May 14, 2001

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu



CSUB School of Education awarded national accreditation


Studies show that teacher quality is the most important factor in P-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 of education are graduating well-qualified teachers ready for today's classrooms. California State University's School of Education in Bakersfield has proven its commitment to producing quality teachers for our nation's children by achieving accreditation under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education.


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.

CSUB's School of Education is one of 54 schools of education that received either initial or continuing accreditation from NCATE's Unit Accreditation Board in its most recent round of decisions. NCATE accredits 520 institutions. The 520 accredited institutions produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year. Another 100 institutions are candidates or precandidates for accreditation. Only 14 California institutions are NCATE accredited.

NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. NCATE standards expect accredited schools of education to ensure that subject matter content, and how to teach it, is a priority; to emphasize school district collaboration; to ensure that candidates can use technology in instruction; and to prepare teacher candidates to teach students from diverse backgrounds. The standards also require the school of education to design a conceptual framework for each program that is based on current and established research and best practice.

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. The redesigned NCATE accreditation standards emphasize teacher performance. They focus on what teacher candidates should know and be able to do, and expect candidates to demonstrate specific skills. 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 completion of the program.

"The cooperation and support from our students, faculty, staff, administration, and local education agencies was a principal factor in earning our continuing accreditation status," said Sheryl L. Santos, dean of CSUB's School of Education. "It's everyone working for a common purpose that sets an institution apart from the rest. The School of Education has undergone many changes since 1998 when I came on board. We are really reaching out to our community and focusing on providing excellent student services in addition to new or revised programs of study."

For more information about CSUB's teacher education program, visit the web site at http://www.csub.edu/SOE/home.htx. More information about NCATE is available at www.ncate.org.


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