Does Your Teacher Preparation Program Meet These Five Standards?

So you want to be a teacher! That means you’re most likely looking for a teacher education program. To ensure proper training and the best chance at certification, you’ll want to enroll in a TEAC accredited teacher education program.

But why? Why does TEAC accreditation matter? Well, to receive accreditation from TEAC, programs have to provide evidence that their program is of the highest quality. Schools that would like to apply for TEAC membership must first gain candidate membership, and then successfully matriculate through the accreditation process.

Because of the similarities of their missions and accreditation philosophies, it was only natural that these two organizations would eventually merge. The Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation’s (CAEP) mission is to raise the quality of teacher education programs, while also serving as the paragon of excellence in teacher education accreditation. They plan to do this by set- ting high standards, requiring programs to submit evidence of program effectiveness, and creating an atmosphere of continuous improvement. During the creation of CAEP, its creators tapped into multiple perspectives in a quest to transcend the status quo and usher in a new era of teacher education accreditation and preparation.

To achieve these goals, the CAEP Board of Directors created the CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting and charged it with developing accreditation standards for preparation programs.

As of April 2013, the CAEP Commission has developed the following draft standards for teacher education programs:

Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge

The provider ensures that candidates develop a deep understanding of the critical concepts and principles of their discipline and, by completion, are able to use discipline-specific practices flexibly to advance the learning of all students toward attainment of college and career-readiness standards.

Standard 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice

The provider ensures that effective partnerships and high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to demonstrate positive impact on all P–12 students’ learning.

Standard 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity

The provider demonstrates that the quality of candidates is a continuing and purposeful part of its responsibility from recruitment, at admission, through the progression of courses and field and clinical experiences, and to decisions that completers are prepared to teach effectively and are recommended for certification.

Standard 4: Program Impact

The provider demonstrates the impact of its completers on P–12 student learning, classroom instruction and schools, and the satisfaction of its completers with the relevance and effectiveness of their preparation.

Standard 5: Provider Quality, Continuous Improvement, and Capacity

The provider maintains a quality assurance system comprised of data from multiple measures, including evidence of candidates’ and completers’ positive impact on P–12 student learning and development. The provider supports continuous improvement that is sustained, evidence-based, and that evaluates the effectiveness of its completers. The provider uses the results of inquiry and data collection to establish priorities, enhance program elements and capacity, and test innovations to improve completers’ impact on P–12 student learning.

Please note that these are only draft standards and may change significantly. Visit CAEP’s website to view the final version.

Do the programs you’re looking to enroll in meet CAEP standards? Make sure you’re signing up for the best education possible. Being highly qualified will give you an edge when it comes time to apply for a job, and will give you a leg up in pay ranking when it comes time to settle salary. It may take some extra looking now, but graduating from a CAEP-compliant program will pay off in the long run!

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