Southern Wesleyan University School of Education receives NCATE Accreditation
The preparation for this accreditation has been a five-year process, according to Dr. Ray Locy, Associate Dean of the School of Education, who chaired Southern Wesleyan’s accreditation efforts. Nine representatives from the NCATE Board of Examiners, including representatives from the South Carolina Department of Education, visited the Southern Wesleyan campus in Central Nov. 3-7, 2007. They found that the School of Education met criteria that ensure that t eacher candidates have in-depth knowledge of their subject matter and skills necessary for effective teaching. In addition, the Board of Examiners found that the School of Education carefully assesses its teacher candidates’ knowledge and skills, has formed institutional partnerships with P-12 schools, and has the information technology resources necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.
“Even though we are a small institution, at the same time being NCATE accredited means we’ve met the same rigorous standards that any other major university in the United States that’s NCATE accredited has met,” Locy said.
Dr. Fred Woodworth, Dean of the School of Education, asserted that attaining this milestone favorably positions the School of Education at Southern Wesleyan University “to take its rightful place among the schools of education across the nation.”
“The uniqueness of the School of Education at Southern Wesleyan University lies in its mission to prepare teacher candidates who not only demonstrate scholarship, but teachers who define their teaching by a Christian ethic of care,” Woodworth said.
“This accreditation is significant for the university and serves as an affirmation of the quality of our teacher education programs and provides tangible evidence of the university's continuing commitment to academic excellence. We congratulate the School of Education, its faculty and graduates for this affirmation of the quality and Christian care that is evident throughout its programs ,” said Dr. David Spittal, Southern Wesleyan University president.
Woodworth praised the work of education faculty and staff members for making a NCATE accredited program a reality at Southern Wesleyan. He also praised the work of Locy, whose meticulous attention to detail provided the visiting committee with the evidence needed to ensure compliance with all the standards at both the initial and advanced levels. In addition, he praised the work of Joy McJunkin, whose many hours of gathering data provided support needed by the committee to make its recommendation.
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 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. Meeting NCATE accreditation standards also helps institutions prepare new teachers for new, more rigorous licensing standards in many states. NCATE accreditation standards incorporate the model state licensing principles developed by a task force of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
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.
Southern Wesleyan University’s School of Education enrolls more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students at the campus in Central as well as locations in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, North Augusta, Spartanburg and Greenwood.
More information about Southern Wesleyan University’s School of Education can be found online at education.swu.edu. More information about NCATE is available at www.ncate.org.