After a rigorous audit and review process, two of Plymouth State University’s advanced educator programs have earned accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The national accrediting organization reviews institutions that offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and other programs to prepare teachers and other educators for certification and licensure in the United States and abroad. With the recent accreditation of its Library Media Specialist program and School Psychology program, PSU becomes the first institution in New Hampshire to be fully accredited by CAEP.
PSU’s educator program includes undergraduate and graduate-level studies in elementary education, music and visual arts education, physical education, special education, and other tracks to prepare educators for roles within elementary, middle and high schools. The University’s advanced programs include library media specialist, school counselor and school psychology.
“Attaining advanced level CAEP accreditation of our educator preparation programs was a true collaborative effort made possible by the dedication, hard work and expertise of our education faculty, Holmes Center staff, our students and our partner school districts,” said Brian Walker, Interim Director, Holmes Center for School Partnerships and Educator Preparation, Plymouth State University. “This accreditation demonstrates that PSU is committed to using evidence-based national standards to prepare our students to become outstanding K-12 educators who are equipped to meet the diverse needs of today’s students.”
PSU’s Library Media Specialist program is the only accredited program of its kind in northern New England. The online master’s degree program attracts students from New Hampshire and throughout northern New England.
“The traditional role of the school librarian has evolved dramatically with the onslaught of digital information that must be vetted and validated, and learning tools that must be integrated into classrooms,” said Pamela Harland, Ed.D., Director of PSU’s Library Media Studies and Digital Learning program. “Librarians are curators of mountains of information and must be prepared to teach students how to think critically about the information they’re accessing. This accreditation demonstrates that we are invested in continuous program evaluation and improvement, and to delivering relevant curriculum and coursework.”
PSU’s School Psychology program is an education specialist-level program, meaning between a master’s degree and a doctorate. Like the Library Media Specialist program, PSU’s School Psychology program is the only accredited program of its kind in New Hampshire. The intensive in-person program comprises on-campus classroom meetings and three field placements in K-12 schools, primarily in New Hampshire.
“CAEP accreditation affirms the rigor of our program, and ensures that our graduates are highly skilled and committed to adhering to professional domain standards in their practice,” said Chris Stoddard, Psy.D., NCSP, Director of PSU’s School Psychology program. “Our graduates are well-prepared to become comprehensive mental health providers in schools, and most have employment offers before they graduate.” To meet national CAEP accreditation standards, PSU demonstrated not only exemplary teaching and learning but also how PSU graduates impact students in the schools where they work.