Ten of FSU’s education licensure programs have earned full national recognition from their specialized professional associations (SPA).
Full national recognition requires meeting all of the SPA’s standards. The overall accreditation process is overseen by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
According to the CAEP website, accreditation helps assure quality in career preparation and push programs to self-assess the effectiveness.
Kelly Kolodny, professor and coordinator of the post-baccalaureate teacher licensure program, oversaw the process of accreditation. Each department then had a professor write the major-specific reports.
The process requires creating assessments based on content and the approach to teaching, connecting these assessments to standards, and then analyzing the data after collecting it, according to Kolodny.
“Three cycles of data are required for a SPA review,” she said.
Lori Bihler, a history professor, said, “It was a lot of work and putting together reports and collecting data. And that meant looking for areas that were needed for the program like reviewing what areas needed more work or more emphasis.”
According to Kolodny, FSU had previously achieved national accreditation in 2014.
“The SPA review process demonstrates that candidates in initial licensure programs successfully apply content and pedagogical skills, including with their [pre-K through 12] pre-practicum and practicum teaching experiences,” said Kolodny.
For students, employers can see that the programs are nationally accredited and recognize them, according to Bihler.
Kelly Matthews, associate professor of English and coordinator of liberal studies, said, “Our student teachers … can be confident that they are highly prepared according to a national set of standards that has been developed over multiple years by experts in our field.”
Kolodny said, “The University currently is preparing to engage in an accreditation site visit with the CAEP in March 2021. In preparation of this visit, initial licensure programs went through a SPA review process.”
According to the CAEP website, SPA review reports are due three years before the site visit.
“The assessments utilized in the SPA review process include units of study, teacher work samples, the Massachusetts Candidate Assessment of Performance, and others that are specific to each licensure program,” Kolodny said. “The results from these assessments demonstrate that candidates have mastered the SPA standards.”
FSU started the process of accreditation in the spring of 2018, according to Kolodny.
Matthews said, “It’s a high-stakes process, with stringent requirements for resubmission if our first attempt had not been successful, so I was happy to learn that our English program achieved full national recognition.”
Bihler said, “I’m glad that we have it. In the effort of putting together these data collections and reports about student progress, they did help make the program better.”
The following education programs received full national recognition:
The early childhood education baccalaureate and PBTL programs received full national recognition from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The elementary education baccalaureate and PBTL programs received full national recognition from the Association for Childhood Education International.
The English baccalaureate and PBTL/M.Ed. programs received full national recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English.
The history baccalaureate and PBTL/M.Ed. programs received full national recognition from the National Council for the Social Studies.
The mathematics middle-level baccalaureate and PBTL/M.Ed. programs received full national recognition from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
The mathematics high-school level baccalaureate and PBTL/M.Ed. programs received full national recognition from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
The reading specialist M.Ed. program received full national recognition from the International Literacy Association.
The special education M.Ed. program received full national recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children.
The teaching English as a second language M.Ed. program received full national recognition from the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
The world languages baccalaureate and PBTL programs received full national recognition from the American Council on the Teaching of a Foreign Language.