University of Saint Francis Department of Education awarded national re-accreditation

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Press release from the University of Saint Francis:

University of Saint Francis Department of Education awarded national re-accreditation

(January 4, 2011) – The University of Saint Francis Department of Education has been awarded continuing accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education.

Two-thirds of the nation’s new teachers graduate each year from among the 623 institutions accredited by NCATE. Founded in 1954 by the teaching profession and the states, NCATE comprises 30 professional and policymaker organizations representing millions of Americans committed to quality teaching and excellence in teacher preparation and development.

“We are very pleased to receive continuing accreditation from NCATE in recognition of our university’s high standards for teacher education,” said Dr. Daniel J. Torlone, University of Saint Francis Department of Education chair. “The Department of Education wishes to thank all of stakeholders who contributed to making the re-accreditation process a success. We deeply appreciate the support provided by public and parochial schools, our students, and the scores of USF staff and faculty colleagues.”

According to www.ncate.org, “meeting NCATE accreditation standards helps institutions to prepare new teachers for new, more rigorous licensing standards in many states. NCATE accreditation standards incorporate the model state licensing principles developed by a task force of the Council of Chief State School Officers.”

NCATE’s requirements for accreditation are stringent, as the organization’s website describes:

“NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. Teacher candidates 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. The college or university must carefully assess this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate. The institution must have partnerships with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn. Candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations. College and university faculty must model effective teaching practices. And the school, college or department of education must have the resources, including information technology standards.

“NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research in order to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to a data-driven performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do. The new system expects teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom. Multiple types of performance assessment are expected throughout the program of study. Candidate qualifications are assessed upon entry, and candidate competence is assessed throughout the program as well as prior to student teaching/internship work, and before completion of the program.”

For more information about NCATE accreditation and teacher education at the University of Saint Francis, contact Dr. Torlone at 260-399-7700, ext. 8408 or dtorlone@sf.edu, or visit the university’s website at www.sf.edu.

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