The Newman University School of Education has been recommended for reaccreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), following a rigorous review process that included two and a half years of preparation, 38 separate interviews and more than 600 pieces of evidence.
The Newman School of Education is expected to receive the five-year reaccreditation in April or May 2014, said Associate Dean of the Newman School of Education Steven E Dunn, Ed.D.
CAEP is a national agency designed to advance excellence and promote improvement of preschool – grade 12 educator preparation programs, through an evidence-based, peer review process. CAEP recently merged with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), two former independent accrediting agencies.
Newman was accredited by NCATE in 2008, and was in the process of preparing for reaccreditation under NCATE standards at the time of the merger. Newman continued using the NCATE standards for the recent review as allowed by CAEP, but like all schools of education must use CAEP standards of accreditation beginning in 2015.
The reviewing committee was made up of CAEP members from Arkansas, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as four members of the Kansas committee, which included a member of the Kansas State Department of Education. The national and the state agencies work hand-in-hand to assure quality teacher preparation programs, Dunn said.
The review process began with a visit to the Newman campus Sept. 20, 2013 by the national and state co-chairs and the representative from the Kansas State Department of Education.
“They looked at our facilities and spoke with several people, and gave me guidelines and procedures for how to prepare for the formal visit, which was very helpful,” Dunn said.
The review team then came to Newman Oct. 27 and 28. Dunn said the reviewers conducted 21 interviews on their first full day in Wichita. In addition to meeting with Newman officials and faculty, the team visited with alumni of the program, current teacher interns, officials at schools where Newman regularly places student teachers, and other groups and individuals involved with the School of Education.
On the next day, the reviewers conducted 17 sessions, which included meetings with Newman administrators and department heads, as well as faculty in areas where Newman offers concentrations for secondary school teachers, such as history, English and government. The assessment team also observed Newman graduates who were teaching classes, and met with administrators and students of schools that had recently hired Newman teachers.
In addition to the interviews, assessment team members reviewed reports the School of Education had submitted in June 2013 demonstrating how the school was meeting NCATE accreditation standards. The reports had also been posted on a web site created by Newman especially for the review, along with more than 600 pieces of evidence. That evidence included school policies, minutes of meetings, documents, data and analysis of student learning in education courses, surveys from graduates who are now teaching, and nationally mandated teacher assessments.
Following an initial review of the reports and web site, the assessment team requested additional information and evidence, which Newman officials provided. After the October visit, Dunn reviewed the draft report prepared by the accreditation team then sent all reports and related material to the Kansas State Department of Education and CAEP for final review.
The Newman School of Education was then recommended for reaccreditation by the joint Kansas state and CAEP accrediting committee.
“We were involved for two and a half years preparing for this review,” Dunn said. “First, all our academic undergraduate and graduate programs have to be approved by the state Board of Education, so we had to show how we are meeting the standards for the state. After we got that, we began getting ready for the national review. It’s a very thorough process.”
The Newman School of Education will be reviewed by CAEP for reaccreditation again in 2019.