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School of Education earns national accreditation

Jul 2, 2024
Three women talk in a classroom

KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo School of Education was one of 38 programs recognized for excellence by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in spring 2024.

The school received accreditation for its educator preparation, joining 559 CAEP-accredited programs in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four other countries.

Tara Kingsley, interim assistant dean, said the CAEP accreditation is “the gold standard” for teacher preparation programs.

“It’s a stamp of approval from a nationally recognized organization that we are meeting national standards for preparing future teachers,” she said. “It shows we are hitting that mark – we are excelling.”

Education faculty provided documentation of the school’s success, including case studies, assessments, and data about the effectiveness of program alumni from the schools that hired them. Kingsley said 96 percent of graduates were rated as effective or highly effective by their schools.

A hallmark of the program is providing experience in schools starting from the first year, so that each education graduate graduates with over 1,000 hours of classroom experience.

“We get our students into field practicums their freshman year, and build on that,” she said. “They spend a lot of time in authentic settings. That is another highlight of our program: Our students get on-the-job training.”

Kingsley said the accrediting team commended the partnerships the School of Education has developed with area P-12 schools, and its yearlong teacher residency student teaching.

Chris Darr, interim dean, said the School has proactively worked to combat the teacher shortage by creating the Tomorrow’s Teachers program, which allows students in 12 area school districts to take college education classes in high school. It also started a program to assist school paraprofessionals in earning a college degree and teacher certification, with 60 students currently enrolled.

“Earning this accreditation celebrates what the School of Education has done, and highlights the great work they are doing,” he said. “It shows we have a program of the highest quality.”

CAEP is a nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation and accredits providers at the initial and advanced levels. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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