U of A Educator Prep Programs Earn Accreditation With No Stipulations

A U of A teacher candidate works with a student at a past Summer Literacy Camp event.
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A U of A teacher candidate works with a student at a past Summer Literacy Camp event.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation recently announced that the University of Arkansas earned accreditation for its educator preparation programs.

"Our accreditation happens every seven years," said Jennifer Beasley, director of teacher education and a teaching associate professor in the College of Education and Health Professions. "We received final news in May that we had met all standards without any 'Areas for Improvement' or 'Stipulations,' which is wonderful news—and very rare."

Accreditation is quality assurance through external peer review and involves meeting rigorous, nationally recognized standards. The U of A had to pass peer review on five standards, which are based on two principles:

  • Solid evidence that the provider's graduates are competent and caring educators
  • Solid evidence that the provider's educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer

"Without accreditation, we would not be able to issue teacher licenses in our programs," Beasley said.

The council's site reviewers concluded in their report that "there was an authentic attitude of working toward continuous improvement." The reviewers also observed that educator preparation programs at the U of A "had an intentional use of data for improvement."

"We were happy to see that CAEP recognized our efforts and focus on continuous improvement. It was amazing to see the involvement of faculty, staff, students, and community partners throughout the whole process," said Kate Mamiseishvili, associate dean of the college. "This accreditation decision is a recognition of the commitment that our faculty and staff have to ensuring that our graduates are effective, innovative, and impactful with their professional practice."

The College of Education and Health Professions offers both initial and advanced educator preparation programs in multiple licensure areas, including educational leadership, secondary education, elementary education, special education, career and technical education, and physical education and health.

Educator preparation programs are also housed in two other colleges at the U of A: art and music education in Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and agriculture education and birth to kindergarten in Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

All educator preparation programs require hands-on experience in the form of classroom observation and semester or year-long internship. U of A graduates are prepared to become: 

  • Knowledgeable
  • Skillful
  • Caring
  • Professional educators in diverse educational settings who can balance the needs and aspirations of each learner with the expectations of an increasingly complex and technological society. 

"Our educators are teachers, administrators, counselors, and other school professionals who value theory and research, understand that theory and practice are complementary and mutually reinforcing, and are committed to the enhancement of teaching, learning, and professional practice," said Mamiseishvili.

Contacts

Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu

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