Accreditation is a process of external peer review in which institutions of higher learning are evaluated based on a comprehensive set of established standards and criteria. Accreditation is maintained through various state and national professional accrediting bodies. The process of program accreditation provides a means of continuous quality assurance and represents the ongoing dedication of Orlean Beeson School of Education to provide effective, high-quality professional programs that meet the needs our communities.
Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP, the only recognized national accreditor for educator preparation, promotes excellence through quality assurance and continuous improvement. Orlean Beeson School of Education meets rigorous national standards for educator preparation set by CAEP and has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement. Orlean Beeson School of Education is CAEP accredited through spring 2027.
Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge
Initial Standard 1: 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.
Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the 10 InTASC standards at the appropriate progression level(s) in the following categories: the learner and learning; content; instructional practice; and professional responsibility.
- Approved EPP Initial Programs
- Initial Program GPA Comparison
- Dispositions Data and Analysis
- EPP Key Assessments
- Initial Candidate PRAXIS Data Tables and Analysis
- Initial Candidate Transition Point Documents
- Initial Program Data Collection and Analysis
1.2 Providers ensure that candidates use research and evidence to develop an understanding of the teaching profession and use both to measure their P-12 students’ progress and their own professional practice.
1.3 Providers ensure that candidates apply content and pedagogical knowledge as reflected in outcome assessments in response to standards of Specialized Professional Associations (SPA), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), states, or other accrediting bodies (e.g., National Association of Schools of Music – NASM).
1.4 Providers ensure that candidates demonstrate skills and commitment that afford all P-12 students access to rigorous college- and career-ready standards (e.g., Next Generation Science Standards, National Career Readiness Certificate, Common Core State Standards).
1.5 Providers ensure that candidates model and apply technology standards as they design, implement and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; and enrich professional practice.
Advanced Standard 1: The provider ensures that candidates for professional specialties develop a deep understanding of the critical concepts and principles of their field of preparation and, by completion, are able to use professional specialty practices flexibly to advance the learning of all P-12 students toward attainment of college- and career-readiness standards.
Standard 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice
Initial Standard 2: The provider ensures that effective partnerships and high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to demonstrate positive impact on all P-12 students’ learning and development.
Partnerships for Clinical Preparation
2.1 Partners co-construct mutually beneficial P-12 school and community arrangements, including technology-based collaborations, for clinical preparation and share responsibility for continuous improvement of candidate preparation. Partnerships for clinical preparation can follow a range of forms, participants, and functions. They establish mutually agreeable expectations for candidate entry, preparation, and exit; ensure that theory and practice are linked; maintain coherence across clinical and academic components of preparation; and share accountability for candidate outcomes.
- Current EPP Memorandum of Understanding Affiliation Agreements
- Distinctive Partnership Experiences
- Documentation of EPP-Partner Collaboration
- Initial Candidate Field Placement Demographic Matrix
- Initial Candidate Scope and Sequence of Field Experiences
2.2 Partners co-select, prepare, evaluate, support, and retain high-quality clinical educators, both provider- and school-based, who demonstrate a positive impact on candidates’ development and P-12 student learning and development. In collaboration with their partners, providers use multiple indicators and appropriate technology-based applications to establish, maintain, and refine criteria for selection, professional development, performance evaluation, continuous improvement, and retention of clinical educators in all clinical placement settings.
- Clinical Educator Qualifications Roles and Responsibilities
- Clinical Educator Survey Data and Analysis
2.3 The provider works with partners to design clinical experiences of sufficient depth, breadth, diversity, coherence, and duration to ensure that candidates demonstrate their developing effectiveness and positive impact on all students’ learning and development. Clinical experiences, including technology-enhanced learning opportunities, are structured to have multiple performance-based assessments at key points within the program to demonstrate candidates’ development of the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, as delineated in Standard 1, that are associated with a positive impact on the learning and development of all P-12 students
Advanced Standard 2: The provider ensures that effective partnerships and high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions appropriate for their professional specialty field.
