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College of Education

College of Education first in SC to complete CAEP accreditation visit

The University of South Carolina led the way with national accreditation of its educator preparation program in 1969 when it became the first in the state to seek and achieve national accreditation through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Leading the way once again, Carolina has become the first in the state to successfully complete a self-study and accreditation visit through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

The two-year self-study process, which began in the fall of 2015, culminated in a self-study report submitted to CAEP in February 2017. October 22–24, 2017, a team of both national and state reviewers spent time on campus meeting with various constituent groups including staff, faculty, current teacher candidates, recent graduates of the program who are now teaching in local schools and employers of those graduates, to look for evidence that the College of Education meets the five national standards set forth by CAEP. While the results of the accreditation process will not be official until February 2018, the feedback given was extremely positive.

"National accreditation assures a high quality in educator preparation," says Cindy Van Buren, assistant dean for professional partnerships and accreditation. "Accreditation ensures that educator programs prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students, and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively."

Accreditation provides a framework that pushes educator preparation programs to continually self-assess and conduct evidence-based analysis of their programs and their efficacy. These evidence-based shifts, rooted in continuous improvement, ensure that preparation programs are more likely to produce successful educators.

 We are committed to national accreditation and the continuous improvement that results from this important process.
Jon Pedersen, Dean

How accreditation impacts education: 

  • Preschool-12th grade students – Outcomes-based evidence guarantees all learners are at the center of determining effectiveness of educators
  • Teachers –  Since the process is infused with research and development, the knowledge base of effective practice will grow
  • State education agencies – Provides a strong partner for quality assurance, helps connect the national consensus on preparation to state-level policy and provides support for a state’s own authorization/accountability system
  • Education Professionals – Rigorous standards elevate the profession

Following the visit, CAEP reviewers commended several key initiatives, process and procedures and partnership including:

  • the depth, breadth and strength of our Professional Development Schools (PDS) Network
  • our recruitment and retention efforts to attract a diverse group of the best and brightest into initial education licensure programs and support them through degree completion
  • our new Carolina TIP (Teacher Induction Program) as our commitment of three years of support to our graduates as they navigate the challenges of the induction years
  • our quality assurance system which brings our stakeholders to the table for data review and decision making
  • positive feedback from school and system administrators regarding the preparedness of our graduates when they enter the profession
  • the high quality of our teacher candidates (current students)

"We are very proud that USC’s College of Education is the first in South Carolina to go through the new CAEP accreditation process," says Joan T.A. Gabel, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of South Carolina. "This accreditation and the stellar review we have earned affirms our forward-thinking best practices and strengthens our resolve to continue leading the way in teacher education preparation. We are very proud of Dean Pedersen and his team and congratulate them on their outstanding work. They reflect the best of our commitment to provide and support the very best teachers.”

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