RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College Bunce School of Education’s undergraduate programs have received accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The CAEP bases its approval on compliance with nationally recognized teacher preparation standards created to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs. Chair for the Bunce School of Education Lynley Carey said she believes accreditation is important for schools of education and their students.
“It’s important for any school of education to receive national accreditation so students in our area have the opportunity to go to an institution that is nationally certified and close to home,” Carey said. “Preparing for the accreditation visit involved a lot of work, and I’m thankful for the effort everyone put in to get everything together collecting data and interviews.”
In previous years, Rio has been accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Since Rio’s last reaccreditation, NCATE merged with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) to create CAEP. The new organization requires that educator preparation providers seeking accreditation must pass peer review on five standards based on the two principles of solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators and solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create, maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer. Carey said she is proud of the hard work the department has put into meeting the organization’s standards.
“A lot of our students have said they don’t want to pack up and move away to college. Having Rio here with an accredited school of education has given them that opportunity to get their education from a nationally recognized program without leaving this area,” Carey said. “A large number of our graduates have gone on to teach in local and regional schools. It’s very rewarding to know the schools in this area want to hire Rio graduates.”
CAEP is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement.
For more information on the Bunce School of Education, contact the Office of Admissions at 740-245-7208.
Jessica Patterson is a Communications Specialist with the University of Rio Grande