UM's College of Education Recognized for National Excellence – University of Montana

MISSOULA – The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced that the University of Montana’s Phyllis J. Washington College of Education received accreditation for its educator preparation programs in teaching and educational leadership.
The decision by the CAEP Accreditation Council resulted in full accreditation for the College of Education for meeting all of the CAEP Accreditation Standards – rigorous, nationally recognized standards developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.
“Our students and faculty should be very proud of the work they are doing,” said Dr. Adrea Lawrence, dean of the college of education. “We’ve set a very high bar for our educator prep programs and CAEP accreditation validates the hard work we are doing. Our students and their families are investing in an education program that is designated as nationally accredited for educator preparation.”
CAEP is recognized as a program accreditor by the U.S. Department of Education based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP updated the educator preparation standards in 2020 as part of its commitment to reviewing the standards at least every seven years.
The changes to CAEP standards reflect the board’s commitment to equity and diversity and also places an emphasis on the importance of technology in preparing future educators. Standards include content and teaching knowledge, clinical partnerships and practice, candidate recruitment, progress, support, program impact, and quality assurance systems and continuous improvement.” 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.”
In addition to CAEP’s national accreditation, the Montana Board of Public Education sets educator program standards, reviews educator preparation programs and grants accreditation to Montana programs based on the recommendations of a review team coordinated by the Montana Office of Public Instruction. UM’s education college is slated to be accredited by Montana’s Board of Public Education, having met all standards for its teaching and educational leadership programs at both the state and national levels.
UM offers 29 teaching programs ranging from early childhood education to middle and high school programs in the sciences, arts, math, world languages, language arts, social studies, special education, reading and library. The cumulative GPA of all students admitted into the Teacher Education Program significantly exceeds national accreditation requirements, with the most recently admitted cohort holding an average GPA of 3.36, and elementary education students on average score 13 points higher than the required Montana score on the Praxis content exam.
“We believe in continuous improvement, and we will use the information we received from the accreditation process to help us to better prepare future school teachers and leaders,” said Dr. Daniel Lee, UM education associate dean.
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