Meeting of the Board of Regents | May 2009
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Extension of Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs at Elmira College, Keuka College and St. Francis College
May 5, 2009
Goals 1, 2, and 3
Issue for Decision (Consent)
Should the Board of Regents extend the accreditation of the teacher education programs at Elmira College, Keuka College and St. Francis College?
Reason(s) for Consideration
Required by State regulation.
The question will come before the Board of Regents at its May 2009 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken.
In 1998, the Board of Regents adopted a new teaching policy, “Teaching to Higher Standards: New York’s Commitment.” As a result of that policy, in 1999, the Board adopted Section 52.21(b)(2)(iv)(c) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, which requires New York State teacher education programs to become accredited by an acceptable accrediting organization. Such accredited teacher education programs are required by regulation to maintain continuous accreditation once initial accreditation is achieved.
Elmira College, Keuka College and St. Francis College applied for Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE) of their programs leading to certification in the classroom teaching service. At its meeting on June 20, 2006, the Board of Regents voted to grant three years’ accreditation of Keuka College’s teacher education programs with no conditions, and voted to grant three years’ accreditation of Elmira College’s and St. Francis College’s teacher education programs with the condition that St. Francis College submit a compliance work plan, within 60 days from the action of the Regents, that addresses the concerns cited in the Regents item upon which action was taken. Elmira College and St. Francis College submitted a compliance work plan and received Department approval. All three colleges, as part of their ongoing accreditation, submit annual reports detailing progress in all areas for improvement identified in the Compliance Review Report.
Elmira College was scheduled to host a focused site visit on May 10-12, 2009 to examine the College’s: (1) assessment of candidate achievement and teaching effectiveness of graduates; (2) means to use assessment data for program improvement; (3) formal collaboration with PreK-12 schools and liberal arts and sciences faculty; (4) means to gather evidence of collaboration effectiveness (i.e., program revision); and (5) course syllabi reflecting rubrics and objectives. All teacher education programs offered by the College would be included in the focused site visit. A team of three peer reviewers and a Department staff member from the Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE) was formed to conduct the visit.
St. Francis College was scheduled to host a focused site visit on April 12-14, 2009 to examine: 1) the implementation of the College’s compliance work plan; and 2) the progress the College has made toward satisfying the Regents stipulations and areas for improvement cited in the Compliance Review Report for the initial accreditation visit of October 17 – 20, 2004. All teacher education programs offered by the College would be included in the focused site visit. A team of three peer reviewers and a Department staff member from the OCUE was formed to conduct the visit.
Keuka College was scheduled to have a focused site visit on April 26-28, 2009 to review progress the College had made in the areas for improvement identified during the May 2005 visit, and to recommend accreditation action through June 2013. Specific areas for review during the focused site visit include: 1) standards related to administration, including oversight of the education department and its collaboration with other departments; 2) standards related to faculty, including credentials, overloads, and hiring; 3) standards relating to curriculum, including course additions and other curricular modifications; 4) standards related to the assessment of candidate achievement and effectiveness of program candidates; 5) standards related to resources, including classroom technology and library holdings; and 6) standards related to advertising the program in College materials. In total, twenty areas for improvement across six standards would be reviewed to determine if concerns identified during the initial visit were satisfied. A team of three peer reviewers and two Department staff members from OCUE was formed to conduct the visit.
OCUE notified St. Francis College on April 3, 2009, Keuka College on April 7, 2009, and Elmira College on April 23, 2009 that their visits were postponed because Division of the Budget approval for the inclusion of peer reviewers on the accreditation team had not been received. The decision to postpone these visits was made to give the Colleges and the peer reviewers committed to the visits adequate time to adjust their schedules. Considerable preparation work is required for a site visits and OCUE took action to postpone the visits in order to ensure that the College and the peer reviewers did not unnecessarily prepare and read materials for visits that would not take place. The decision to postpone the visits was made in consultation with the Department’s senior administration.
In order to ensure continuous accreditation for Elmira College, Keuka College, and St. Francis College, it is necessary to extend their accreditation period to enable OCUE to gain approval to develop teams of approved site visitors to accompany the Site Visit Coordinator to conduct an on-site accreditation peer review. To accommodate the protracted period of time it takes to receive permission for site visitors to be assigned as members of an accreditation team through the current approval process, it is necessary to extend the accreditation end date through the fall 2009 semester.
Therefore, it is recommended that the period of accreditation for Elmira College, Keuka College, and St. Francis College be extended from the June 19, 2009 end date to December 31, 2009, with the condition that a focused site visit be conducted before the accreditation extension expires, to determine the Colleges’ eligibility for continuing their current accreditation for an additional four years, to result in a full seven-year accreditation period beginning June 20, 2006, and ending June 19, 2013.