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21 April 2006

NCATE Gives JSU Official Notice of Accreditation

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has notified Jacksonville State University that its College of Education and Professional Studies has been professionally accredited in the latest round of accreditation reviews.

According to Jane Leibbrand, NCATE's vice president for communications, "Accreditation is a mark of distinction. Not all colleges of education are professionally accredited. NCATE now accredits 623 colleges of education. These institutions produce more than two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates annually."

Jacksonville State University President William A. Meehan said, "JSU and all NCATE-accredited universities meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. The accreditation process makes JSU's teacher education program much stronger and ensures the public that JSU graduates well-qualified teachers."

Dr. Cynthia Harper, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, said, "We're pleased to have achieved 52 years of continuous national accreditation. By meeting NCATE accreditation standards, JSU is demonstrating that our graduates can meet the most rigorous standards mandated by state government. For students, graduating from an accredited program is an important asset."

In accredited colleges, teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey it so that students learn. The college must carefully assess student knowledge and skill to determine whether candidates may graduate. The institution must also have partnerships with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn.

In addition, teacher candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations. College and university faculty must model effective teaching practices. And the university must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.

NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research in order to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today.

For more information about Jacksonville State University's teacher education program, visit the College of Education and Professional Studies Web site. More information about NCATE is available at the NCATE Web site.

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