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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
St. Scholastica's School of Education receives key accreditation
The College of St. Scholastica announced its School of Education teacher education program has been named one of the first schools in the nation to be accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
St. Scholastica’s program agreed to serve as one of a few pilot cases to be reviewed using the newly established standards for programs seeking CAEP accreditation. CAEP advances excellence in educator preparation in the United States through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning, CSS said in a news release.
“This outstanding recognition is an acknowledgment of St. Scholastica’s ongoing efforts toward excellence in preparing teachers in a way that fosters improved P-12 student achievement,” said Jo Olsen, dean of the School of Education.
“It is especially exciting to be one of the first CAEP accredited programs in the country and the first in Minnesota,” she said. “The reviewers gave us incredibly positive feedback. We have received a full seven years of accreditation with no cited areas for improvement. This was the best possible result we could have received.”
CAEP is the new entity that derives from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which have come together to form one accrediting body for teacher education programs. CAEP’s standards serve to support teacher education in their continued focus of increasing K-12 student learning. More than 900 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system.
Olsen said St. Scholastica and K-12 schools have developed strong partnerships.
“We thank our partners for their continued support, including the faculty in other academic schools here at St. Scholastica – they offer many of the courses that our students take, and they’re instrumental in helping prepare our students. We’re also extremely grateful to school principals in the region, the classroom teachers who mentor our students in the K-12 schools and to our advisory board for their support of our pre-service teachers and our program.”
Accreditation, which is not required in Minnesota, involves an in-depth self-examination as well as review by a series of third-party examiners.
“The process of a self-study requires faculty to dig deeper, ask critical questions about what we do, and look at ways that we can improve our program,” Olsen said. “Our program has strengthened our self-examination, with our faculty asking harder questions in terms of the impact we make and how we can be even better. We are a stronger program as a result of this going through the accreditation process.”
St. Scholastica’s School of Education offers an online master of education program that has been named a “Best Online Education Program” by US News & World Report magazine. The program is ranked 48th out of 166 schools nationwide - higher than any other college or university in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“We appreciate US News’ affirmation of the quality of work our faculty and students accomplish together, especially since one of the criteria used in the rankings is peer educators’ input,” Olsen said.
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