NCATE F.A.Q's


NCATE accreditation responds to the public's expectation that colleges of education produce teachers and other school specialists who meet rigorous standards, and who can help students learn. To achieve accreditation under NCATE’s standards, universities and colleges must offer intellectually rigorous programs which are relevant to the needs of today’s classrooms. NCATE wants to know "what do candidates know and what are they able to do?"

What is NCATE and what is the purpose of the NCATE review?
 
Founded in 1954, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is an independent accrediting body, authorized by the U.S. Department of Education, which determines whether schools, colleges, and departments of education meet rigorous national standards in preparing teachers and other school professionals for the classroom. NCATE accreditation informs the public that James Madison University operates at a high level of educational quality and integrity. James Madison University has been NCATE accredited since 1954 and is one of only 15 institutions in the state of Virginia that holds that distinction.
 
Why is Professional Accreditation Important?
 
Professional accreditation has played a critical role in the standard of living that we enjoy in America today. Much that we take for granted—from the bridges we cross to the highways we use to the health care we receive—are the result of efforts of professionals in various fields who produce and live by high standards. Accreditation standards are the bedrock upon which the established professions have built their reputation and garnered the esteem of American society.
What Does NCATE Accreditation Mean for Teacher Candidates?
 
Teacher candidates from NCATE-accredited institutions will be better prepared for new, more demanding initial licensing expectations in many states, and for board certification through the new National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. NCATE is working with the Council of Chief State School Officers and NBPTS to ensure that accreditation, licensing, and certification standards are compatible.
 
Many states have reciprocity agreements based on graduation from NCATE-accredited schools, so that graduates from NCATE-accredited institutions will generally find it easier to apply for licensure when they move out of state.
 
What are the NCATE Standards for Accreditation?
 
There are six NCATE Standards: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions; Assessment System and Unit Evaluation; Field Experiences and Clinical Practice; Diversity: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development; and Unit Governance and Resources. Institutions that are NCATE accredited are expected to demonstrate, with supporting data, that all programs that prepare teachers and other school professionals meet these six standards. Institutions are also expected to have a Conceptual Framework which guides their practice across the Unit.
 
What Evidence is There That NCATE Makes a Difference?
 
A recent study in Kentucky found that the vast majority of that state’s new teachers said that their education prepared them very well for their jobs in K–12 schools. Over 90 percent of new teachers said they were extremely well prepared, very well prepared, or moderately well prepared. Over two-thirds said they were extremely well prepared or very well prepared. Almost all of these new teachers graduated from NCATE-accredited institutions in that state.
 
Testimonials from institutions that have completed the accreditation process report that the self-study for NCATE review helped them improve their programs. The same process has worked successfully for many years in medicine, law, engineering, architecture, psychology, social work, and other professions.
 
Read an introductory brochure about NCATE, Adobe Acrobat Document "NCATE: Making a Difference"

Professional accreditation has played a critical role in the standard of living that we enjoy in America today. Much that we take for granted—from the bridges we cross to the highways we use to the health care we receive—are the result of efforts of professionals in various fields who produce and live by high standards. Accreditation standards are the bedrock upon which the established professions have built their reputation and garnered the esteem of American society.

NCATE Accreditation: What it Means to the Public:

  • the school of education underwent rigorous external review by professionals;
  • candidate performance is thoroughly assessed throughout the program and before he or she is recommended for licensure;
  • the programs meet standards set by the teaching field at large, including classroom teachers.