Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 22, 2002 - The College of Education at Southeast Missouri State University has been reaccredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for five years.

After a review and study that took place in March, the College was reaccredited under the performance-oriented standards of NCATE, the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education, which reported that Southeast met all standards. An NCATE self-study at Southeast was conducted by a University committee headed by Dr. Verl Pope, associate professor of educational administration and counseling, and Dr. Gale McMahan, assistant professor of elementary, early and childhood education. For the first time the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) joined NCATE in the review process.

"National accreditation is one of the most important markers of quality for teacher preparation. This means that Southeast is one of only 540 institutions in the nation that have met the rigorous NCATE standards," said Dr. Shirley Stennis-Williams, dean of the Southeast College of Education.

NCATE accredits institutions which produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year. Over 100 institutions, including Southeast's College of Education, are candidates or precandidates for accreditation.

NCATE accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to understand all students and guide them through the learning process. The University must carefully assess this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate, while providing the resources to prepare candidates to meet new standards, Stennis-Williams said. The institution also must have partnerships with schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn. She added that University faculty must model effective teaching practices.

"We are especially pleased that this accreditation was achieved with the complete support and assistance of partner school districts and the Southeast Superintendents Association," said Stennis-Williams.

NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research in order to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to the current data-driven, performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do. The new system expects teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom. Multiple types of performance assessment are expected throughout the program of study. Candidate qualifications are assessed upon entry, and candidate competence is assessed throughout the course of the program.

Teacher education students also are expected to obtain a deep understanding of the subjects they teach. Twelve professional organizations have granted national recognition to Southeast's specialty areas. These include the Association for Childhood Education International, Council for Exceptional Children, Educational Leadership Constituent Council, National Association for Education of Young Children, National Association for Sport & Physical Education, National Council for the Social Studies, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Middle School Association, National Science Teachers Association, Council on Academic Accreditation and National Association of Schools of Music.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as the professional accrediting body for schools, departments and colleges of education. On-site visits, document review, and accreditation decisions are all carried out by professionals from the education community, including teachers, school specialists and teacher educators as well as members of the public and education policymakers.

The NCATE team chair was Dr. Peggy Ishler-Bose, director of curriculum and instruction at University of Northern Iowa. The DESE review team was headed by Dr. Michael Arnold, chair of educational administration at Southwest Baptist University.

The next NCATE visit for Southeast's College of Education tentatively is scheduled for spring 2007.


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