College of Education achieves full accreditation

October 29 2008

Indiana State University's College of Education has been granted full accreditation status by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

"As an institution that serves the public good, it is our moral imperative to graduate high quality educators at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the demands of K-12 schools," said Brad Balch, College of Education dean. "NCATE accreditation is a demanding source of accountability that ensures the institution is accomplishing its moral imperative."

The college underwent a focused visit by a NCATE accreditation team this past spring, and ISU received notification of its status in late October.

"Full accreditation by NCATE validates the good work that we are doing in educator preparation and shows that we are following an effective continual improvement model to ensure quality preparation of our candidates," said Susan Powers, associate dean of the College of Education who spearheaded accreditation efforts.

As part of the recent visit, the accreditation team examined one of the six standards established by NCATE that resulted in ISU's development of its unit assessment system.

"It's a system developed by the institution to ensure that we are making effective progress as a unit," Powers said. "This is part of the continual improvement model where programs examine themselves, but in the Unit Assessment System, faculty, staff and students look at the work of all educator preparation as a whole to determine how effectively we prepare educators and function as a unit as well as seek ways to collectively improve."

The system looks at the full range from student recruitment and retention to advising to diversity and teaching to faculty recruitment and retention as well as student performance.

Balch said because of the success of the college's evaluation system, two other Indiana universities have contacted ISU about implementing a similar Unit Assessment System.

"One of the features of the new system are assessment committees that actively examine our practices, and an assessment day where we invite everyone involved in educator preparation to look at the data and engage in discussion about how we are doing and what we could do better," Powers said.

That system also creates continual improvement.

"We began work on the system revisions and refinement immediately after the fall 2005 visit," Powers said. "We continue today. Following the NCATE model means that you have a built-in process of continual examination into your process to ensure that you are always as effective as you can be."

Balch agreed.

"Our recent fully accredited status demonstrates that across each of the six NCATE standards, our institution remains accountable for its programs and can evidence a systemic continuous improvement as well," he said.

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Contact: Brad Balch, Indiana State University, dean of the College of Education, at 812-237-2919 or bbalch@isugw.indstate.edu

Susan Powers, Indiana State University, associate dean of the College of Education, at 812-237-2918 or spowers@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or at jsicking@indstate.edu

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Indiana State University's College of Education has been granted full accreditation status by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

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