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What Is CAEP Accreditation?

What is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)?

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), is the primary accreditor of educator preparation providers. Accreditation builds accountability and maintains educational standards by evaluating the effectiveness and quality of teacher training. CAEP accreditation Fosters excellence in teacher training programs. 

Origins and Mission of CAEP

CAEP is the product of the 2010 consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). The mission of CAEP is to ensure quality, support continuous improvement, and advance excellence in educator preparation. Through evidence-based accreditation, CAEP ensures graduates are well-prepared for the challenges of teaching. 

The Evolution of Accreditation Standards

Under CAEP standards have transitioned to a results-based emphasis and away from input-based measures. The standards now promote a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, continuous improvement, and data-driven decision-making. These standards foster an environment of continuous evolution and development. 

With a focus on student outcomes and candidate performance, CAEP-accredited educator preparation programs produce graduates who invest in their classrooms. Program impact on education is measured in part by teacher connections in the classroom. Impactful teaching requires a combination of relationship building and classroom management.

The Purpose of CAEP Accreditation

CAEP accreditation signifies that educator preparation programs (EPPs) meet rigorous standards. This accreditation promotes accountability for program outcomes and fosters continuous growth. The accreditation process encourages institutions to respond to data and feedback to continually update standards to reflect evidenced-based advancements.

These accreditation standards also serve to provide a standardized set of professional expectations for educators and promote excellence in teaching. Emphasizing the impact program graduates have on education means preparing educators for the field is the primary goal of accredited EPPs. Employers recognize CAEP-accredited EPPs for producing high-quality candidates who are effective in the classroom. 

CAEP Accreditation Standards

CAEP accreditation standards define four key areas of assessment for candidates and EPPs. Applicable skills and content expertise must be demonstrated by candidates. EPPs must demonstrate their commitment to program impact and efficacy. The CAEP standards are summarized below:

1. Content and Pedagogical Knowledge: EPPs must demonstrate that candidates can apply research-based teaching skills and possess the necessary content knowledge. 

2. Clinical Partnerships and Practice: EPPs must provide candidates with opportunities to practice and observe teaching in the field under the guidance of senior educators. 

3. Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity: EPPs must establish Admission criteria and processes that attract high-quality individuals with the potential for success in education. 

4. Program Impact: EPPs must demonstrate positive program outcomes that improve student achievement.

These standards create accountability for EPPs by requiring evidence of positive program outcomes, demonstrable candidate competency, generous field experience opportunities, and selective admission criteria. 

The Accreditation Process

Internal Assessment

EPPs perform an intensive self-study to begin the accreditation process reviewing program performance and adherence with CAEP standards. During this process, programs can identify opportunities to realign with accreditation standards. Data-based evidence is collected, analyzed, and organized in this process. 

External Assessment

After the self-assessment process, a team of evaluators evaluates the EPP onsite. Operations are examined through field observations of candidates and interviews with stakeholders, faculty, staff, and students. Recommendations and feedback are provided during this process.

Benefits of CAEP Accreditation

Rigorous CAEP standards and an in-depth review process mean that accreditation lends credibility to EPPs. These standardized requirements communicate exactly what can be expected of program candidates. Graduates of accredited programs are viewed more favorably by employers who trust the standards of the program. 

EPPs receive valuable feedback during the accreditation process that identifies strengths and reveals areas for improvement. Ongoing reviews ensure that feedback is continuously implemented, resulting in consistently high standards. This built-in process of review and refinement continuously improves EPP quality and raises standards and education. 

Accreditation creates a collaborative network of EPPs who share best practices, insight, and innovations, enhancing all programs involved. 

iteach is the only non-institute of higher education accredited by CAEP, proving that our alternative certification meets rigorous national standards. 

Impact of CAEP Accreditation on Candidates

CAEP accreditation emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning and practical field experience for teacher candidates. Candidates at CAEP-accredited EPPs have ample opportunities to apply education theory in real-world settings. Field experience develops skills, knowledge, and confidence in the classroom.

CAEP accreditation standards require EPPs to align curriculum and teacher training with the demands and ethical standards of the field. Graduates of CAEP-accredited programs are thoroughly prepared for the complex and diverse experiences they’ll have in the classroom. 

Employers see CAEP as a mark of quality in a preparation program that meets nationally recognized standards. Candidates from these programs demonstrate a commitment to quality and rigorous education. Accreditation is part of common hiring criteria.

Many states recognize CAEP accreditation and have agreements in place to streamline the transfer of credentials from one state to another. This can provide upward career mobility when changing regions. 

The future of education is shaped by the rigorous standards of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Programs. These standards foster the advancement of education by promoting excellence, equity, and continuous development. 

As the only non-institute of higher education accredited by CAEP, iteach shares a commitment to growth, excellence, and innovation in education. iteach has maintained continuous accreditation by the CAEP (formerly NCATE) since 2012.

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