Think. . .Revolution
in American Education/Teacher Prep at Texas Tech!
Accreditation is a process for assessing and enhancing academic and educational quality through voluntary peer review. The educator preparation programs at Texas Tech University have undergone this review process and have been continuously national accredited since 1963.
Of the 69 teacher preparation programs in Texas, only 13 are currently so recognized. Tech’s accreditation has always been through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Recently NCATE merged with another accrediting body to form the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
CAEP Calls for Teacher Preparation Reforms
Texas Tech is currently engaged in several initiatives to transform educator preparation programs to meet 21st century demands.
Such a transformative shift is endorsed by the national blue ribbon panel of American educators in Transforming Teacher Education through Clinical Practice: A National Strategy to Prepare Effective Teachers (NCATE, 2010), which calls for:
· increasing rigorous accountability;
· strengthening candidate selection and placement;
· revamping curricula, incentives, and staffing;
· supporting partnerships; and
· expanding the knowledge base to identify what works and supports continuous improvement.
This transformation is further supported by CAEP, as noted in a 2/28/12 press release from its Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting.
CAEP will expect accredited preparation providers to take bold steps to recruit, prepare, and help develop effective teachers who can contribute their expertise to improving student performance in all schools.
College of Education’s Reform Efforts
The College of Education has responded to these calls for change by restructuring educator preparation through nine initiatives, a summary of which follows.
1. Every College of Education program will be comprehensively reviewed by faculty with the charge of targeting higher-order outcomes.
2. Functional and easily accessed databases will be available with a focus on using candidate progress data formatively to modify and adjust instruction and programmatic experiences.
3. A technology committee will ensure that technologies used for program delivery foster candidates’ skill/product competency, and that application of technology becomes a signature competency of all educator preparation graduates.
4. Return on investment data will be used to make budget allocation decisions, ensuring resource availability for the most productive college programs.
5. Teacher Education Programs will be reformed to include immersion in clinical and competency-based preparation, including signature technology applications.
6. A Global Exemplar School (GES) Study Team will be established focusing on partnerships, which will foster P-12 school and student success.
7. A communication campaign will be developed to present TTU educator preparation as a reform leader.
8. An Office of Program Evaluation and Research Support will be established with an initial goal to increase external funding submissions and awards by 25% over the initial benchmark year, and by 2013 to achieve and remain in the top three TTU colleges in external funding.
9. The standards of academe will be revised to align with the educator preparation reform agenda.
Result of Reforms
The educator preparation faculty and staff of Texas Tech University, along with their educational partners, have a focused agenda to implement these nine initiatives. In so doing, the skills and abilities of our graduates will be enhanced, and they in turn will make a positive impact on the students and educators in the P-12 schools.
In addition, such successful implementation of the nine initiatives will prepare us for the 2013 accreditation review, allowing us to maintain national accreditation— through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Contributed by Larry Hovey: Coordinator of Accreditation and Assessment