In mid-November, the College received official notification from The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) of the Unit Accreditation Board (UAB) decision to continue accreditation of the School of Education at initial and advanced preparation levels. NCATE accreditation indicates that the unit and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community. The School of Education was initially accredited by NCATE in 1973.
The UAB decision was the culminating step in the continuing accreditation review process. During the fall and winter of the 2010-2011 academic year, the School of Education completed an institutional report, prepared extensive evidence for an electronic exhibit room, and hosted an eight-person Board of Examiners for an on-site visit, March 26-30. In accord with the state partnership agreement between NACTE and the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Board of Examiners was a joint national and state team. The School of Education received the Board of Examiners’ Report in May summarizing their findings and recommendations.
Associate Dean Tom Ward said, "The visit by the NCATE and Virginia state team affirmed that the work being done at the School of Education meets the highest standards for the preparation of education professionals."
NCATE President Jim Cibulka stated in his letter that “Special congratulations are in order because the Unit Accreditation Board has cited no areas for improvement relative to any of the standards.” A number of specific strengths were noted in the Board of Examiners’ report, including performance at the target or goal level in the following twelve areas:
- Collaboration between Unit and School Partners
- Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
- Candidates’ Development and Demonstration of Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions to Help All Students Learn
- Qualified Faculty
- Modeling Best Professional Practices in Teaching
- Modeling Best Professional Practices in Scholarship
- Modeling Best Professional Practices in Service
- Unit Evaluation of Professional Education Faculty Performance
- Unit Facilitation of Professional Development
- Unit Leadership and Authority
- Unit Facilities
- Unit Resources including Technology
Dean Virginia McLaughlin commended Associate Deans Tom Ward and Chris Gareis for their exceptional leadership throughout the preparation and review process. “This highly positive outcome reflects the hard work of our faculty and staff and the extraordinary commitment of our students, alumni, and partner schools,” she stated. Dean McLaughlin further noted that “The accreditation process is so thorough that the entire community has to be engaged. We were extremely proud of the response from our W&M community.”