Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- December 6, 2005

Cal State L.A.'s Charter College of Education Meets Profession's Standards, Receives Professional Accreditation

Studies show that teacher quality is the most important factor in P-12 student achievement. But how do we know that our children's teachers enter the classroom ready to help them learn? Professional accreditation is one way to assure the public that schools of education are graduating well-qualified teachers ready for today's classrooms. The Charter College of Education at California State University, Los Angeles has proven its commitment to producing quality teachers for our nation's children by recently achieving full accreditation under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education.

NCATE currently accredits 614 institutions which produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year. Ninety institutions are candidates or precandidates for accreditation.

"It is gratifying for NCATE to recognize the fine work our faculty and staff members are doing in terms of preparing educators to work in diverse urban schools," says Judith Washburn, acting associate dean, Charter College of Education at Cal State L.A.

"Our continuing accreditation attests to the quality of our program in educating future teachers," says CSULA Provost of Academic Affairs Herman D. Lujan. "The Charter College of Education has been a pioneer in leading the way in many innovative approaches to teacher education."

As a Charter College, the College of Education at Cal State L.A. is committed to leading educators to transform public schools. The College offers a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to the education of children and youth. Collaborating within the Charter College of Education and with public schools in the urban Los Angeles area, the faculty prepares professionals to become learner advocates who show competence in subject matter and professional knowledge and skills and who are dedicated to improving the educational environment of all children and youth. Cal State L.A. is the state's largest preparer of bilingual teachers, and credentials more California teachers than any other public university. Recognized for its exemplary programs by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the University currently offers two joint doctorate degrees in education.

NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. Teacher 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 carefully 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. Candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations. College and university faculty must model effective teaching practices. And the school, college, or department of education must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.

NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research, in order to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to a data driven performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do. The new system expects teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom. Multiple types of performance assessment are expected throughout the program of study. Candidate qualifications are assessed upon entry, and candidate competence is assessed throughout the program as well as prior to student teaching/internship work, and before completion of the program.

Meeting NCATE accreditation standards also helps institutions prepare new teachers for new, more rigorous licensing standards in many states. NCATE accreditation standards incorporate the model state licensing principles developed by a task force of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The U. S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE is composed of more than 30 professional and policymaker organizations representing millions of Americans committed to quality teaching. It was founded in 1954 by the teaching profession and the states. NCATE continues its mission today: the profession and the states working together for excellence in teacher preparation and development.

For more information about Cal State L.A.'s teacher education program, visit the Web site at www.calstatela.edu. More information about NCATE is available at www.ncate.org.

Contact: Margie Yu, Public Affairs Specialist, (323) 343-3047


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