-PRESS RELEASE FROM UVI-
The University of the Virgin Islands School of Education has been awarded accreditation status from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Accreditation was granted for the undergraduate and graduate programs, according to a prepared statement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation on Nov. 7. The undergraduate program accreditation runs until 2020, and accreditation of the graduate program runs until 2016. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize NCATE as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation.
“This achievement is the result of the outstanding and dedicated work of Dean Linda Thomas and all members of our School of Education,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall, who recalled that when he arrived at UVI five years ago, Dr. Thomas, who served in a different role at that time, was coordinating the accreditation efforts in the school. “She was deeply committed to ensuring that we achieved this institutional goal, and I am delighted that now, in her role as dean, this dream has become a reality.” He continued, “However, we are uniquely aware that this type of achievement requires a team effort, and all of the faculty members – full-time and part-time – have played a critical role in order for this honor to now be bestowed upon them.”
Dr. Hall thanked all of UVI’s students in the School of Education, because their academic work, portfolios and conversations with the visiting team communicated a very positive impression. The various external stakeholders, including the Department of Education, the Board of Education and the various schools where UVI students conduct their practice teaching, were all instrumental to this success, he said.
“We are indeed proud to have achieved this goal of NCATE accreditation,” said UVI Provost Dr. Camille McKayle. “Though this goal is stated in the Pathways to Greatness Strategic Plan, it is the standard of excellence that it represents that is the true prize for our students.” She continued, “By achieving this accreditation, we are able to demonstrate to others external to the institution that the University of the Virgin Islands provides programs in education that meet national standards set by professionals in the field.”
“NCATE accreditation is a major accomplishment for the School of Education and the University,” said Dean Thomas. “It is an endorsement of the quality of the institution’s teacher preparation programs, and an assurance that students will receive superior education in the School of Education and the University.” She added, “Accreditation is a mark of distinction and provides recognition that the School of Education has met national professional standards for the preparation of teachers and other school professionals.”
Dr. Thomas said teacher candidates from NCATE-accredited institutions will be better prepared for new and more demanding initial licensing expectations in many states, and for new National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification – particularly since certification standards for both are compatible. “Graduates from NCATE-accredited institutions will generally find it easier to apply for licensure when they move from state to state,” she said.
The School of Education’s accreditation is the second school at UVI to receive accreditation this year. UVI’s School of Business received initial accreditation status in May from the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The University is completely accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools through 2017. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.