MONMOUTH -- The College of Education at Western Oregon University recently received national reaccreditation until 2014.
Oregon's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) also voted to grant unconditional approval to the college's teacher education programs until 2015.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and TSPC conducted a five-day site visit in October to gauge whether the college was meeting standards held by the organizations.
The university's teaching program has earned NCATE approval since 1954 and has been accredited longer than any of Oregon's six accredited institutions, school officials said.
"Seeking and achieving the most rigorous national accreditation standards for our teacher preparation programs has been a tradition at Western Oregon University for over 50 years," said Hilda Rosselli, College of Education dean. "Not only does this achievement speak to our faculty and staff's hard work and dedication, but it also reflects WOU's desire to provide the highest quality curriculum for students enrolled in our programs."
The U. S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE currently accredits 623 institutions, which produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year.
Ninety-nine institutions are candidates or precandidates for accreditation.
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.
Teaching candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey it so that students learn. The college or university must assess this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate.
The institution must have partnerships with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn.
And the school, college, or department of education must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.