Plymouth State Teacher Education Reaccreditation

November 16th, 2004 by Adam

Plymouth State Teacher Education Programs Achieve
National Reaccreditation

Plymouth State University programs in
initial teacher preparation, advanced educator and
professional school personnel have achieved
multiyear reaccreditation from the National Council for
the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Plymouth State is the first New Hampshire school to be
accredited under new standards mandated by NCATE in 2000.

“This year NCATE is celebrating its 50th anniversary
as the premier national accrediting body for teacher
education,” says PSU President Donald P.
, “and we are proud to say
that Plymouth State programs have been accredited for the
entire 50 years.”

Patricia Cantor, chair of the Council of
Teacher Education
at Plymouth State says, “The
NCATE visiting team was struck by how well our candidates
and faculty exemplify the qualities described in our
conceptual framework for teacher education: commitment,
holism, experience, collaboration and knowledge. They
were particularly impressed by the commitment and
enthusiasm of our candidates, the knowledge and
dedication of the faculty and the many exciting
collaborative ventures with which Plymouth State is
involved in the wider professional education community
throughout the state and region.”

NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous
standards set by the profession and members of the
Teacher candidates must have in-depth
knowledge of the subject matter they plan to teach as
well as the skills necessary to convey that knowledge so
that students learn. The University must assess this
knowledge and skill carefully to determine whether
students may be certified to teach. The institution must
have partnerships with schools from preschool through
grade 12 that will enable candidates to develop the
skills necessary to help students learn. Candidates must
be prepared to understand and work with diverse student
populations, and University faculty must model effective
teaching practices. The university must also demonstrate
availability of a variety of resources, including
information technology.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Virginia
Barry says, “The accreditation experience engages
the entire campus in an assessment process that is
focused on evaluating our curriculum, student outcomes
and quality experiences that best prepare candidates to
meet the demands of the teaching profession. Students
graduating from an NCATE accredited school are recognized
by certifying agencies throughout the United States.”

NCATE revises its standards every five years to
incorporate best practices 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 candidates are
offered, to a data-driven, performance-based system
dedicated to determining what candidates know and are
able to do.

“We are very proud to have our graduate
teacher education programs
recognized by NCATE as
meeting these high standards,” says Associate Vice
President for Graduate Studies and Outreach Dennise
Maslakowski. “We have excellent graduate faculty and
adjunct faculty (many who are teachers and administrators
at schools across the state) who work very hard in
bridging theory to practice in our courses, and I
appreciate all their assistance in helping PSU achieve
this accreditation.”

Cantor adds, “NCATE accreditation is widely
recognized as a mark of distinction and that is one of
the reasons so many teacher candidates choose to study at
Plymouth State University.
Graduating from an
NCATE-approved program makes our students more attractive
candidates for education positions all over the United
States. They are well poised to become the new leaders in
their field."

NCATE is a nonprofit,
nongovernmental alliance of 33 national professional
education and public organizations. NCATE
currently accredits 575 institutions which produce
two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates
each year.
The U.S. Department of Education and
the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize
NCATE as an accrediting body for schools, colleges and
the department of education.