Clarksville, Ark. --- The University of the Ozarks' Education Division has been granted full, continued accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the nation's primary accreditor of teacher-education programs.
The NCATE accreditation, which extends for seven years, covers the university’s initial teacher preparation program.
“I am extremely proud of the NCATE report that we received,” stated Dr. Daniel Taddie, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “It underscores the strengths of our continuous improvement efforts. For example, while all six standards were met at the time of the previous visit, four areas for improvement were identified. Three of those areas for improvement were removed entirely this time, and another showed significant progress.”
“In the current report, only two areas for improvement were identified: diversity and faculty resources. We take these seriously and will continue to work on them. It should be noted, with regard to faculty resources, that at the time of the visit, the teacher education program lacked one full-time faculty member due to an unsuccessful search last spring. I am happy to report that this faculty position has now been filled with an excellent candidate, who will begin work in August 2010.”
“I applaud the work of our teacher education faculty and staff as well as their colleagues from across the campus that brought us to this happy conclusion,” Taddie said. “The work itself was time-consuming and arduous and required great dedication, knowledge, and skill to ensure that all of our processes were running effectively and then to document these for the visiting team. I want to express my deep appreciation to all who worked on this project.”
NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. The current accreditation process is heavily data-driven and performed-based, requiring teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of teacher-candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom.
NCATE focuses on six standards during their evaluations of teacher education programs: (1) candidate knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions; (2) assessment system and unit evaluation; (3) field experiences and clinical practice; (4) diversity; (5) faculty qualifications, performance and development; and (6) unit governance and resources.