Samford University's Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education has received continued accreditation through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for accrediting teacher education programs.
The accreditation process covered several months and included written reports and a campus site visit late last year. The university received its official public notice of accreditation this week.
"We had a stellar review in December 2012 thanks to the leadership of accreditation chair, Dr. Betsy Rogers, and an exceptional team of faculty and staff," said Dr. Jeanie Box, School of Education dean. "This accreditation ensures that all teacher education and leadership programs are in good standing at the national level. All standards were met and the review team praised Samford for its high standard of educational practice."
NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the professional education community, Box explained. According to NCATE, teacher candidates should know the subject matter they plan to teach and have the skills necessary to help all children learn. The university must assess this knowledge and analyze data on applicant qualifications and competence before determining graduation, and it must provide field and clinical experiences so that candidates can develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions to help students learn. Candidates must have opportunities to interact with other candidates, faculty and P-12 students from diverse groups. Faculty must model professional practices in scholarship, service and teaching. The university is also expected to have the resources to prepare candidates to meet professional, state and institutional standards.
"For nearly 100 years, Samford University has provided outstanding teacher education preparation," said J. Bradley Creed, Samford's provost and executive vice president. "Our continued accreditation from NCATE is yet another national affirmation of the rigorous academic programs that are a hallmark of Samford University. Our School of Education faculty and staff are to be commended for this achievement."
The accreditation covers all initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. Samford's School of Education offers an early childhood /elementary/special education collaborative (ESEC) and secondary education leading to a bachelor of science in education. Teacher certification is available in the combined ESEC program for pre-kindergarten-grade 3 and grades kindergarten through 6 and in secondary education for grades 6-12. Graduate programs include a master of science in education in gifted education, elementary education, fifth-year nontraditional secondary and elementary education, instructional leadership and educational leadership; educational specialist degrees in teacher leader and instructional leadership; and a doctorate in educational leadership.
The next accreditation review for Samford will be in fall 2019. Samford's initial teacher education accreditation came in 1954.
Founded in 1954, NCATE is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) have consolidated and are now transitioning into the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).