The National Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has approved continuing the Brenau University College of Education accreditation for its undergraduate and graduate-level programs for an additional seven-year period.
The action by the NCATE unit accreditation board affirmed that the Brenau programs met all six “rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community” for initial and advanced programs for preparing teachers and other education professionals, according to a letter from NCATE officials to Brenau President Ed L. Schrader.
“We are very pleased by the NCATE board’s decision,” Schrader said. “We are extremely proud to have its continued affirmation, which is direct indicator of the strength of our programs in initial teacher preparation and advanced professional development.’
The affirmation comes on the heels of the Brenau College of Education recognition for having one of the nation’s top 10 online graduate education programs as a complement to its on-campus undergraduate and graduate offerings.
David L. Barnett, the interim dean of the College of Education and overseer of Brenau’s online and co-educational on-campus programs, called the “dual honor” of NCATE’s reaffirmation and a citation by “another external evaluation system like U.S. News & World Report” strong evidence of the high quality of the Brenau College of Education faculty and university leadership.
“I can’t stress enough that these are both tremendous accomplishments due to a lot of hard work over many, many years,” said Barnett. “Brenau always has taken great pride in the quality and quantity of well-prepared teachers and educational administrators that it has produced decade after decade.”
The NCATE board ruled at its annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on the Brenau application, which had been compiled after more than two years of self-study and documentation. The application had been reviewed thoroughly by NCATE staff and professionals from other colleges and universities from around the country.
The process included visits by NCATE teams to Brenau’s main campus in Gainesville and to other Brenau campuses in Georgia that offer education courses of study.
The U. S. Department of Education recognizes Washington, D.C.-based NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education in colleges and universities throughout the United States.
NCATE comprises more than 30 professional and policymaker organizations representing millions of Americans committed to quality teaching. It was founded in 1954 by the teaching profession and the states. The organization currently accredits 670 institutions, which produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates each year.
“Professional accreditation is one way to ensure the public that schools of education are graduating well-qualified teachers ready for today’s classrooms,” an NCATE spokesperson said. “Brenau University’s School of Education has proven its commitment to producing quality teachers for our nation’s children by achieving accreditation under the performance-oriented standards.”
As an example of the standards colleges and universities must meet in the accreditation process, teacher candidates when they graduate must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey it so that students learn. Accredited institutions also must have partnerships with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to teach and to teach in diverse environments.
Brenau currently offers undergraduate Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in education with specialties in early childhood education, middle grades education and special education; Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degrees in music education; Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degrees in dance education and art education; Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degrees with specialties in early childhood, middle grades, special education and secondary education; Masters of Education (M.Ed.) degrees in early childhood education, middle grades education, and special education; and Education Specialist degrees (Ed.S.) in early childhood education and middle grades education.
For more information, visit http://www.brenau.edu/?p=6550.