Contributing to the Accreditation Review Process. (Professional Standards/Teacher Education)

By Pierson, Carol Anne | Childhood Education, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview
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Contributing to the Accreditation Review Process. (Professional Standards/Teacher Education)


Pierson, Carol Anne, Childhood Education


One of the most important jobs for the Professional Standards/Teacher Education Committee is our support of the program review process for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). ACEI is the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) that reviews all elementary education teacher preparation programs required to seek program approval in the NCATE accreditation process. Many members of the Professional Standards/ Teacher Education Committee serve as program reviewers, and a portion of the committee's meetings at the annual conference are devoted to supporting and providing input to that process.

But did you know that any qualified member of ACEI, regardless of membership on the Professional Standards/Teacher Education Committee, might serve as a program reviewer? The committee continually receives questions about the program review process and reviewer eligibility from members. This article will review some information about the review process and the reviewers.

The review of elementary education teacher preparation programs within the NCATE accreditation process is an important and extensive facet of ACEI's mission. ACEI has been the exclusive program reviewer for elementary education teacher preparation programs since 1989. We have the distinction of being the first SPA to implement standards for elementary education programs that are totally performance-based. These performance-based standards are the model for the other 17 SPAs that are now in the process of making their standards performance-based.

Program reviewers are ACEI members who are teacher educators and elementary teachers (with at least 3 years of elementary teaching experience). The reviewers are trained in the program review process during an annual meeting and then volunteer time each semester to review elementary programs. Program reviews are mailed to reviewers and completed by the reviewers at home, so no travel is required. Each review is addressed by three reviewers, who communicate electronically.

Update training sessions for reviewers are provided by ACEI each year at the annual conference. Also, sessions are scheduled throughout the conference by the NCATE Program Review Coordinator and the Professional Standards/ Teacher Education Committee to provide reviewers with information and updates on NCATE and the program review processes.

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