UNC Education Programs Receive National Re-Accreditation

The education programs at the University of Northern Colorado have received full and unconditional re-accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

The re-accreditation process included a site visit last November during which a four-member NCATE team spent three days on campus meeting with education students, graduates, faculty, administrators and school district personnel, including classroom teachers and principals who are involved in the preparation of future teachers. The team also reviewed a large amount of documentation regarding the quality of UNC students and programs.

The NCATE, established in 1954, accredits approximately half of the estimated 1,400 education schools in the nation and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. UNC has been accredited by NCATE since 1954.

NCATE review focuses on two main areas: that the institution has high standards and systems in its programs and that program graduates meet performance criteria that are focused on student achievement.

UNC's long tradition in the preparation of quality educators dates back to 1889 when it was established by the Colorado legislature to train teachers. UNC remains the state's leader in preparing the greatest number of educators across the widest range of areas: early childhood, elementary, secondary, special education, art, music and physical education.

It also offers graduate programs in a variety of education-related areas: counseling, school administration, school and educational psychology, reading, science and technology.

About 600 UNC graduates are recommended each year for teacher licensure. About one-third of the winners of the Colorado Department of Education's annual Teacher of the Year award are UNC graduates. In 2007, UNC won the prestigious Christa McAuliffe Award for Exemplary Programs in Teacher Education.

Eugene Sheehan, dean of UNC's College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, says the successful re-accreditation reflects a rare campus-wide commitment to educator preparation that also involves faculty from the colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural and Health Sciences, Performing and Visual Arts and the University College.

"We take our mission to be the leader in educator preparation very seriously," Sheehan said. "This wonderful outcome from NCATE indicates our commitment to the preparation of quality educators is validated by the most important and credible accreditation agency in the country."

He also said that the campus-wide collaboration is one of the features that distinguishes UNC's teacher preparation program from many others.

The educator programs at UNC are also fully accredited by the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

For more information about UNC education programs, visit its website. Additional information about the NCATE is available on its website.