Western Carolina University’s College of Education and Allied Professions has been granted accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
The accreditation was at the initial-licensure level (which is provided at the baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate levels leading to initial-licensure, certification or endorsement that are designed to develop Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers) and the advanced-level (which is provided at the post-baccalaureate or graduate levels to develop P-12 teachers who have already completed an initial-licensure program, currently licensed administrators or other certified school professionals for employment in P-12 schools/districts).
CEAP’s accreditation is effective from Spring 2022 through Spring 2029, with the next site review taking place in Fall 2028.
“Earning this accreditation means our teacher and professional education programs have successfully met rigorous standards and that our candidates are ready for the profession on day one,” said Kim Winter, dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions. “Having a unified set of rigorous standards is important for the field, which is grappling with declining enrollment and teacher shortages that have led to some states loosening requirements for licensure.
“Our program enrollments have not declined in recent years. In fact, many have experienced growth. Accreditation by CAEP ensures excellence, equity and quality of programs.”
In its Accreditation Action Report, CAEP reported that where were no areas for improvement or stipulations that were identified.
“Our candidates develop a deep understanding of learners, content, instructional practice and professional responsibility, and are supported from recruitment through program completion, and their beginning years in the field,” said Patricia Bricker, professor and associate dean for academic affairs.
“We are committed to effective partnerships with Pre K-12 schools and helping to meet the educational needs of our region. The accreditation process requires considerable expertise and effort from faculty and staff in the College of Education and Allied Professions, the College of Arts and Sciences and the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts. I am especially grateful to my CAEP leadership team colleagues, including Lee Nickles (director of assessment and instructional technology) and (associate professor of psychology) Lori Unruh, who lead the work for our advanced-level programs, and to members of our CAEP Steering Committee.”
The CAEP Steering Committee include Kelly Tracy, Myra Watson, Nickles, Amanda Chapman, Nancy Luke, Monica Miller, Dale Carpenter, Frank Forcino, Charmion Rush, David Kinner, Unruh, Carmen Huffman, Heidi VonDohlen, Jess Weiler, Carrie Rogers, Karena Cooper-Duffy, and Bricker.
“Since 1889, WCU has been committed to training dynamic, well-qualified educators for North Carolina schools,” said Richard Starnes, WCU Provost. “This impressive reaccreditation shows that that commitment endures. This was the result of a great deal of hard work by many faculty, staff and students. Congratulations to Dean Winter and the entire College of Education and Allied Professions for this achievement.”