Published on August 31, 2016 by Katie Stewart  
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Four academic programs in Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education have received national recognition status on their first submission for Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs). These include three programs with the bachelor's education degree, including early childhood, special education and elementary collaborative teacher (ESEC), as well as the master’s degree in secondary education fifth-year nontraditional (FYNT). 

The ESEC programs received national recognition status from the Association of Childhood Elementary International (ACEI), the National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). FYNT received national recognition status from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). 

With these new honors, Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education has the highest number of nationally recognized programs in the state of Alabama. 

“Programs that receive national recognition status are considered models for others to emulate across the country,” noted Diana Cheshire, associate dean for assessment and accreditation in the school of education. “We are thrilled that we have four academic programs — and counting — that have received this status.” 

In the spring of 2016, these programs engaged in a rigorous external program review, Cheshire said. Programs are assessed on the quality of the curriculum, faculty and students, as aligned with a national set of standards developed by SPAs. Programs that meet the required criteria are awarded national recognition status. 

“Our faculty has worked tirelessly to ensure our students receive the highest level of instruction as set by national standards and guidelines. I am very proud of all of our accomplishments,” said Jeanie Box, dean of the school.  

All recognized programs will be listed on the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) website as well as the National Specialized Professional Association websites. The school of education is still engaged in the national recognition review process with at least 10 other academic programs that will be submitted as initial reports or revised reports Sept. 15. January will provide the results for the next round of submissions. 

Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education is committed to recognizing and nurturing excellence among its teacher candidates and practicing teachers, Box added. The school has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954.  

Katie Stewart is marketing and communication coordinator for Orlean Beeson School of Education.

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About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.