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April 8, 2005
DH 05 PH077
Contact: Pamela Hammond
(310) 243-2001


CSUDH College of Education earns seven-year accreditation
College has proven its commitment
to producing quality teachers for the nation’s children

Studies show that teacher quality is the most important factor in K-12 student achievement. But how do we know that our children’s teachers enter the classroom ready to help them learn? Professional accreditation is one way to ensure the public that schools and colleges of education are graduating well-qualified teachers ready for today’s classrooms.

The College of Education (COE) at California State University, Dominguez Hills has proven its commitment to producing quality teachers for California’s and the nation’s children by earning a seven-year accreditation this month under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This is the first time the college has achieved a seven-year accreditation, previously receiving five-year accreditations. Not every college of education reaches accreditation, but the 602 who have managed it produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates annually, according to NCATE.

“It’s wonderful, and it’s an affirmation of our faculty and staff and administration. Our accreditation was clean, no stipulations of any kind.,” said Kathleen Taira, interim dean, College of Education. “We received support from all over the campus, the other deans, the library, liberal studies. They came to our sessions, they talked to reviewers, they were interviewed … They contributed a lot.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Allen Mori added: “It is terrific news. I was very confident we were well prepared and confident in the leadership of Dean Taira. While NCATE credits the College of Education, I think Kathleen and I both stress the support, the hard work of not just those at the College of Education, but from the entire campus”

For nine years, Taira had served as the chair in Teacher Education at CSUDH and two years as the associate dean. She was called back to campus in January 2004 to head up the team preparing for the review after a five-year absence working at the CSU Chancellor’s Office. “My role was to pull the team together,” she said, “since I’d done something like this before. Now I will retire, and it will be easier knowing the COE is in good shape for seven years.”

The COE had to meet six criteria before being re-accredited: (1) Teachers must know the subject matter they will teach and know how to teach it effectively; (2) the COE had to have the resources to support the programs it offers; (3) an assessment system had to be in place to collect and analyze data on applicant qualifications, and candidate and graduate performance; (4) curriculum and experiences had to be provided that help candidates to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to help all kinds of students learn; (5) the COE had to have a partnership with the preschool-through-12th-grade schools where its candidates undergo supervised practical experience; and (6) the COE faculty had to be well qualified and had to model teaching practices they expect candidates to demonstrate.

Both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize NCATE as an accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education.

NCATE is a nonprofit, nongovernmental alliance of 33 national professional education and public organizations supporting quality standards of teaching. NCATE’s accreditation is performance-based, meaning the institutions must provide evidence of competent teacher candidate performance. Teacher candidates must know the subject matter they plan to teach and how to teach effectively.
An NCATE accreditation certifies that the college has met national professional standards for the preparation of teachers and other educators. Currently, NCATE reports that 90 colleges are seeking NCATE accreditation.

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 a 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 program as well as prior to student teaching/internship work, and before the completion of the program.

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Last updated Friday, April 8, 12:36 p.m.,
by Joanie Harmon