Professional accreditation of preparatory education programs is the bedrock upon which all professions (e.g., architecture, engineering, medicine, law) have built their reputations. It assures that those entering the respective field have been suitably prepared to practice through assimilation of a body of knowledge and pre-service practice in the profession. Accreditation of schools of education indicates that the school underwent rigorous external review by professionals, that performance of a teacher candidate in the program has been thoroughly assessed before he or she is recommended for licensure, and that programs meet standards set by the teaching profession at large.
Since 2000, NCATE has been leading the reform movement for accountability in higher education by requiring colleges of education to produce performance based assessments to measure candidate’s proficiencies, programs, and unit operations.
Regional accreditation organizations are now requiring the same rigorous value-added assessments and are asking faculty from education to be leaders at their institutions. This paradigm shift is creating a culture on college campuses towards innovation and quality improvements.