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Teacher education earns second national accreditation

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s Department of Teacher Education has been notified of achievement of accreditation under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Bethel had earlier completed requirements for its regular, periodic review by NCATE, including hosting a site visit by Kansas State Department of Education and NCATE officials last spring. NCATE is responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education at 623 institutions that produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates annually.

NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate best practice and research, to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus about what is important in teacher preparation today. Bethel first earned NCATE accreditation in 2005; previously, its accreditation was through the KSDE.

NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter they plan to teach as well as the skills necessary to convey it so students learn. The college or university must carefully assess this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate. The institution must partner with P-12 schools that enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn. Candidates must be prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations.

College and university faculty must model effective teaching practices. The school, college or department of education must have the resources, including information technology resources, necessary to prepare candidates to meet new standards.

For more information about Bethel College’s teacher education program, visit www.bethelks.edu/academics/areas/teacher_ed/. More information about NCATE is available at www.ncate.org.

Earlier this month, NCATE president Jim Cibulka wrote in a formal letter to Bethel President Perry D. White, informing him of Bethel’s successful accreditation review: “We have been most impressed with the cooperation received from the faculty, staff, and administration at your institution. I am pleased to inform you of the Unit Accreditation Board’s decision to continue the accreditation of the Teacher Education Department at Bethel College at the initial teacher preparation level. This accreditation decision indicates that the unit and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community.”

“The KSDE/NCATE accreditation process provides us with the opportunity to showcase our education programs,” said Allen Jantz, Bethel College professor of education and department chair, “and we appreciate our colleagues from around the country who have repeatedly recognized the strength of our program.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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