Committee on Higher Education and Professional Practice



Richard P. Mills



Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education

Recommendation of Accreditation Action: Pratt Institute




December 20, 2005




Goals 1, 2, and 3








Issue for Decision


            Pratt Institute has applied for accreditation of certain of its teacher education programs.  Should the Board of Regents accredit these programs?


Reason for Consideration


            Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


            The question will come before the Committee on Higher Education and Professional Practice at its January 2006 meeting for action.  It will then come before the full Board at its January 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 by December 31, 2006.


Background Information


            Pratt Institute, Brooklyn and Manhattan, has applied for Regents accreditation of certain of its teacher education programs.  Pratt has the following registered programs leading to certification in the classroom teaching service which are the subject of this application:


B.F.A./M.S., Art and Design Education                                              Visual Arts



B.F.A., Art and Design Education                                                       Visual Arts



M.S., Art and Design Education                                                          Visual Arts



Adv. Cert., Art and Design Education                                     Visual Arts



M.S., Library Media Specialist                                                 Library Media




(The Institute offers two other programs which are not part of this application.)


Pratt Institute is an independent institution of higher education with its main campus located in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn.  Its Manhattan Center was relocated recently to 144 West 14th Street, Manhattan.  Pratt consists of four schools: the School of Art and Design, which offers two-year, four-year, and graduate programs; the School of Architecture, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including a five-year first-professional Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree program; the School of Information and Library Science, which offers an M.S. program in Library and Information Science as well as dual degree programs with Brooklyn Law School and a joint M.S./M.F.A. program with Art History; and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which offers two undergraduate programs in writing and cultural studies.


In the fall of 2003, across both campuses Pratt enrolled 3,149 undergraduates and 1,405 graduate students.  They came from 49 states and 63 foreign countries.  An additional 1,600 students are enrolled in the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies, which is located in the main campus.  Pratt has the second highest percentage of minority students in independent higher education in New York State.  The faculty consists of 741 members, 636 part-time and 105 full-time.


A RATE site visit took place on March 28-31, 2004.  The Higher Education Subcommittee of the Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching (PSPB) reviewed the application for RATE accreditation on March 23, 2005, and voted to recommend denial of accreditation.  On April 7, 2005, Deputy Commissioner Duncan-Poitier advised Pratt of the negative recommendation.  On April 18, 2005, Pratt notified the Deputy Commissioner of its intention to appeal pursuant to Regents’ Rule §4-2.6(a)(12)(ii).  It submitted its appeal on July 8, 2005.


Pursuant to §4-2.6(a)(12)(iii), the Deputy Commissioner was entitled to file a written response to the appeal.  After careful consideration of Pratt’s appellate materials, the Deputy Commissioner determined not to file papers in opposition to Pratt’s appeal, but instead elected to recommend that the Board of Regents grant accreditation of Pratt’s teacher education programs, subject to certain conditions.


The Compliance Review Report dated November 24, 2004, as summarized in the Deputy Commissioner’s revised recommendation dated November 2, 2005, identified 27 areas for improvement pursuant to §4-2.5.  The Compliance Review Report evaluated the standards as follows:




Met with Areas for Improvement

Not Met


(1) Commitment

      and Vision

(9) Candidate


(2) Philosophy, purposes,

      and objectives

(4) Teaching effectiveness

      of graduates

(5) Assessment of

     candidate achievement

(7) Support Services

(8) Advertising

(3) Standards

      for program


(6) Resources


The appeal response satisfactorily addresses 25 of the 27 areas for improvement identified in the draft report, including most of Standards 3 and 6, which initially were Not Met.  Standards 3 and 6, however, require additional documentation.


Upon consideration of Pratt’s appeal, the Deputy Commissioner has concluded that Pratt has successfully addressed the most critical areas of deficiency, and that its teacher education programs should be conditionally accredited for a period of three years.  I concur.


Recommendation:  Consistent with the recommendation of Deputy Commissioner Duncan-Poitier, I recommend that the Regents take the following action:


VOTED, that the Board of Regents accredit the teacher education programs offered by Pratt Institute, Brooklyn and Manhattan, listed above, effective January 10, 2006, for a period beginning immediately and ending on January 9, 2009, with the following conditions:  (1) that Pratt submit annual progress reports to the State Education Department with respect to the 27 areas for improvement cited in the Compliance Review Report and summarized in the Deputy Commissioner’s revised recommendation dated November 2, 2005; and (2) that Pratt undergo a focused site visit to be conducted three years from this action, and that such site visit shall indicate compliance with Regents’ Rules, including specific confirmation that (a) the faculty collective bargaining contract complies with Commissioner’s Regulations regarding faculty work load; (b) three new full-time faculty members have been added to the Education Department; and (c) all deficiencies cited in the Compliance Review Report have been corrected, all as recommended in the Deputy Commissioner’s November 2, 2005, revised recommendation.  Accreditation beyond January 9, 2009, shall be contingent on a finding that Pratt’s programs are in all respects in compliance with Regents’ Rules, Subpart 4-2.