Eastern Mennonite University’s teacher licensure programs have been awarded full accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for the next seven years – the council’s maximum term of certification.*
CAEP is a professional accreditor based in Washington DC that evaluates and ensures the quality of university education programs. The council was created when two national accreditors (NCATE and TEAC) joined forces, and became fully operational in 2013. In 2016, the legacy standards of NCATE and TEAC were put to rest in favor of CAEP standards.
EMU was one of 60 providers from 26 states to receive CAEP accreditation this year, joining 423 total providers that are approved by the organization.
“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”
CAEP evaluates programs based on five overarching standards: content and pedagogical knowledge; clinical partnerships and practice; candidate quality, recruitment and selectivity; program impact; and provider quality assurance and continuous improvement.
These standards and their many corollaries can be synthesized into two primary CAEP principles: that the program’s graduates are competent and caring educators, and that the staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence, and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the programs they offer.
“For EMU to meet all of these standards at both the initial licensure and advanced levels of educator preparation, without any areas for improvement and stipulations, “is great news and is the best possible outcome,” said Professor Cathy Smeltzer Erb, director of the undergraduate teacher education program.
*The CAEP accreditation is specific to programs approved by the Virginia Department of Education, which includes EMU’s undergraduate and graduate teacher licensure programs at the Harrisonburg, Virginia, campus. EMU also offers graduate teacher education at Harrisonburg and the university’s site in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. That program was not part of this review.