December 17, 2012

Teacher education program earns reaccreditation

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently received accolades from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education following their recent reaccreditation site visit.  The University has continuously earned accreditation since 1954.

“NCATE is the leading accreditation association for teacher education in the United States, and this accreditation is a reflection of who we are as an institution since our founding as Southern Illinois Normal College in 1869 and also recognition that teacher education is still at the heart of the institution,” said James Allen, associate provost for academic programs.

“This accreditation is worth bragging about because the teacher education program represents the institution’s heartbeat and involves so many programs and students and so much history of the University.  It really matters,” Allen added.

In claiming the six-year reaccreditation the University drew high praise from NCATE in all areas with reviewers saying the University’s teaching program is “fantastic,” “top-ranked” and “one of the best.”   

There are more than 500 students enrolled in the Teacher Education Program at SIU Carbondale.  About 100 faculty members from 18 degree programs within the colleges of Education and Human Services, Liberal Arts, Science and Agriculture provide instruction for students who are the teachers of tomorrow, said Kelly Glassett, acting director of teacher education.

To receive the accreditation, the University had to prove it met six standards, said John McIntyre, acting chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  NCATE examined the field and clinic experiences, faculty, assessment system, curriculum, assessment system, and governance and resources.  NCATE also reviewed other factors and criteria as well, culminating a three-year preparation process for the University. 

The NCATE study shows SIU Carbondale students have diverse learning experiences in terms of faculty, instruction, and student teaching assignments, Allen said.   The reviewers learned that the students have a 100 percent pass rate on the Test of Academic Proficiency, and a pass rate exceeding 96 percent on the content testing.  The results are proof that the program prepares its students to score well on the state teacher certification exams, and do a great job as teachers, McIntyre said. 

“Peers from across the country found that our program demonstrates the best practices in education,” Allen said.

Getting into the program is not easy. Applicants must have a 2.75 GPA, and score at least 80 percent on the academic proficiency test, or score 22 or higher on the ACT or a minimum 1030 on the SAT. 

“The outcome of our recent NCATE visit was very positive.  I think it is proves that SIU Carbondale and the College of Education and Human Services should continue to be proud of the students our Teacher Education Program produces.  The success of the NCATE visit was made possible by the many faculty and staff who went above and beyond the call of duty.  We truly appreciate them,” said Keith B. Wilson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services.