wc_news | WCU Gets NCATE Nod

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has decided to continue accreditation of all teacher education programs offered by Western Carolina University’s College of Education and Allied Professions.

The Unit Accreditation Board of NCATE voted to continue Western’s accreditation at the undergraduate and graduate levels during a recent meeting in San Francisco.

Arthur E. Wise, NCATE president, informed university officials that “special congratulations are in order because the Unit Accreditation Board cited no official areas for improvement relative to any of the standards.”

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as the professional accrediting body for schools, departments and colleges of education. On-site visits, document review and accreditation decisions are all carried out by professionals from the education community. The accreditation was granted for a period of five years.

NCATE-accredited schools are required to meet six specific standards. Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter they plan to teach and the skills necessary to convey that knowledge to students. The university must carefully access that knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate, and the institution is required to have partnerships with K-12 schools to enable candidates to develop skills to help students learn. Teacher education candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations. And, university faculty must model effective teaching practices, and the education program must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.

Last December, Western’s teacher education program received an “exemplary” rating in the Performance Report on Teacher Education Programs issued by the N.C. State Board of Education. Western’s program placed among the top three programs of the 48 institutions of higher education in North Carolina that offer teacher education.