PLNU’s School of Education Earns National Accreditation

Monday, November 5, 2012

In October, Point Loma Nazarene University’s School of Education received national accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation to accredit education programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel.

In addition to meeting the NCATE gold standard of excellence, PLNU’s School of Education credential and certificate programs were recently reaccredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

“This is a reflection of the high quality of all the programs in the School of Education and the hard work of our faculty, staff, and community partners,” said Dr. Carol Leighty, interim dean of PLNU’s School of Education.

Achieving national accreditation was a big milestone for the School of Education, which received both California and national accreditation this year. From start to finish, the national accreditation process took nearly five years of research, preparation, application, and site visits.

“We decided to go through NCATE accreditation because it’s the right thing to do,” said Leighty. “Not only that, but NCATE really looks at the entire function of the unit. They not only look at the knowledge and skills of our educators, but how we assess our students and faculty, governance, diversity, our relationship with the community, etc. They step back and get a bigger picture.”

With NCATE accreditation comes national recognition, but also greater marketability for PLNU School of Education graduates entering careers and better reciprocity for graduates who go on to teach in other parts of the U.S.

In the past six months, only 60 schools nationwide have earned this level of accreditation.

“We also wanted to prove with reports and substantive data that we produce quality students,” said Andrea Liston, associate dean for accreditation, assessment & Mission Valley programs, who worked extensively on the accreditation application process.

“In our classrooms, we all have to model being reflective educators,” said Liston. “This accreditation truly models that.”