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    Seven DU Education Programs Receive National Recognition, Accreditation

    Seven programs in Duquesne University’s School of Education have received national recognition or full national accreditation by their respective Specialty Professional Association in preparation for the review that will be conducted by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in March 2012.

    School of Education leaders learned recently that the mathematics education program and instructional technology program received full national recognition for 5-7 years. The science, English, special education, reading specialist and social studies education programs have received national recognition for two years. Recognition distinctions include programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    Dr. Olga Welch, dean of the school of education, said that the Education Unit (School of Education, Speech Language Pathology, and Music Education) at Duquesne has been accredited by the NCATE since 2006. “We were fully accredited on our first try, and that hardly ever happens,” Welch explained. “They were so impressed with our standards that they asked us to present to other universities as a model.”

    NCATE helps to ensure high-quality teacher, specialist and administrator preparation programs through its professional accreditation process. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize the NCATE as an accrediting body for teacher preparation programs. It currently accredits 656 colleges of education, including Duquesne and 19 others in Pennsylvania.

    Welch said the recognition by NCATE speaks volumes about the quality of students, faculty and programs at Duquesne. During the accreditation process, teacher preparation programs are evaluated on six standards:

    • Candidate knowledge, skills and professional dispositions
    • Assessment system and unit evaluation
    • Field experiences and clinical practice
    • Diversity
    • Faculty qualifications, performance and development
    • Governance and resources.

    NCATE determines whether the university designs, manages and evaluates programs effectively. The accreditation review must include all programs for the initial and advanced preparation of teachers and other professional education personnel to work in preschool through 12th-grade settings. Much of this information is based on program data about candidates, graduates and clinical practice.

    Dr. Susan Munson, associate dean for teacher education, said the School of Education is committed to maintaining NCATE accreditation as a means of measuring the quality of teacher preparation programs.

    “We are clearly aligned with the NCATE belief that every student deserves a caring, competent and highly qualified teacher, and we accomplish this goal by gathering evidence demonstrating that our graduates have a positive impact on the students that they teach,” Munson said.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.