Standard 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment and Selectivity
Plan for Recruitment of Diverse Candidates who Meet Employment Needs
3.1 The provider presents plans and goals to recruit and support completion of high-quality candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and diverse populations to accomplish their mission. The admitted pool of candidates reflects the diversity of America’s P-12 students. The provider demonstrates efforts to know and address community, state, national, regional, or local needs for hard-to-staff schools and shortage fields, currently, STEM, English-language learning, and students with disabilities.
- Documentation of Prospective Student Outreach Strategies
- Recruitment Day Documentation
- School of Education Recruitment Plan
Candidates Demonstrate Academic Achievement
3.2 The provider meets CAEP minimum criteria or the state’s minimum criteria for academic achievement, whichever are higher, and gathers disaggregated data on the enrolled candidates whose preparation begins during an academic year.
The CAEP minimum criteria are a grade point average of 3.0 and a group average performance on nationally normed assessments or substantially equivalent state-normed assessments of mathematical, reading and writing achievement in the top 50 percent of those assessed. An EPP may develop and use a valid and reliable substantially equivalent alternative assessment of academic achievement. The 50th percentile standard for writing will be implemented in 2021.
Starting in academic year 2016-2017, the CAEP minimum criteria apply to the group average of enrolled candidates whose preparation begins during an academic year. The provider determines whether the CAEP minimum criteria will be measured (1) at admissions, OR (2) at some other time prior to candidate completion.
In all cases, EPPs must demonstrate academic quality for the group average of each year’s enrolled candidates. In addition, EPPs must continuously monitor disaggregated evidence of academic quality for each branch campus (if any), mode of delivery, and individual preparation programs, identifying differences, trends and patterns that should be addressed under component 3.1, Plan for recruitment of diverse candidates who meet employment needs.
CAEP will work with states and providers to designate, and will periodically publish, appropriate “top 50 percent” proficiency scores on a range of nationally or state normed assessments and other substantially equivalent academic achievement measures, with advice from an expert panel.
Alternative arrangements for meeting the purposes of this component will be approved only under special circumstances and in collaboration with one or more states. The CAEP President will report to the Board and the public annually on actions taken under this provision.
- Comparative Praxis Data
- Initial Candidate Admissions Requirements
- Recognition of Honors and Academic Achievement
Additional Selectivity Factors
3.3 Educator preparation providers establish and monitor attributes and dispositions beyond academic ability that candidates must demonstrate at admissions and during the program. The provider selects criteria, describes the measures used and evidence of the reliability and validity of those measures, and reports data that show how the academic and non-academic factors predict candidate performance in the program and effective teaching.
Selectivity During Preparation
3.4 The provider creates criteria for program progression and monitors candidates’ advancement from admissions through completion. All candidates demonstrate the ability to teach to college- and career-ready standards. Providers present multiple forms of evidence to indicate candidates’ developing content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and the integration of technology in all of these domains.
Selection At Completion
3.5 Before the provider recommends any completing candidate for licensure or certification, it documents that the candidate has reached a high standard for content knowledge in the fields where certification is sought and can teach effectively with positive impacts on P-12 student learning and development.
3.6 Before the provider recommends any completing candidate for licensure or certification, it documents that the candidate understands the expectations of the profession, including codes of ethics, professional standards of practice, and relevant laws and policies. CAEP monitors the development of measures that assess candidates’ success and revises standards in light of new results.
- Diversity Report
- Initial Program Professional Expectations Seminar Documents
- Overview of Initial Candidate Understanding of Profession
Advanced Standard 3: The provider demonstrates that the quality of advanced program candidates is a continuing and purposeful part of its responsibility so that completers are prepared to perform effectively and can be recommended for certification where applicable.
Standard 4: Program Impact
Indicators of Teaching Effectiveness
4.2 The provider demonstrates, through structured validated observation instruments and/or student surveys, that completers effectively apply the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that the preparation experiences were designed to achieve.
