Western Carolina University – CEAP gains accreditation through Spring 2029 | #education | #technology | #training

By Marlon W. Morgan

Western Carolina University’s College of Education and Allied Professions has been
granted accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

The accreditation was at the initial-licensure level (which is provided at the baccalaureate
or post-baccalaureate levels leading to initial-licensure, certification or endorsement
that are designed to develop Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers) and the
advanced-level (which is provided at the post-baccalaureate or graduate levels to
develop P-12 teachers who have already completed an initial-licensure program, currently
licensed administrators or other certified school professionals for employment in
P-12 schools/districts).

CEAP’s accreditation is effective from Spring 2022 through Spring 2029, with the next
site review taking place in Fall 2028.

Kim Winter, left.

“Earning this accreditation means our teacher and professional education programs
have successfully met rigorous standards and that our candidates are ready for the
profession on day one,” said Kim Winter, dean of the College of Education and Allied
Professions. “Having a unified set of rigorous standards is important for the field,
which is grappling with declining enrollment and teacher shortages that have led to
some states loosening requirements for licensure.

“Our program enrollments have not declined in recent years. In fact, many have experienced
growth. Accreditation by CAEP ensures excellence, equity and quality of programs.”

In its Accreditation Action Report, CAEP reported that where were no areas for improvement
or stipulations that were identified.

“Our candidates develop a deep understanding of learners, content, instructional practice
and professional responsibility, and are supported from recruitment through program
completion, and their beginning years in the field,” said Patricia Bricker, professor
and associate dean for academic affairs.

“We are committed to effective partnerships with Pre K-12 schools and helping to meet
the educational needs of our region. The accreditation process requires considerable
expertise and effort from faculty and staff in the College of Education and Allied
Professions, the College of Arts and Sciences and the David Orr Belcher College of
Fine and Performing Arts. I am especially grateful to my CAEP leadership team colleagues,
including Lee Nickles (director of assessment and instructional technology) and (associate
professor of psychology) Lori Unruh, who lead the work for our advanced-level programs,
and to members of our CAEP Steering Committee.”

The CAEP Steering Committee include Kelly Tracy, Myra Watson, Nickles, Amanda Chapman,
Nancy Luke, Monica Miller, Dale Carpenter, Frank Forcino, Charmion Rush, David Kinner,
Unruh, Carmen Huffman, Heidi VonDohlen, Jess Weiler, Carrie Rogers, Karena Cooper-Duffy,
and Bricker.

“Since 1889, WCU has been committed to training dynamic, well-qualified educators
for North Carolina schools,” said Richard Starnes, WCU Provost. “This impressive reaccreditation
shows that that commitment endures. This was the result of a great deal of hard work
by many faculty, staff and students. Congratulations to Dean Winter and the entire
College of Education and Allied Professions for this achievement.”

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