NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Stephen F. Austin State University educator preparation program has earned a seven-year national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
“Simply put, this accreditation is quality assurance through external peer review,” said Dr. Christina Sinclair, SFA associate dean of assessment and accountability. “When an institution or specialized program is accredited by CAEP, it has demonstrated it meets standards set forth by organizations representing the academic community, professionals and other stakeholders. To maintain accreditation, the institution or program must undergo a similar review on a regular basis, typically every seven to 10 years.”
Several benchmarks must be reached in order to receive accreditation, including annual reporting, a self-study process, formative review and visit to the campus by the CAEP review team.
CAEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which affirms the standards and processes of the accrediting organization are consistent with the academic quality, improvement and accountability expectations CHEA has established, including the eligibility standard that the majority of institutions or programs each accredits are degree granting.
“Accreditation by CAEP provides a framework that has pushed educator preparations programs to continually self-assess and conduct evidence-based analysis of their programs and efficacy,” Sinclair said. “These evidence-based shifts, rooted in continuous improvement, are helping ensure preparation programs like SFA’s are more likely to produce successful educators.”
Sinclair points out that accreditation matters to a broad audience, including:
- P-12 learners – Outcomes-based evidence means all learners are at the center of determining effectiveness as educators.
- Teacher educators – Since the process is infused with research and development, the knowledge base of effective practice will grow.
- State education agencies – Provides a stronger partner for quality assurance, helps connect the national consensus on preparation to state-level policy and provides support for a state’s own authorization/accountability system.
- Education professionals – Rigorous standards elevate the profession.
“Educator accreditation by CAEP is a seal of approval that assures quality in educator preparation. Accreditation ensures educator programs prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to effectively teach,” Sinclair said.
For more information about SFA’s educator preparation program, visit sfasu.edu/coe/student-resources/educator-preparation.