THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

 

Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee

 

FROM:

Richard P. Mills

 

SUBJECT:

Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education Recommendation of Accreditation Action: Elmira College

 

 

DATE:

November 15, 2006

 

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1, 2, and 3

 

 

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

 

            SUMMARY               

 

Issue for Decision

 

Elmira College has applied for Regents accreditation of its teacher education programs in Visual Arts and in Speech and Language Disabilities.  Should the Board of Regents accredit these programs?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

Required by State regulation.
           

Proposed Handling

 

The question will come before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee at its December 2006 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its December 2006 meeting for final action.

 

Procedural History

 

The Board of Regents adopted a new teaching policy, "Teaching to Higher Standards:  New Yorkís Commitment," in 1998.  As a result of that policy, in 1999 the Board adopted section 52.21(b)(2)(iv)(c)(1) of the Commissionerís Regulations, which requires New York State teacher education programs to become accredited by an acceptable accrediting organization.


Background Information

 

Elmira College has applied for accreditation of its Visual Arts and Speech and Language Disabilities teacher education programs by Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE).  At its June 2006 meeting, the Board accredited with conditions for three years the 30 other teacher education programs offered by Elmira College. At that time, the College was in the process of appealing the Deputy Commissioner's recommendation for denial of accreditation for the Visual Arts (B.A.) and Speech and Language Disabilities (B.A. and B.S.) teacher education programs.  Following a review of information provided by the institution in response to the Deputy Commissioner's initial recommendation, the Department now submits the Visual Arts and Speech and Language Disabilities teacher education programs to the Board for review and action.

 

            Elmira College is an independent, co-educational, residential, liberal arts college in Elmira, New York.  The College has approximately 1,800 enrolled students, including almost 300 graduate students, and it states that it recruits from 35 states and 23 foreign countries. The Collegeís Teacher Education Department oversees all teacher preparation programs with the exception of the Speech and Language Disabilities program, which resides in the Speech and Hearing Department.  The two departments have ongoing linkages to ensure the consistency of teacher preparation at the College, and both are part of the Division of Professional Programs, under the Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty.  At the time of the visit, 411 candidates were enrolled in the teacher education programs (320 undergraduate and 91 graduate students).

 

Accreditation Review Process

 

            The accreditation review process for the teacher education programs at Elmira College consisted of the following steps:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A RATE team visited Elmira College from March 20 - 23, 2005 as part of the accreditation review process.  The team reviewed documents; visited classrooms; inspected facilities and resources; interviewed administrators, department chairs and faculty, current and former students, and cooperating teachers; and attended various staff and department meetings.  The RATE team's concerns about the Visual Arts and Speech and Language Disabilities teacher education programs included the following:

 

 

 

 

 

At its March 23, 2006 meeting, the Higher Education Subcommittee of the PSPB recommended that the Visual Arts and the Speech and Language Disabilities programs be denied accreditation.  After reviewing the Subcommittee's recommendation and the entire record of the accreditation process, Deputy Commissioner Duncan-Poitier recommended denial of accreditation of those programs.  The institution notified the Department of its intention to appeal that recommendation, and it followed up in August 2006 with its appeal materials and clarifying information.

 

The College's appeal materials, in tandem with the actions required by the conditions attached to the June 2006 accreditation of the institution's 30 other teacher education programs, address the issues identified by the RATE team, PSPB, and Deputy Commissioner as follows:

 

 

 

 

Based on the Collegeís August 2006 appeal materials and in consideration of the compliance work plan required by the June 2006 accreditation action, the Deputy Commissioner now recommends accreditation for three years of the Visual Arts and the Speech and Language Disabilities teacher education programs, with the following conditions:

 

1.      For each semester beginning with spring 2007, a majority of the credit-bearing pedagogical core courses in the Visual Arts program must be taught by full-time faculty;

 

2.      The College must hire a doctorally-prepared, full-time faculty staff person in Speech and Language Disabilities or a related field within the three-year period; and

 

3.      The Annual Report will provide information on the methods and outcomes of assessing graduate effectiveness and candidate achievements in the Visual Arts and the Speech and Language Disabilities programs.

 

I concur with the Deputy Commissioner's recommendation.

 

Recommendation

 

Consistent with the recommendation of Deputy Commissioner Duncan-Poitier, it is recommended that the Board of Regents accredit with conditions for three years the teacher education programs in Visual Arts and in Speech and Language Disabilities offered by Elmira College.  Accreditation will be effective December 5, 2006 for a period beginning immediately and ending on December 4, 2009, under the conditions specified by the Deputy Commissioner.