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Roosevelt University announced Monday that its College of Education is the first provider of teacher preparation training in Illinois to be accredited by the new Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Serving approximately 200 students, the college’s programs in early childhood education, elementary education, middle childhood education, music education, secondary education and special education received the hallmark recognition following a rigorous, three-year review process.

In 2016-17, 98 percent of those completing these programs successfully passed the capstone assessment of performance in student teaching that is required by Illinois and 15 other U.S. states.  Roosevelt’s elementary education graduates scored a point higher than state and national averages, while its early childhood education graduates scored three points higher.

“This accreditation is a validation of the quality of our programs and their effectiveness in turning out teaching candidates who are well prepared for the classroom,” said Tom Philion, dean of Roosevelt’s College of Education.

Roosevelt is now among 101 providers of teacher preparation nationwide, and the only provider in Illinois, to receive the CAEP accreditation for excellence in teacher training.

“This national recognition is a high bar of accomplishment for us. It shows we are considered a leader and ahead of the curve in terms of using assessment data to improve our programs,” said Philion.

Created in 2013 when National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council merged, CAEP is a unified accreditation system that uses the most comprehensive tracking and assessment data available to best evaluate - and ultimately raise the performance – of teacher preparation programs.

In order to achieve the national accreditation, the College of Education participated in a pilot assessment system that measured success of its graduates based on teacher test scores, grade point averages and ACT scores  – to name just a few data sets that were used.

Comprehensive data has not been available, however, for how teachers and their students fare once the Roosevelt graduate leaves the University for the classroom – significant information that CAEP requires be included as part of the new accreditation review process for teacher preparation programs.

Thus, the accreditation earned by Roosevelt at this time is probationary, lasting until the fall of 2019.

Philion said he expects that will be enough time to work with the Illinois State Board of Education to devise a means for gaining access to data kept and controlled by graduates’ employers.

“Roosevelt has been proactive in working with the state and with education college deans from all over Chicagoland to come up with a system that is both legal and realistic for obtaining employer information,” said Philion. “I believe we will see our programs rise to an even higher level once we have that information in hand.”

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