BLUFFTON UNIVERSITY'S TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM RECEIVES ACCREDITATION
Bluffton University’s undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs recently achieved accreditation under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education.
A six person NCATE Board of Examiners Team visited the Bluffton campus October 22-26. The NCATE Unit Accreditation Board met and voted the last week in March to grant accreditation to the Bluffton University teacher education program.
NCATE currently accredits 623 institutions which produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates each year. 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 and the skills necessary to convey it so that students learn. The institution must carefully assess this knowledge and skill. 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. Faculty must model effective teaching practices, and the school, college, or department of education must have the resources necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.
Meeting NCATE accreditation standards also helps institutions prepare new teachers for new, more rigorous licensing standards in many states. The standards incorporate the model state licensing principles developed by a task force of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
"Bluffton’s teacher education program has been meeting the challenge to prepare educators who nurture communities of learning and respect and NCATE accreditation gives our program the national recognition it so richly deserves," said Dr. Gayle Trollinger, education department chair. "Going through the NCATE-accreditation process made our strong program even stronger, and we are pleased by the NCATE Unit Accreditation Board’s decision."
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.
Jill A. Duling, public relations office, 4/20/06