February 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Spanish, French and German Education Programs Get National Recognition

The Spanish, French and German education licensure programs, sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages, have just been awarded national recognition as accredited programs. Only 10 universities in the state of Ohio have achieved this status for their undergraduate licensure programs in foreign languages.

Ohio University’s Patton College of Education Unit program for teacher accreditation has been nationally recognized and each individual licensure program has to go through a rigorous review for the individual content area licensure program to gain its own accreditation.

Gordy HallOnly 540 of the nation’s roughly 1,300 teacher-preparation programs have received NCATE accreditation. NCATE has become education’s equivalent of the American Bar Association (which effectively controls entry into the legal profession) since it now accredits institutions that train more than 90 percent of the nation’s teachers. Most states mandate NCATE accreditation for teacher-training programs, and NCATE has formal partnerships with 46 states for conducting joint reviews of schools of education. All joint reviews are based on NCATE’s accreditation standards, essentially making NCATE’s standards the benchmark for teacher preparation across the nation. NCATE’s path to prominence reflects an across-the-board push to professionalize teaching along lines similar to medicine and law.

What is a Nationally Recognized Program?

A nationally recognized program is an individual program such as elementary education or special education which has met the standards developed by the specialty professional association (SPA) in that discipline. The “SPA” for foreign language licensure programs is ACTFL which has developed detailed standards for teacher education programs. NCATE accredited institutions are expected to use these standards in the design and delivery of their programs.  In addition, if a program is approved by a state in which the state’s program review process has been approved by the relevant SPA, that program will be nationally recognized.

What NCATE Accreditation Means for Job Seekers

Teacher candidates who graduate from NCATE-accredited schools will be better prepared for initial licensing and advanced board certification. NCATE is working with the Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to ensure that teacher education accreditation standards, model teacher licensing standards, and advanced teacher certification standards are compatible.

Some states have reciprocity agreements based on graduation from NCATE-accredited schools, so graduates of NCATE-accredited schools will generally find it easier to apply for licensure when they move out of state.

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