The accreditation process requires preparation of reports for all specialty licensure area programs using CAEP Program Review with National Recognition. As of 2015, CAEP has program standards in the following areas:
- Early childhood education
- Elementary education
- English/language arts education
- Foreign language education
- Gifted education
- Health education
- Mathematics education
- Middle level education
- Physical Education
- Reading specialists and supervisors
- School and District administrators
- School library media specialists
- School psychologists
- Science education
- Social studies education
- Special education
- Teaching English to speakers of other languages
- Technology Coaches
- Technology Directors
The following applies to programs that may have difficulty providing appropriate data for the program review.
- Dormant Programs: If no candidates are in the pipeline and no one has graduated from the program in the past three years, a program report is not required. When the dormant program is reactivated by admitting candidates, a program report may be voluntarily submitted at that time.
- Reactivated Programs: If a dormant program is reactivated by admitting candidates, the program may voluntarily submit a program report at that point. However, the EPP must submit a program report for a reactivated program as part of its scheduled program review cycle whether or not candidates have graduated from the program.
- New Programs: An EPP can voluntarily submit a program report for a new program anytime between on-site visits if the program has been approved by the state. It must submit a program report for the new program as part of its scheduled program review cycle whether or not candidates have graduated from the program.
- Redesigned Programs: If a program is undergoing a major program redesign, it may request a delay of its submission of the program report. The delay request must be submitted to CAEP program review staff with a detailed explanation of the redesign and its timeline. A delay will be granted if the redesign requires major changes in the program and if the appropriate state agency agrees to the delay.
- Low-Enrollment Programs: A low enrollment program is defined by CAEP (CAEP Accreditation Handbook, p. 77) as a licensure area program that has under 10 candidates over three cycles of data reported. If a state requires programs to submit SPA reports or if a program chooses to submit a SPA report despite low enrollment, the program must be given a fair review. Reviewer decisions, in this case, will be based on the minimum required evidence provided by the program and the quality and alignment of the assessments used to meet SPA standards.
A low-enrollment program may choose to seek waiver from the state to submit a SPA report. If the state grants the waiver, the program may choose not to submit a SPA report when it is due and update the program’s status on the Accreditation Information Management System (AIMS) accordingly. Not submitting a SPA report on time may lead to loss of any National Recognition earned by the program upon the expiration date of the recognition status.
If a SPA report is not submitted due to low numbers, the program needs to be reviewed using either the state review or the CAEP Program Review with Feedback option, as permitted by the state.
If a program has no enrollment at the time of the site visit, the EPP needs to contact its state department to inform about the program’s status and to seek a waiver to conduct program review. In that case, the EPP will need to take the following actions:
- flag the program in AIMS,
- list it on the self-study report, and
- discuss its status for formative review.
Review of Endorsement and Add-On Programs
Endorsement programs are subject to CAEP Standards for Advanced-Level Programs. These programs are offered at the post-baccalaureate or graduate level and lead to an endorsement of P-12 professionals who already completed an initial preparation, are currently licensed administrators, other certified (or similar state language) school professionals for employment in P-12 school/districts.
Some endorsement programs are designed for educators who hold valid teaching licensure and are seeking to add additional teaching field(s) that lead to licensure but for which the licensing authority (e.g., state or country) does not require completion of an internship for eligibility.
CAEP identifies these programs as “add-ons.” These programs require a licensure examination or an assessment of candidate proficiency. This requirement ensures candidates understand and apply knowledge and skills in the specialty licensure area that provide access to employment in a P-12 setting.
Programs that fall under the scope of CAEP’s definition of “add-ons” will be reviewed under CAEP Standard A.1, component A.1.1, and will require the EPP to submit evidence of candidate content knowledge, documented by state licensure test scores or other proficiency measures. These programs will not need to go through the SPA Program Review with National Recognition process.
Programs Accredited by Other Accrediting Organizations
An educator preparation provider (EPP) that has secured specialty area accreditation from a specialized accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or CHEA can choose to have any such accredited program(s) exempted from review by CAEP. In this circumstance, the program will not be recognized as accredited by CAEP and the EPP will not be required to report the number of completers in these programs in any annual report submitted to CAEP.
Should an EPP choose to have these programs reviewed during the CAEP accreditation process, they would be treated in the same manner as a program that has SPA recognition. If the EPP chooses to have these programs be part of the CAEP accreditation process and recognized by CAEP, evidence required to meet the CAEP Standards must be submitted for review, and completer numbers must be reported in the EPP Annual Report.
The other accrediting agencies may include the following: