The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has announced that Southern’s College of Education is one of 39 providers from 16 states and Puerto Rico to receive accreditation for educator preparation programs. The fall 2021 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council assessed Southern’s performance against nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.
“CAEP is an extremely rigorous accrediting agency that relies on valid, time-tested measurements,” said Joe Bertolino, president of Southern Connecticut State University. “To receive this affirmation of our programs’ excellence is incredibly validating – but to receive it without conditions is exceptional, and a testament to our commitment to providing the best academic experience we can to our future teachers and school leaders.”
Programs are often granted accreditation provided additional evidence can be shown for meeting specific standards. Southern was not asked to submit any revisions or supplemental information.
“To receive zero conditions or areas for improvement is so unusual,” said Jane Gates, provost for Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. “It’s outstanding, really.”
CAEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Approximately, 700 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system.
“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”
Stephen Hegedus, dean of Southern’s College of Education said he was “very proud of the dedication and hard work of the faculty and staff of the College of Education and associated departments.”
“It has taken many years to obtain this achievement,” Hegedus said. “To receive full accreditation with no conditions was a high expectation that I knew we could meet.
“I’m thankful to the many students, graduates and employers who met the accreditation team earlier this year offering testimony to the high quality of our programs. We are dedicated to continuing such commitment to excellence for years to come.”
Southern has been a leader in preparing Connecticut’s teachers, principals, and school administrators since the university’s founding as New Haven State Normal School in 1893. The College of Education’s alumni regularly receive high accolades at state and national levels, including 2016 National Teacher of the Year (and now U.S Representative) Jahana Hayes, ’05.
The College has also received major national grants to further its efforts to boost the ranks of teachers of color in K-12. Recently, the National Science Foundation awarded Southern $1.4 million to help bolster science and math education in the state’s high-needs school districts by recruiting and training a diverse, high-quality pool of STEM teachers.
Earlier, the College launched the Minority Educator Initiative, a project designed to increase the number of minority students pursuing a career in K-12 education by offering targeted scholarships and a high school mentorship program.
And this month, a new Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was launched and will serve as a “hub” to address pressing state and local education challenges at both the pre-K-12 and higher education levels.