USAO among 16 teacher prep programs recognized for national excellence

CAEP Accreditation in teacher education logo

USAO among 16 teacher prep programs recognized for national excellence


The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s teacher education program is one of 16 providers from 10 states and the District of Columbia to receive accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation for their educator preparation programs in spring 2017.

USAO’s teacher education program prepares future teachers for tomorrow’s classrooms by integrating competencies in liberal arts, a field of specialization and professional education incorporating research about effective teaching. Students can obtain certification in art, deaf education, early childhood education, elementary education, English, instrumental and vocal music, mathematics, physical education, science and social studies.

Students in USAO's teacher education program have the opportunity to gain practical experience in public school settings, at the on-campus Child Development Center (pre-school) or Oklahoma School for the Deaf/Jane Brooks satellite school. Students are placed in more than 130 schools in 39 school districts in Oklahoma to receive their clinical experience. Also included in the education curriculum are teachings strategies, classroom management, planning and assessing.

“Only two institutions in Oklahoma received this important accreditation this year,” said Dr. Vicki Ferguson, director of teacher education and chair of USAO’s division of education and speech-language pathology. “We feel very fortunate that we were able to meet CAEP’s rigorous standards. USAO has long been recognized for the quality of the teachers completing our preparation programs, and it is immensely gratifying to know that our programs’ excellence is still recognized when examined under a new and different microscope.”

The CAEP Accreditation Council’s spring 2017 review increased the total number of providers approved under the CAEP teacher preparation standards to 50. Member programs now cover 25 states and the District of Columbia, including the 34 providers previously accredited. These rigorous, nationally recognized standards were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider and provides opportunities for continuous improvement to programs committed to excellence.”

CAEP is the sole accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council with the intent of raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. Currently, more than 800 providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system, including many grandfathered in under former standards.

USAO’s initial accreditation is for a term of seven years, after which the program will undergo reaccreditation. Educator preparation providers seeking accreditation must pass peer review on five standards, which are based on two principles: Solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators, and solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.