Joplin, MO (SNS) – The Teacher Education Department at Missouri Southern State University has become the first in the state to meet new evaluation standards set forth by the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP).

The new standards will mean more stringent admission requirements, including higher ACT scores, as well as new exiting requirements for the program. It will also include higher curriculum standards.

“The process is based on strong data and continuous process of improvements,” said Dr. Deborah Brown, dean of the School of Education. “Evaluators described us as a model school, and while we’re excited to become the first program in the state to meet these new standards, we’re very mindful that the continuous process of improvement does not end with this distinction.”
In 2014, the boards of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) met in Washington, D.C., and voted unanimously to consolidate educator accreditation under a new agency, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The goals of CAEP are to raise the performance of candidates as practitioners in the nation’s P-12 schools and to raise standards for the evidence the field relies on to support its claims of quality. By meeting these goals, leaders believe they will raise the stature of the profession.

Evaluators from CAEP began their review of the Teacher Education program at Missouri Southern during the Fall 2015 semester. They spoke with administrators, teachers and students to determine how graduates from Missouri Southern are performing in their various subject areas, as well as officials with regional school districts in order to form a full picture.

In his remarks during Tuesday’s announcement, Missouri Southern President Dr. Alan Marble congratulated the department for the work that went into preparing for the CAEP evaluation.

“Currently, Missouri Southern ranks in the Top 7 among all 40 of the state’s teacher preparation programs for performance on content assessment,” he said. “That, again, demonstrates this university’s commitment to ensuring our graduates are ready to step into the classroom and perform to the highest standards.”