Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2010
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Joseph P. Frey
Extension of Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs at Boricua College, Mercy College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Skidmore College, St. Francis College, Touro College, and Yeshiva University.
April 19, 2010
Issue for Decision
Should the Board of Regents extend the accreditation of teacher education programs at Boricua College, Mercy College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Skidmore College, St. Francis College, Touro College, and Yeshiva University?
Reason(s) for Consideration
Required by State regulation.
The question will come before the Higher Education Committee at its April 2010 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken. It will then come before the full Board at its April 2010 meeting for final action.
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.
In May 2009, it was necessary to bring to the board a recommendation for extension of the accreditation period for two colleges whose accreditation period would end prior to the Department receiving budgetary approval to conduct the accreditation visit required by Commissioner’s Regulations. This was the second time during the last fiscal year that it became necessary to seek an extension of the accreditation period for RATE accredited colleges. Of the five colleges requiring the completion of accreditation visits during the 2009–2010 year, it was possible to complete only two. With staffing and budgetary restraints, it was not possible to conduct the necessary accreditation visits for Roberts Wesleyan College, St. Francis College, and Yeshiva University. Four additional colleges, Boricua College, Mercy College, Skidmore College, and Touro College have accreditation periods due to expire during fiscal year 2010–2011.
It is anticipated that the Department will experience the same staffing and budgetary restraints in 2010–2011 that occurred during 2009–2010 and resulted in the need to extend the accreditation period of five colleges scheduled for accreditation visits last year. Currently, during fiscal year 2010-2011, the remaining three colleges from last fiscal year and the additional four colleges scheduled during this year may be impacted. For this reason, and to ensure that the colleges are able to remain in compliance with regulation, an extension of their accreditation periods is being sought.
An additional result of the lengthy, but necessary, extension periods is the decreasing number of site visitors that are available on short notice and comfortable with being a member of a peer review team after having lengthy lapses in such activity that results in some loss of familiarity with the Regents Rules and Commissioner’s Regulations that are applicable to the accreditation process.
In order to ensure continuous accreditation for Boricua College, Mercy College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Skidmore College, St. Francis College, Touro College, and Yeshiva University, it is necessary to extend their accreditation period to enable the Teacher Education Team to gain approval to develop teams of approved site visitors who are able, on short notice, to accompany the Site Visit Coordinator and to conduct an on-site accreditation peer review. To accommodate the extensive period of time it takes for the new budgetary approval process for receiving permission for site visitors and site visit coordinators to be assigned as members of an accreditation team, and the need for staff to be available to carry out the work of the Board’s teacher initiatives, it will be necessary to extend the accreditation end date for these colleges to June 2011.
Therefore, it is recommended that the period of accreditation for Boricua College, Mercy College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Skidmore College, St. Francis College, Touro College, and Yeshiva University be extended through June 30, 2011 to allow for the necessary time to gain approval for the site visitor and site visit coordinator travel and to conduct the site visit before the accreditation extension expires in order to determine the colleges’ eligibility for continuing its current RATE accreditation as required by Regulation.