Following a rigorous process, the School of Education at Indiana University has again achieved accreditation by the National Council for Teacher Accreditation (NCATE), which is the highest mark of quality available to teacher preparation programs.
"To say that we were ecstatic would be to engage in an understatement," said Dean Stanley Wigle, Ph.D. "This is really a result of five years of hard work and effort from everyone involved to become a data based, outcome driven program. It is an amazing accomplishment."
For four days in the fall, a nine-member team visited the campus analyzing how well the school met six demanding standards of excellence. These include competency of faculty and programs, competent teacher candidate performance, forming meaningful administrative partnerships with area schools and demonstrating a commitment to work with diverse student populations.
One unique edge that the School of Education had over other area programs was the development and implementation of an electronic document center. This Internet-based filing system was used to collect and store more than 4,000 pieces of data on the school’s programs, faculty, staff and students. This document center was built to align with recent changes in NCATE submission standards. Institutions applying for or seeking to continue NCATE accreditation now use web-based forms to submit reports on individual programs of study.
Going to this format helps streamline and add consistency to the NCATE accreditation process by using aggregated performance data gathered on all candidates in a program.
Although the School of Education has again been recognized for meeting the highest quality standards in the nation, and will not be reviewed for another seven years, its commitment to excellence has not subsided. Wigle says that the school plans a faculty retreat in the fall.
"Together, we will determine what the next level of excellence might be for the School of Education and how to get there. We are continually reaching for the top," he said.
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, members of the public and education policy makers. For more information about the School of Education, please visit http://www.iun.edu/education/ or call (219) 980-6689. To learn more about NCATE, please visit http://www.ncate.org.