College of Education and Professional Studies Recognized for Leadership in Continuous Improvement
Posted on October 12, 2021 by CEPS
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) recently announced the University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies as a recipient of the 2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement. South is the first university in Alabama with an educator preparation program to receive the award.
“I could not be more proud,” said Dr. Andi Kent, interim provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs. “We take the mission to prepare extraordinary educators seriously, and others see it. Absolutely the best group of faculty and staff across the country are located at South. Congratulations to all.”
The USA College of Education and Professional Studies is one of 26 providers from 17 states and the United Arab Emirates to receive recognition for their leadership and commitment to continuous improvement. Programs are selected for providing evidence and data trends to achieve accreditation with no stipulations or areas for improvement.
The college’s teacher education programs were re-accredited by CAEP from 2020 to 2027. Dr. Matt Binion, who serves as director of academic assessment, helped lead the effort to prepare the educator preparation programs for review by the national accreditor. The faculty spent three years developing and implementing the tools, processes and procedures that make up all of the facets of a solid quality assurance system. The teacher candidates embraced the notion of the journey of continuous improvement, and the college would not have been successful without its school district partners. As a result of the collective work, there has been a great deal of improvement and refinement within the educator preparation programs.
“Congratulations to our team leader, Dr. Matt Binion, and all faculty and staff who participated and made this award possible,” said Dr. John Kovaleski, interim dean for the College of Education and Professional Studies. “This was truly a team effort and could not have been accomplished without our outstanding faculty, students and school partners. The outcome of these improvements will be seen for many years to come.”
To learn more about the teacher education programs offered at South, click here. Students can major in education to earn certification in elementary education, early childhood education, secondary education or special education. Students can also major in early childhood studies. The college also offers multiple Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) graduate degree programs and the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.
The Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement is named after the founding President of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and TEAC. Murray was the founding President of TEAC, served as Chairman of the Board for TEAC and was also an initial member of the CAEP Board of Directors. He was a key advocate for a single set of teacher preparation standards to unify the profession and was instrumental in the merger that created CAEP. He also served as the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Delaware from 1979 to 1995.
“Frank Murray was passionate about education preparation, a prominent leader in our profession, and an advocate for evidence to improve education. The providers that CAEP is recognizing are committed to continuous improvement and preparing their students to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said Karen Symms Gallagher, chair of the CAEP Board of Directors. “CAEP Accreditation is a sign of commitment to quality through purposeful use of evidence. The Murray Leadership Recognition recipients should be proud of their accomplishments.”
Recipients of the 2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement are selected from the educator preparation providers that were granted accreditation by CAEP at the initial level from the previous year, who provided a full complement of evidence with demonstrated data trends and no plans. Recipients had no stipulations or areas for improvement. Providers selected for recognition advance equity and excellence in educator preparation through purposeful use of self-study procedures and evidence-based reporting that assure quality and support continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 learning. These educator preparation providers have a mission driving their continuous improvement inquiry, use assessments that are relevant to the topic being informed and consequential, show the reliability and validity of the evidence provided for accreditation, have quality assurance capacities that inform their knowledge and address questions about relationships in the data.
“This third class to receive the Murray Recognition represents the diversity and innovation that comes with CAEP accreditation. Small, large, public, private, faith-based and historically minority serving,” said CAEP President Chris Koch. “These recipients reflect the creativity that CAEP affords in achieving excellence, by meeting the standards in a variety of ways, for the diverse populations they serve.”
CAEP accreditation serves the dual purposes of accountability and continuous improvement. More than 400 educator preparation providers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have been accredited under the CAEP Standards. The CAEP accreditation process evaluates the performance of providers and focuses particularly on whether candidates will be prepared, by completion, for the challenging responsibilities that educators face in America’s classrooms. Approximately, 700 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including many previously accredited through former standards. CAEP is the only educator preparation provider recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.