Satisfaction of Employers
4.3 The provider demonstrates, using measures that result in valid and reliable data and including employment milestones such as promotion and retention, that employers are satisfied with the completers’ preparation for their assigned responsibilities in working with P-12 students.
Satisfaction of Completers
4.4 The provider demonstrates, using measures that result in valid and reliable data, that program completers perceive their preparation as relevant to the responsibilities they confront on the job, and that the preparation was effective.
- Completer Focus Group Report 2018-2019
- Completer Tracker
Advanced Standard 4: The provider documents the satisfaction of its completers from advanced preparation programs and their employers with the relevance and effectiveness of their preparation.
Standard 5: Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement
Standard 5: The provider maintains a quality assurance system comprised of valid 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 and 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 and development.
Quality and Strategic Evaluation
5.1 The provider’s quality assurance system is comprised of multiple measures that can monitor candidate progress, completer achievements, and provider operational effectiveness. Evidence demonstrates that the provider satisfies all CAEP standards.
- A-Team Policies and Procedures Manual
- Initial Program Assessment Gateways
- Initial Program Measures, Adjustments and Additions
- Quality Assurance System Guide
- School of Education Assessment Handbook
5.2 The provider’s quality assurance system relies on relevant, verifiable, representative, cumulative and actionable measures, and produces empirical evidence that interpretations of data are valid and consistent.
5.3 The provider regularly and systematically assesses performance against its goals and relevant standards, tracks results over time, tests innovations and the effects of selection criteria on subsequent progress and completion, and uses results to improve program elements and processes.
5.4. Measures of completer impact, including available outcome data on P-12 student growth, are summarized, externally benchmarked, analyzed, shared widely, and acted upon in decision-making related to programs, resource allocation, and future direction.
5.5. The provider assures that appropriate stakeholders, including alumni, employers, practitioners, school and community partners, and others defined by the provider, are involved in program evaluation, improvement, and identification of models of excellence.
CAEP Annual Reporting Measures
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has eight annual reporting measures which are used to provide information to the public on both program outcome and program impact. The following is the list of the CAEP measures.
Measures of program impact
Measure 1: Pre-service candidate impact on P-12 student learning
Measure 2: Indicators of teaching effectiveness
- Completer Case Study Implementation Plan
- Completer Observation Field Notes
- Completer Professional Learning Plans Pilot Case Study
- EdTpa Data
Measure 3: Results of employer surveys, and including retention and employment milestones
- Principal survey (Initial/ Advanced) — a survey of principals' perception of graduates' preparation by the university 12-18 months after completion of program.
Measure 4: Results of completer surveys
- Graduate survey (Initial/Advanced) — a survey of pre-service teachers as they exit the preparation program.
Measures of program outcome and consumer information
Measure 5: Graduation rates from preparation programs
Measure 6: Ability of completers to meet licensing (certification) and any additional state requirements
- State licensure exam results— includes passage rates on Praxis II examinations of Samford candidates by year and program area.
Measure 7: Ability of completers to be hired in education positions for which they are prepared
- Employment follow-up — employment rates of completers of initial and advanced programs 12 months after program completion. Most employment occurs 2-3 months after completion but is documented at 12 months.
Measure 8: Student loan default rates and other consumer information
- Samford University student loan default rates based on data provided by Director of Student Financial Services:
- (2015 - 1.9%)
- (2014 - 2.1%)
- (2013 - 2.0%)
- (2012 - 0.7%)
- Samford University Rate Schedule 2018-2019
The human development and family science undergraduate degree program at Samford University has been reviewed by the National Council on Family Relations. It has been recognized as an NCFR CFLE–approved program offering coursework covering the content required for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. Graduates of NCFR CFLE–approved programs qualify to apply for the CFLE designation via an abbreviated application process. Learn more about our Human Development and Family Life Education department.