Springfield, Ohio – Four years ago, Wittenberg University became one of the first liberal arts colleges in the state to receive full accreditation for teacher education under the new and more rigorous standards of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). As 2008 concluded, the university’s undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs again impressed NCATE examiners, who recommended full accreditation.
National accreditation is a prestigious honor as standards are stringent with a strong emphasis on evidence proving excellent performance. Wittenberg’s teacher education programs were recommended for full approval in all six categories, including:
• Knowledge of content and pedagogy for teaching;
• Assessment system to measure student-teacher performance;
• Field experience and clinical practice
• Diversity, preparing teachers to succeed in diverse environments;
• Faculty qualifications, performance and development, and
• Unit governance and resources
The site examiners also were particularly impressed with education students whose work in schools and the community embodied both the university’s and education department’s commitment to service and social justice. NCATE evaluators spoke with liberal arts faculty, school teachers and university graduates in evaluating the program. They were additionally impressed by the commitment to the program and its mission, which provided the accreditation body with a firm conceptual framework on which to evaluate performance.
“Our mission is based on helping future and current teachers be leaders for social change and better education, said Kathy Calabrese, associate professor of education and chair of the education department at the time of accreditation. “This means that we stress both the character and competence necessary to serve their communities well.”
“Graduates of Wittenberg's teacher education program are unique,” said Robert Welker, NCATE coordinator and professor of education. “They graduate with the social purpose to advocate for their students and to work actively so that the conditions of their school, community and society are better places to live, learn and work.”
With national accreditation from NCATE, Wittenberg’s education department also achieves state accreditation to offer its 14 teacher licensure programs and master’s degree program. Already a leader in preparing teachers to work in the most challenging and most stimulating environments, the education department annually graduates more than 60 teachers, who have assumed positions in almost every state across the country. In addition, Wittenberg education majors and minors consistently enjoy more than a 95 percent passage rate of Ohio teacher licensing exams.
Written By: Karen Gerboth