TTU is among 560 institutions nationwide — which together produce more than 125,000 teachers each year — that are accredited by NCATE, the country’s primary professional accrediting agency for colleges of education.
“Accreditation in any field is an indication of quality assurance, but for a state institution like TTU that relies significantly on public funding, it can also mean greater financial security,” said Darrell Garber, dean of TTU’s College of Education. “Lawmakers and taxpayers alike may be more willing to provide funding when they know it’s going to a successful program.”
Each institution that is a candidate for NCATE accreditation is rigorously evaluated on six standards: the teaching candidates’ knowledge, skills and dispositions; assessment and evaluation; field experiences and clinical practice; diversity; faculty qualifications, performance and development; and resources and governance.
The level of confidence exhibited by the majority of TTU’s teaching candidates was a positive characteristic noted by NCATE evaluators.
Areas cited for minor improvements include a library science course not aligned with the standards of the American Library Association — which has since been corrected — and inconsistent compiling, summarizing and analyzing of data.
“There will always be found areas for improvement, but the success of our performance has advanced miles and miles since we were last reaccredited in 1998,” Garber said.
At that time, NCATE representatives cited four significant areas for improvement — inadequate financial support, overloaded faculty, lack of conceptual framework in the curriculum and lack of diversity on campus — but all those were found to be acceptable upon the recent evaluation.
TTU’s next NCATE evaluation for reaccreditation will be in 2010.