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Since 1963, Gallaudet education programs have been accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This year, 11 programs received national or state recognition.

Program administrators submitted extensive reports on these programs to seven specialized professional associations (SPAs), including the National Science Teachers Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), and the Council on Exceptional Children. Ten programs received national recognition or accreditation reaffirmation and the eleventh was recognized by the Office of the State Superintendent, Washington, D.C.

This is a significant achievement, said Dr. Patricia Hulsebosch, executive director of the Office of Academic Quality, NCATE coordinator, and a professor in the Department of Education. “In recent years, expectations and standards of professional associations have become increasingly rigorous, and it has become increasingly common for SPAs to request that programs resubmit program reports,” she said.

Accrediting agencies look for data showing that graduates not only function effectively in their fields, but have a deep understanding of subject matter and the ability to apply theory to classroom situations. For example, ACEI professional standards state that elementary teachers should be able to “use their knowledge and understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior among students at the K-6 level to foster active engagement in learning, self-motivation, and positive social interaction, and to create supportive learning environments.”

“We were delighted to learn that all programs submitted for review were approved, especially given the stringent standards,” said Dr. Helen Thumann, chair of the Department of Education.

NCATE requires that programs first be reviewed by their professional association as part of the professional education accreditation process. While national recognition is not required, Hulsebosch said, it can help when NCATE assesses a university’s ability to demonstrate that graduates have the needed knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to effectively educate children and youth.

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