The College of Education at Northern New Mexico College recently hosted on campus a visiting team from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Formerly known as the National council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the CAEP is nationally recognized as the accrediting body for educator preparation. The visiting team consisted of four educators selected from a national pool. The team was onsite from Sunday, March 6 through Wednesday, March 9. Northern made the decision to undertake this process for assessing and enhancing academic and educational quality of its educator preparation programs through voluntary peer review.
“We have been working diligently to meet and exceed the accreditation standards set forth by CAEP,” said Dr. Joaquin Vilá, Dean of Northern’s College of Education. “We are very pleased overall with the result of the visit, and look forward to continuing to build the College of Education on firm foundations and nationally recognized standards that will reflect positively on our teacher candidates.”
CAEP accreditation informs the public that an institution has a professional education unit that has met state, professional, and institutional standards of educational quality. At the heart of the process are the national standards, which are written expectations for meeting a specified level of performance. In addition to the University of New Mexico, Northern is the only other unit in the state to undergo a review this year.
At the end of the visit, the team shared their conclusions, which will be included in a report to be submitted for consideration to the Unit Accrediting Board (UAB). The UAB makes the final decision on unit accreditation and then reports its findings to the unit at its next meeting in August 2016. The visiting team concluded that all six professional standards were met and no serious problems existed across standards. Some areas for improvement were identified, such as the need for additional faculty for program delivery, which is something Northern had already committed to as part of its budget review process for the next academic year. A formal announcement of the College of Education’s accreditation status will be released once final notification is received from the UAB.