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"SUNY Old Westbury Earns National Accreditation of Teacher Preparation Programs

(2/17/2022, Old Westbury, New York) – The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) has awarded full 7-year accreditation to the undergraduate and graduate programs for educator preparation at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury.

After reviewing the evidence collected through a process of self-study and peer review, the AAQEP Accreditation Commission issued the decision at its January 14 meeting along with the following rationale:

The Commission evaluated the program’s evidence for each AAQEP standard and determined that all four standards are met. Completers of the program are prepared to work effectively as professional educators and are able to adapt to different contexts and to grow professionally. The program has the capacity to analyze and provide evidence for sustained actions and revisions on behalf of candidates, and it engages with stakeholders and local partners to strengthen the P-20 education system.

Bolstered by strong institutional support and community input, the program provides its diverse student body with individualized support through graduation and as they enter the field. The program’s work is guided by a comprehensive assessment and data system characterized by rigorous attention to data quality.

“Congratulations to the SUNY Old Westbury School of Education and to all of the faculty, staff, and stakeholders who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said AAQEP President and CEO Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “This program combines deeply personalized attention to students with a highly developed data system that provides for nuanced analysis of program performance.”

National accreditation assures the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. This standards- and evidence-based process serves two broad aims: accountability and continuous improvement. The AAQEP model is also designed to honor local context and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions. AAQEP currently has members in 28 states and territories with over 170 educator preparation providers participating in the accreditation system.

“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.”  

About AAQEP - Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. The organization promotes excellent, effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement in a collaborative professional environment. AAQEP is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Visit aaqep.org for more information."

Graduates from an accredited teacher preparation program are in high demand because they are well- prepared for initial licensure and certification. Many states have reciprocity agreements based on graduation from accredited schools, so graduates of accredited schools will generally find it easier to apply for a teaching license should they move out of state. 

The mission of the School of Education is to prepare teacher candidates to be literate and progressive citizens who value human diversity and exemplify an appreciation for the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and for learning as a lifelong process. The school seeks to develop teachers with the professional and personal characteristics and dispositions to facilitate the holistic development of all learners in the context of contemporary society.

Together with partners across the College and in the schools, faculty of the School of Education have developed a Conceptual Framework to implement the above mission and vision. The Conceptual Framework rests on three principles: a commitment to preparing teachers as professionals; a belief in the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and practice; and an active engagement in promoting a just world. Teacher candidates explore these principles through course work and guided practice.