Breaking It Down: Mastering the CAEP Accreditation Process

December 22, 2020 Nikki Kowbel

The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) sets the gold standard for teacher ed. Many institutions spend years preparing for their accreditation review, and the process can quickly become overwhelming. As you gather data for your upcoming CAEP accreditation review, keep these tips in mind:

Understand the Standards

There are five standards that must be met to achieve CAEP accreditation, and each has multiple facets. However, they are all designed with a singular purpose: to drive continuous improvement in your educator preparation program. The five standards cover everything from making sure teacher candidates are prepared to teach effectively to tracking the student teaching opportunities you create to measuring your program’s overall impact.

Build a Digital “Filing Cabinet”

For many years, schools focused their efforts on gathering actual physical evidence for their accreditation review visits, but now find it far easier and more effective to manage the CAEP accreditation process using digital tools. “We used to use physical crates filled with papers and papers and papers for the site team to review when they got on site,” said Michele Brewer, Chair of Technology, Assessment, and Compliance at Wilmington University. “We transformed these into what we call e-crates, where we can create digital links to demonstrate how we address all of the standards.”

Get More From the Data

The team at Wilmington University also developed the IMPACT Dashboard, which directly syncs information from the Delaware Department of Education to their Watermark database. This allows them to run reports that align with specific requirements and track progress against key metrics. In addition, Wilmington is able to dig deeper into student performance by drawing connections between program experience and in-service teaching data. “For example, when reviewing professional responsibilities, if we see a dip in year two of of teaching or with a particular cohort, we can look back at their pre-service data and ask, ‘Where was that taught? What did the rubric look like? What was the assessment? Who was the instructor?’” Brewer said. “It’s pretty powerful.” These connections drive continuous improvement both for the students currently in the program and for future students.

Learn From the Experts

To learn more about how Wilmington University manages their data for CAEP accreditation review and hear how Watermark’s assessment and accreditation software supports this essential process, check out the recordings of our recent 3-part webinar series. The Wilmington team shared an overview of the review process and took a deep dive into each standard for accreditation, while sharing their personal experiences and valuable methodologies to help your institution prepare.

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