expected throughout the program of study. Candidate qualifications are assessed upon entry, and candidate competence is assessed throughout the program as well as prior to student teaching/internship work, and before completion of the program.
Meeting NCATE accreditation standards also helps institutions prepare new teachers
for new, more rigorous licensing standards in many states. NCATE accreditation
standards incorporate the model state licensing principles developed by a task force of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
“This accreditation is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the Education Department,” said Wesley College President Dr. William N. Johnston. “We are thrilled that NCATE gave us full accreditation without qualification.”
The U. S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE is composed of more than 30 professional and policymaker organizations representing millions of Americans committed to quality teaching. It was founded in 1954 by the teaching profession and the states. NCATE continues its mission today: the profession and the states working together for excellence in teacher preparation and development.
For more information about Wesley College’s Department of Education teacher education program, visit www.wesely.edu.