How does education accreditation differ from regional accreditation?

Institutions seek regional accreditation from one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The accreditation status applies to the entire institution.

Colleges/schools and programs within the institution may receive professional accreditation from a national organization. There are two professional accrediting organizations for the education profession: the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). An example of another professional accreditation is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which accredits nursing programs.

What Is NCATE (pronounced “en-kate”) accreditation?

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is one of two national accrediting organizations for the education profession in the United States. “NCATE accreditation” refers to approval of an institution’s department/school/college of education by NCATE. This is a form of specialized, professional accreditation. The institution voluntarily applies to NCATE for this accreditation; in most states, including Minnesota, there is no requirement to do so. NCATE currently reviews about half of the departments/schools/colleges of education in the United States.

NCATE accreditation is a nationally recognized standard of excellence in the preK–12 education profession. NCATE-accredited programs meet rigorous standards for preparing preK–12 teachers, administrators, and education professional to improve student achievement. NCATE accreditation affirms to the education community the quality of a university’s faculty, programs, and degree candidates.

Are Walden’s preK–12 education programs NCATE-accredited?

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses offered to preK–12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes. NCATE provides accreditation at the college, school, or department of education level, not at the program level. This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs.

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