Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee



Richard P. Mills



Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education Recommendation of Accreditation Action: D'Youville College




August 24, 2006



Goals 1, 2, and 3









Issue for Decision


D'Youville College has applied for Regents accreditation of its teacher education programs.  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 September 2006 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its September 2006 meeting for final action.


Procedural History


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






Background Information


D'Youville College has applied for accreditation of its teacher education programs by Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE).  The Summary of the Application for Accreditation, available in the Regents office, lists the registered programs leading to certification offered by D'Youville. 


D’Youville College, incorporated in 1864, is an independent, urban institution located in Buffalo, New York. It provides liberal arts, professional programs, and doctoral education programs for over 2,400 graduate and undergraduate students in day, evening, weekend, and summer sessions.  The College is authorized to offer associate, baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and advanced certificate programs.    


The preparation of teacher candidates at D’Youville is the responsibility of the education department.  The mission of that department is the same as that of the institution:  “[the] College honors its Catholic heritage and the spirit of St. Marguerite D’Youville by providing academic, social, spiritual, and professional development in programs that emphasize leadership and service. D’Youville teaches students to contribute to the world community by leading compassionate, productive, and responsible lives.”   The department's vision is to be a leader in education, a community of scholars, an exemplary model of service, and a dynamic force in the community. 


In fall 2004, 133 full-time and 7 part-time undergraduate and 1,139 full-time and 209 part-time graduate students were enrolled in the College's teacher education programs.  One unique aspect of the institution's profile is the large percentage of Canadian students; over 80 percent of the candidates in the education programs are Canadians seeking certification to teach in Canada.  Five hundred to 670 D’Youville candidates took the State's certification exams each year between 2000-2001 and 2003-2004, with annual pass rates ranging from 97 to 99 percent.


Accreditation Review Process


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



The RATE team visited the College from September 19 - 22, 2004, as part of the accreditation review process.  The team reviewed documents; visited classrooms; inspected facilities and resources; and interviewed administrators, department chairs and faculty, candidates and graduates, principals, and cooperating teachers.  The team identified 19 areas for improvement across 4 RATE standards relating to program registration, teaching effectiveness of graduates, assessment of candidate achievement, and resources.  Key concerns focused on faculty and curriculum elements, e.g., alignment of faculty credentials with teaching assignments, workload, and the rigor of graduate studies.   


The College's response is summarized in the Summary of the Application for Accreditation.  The PSPB reviewed all materials and, on October 20, 2005, voted unanimously to recommend denial of accreditation.  After reviewing the Subcommittee's recommendation and the entire record of the accreditation process, Deputy Commissioner Duncan-Poitier recommended denial of accreditation.  The institution notified the Department of its intention to appeal that recommendation, and it followed up in March and April 2006 with its appeal materials and clarifying information. 


As detailed in the Findings and Response Summary (available in the Regents office, along with the Compliance Review Report and other materials), the Deputy Commissioner found that the College addressed 12 of the 19 areas for improvement. The College requested an opportunity to make immediate, substantial changes to comply with all standards.  In a meeting with Department staff, D'Youville representatives committed to a series of steps, including periodic site visits and a corrective action plan, to address all issues.  The College submitted a corrective action plan in July and began to reassign faculty to align credentials with teaching responsibilities, adjust teaching loads, revise syllabi to ensure the rigor of graduate-level coursework, and develop an outcomes assessment plan that encompasses candidates, graduates, faculty, and programs.  Through these plans and actions, the College responded to the key concerns of the PSPB and the Department.  By September 15, 2006, the Department will conduct a site visit to confirm that substantive actions have been taken for the fall 2006 semester.


On the basis of the institution's improvements to date, its defined commitment to corrective actions, and a rigorous schedule of site visits, the Deputy Commissioner concluded that the College has made significant progress in recent months to ensure the soundness of its teacher education programs.  The Deputy Commissioner recommends that the teacher education programs at D'Youville College be accredited with conditions for a period of three years, and I concur.




Consistent with the recommendation of Deputy Commissioner Duncan-Poitier, it is recommended that the Regents accredit with conditions for three years the teacher education programs offered by D'Youville College, as listed in the Summary of the Application for Accreditation.   Accreditation will be effective September 12, 2006, for a period beginning immediately and ending on September 11, 2009, under the condition that D'Youville College adheres to its corrective action plan and addresses each area for improvement and concern of the site visit team, the PSPB, and the Department, with a focused site visit in fall 2007 and a full reaccreditation site visit in fall 2008.