A Message from President Fuhrman and Provost James | Teachers College Columbia University

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A Message from President Fuhrman and Provost James

TC Receives Renewed Accreditation of its Teacher Preparation Programs.

Dear Friends,

Teachers College has received wonderful news and affirmation of the high quality of its teacher preparation programs.  At its October 21-23 meeting, the Continuous Improvement Commission of the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE) continued NCATE’s accreditation of the College’s initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation programs.

We're very proud to have received resounding approval from NCATE for all of our programs that prepare teachers and other educators. This means that the College’s teacher preparation and other programs meet rigorous accreditation standards set forth by the professional community. In a letter to President Fuhrman, CAEP states that “special congratulations are in order because the Commission cited no areas for improvement.” This accreditation will be for seven years, and TC’s next site visit will be in 2020.

Under its new Continuous Improvement and Transformation Initiatives program, CAEP also gave a positive review of TC’s Transformation Initiative (TCTI) which focuses on the preparation of quality teacher educators. In Phase I of TCTI, a team of faculty and doctoral students led by Professor Lin Goodwin, conducted a national study of teacher educators' perspectives on the essential knowledge, skills and preparation for this critical role. After a rigorous review process, the CAEP team enthusiastically endorsed the study and approved the next phase of TCTI, which will be the design of a doctoral program for the education and professional development of teacher education faculty.

The design of the curriculum for this new program, informed by findings from the study, is scheduled to begin this academic year. CAEP said the program and the research can potentially improve teacher education and benefit not only TC, but all teacher education programs, by extending and deepening the substance and focus of national conversations about teacher quality. 

The Commission renewed TC’s previous accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which merged last July with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) to form CAEP. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize NCATE as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation. Not all states require national accreditation (New York State does), but some institutions seek it voluntarily. CAEP accredits more than 900 programs that train more than 60 percent of all future teachers.

In NCATE’s standards-based accreditation system, institutions must provide evidence that teacher-education candidates possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions to effectively teach diverse learners and to have an impact on student learning. Teacher candidates must know and understand the subject matter they plan to teach and to be able to teach effectively so that all students learn.

We congratulate all faculty members, administrators, students, professional staff, and alumni on this resounding affirmation of TC’s leadership in teacher preparation. Our preparation of teachers, school and district leaders, counselors, and psychologists has been long recognized for its academic excellence, innovation, and the considerable talents of our faculty. The NCATE process confirms and validates that excellence.

We would also like to give special thanks to our public school colleagues and partnership schools for supporting us in this process. This is truly a victory for all who share the goals of high-quality education and teacher preparation.

Thank you, and congratulations!


Susan Fuhrman                Tom James
President                           Provost

Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2013