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Meeting of the Board of Regents | October 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007 - 11:20pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education Recommendation of Accreditation Action:  School of Visual Arts


October 10, 2007


Goals 1, 2, and 3






Issue for Decision


The School of Visual Arts has applied for Regents accreditation of its teacher education program.  Should the Board of Regents accredit this program?


Reason(s) for Consideration


Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


The question will come before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee at its October 2007 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its October 2007 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 


The School of Visual Arts, which offers a single Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program in Art Education leading to initial/professional visual arts certification, has applied for accreditation of its teacher education program by Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE). 


Chartered in 1947, the School of Visual Arts is a proprietary institution authorized to confer the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), and the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.).  Its undergraduate and graduate programs focus on the preparation of artists - painters, graphic artists, cartoonists, animators, teachers, photographers, illustrators, and related visual arts practitioners. The mission of the School is to educate students who will be prepared to enter the professional world of art and related fields. 


In academic year 2005-2006, the institution as a whole enrolled 3,575 full-time and part-time students; about 50 percent of the student body was from outside New York State.  Forty-seven percent of the student body is male, and approximately 26 percent of students are from underrepresented groups.   At the time of the visit, the School had 148 full-time faculty members, 700 part-time faculty, and a faculty-student ratio of 1:4. 


The School offers its teacher education program at its Manhattan location, and the preparation of visual arts teachers is the responsibility of the Art Education Program. The Art Education Program was first registered in 2000.  In 2005-2006, three full-time and eight part-time education faculty taught 28 full-time candidates.   


Accreditation Review Process


The RATE review process at the School of Visual Arts consisted of the following steps:


  • The School prepared its Self Study;


  • RATE team conducted the site visit;


  • The School responded to the site visit team's report;


  • The Higher Education Subcommittee of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching (PSPB) reviewed the site visit team report, the School's response, the Department's preliminary recommendation, and additional materials submitted before the subcommittee’s meeting and recommended accreditation for three years with conditions; and


  • The Senior Deputy Commissioner reviewed all materials and concurred with the PSPB's recommendation.



The RATE team visited the School of Visual Arts from October 1–4, 2006 as part of the accreditation review process. The team reviewed documents; visited classrooms; inspected facilities and resources; and interviewed administrators, the department chair and faculty, candidates and graduates, principals, and cooperating teachers. In the draft Compliance Review Report, the team identified a number of strengths:


  • Faculty are highly qualified, hold suitable credentials, are engaged in scholarly activities, and are highly committed to teacher education candidates and the community at large. 


  • The college’s New York City location provides candidates with immediate access to cultural and visual arts professional opportunities and involvement in various school and community projects.


  • Field experiences in diverse settings are integrated throughout the curriculum, providing candidates with opportunities to work with P-12 students throughout school districts in New York City.  


  • The program is small and has high program completion, employment placement, and certification exam pass rates. School administrators speak highly of program graduates and student teachers.


The team identified 25 areas for improvement across seven standards.   Key areas for improvement include the following:


  • The breadth of the State Learning Standards in the visual arts content core is not addressed.  Not all candidates are prepared in all art mediums, as identified in the State Learning Standards.


  • Faculty credit loads do not reflect the time committed to administrative responsibilities.


  • The program lacks a formal system to assess candidates and graduates, including evidence of P-12 learning.


  • There was no evidence to demonstrate efforts to recruit qualified faculty from historically underrepresented groups. 


               At the June 7, 2007 meeting of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the PSPB, the Subcommittee considered the School of Visual Arts’ application for Regents accreditation of its teacher education program.  The Subcommittee voted to accredit the program for three years under the condition that annual reports focus on progress made to address the following areas:

  • Faculty loads;
  • Diversity of faculty and students;
  • Assessment of candidates and graduates, including evidence of P-12 student learning; and
  • Curriculum alignment with New York State Learning Standards.

The Senior Deputy Commissioner concurs with that recommendation.




It is recommended that the Board of Regents accredit for three years the teacher education program offered by the School of Visual Arts with the following condition:


Annual reports focus on progress to address the following areas: faculty loads; diversity of faculty and students; assessment of candidates and graduates, including evidence of P-12 student learning; and curriculum alignment with New York State Learning Standards.    


Accreditation will be effective October 23, 2007, for a period beginning immediately and ending on October 22, 2010.