The College of Education’s Teacher Preparation Program earned accreditation status from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), and its successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), effective April 2015.
Michigan requires that all teacher preparation programs from higher education institutions be accredited, indicating that the programs have adhered to the principles, standards and policies outlined by the profession. The CAEP process of accreditation is peer-reviewed and entails a long process that brings together faculty, students and external stakeholders in the review process.
“We are all engaged in asking ‘How do we want to tell our story? What do we want to say about our program?'” said Corey Drake, director of the Teacher Preparation Program and one of the lead organizers in the process. The faculty assisted the process in conceptualizing the claims to be made about the program, and then in gathering evidence from the program to support those claims.
“We opted to do an inquiry brief approach,” said Margaret Crocco, chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education. An inquiry brief approach is a research-intensive method of organizing the accreditation process and consonant with the research-intensive character of the department. “We dug deep; it was a very rigorous process, and we wanted to hold ourselves to a high standard. ”
A focus on research and outcomes notes a shift in the overall manner of assessing teacher education, Drake said. “There is a shift from opportunities to learn to evidence of learning outcomes. We need to not only say ‘this is what we taught our candidates,’ but also ‘this is what our candidates know and can do.'”
The process took over a year, and many conversations between the college and TEAC representatives. Ultimately, CAEP unanimously approved the Teacher Education Program for accreditation from April 2015 to April 2022.
“I am pleased that our Teacher Preparation Program was accredited by CAEP,” said Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education. “We are very proud of the training our teacher candidates receive, and this is an important indicator of the quality of our program, as assessed by a peer review team. We also receive continual, positive feedback about the quality of our graduates from the school districts that hire them.”