The Education Department at UNC Asheville is proud to announce that they have earned an extension of national accreditation status from CAEP – The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). To receive CAEP Accreditation, UNC Asheville’s Department of Education entered into a rigorous accreditation process examining all facets of teacher preparation through documentation and review.
“Together, our faculty, staff, alumni, partners, arts and sciences faculty, dean, and our students showcased the depth and breadth of our licensure programs,” says Nancy Ruppert, department of education chair and professor. “We addressed the experience as an opportunity to tell our story, to highlight the collaborative relationships we share with our partner districts, our university colleagues, as well as organizations who also support young people in our region. CAEP acknowledging our program celebrates the dynamic faculty, staff, alumni, partnerships, and students who are committed to K-12 students. It is our gift to work with such an amazing network of compassionate, caring educators.“
Achieving national accreditation requires extensive preparation, focus, and engagement. The accreditation of a department of education assures excellence in the quality of educator preparation. It makes sure that educator programs prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students and have the clinical training that will allow them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively.
“The full accreditation process begins with the submission of an extensive written report accompanied by up to 100 related exhibits that showcase the work of teacher candidates, department faculty, and public school partners toward meeting rigorous accreditation standards for teacher preparation,” says CAEP Coordinator Kim Brown, associate chair and associate professor of education. “The documents are reviewed using the accreditation standards to determine the extent to which the teacher education program is effectively preparing teacher candidates.” After all documents are reviewed, a designated CAEP team “spends three full days meeting with members of the Department of Education, university administration, and faculty who contribute to the teacher education program, the department’s teacher candidates, and the department’s public school partners to develop a deeper understanding of the department’s methods for preparing effective teachers and makes an accreditation status recommendation to the CAEP Board of Directors.” The Board reviews the submitted documents and the CAEP team’s recommendation and hands down an accreditation decision.
In September 2020, the CAEP Review Team conducted a review of the last seven years of accomplishments. The UNC Asheville department of education was granted full accreditation with no stipulations from CAEP. This is the first time that UNC Asheville has received this mark of excellence and achievement from CAEP. Prior to 2021, UNC Asheville was accredited by NCATE, which merged with CAEP in September of the same year.”
In addition to having full national accreditation, all of UNC Asheville’s 21 teacher licensure programs are fully approved by the state of North Carolina. Education students at UNC Asheville enter the classroom upon graduation as teachers with a unique, comprehensive liberal arts and sciences background. This background is established through the completion of a major field of study coupled with teacher licensure, which gives licensure candidates the tools to be stronger, more effective teachers. In four years, candidates can graduate with both a bachelor’s degree in a specific subject and a teaching license, making them marketable in two areas.
For more information, visit education.unca.edu/