EMU Teacher Education Program awarded CAEP Frank Murray Award

Eastern Mennonite University’s Teacher Education Program was one of 26 education providers from 17 states and the United Arab Emirates to win recognition for its continuous improvement in preparing teachers and other educators.

The honor, titled the Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement, is given by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  

Earlier this year, CAEP awarded EMU’s program full accreditation with no stipulations or areas of improvement. That status qualified the program for the award.

“We are delighted to receive this recognition,” said Professor Cathy Smeltzer Erb, director of the undergraduate teacher education program. “Our faculty and staff are extraordinarily dedicated to high standards of preparedness in our graduates. This recognition is a reflection of our commitment to excellence through data-driven results and an attitude of continuous improvement that prepares our candidates to positively impact their P-12 learners.”

Frank Murray was the founding president of Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), served as chair of the board for TEAC, and was an initial member of the CAEP Board of Directors. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and TEAC. 

The Murray recognition began in 2019, and this year includes programs at small, large, public, private, faith-based, and historically minority serving universities.

Providers selected for recognition advance equity and excellence in educator preparation through purposeful use of self-study procedures and evidence-based reporting that assure quality and support continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 learning, according to a news release from CAEP. The program’s conduct continuous improvement inquiry, use assessments that are relevant to the topic being informed and consequential, show the reliability and validity of the evidence provided for accreditation, have quality assurance capacities that inform their knowledge and address questions about relationships in the data.

“Frank Murray was passionate about education preparation, a prominent leader in our profession, and an advocate for evidence to improve education. The providers that CAEP is recognizing are committed to continuous improvement and preparing their students to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said Karen Symms Gallagher, chair of the CAEP Board of Directors. “CAEP Accreditation is a sign of commitment to quality through purposeful use of evidence. The Murray Leadership Recognition recipients should be proud of their accomplishments.”

CAEP accreditation serves the dual purposes of accountability and continuous improvement.  423 educator preparation providers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have been accredited under the CAEP Standards. The CAEP accreditation process evaluates the performance of providers and focuses particularly on whether candidates will be prepared, by completion, for the challenging responsibilities that educators face in America’s classrooms. Approximately, 700 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including many previously accredited through former standards. CAEP is the only educator preparation provider recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.