College of Education Recognized for National Excellence in Educator Prep

The University of North Texas’ College of Education has received accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation for the school’s educator preparation programs.

The fall 2017 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council increased to 101 the total number of providers approved under the CAEP teacher preparation standards—rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs. Since then, 46 other providers have been added to the list.

“As one of the many teacher preparation programs at UNT, we are proud that the Teach North Texas Program is not only accredited by CAEP but is also nationally recognized by our professional organizations, the National Science Teachers Association, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Association for Middle Level Education, for preparation of middle and high school, science and mathematics teachers,” said Pam Harrell, associate dean for administration and assessment in the UNT College of Education and co-director of the Teach North Texas Program. “The value of continual self-assessment and evidence-based analysis helps us to maintain a clear focus on the centrality of grades 4-12 learners as we examine our effectiveness as educators using rigorous standards designed to elevate the profession.”

The College of Education was an early adopter of the new CAEP standards for accreditation. Previously, the college was accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which has been replaced by CAEP.

CAEP accreditation covers about 30 educator preparation programs coordinated by the College of Education. The college coordinates these programs across seven of the colleges and schools at UNT

The focus of the CAEP review was on the quality of curriculum and coursework, the college’s collaborative relationships with partner school districts where students do their clinical practice and follow-up with graduates to ensure they are effective teachers in the schools and districts where they are employed.

CAEP is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. Currently, more than 800 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including many previously accredited through former standards.

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP president Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”

Educator preparation providers seeking accreditation must pass peer review on five standards, which are based on two principles:

  1. Solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators, and
  2. Solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.

If a program fails to meet one of the five standards or required components under the standards, it is placed on probation for two years. Probation may be lifted in less than two years if a program provides evidence that it meets the standard. Providers, seeking first-time accreditation, that do not meet one or more of the standards are denied accreditation.

"These providers should be very proud of the work they are doing. The profession has set a high bar with the CAEP Standards, and earning CAEP Accreditation validates the work educator preparation providers are doing to meet those standards,” said Kim Walters-Parker, Chair of CAEP’s Accreditation Council and high school teacher in Versailles, Kentucky. “Candidates in CAEP-accredited programs are investing in programs designated as nationally accredited for educator preparation.”

UNT's College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teacher's training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,500 students in the College of Education, which consists of four departments — counseling and higher education; educational psychology; kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and teacher education and administration. UNT is one of the top producers of teachers, administrators, counselors, health professionals and other school professionals in Texas. Students are also prepared for careers as researchers, counselors, leaders, physical activity and health promotion specialists, child development and family studies specialists and more.