CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Receives National Teacher Training Accreditation

Date: 12-13-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s School of Education has received national accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

An 18-person team comprised of national and state university and K-12 representatives evaluated the University’s teacher preparation programs during a site visit last April, and the NCATE board notified CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg of accreditation last month.

Phyllis Fernlund, dean of the College of Education and Communication, said, “NCATE accreditation is a nationally recognized mark of distinction for Chico State. All of the programs that prepare educators on our campus have now met rigorous national standards in addition to the California program requirements.”

While national accreditation is voluntary in California, Fernlund said that the University “took on this challenge because accreditation is about accountability and our responsibility, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, to prepare the finest teachers, administrators, counselors, reading specialists and librarians for our schools.”

The NCATE accreditation will assist CSU, Chico teacher credential graduates in their future job pursuits, Fernlund said. For instance, many states will accept the teaching credentials of an out-of-state applicant from an NCATE-accredited school, she said.

The extensive accreditation process involved interviews with 700 teachers, administrators and students to see if the University met a range of national standards for the preparation of teachers.

One NCATE team leader, during the spring 2007 visit, described a group of CSU, Chico credential students as “the most professional I’ve ever seen.”

Fernlund said she was particularly pleased that CSU, Chico received NCATE accreditation on its first attempt. “Institutions going through initial NCATE accreditation often falter when they try to meet NCATE Standard 2,” she said, “which requires an assessment system that measures the university students’ achievement of each standard and requires evidence that faculty use assessment data to continually improve our programs.”

President Zingg said, “Gaining NCATE accreditation on our first try is strong testimony to the quality of our education programs and the faculty and staff who design and deliver them. It’s also a reflection of the confidence we have in our willingness to stand the test of this kind of national scrutiny.”

The School of Education has approximately 450 students enrolled in teaching credential and graduate programs and 340 student teachers working in more than 100 K-12 schools. One half of School of Education faculty members speak two or more languages, one third have taught overseas and all have taught two or more years in public schools.