Catawba College's Teacher Education Program has been reaccredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
At an April 2008 meeting of NCATE's Unit Accreditation Board, Catawba's Teacher Education Program application for accreditation was considered and approved as meeting all required standards.
Dr. Jim Stringfield, chair and professor of Catawba's Teacher Education Department, noted, "Continuing accreditation by NCATE reaffirms the high quality of teacher education at Catawba College. When viewed in light of our full accreditation from the North Carolina State Board of Education, as well as a strong record of success on the IHE Performance Reports, our students, alumni, friends and other stakeholders can be justifiably proud of what they have helped us accomplish." He noted that Catawba's program will be up again for reaccreditation in the fall of 2014.
Since 1991, Catawba has been accredited by NCATE to offer bachelor's and master's levels of professional education programs. The College, through its Department of Teacher Education, offers a major in Elementary Education (K-6) or Middle School (6-9). The Department also offers a minor in Secondary Education (9-12) with licensure in English, Mathematics, Science (Biology, Chemistry and Comprehensive Science), and Comprehensive Social Studies, and a minor in Special Subject Areas (K-12) with licensure in Music and Physical Education. A program leading to licensure in the special field of Reading (K-12) is available. In fall 2006 the School of Evening and Graduate Studies established a Birth-Kindergarten Education program in cooperation with Rowan Cabarrus Community College. In fall 2007 a new program in Environmental Education was established.
The Department of Teacher Education is the only department at Catawba to offer graduate degree programs. Students may opt to pursue either a Master of Education degree in either Elementary Education (K-6) or Middle School Education, with specializations in either Mathematics or Communications.
Members of Catawba's Department of Teacher Education in addition to Dr. Stringfield, include Dr. Lou Ann Kasias, professor; Dr. Cyndi Osterhus, Dr. Rhonda Truitt and Dr. Bonita Bloodworth, assistant professors and Amanda Bosch, Curriculum Materials Center director.
Catawba College has offered Teacher Education programs in Salisbury since 1925. Last year, there were 275 graduates who were employed as teachers in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
NCATE currently accredits 623 institutions which produce two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year. Ninety-nine institutions are candidates or precandidates for accreditation.
NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey it so that students learn. The college or university must carefully assess this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate. The institution must have partnerships with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn. Candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations. College and university faculty must model effective teaching practices. And the school, college, or department of education must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.
NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research in order to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to a data-driven, performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do. The new system expects teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom. Multiple types of performance assessment are expected throughout the program of study. Candidate qualifications are assessed upon entry, and candidate competence is assessed throughout the program as well as prior to student teaching/internship work, and before completion of the program.
The U. S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE is composed of more than 30 professional and policymaker organizations representing millions of Americans committed to quality teaching. It was founded in 1954 by the teaching profession and the states. NCATE continues its mission today: the profession and the states working together for excellence in teacher preparation and development.
For more information about Catawba College's teacher education program, visit the website at www.catawba.edu. More information about NCATE is available at www.ncate.org.