CAEP Accreditation Requirements and Standards
Universities and colleges take on the mammoth task of preparing generations to take their role in society and, in turn, go on to educate others. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is not only a gatekeeper, ensuring future educators have acquired the skills to perform their teaching function, but also a framework, pushing educator preparation programs to self-assess and analyze the efficacy of their programs.
In meeting CAEP accreditation requirements, higher education institutions can ensure their programs adequately prepare the student body to take their place in the workforce and continue to improve as each new generation of future educators begins their studies.
What is CAEP Accreditation?
CAEP accreditation consists of an unbiased external party reviewing colleges and schools within a higher education institution to assess the efficacy of their education preparation provider (EPP) programs. CAEP accreditation standards help ensure a degree in education is more than a piece of paper. Degrees from accredited institutions show that education students gained the necessary knowledge and practical application of this knowledge to help their future careers.
For programs seeking to provide a degree in education, CAEP accreditation ensures the educator preparation is of such quality that graduates are capable of more than disseminating information — they also have the required leadership and communication skills to manage a classroom environment.
The importance of CAEP accreditation comes with standardizing the criteria that potential educators have to meet to allow the highest quality EPPs, strengthening the profession across the country.
CAEP accreditation requirements benefit students and institutions alike. The former has access to the highest level of education in preparation for their future career. The latter has a model to focus on for continual improvement and legitimacy. When choosing where to study education, students will gravitate toward CAEP-accredited options. Employers then look for this stamp of approval in the hiring process.
CAEP Accreditation Standards and Requirements
To meet CAEP accreditation standards and requirements, higher learning institutions must undertake a detailed process so the accrediting body can determine whether they meet the requirements. Much of the accreditation process is centered around ensuring schools are focused on the continuous improvement of their programs.
Those seeking CAEP accreditation must endeavor to meet six standards. Information on these standards is plentiful and intricate, but a simple breakdown of each includes the following:
- Content and pedagogical knowledge: Programs must demonstrate that aspiring educators understand what they’re teaching and how to teach it to others effectively.
- Clinical partnerships and practice: The EPP must partner with communities and school districts to provide adequate student teaching opportunities with a view to practical experience.
- Candidate recruitment, progression and support: Candidates must be selected from a broad range of backgrounds and be of suitable quality. They must demonstrate skills suited to the teaching profession. They must also be consistently monitored and supported throughout their studies. EPPs should provide extensive records of all students and their milestone achievements.
- Program impact: This is measured after educators have finished their studies and started work in the field. Both employers and students will weigh in on how prepared candidates are for the job and whether they are satisfied with the EPP.
- Quality assurance system and continuous improvement: EPPs must provide valid and evidence-based data to support continuous improvement. There are multiple uses for the data in enhancing and innovating programs over time.
- Fiscal and administrative capacity: Facilities must have the resources to provide adequate training and opportunities for learners and the development of their programs.
Programs must demonstrate their commitment and efficacy in terms of continual improvement by submitting an annual report.