NCATE Reaccredits School Of Education Programs

April 30, 2004

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Undergraduate teacher education and advanced preparation programs within Baylor University's School of Education have been reaccredited for another two years under new standards set by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), said Dr. Robert Yinger, dean of the School of Education.

NCATE's Unit Accreditation Board, which determines the accreditation status of professional education units at colleges and universities, placed conditions on the re-accreditation, requiring that the School of Education follow up with additional documentation as Baylor continues a comprehensive redesign of its teacher education programs. The board placed the advanced preparation programs on probation until such time as the School can provide additional data to demonstrate that the new programs satisfy existing standards.

Changes in the School of Education's programs, which have been implemented over the last two years, have not allowed for adequate time to generate the assessment data the board was looking for, Yinger said. The changes include requiring all Baylor student teachers to complete a one-year teaching internship to better prepare them for a career in the classroom and the development of a new Ph.D. program in higher education and policy and other graduate programs in K-12 administration.

"The School of Education will collect additional outcomes data as the programs mature to demonstrate that they are fully meeting the national standards of teacher education," Yinger said. "The visiting Board of Examiners commented that our program designs exceed national standards and are in many ways already exemplary. The issues are fully integrating all program components and producing enough data for formal documentation."

Baylor's teacher education programs have been accredited by NCATE since 1982. Baylor also has worked closely with NCATE on the development of national guidelines for Professional Development Schools.

Since 1993, Baylor's School of Education, Waco ISD and Hillcrest PDS have provided quality field-based teacher education courses as part of an intensive, year-long experience for future teachers. From 1998-2001, Hillcrest PDS was one of the 18 sites nationwide that participated in NCATE's three-year field test to determine new PDS guidelines. NCATE also has selected Baylor as one of only three universities that will assist NCATE on a PDS scale-up project. With the School of Education the only undergraduate teacher certification program in Texas that offers a year-long teaching internship, Baylor's PDS program has now expanded to a network of 10 schools within Waco ISD.

On the advanced preparation level, graduate programs within Baylor's School of Education prepare students for professional roles in teaching, administration, counseling, health, human performance, leisure studies and related areas. In its "2005 Best Graduate Schools" survey, U.S.News & World Report ranked Baylor's School of Education in the top 75 of the nation's education schools with graduate programs.

"It is not at all uncommon for teacher education programs to be requested to provide follow-up documentation following an NCATE review. I am confident that we will be able to produce the kind of documentation required within a reasonable period of time to address these conditions," Yinger said.

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