The State University of New York at Old Westbury School of Education has for more than 40 years plays a critical role in preparing teachers working in classrooms across Long Island, throughout the New York Metropolitan area and beyond.
Now, the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation has affirmed the quality of SUNY Old Westbury’s teacher preparation programs by awarding the School of Education full accreditation.
“AAQEP accreditation validates the standard of the substantive educator preparation that touches every corner of our campus,” said SUNY Old Westbury President Timothy Sams. “The accreditation commission’s affirmation stands as a testament to our values and commitment to preparing teacher-leaders with the pedagogical content knowledge and skills to educate learners in diverse and socially just classrooms. Congratulations to all members of the School's full- and part-time faculty, its staff and its P-12 school partners on this tremendous achievement.“
The accreditation for the School of Education's nine Bachelor's and 10 Master's programs is effective through 2028. In addition to AAQEP accreditation, the programs are maintain approval from the New York State Education as meeting the state’s initial and professional certification requirements.
“Strong teacher preparation is critical at a time when schools around the country are faced with a shortage of qualified teachers,” said School of Education Dean Diana Sukhram. “One thing we’ve learned during the pandemic is that students need professionally prepared educators that focus on the social emotional well-being of children which goes beyond traditional teaching approaches. It’s the teacher’s commitment to educating, supporting, and challenging them that is the necessary component to every student success.”
Like other accrediting bodies, AAQEP sets guidelines to ensure that institutions maintain high academic standards and comply with all government regulations. Distinctly, the AAQEP also prioritizes recognizing institutions engaged in innovative work and with a data-driven track record for yielding results for graduates.
National accreditation is meant to assure the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. The AAQEP model is also designed to honor local context and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions.
“Having our programs scrutinized by a national accrediting agency and compared to its set of standards and best practices empowered us to take a critical look at all that we do,” said Diana Sukhram. “In doing so, we were able to see clearly our strengths in preparing teacher-candidates with the tools necessary to serve their students while also taking a critical look at areas where we can improve.”
AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. Nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), AAQEP has membership of over 170 educator preparation providers in 28 states and territories, with 50 providers in 13 states and territories now AAQEP-accredited.