Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

January 2011

Southeastern Maintains National Teaching Accreditation


Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been approved for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The University has been accredited by NCATE since the accreditation body was founded in 1954. Every seven years, Board of Examiners (BOE) teams conduct on-site accreditation visits and an 11-member team was at Southeastern in March of this year.

“Dean (William) Mawer and the entire faculty and staff of the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences should be congratulated on this achievement,” said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “Teacher education has long been a cornerstone of Southeastern and this re-accreditation affirms the quality of the programs that we have in place. For many, many years, Southeastern graduates have played important roles as administrators and teachers in schools across the nation. As a University, we are committed to continuing to build upon the success of our teacher education program.”

Southeastern’s NCATE accreditation includes both the initial and advanced preparation levels.

The accreditation criteria covers six areas, including student knowledge and skills; assessment system and unit evaluation; field experiences and clinical practice; diversity; faculty qualifications, performance and development; and unit governance and resources. All six standards were met by Southeastern.

In addition, in Oklahoma, the accreditation process includes the evaluation of all teacher candidate portfolios. Also, each program area (e.g., math, reading, etc.) within a teacher education unit is required to submit a review as part of this assessment process.

“NCATE is the highest accreditation that a School of Education can receive in the United States,” Mawer said. “This accreditation assures the public that Southeastern’s teacher graduates have completed a program grounded in nationally recognized standards of excellence. I might add that we received great support from our administration throughout this entire process, which we greatly appreciate. It was truly a team effort.”

An important component of the accreditation process was the on-site visit by the BOE team. During the visit, the team of individuals trained in the NCATE standards worked to determine the quality of the unit's candidates and graduates as measured by their ability to help all students learn. The team spent a substantial amount of time during the visit examining and assessing the quality of the unit assessment system and the data generated by that system. While on site, the team evaluated evidence and conducted individual and group interviews with students, faculty, adjunct faculty, University administrators, outreach site faculty, public school administrators and teachers, as well as community members.

Dr. Vivian Guarnera, director of teacher education at Southeastern, said one key to the success of the program is the strong relationship that exists between the University and the public schools. And the “field experience” for students was singled out by the BOE team as a real plus of the overall teacher education program.

“Before they begin their student teaching, our students must complete 90 hours of field experience (observation, etc.) in four different school districts," Guarnera said. “The student teaching component is a 60-day experience in the classroom. We place our student teachers in classrooms all across Oklahoma and Texas. All of the school districts that we have worked with have been very cooperative – we believe that it is a win-win situation for the school districts and for Southeastern.”

Southeastern currently offers the following teacher education degree programs: Elementary Education; Elementary Education early childhood; Elementary-Secondary Education in Art Education, Health & Physical Education, Music Education, and Special Education; Secondary Education in Science Education, English Education, Mathematics Education, and Social Studies Education; and Graduate degree programs for reading specialist, elementary principal, secondary principal, school counseling, and Special Education.

Ten of Southeastern’s programs have been nationally recognized by a learned society.

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