About Research at CAEP

In a research-poor context, isolated experience replaces professional knowledge as the dominant influence on how teachers teach

Schmoker, 1999, p. 63

Making educator preparation an evidence-based profession is one of the greatest challenges and opportunities for the field and for CAEP, as the accreditor for educator preparation. Despite the well-documented importance of teachers to students’ achievement, research on how best to prepare candidates to become effective teachers is rarely systematically available or used.

 Accordingly, CAEP is committed to collaborating with others in the field to advance research and innovation. Accreditation can be a key lever for data-informed improvement of the field, through the application of rigorous standards and evidence-based outcomes. CAEP’s vision of excellence in educator preparation accreditation means all educators arrive classroom-ready to meet the needs of increasingly diverse learners.

Learn more about CAEP’s work and how you can participate.

Get Involved

The body of research in educator preparation is diverse and constantly expanding. CAEP values and participates in collaborative efforts to advance research and innovation in the field. Frequently explored topics include networked improvement communities, equity, family engagement, valid and reliable assessments, clinical preparation, educational technology, and more.

Accreditation Research: Join AERA's Special Interest Group

Want to learn more about research on accreditation? The American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) special interest group (SIG) on Accreditation, Assessment, and Program Evaluation Research in Educator Preparation is a valuable group to join to keep current.

This SIG focuses on the interpretation of research findings associated with CAEP accreditation, state review processes, or assessment and evaluation of EPP graduates, and program quality. Contact Dr. Joyce Many if you are interested in joining the SIG and learning about opportunities to present your research in these areas.

Projects & Resources 

EP Family Engagement Mini Course: Free Modules Help Teacher Candidates Engage Parents  

The CAEP Family Engagement Mini Course is the result of a 24-month pilot with seven EPPs. Three free, interactive, online modules are available for all EPPs to better prepare teacher candidates to communicate with families. 

Please watch this video for more information about the CAEP Family Engagement Mini Course.

Through iterative cycles, the project developed and tested specific strategies that have been incorporated into this course. The trainings emphasize relationship building and proactive positive engagement, while teaching candidates to view families as assets and partners in their child’s education.


Three modules are available with assessments built in at each stage: Family Engagement, Parent Phone Calls, and Parent-Teacher Conferences. The modules are designed as a cohesive unit but can also be used independently. Candidates in the pilot reported making a live phone call to a “practice parent” forced them to pay attention and reflect on their own performance. 

Resources for faculty: caepnet.org/AboutFamilyEngagement

Thank you to the participating EPPs, research consultant experts, and for support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that made this pilot possible.

We have also developed faculty supports – complete with a faculty handbook, tips for instructors, and

[EMBED video] https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UyxluVCXhw&feature=youtu.be

Using Student Perception Surveys with Candidates:

Learning What Over 33,00,000 K-12 Students Say About Their Student Teacher
From 2013-2016 CAEP tested the implementation of student perception surveys with preservice teachers, linking student survey data from preservice to inservice.  Over 1,700 teacher candidates had the opportunity to survey over 33,000 of their K-12 students and receive unprecedented personalized feedback to improve their teaching practice—all before entering the classroom full-time!  In total, 29 EPPs from 18 states participated, receiving personalized data to inform continuous improvement.

Thank you to the participating EPPs and for support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that made this pilot possible.

Learn more about our work and how you can explore using structured and validated K-12 student surveys as part of multiple measures to demonstrate candidate (CAEP Component 3.5) and completer (CAEP Component 4.2) impact on student learning and development for the continuous improvement of candidates, faculty, and programs (CAEP Component 5.3):

Book Chapter on Diversity in the CAEP Standards

Do you want to learn more about the role of diversity in the CAEP Standards and how they differ from the NCATE and TEAC standards? 
If so, check out Chapter 14 of Diversity in Education: An integrated Framework Beyond Chalk and Talk.

Carinci, J & Jacobson, C. (2016). The role of the CAEP Standards: Why educator preparation providers should attend to diversity in their preparation of candidates (chapter 14). In Abebe, S. (Ed). Diversity in Education: An Integrated Framework Beyond Chalk and Talk. Ronkonkoma, NY: Linus Learning.

This chapter details the attention to diversity in the CAEP Standards focusing on the accreditation context and available research to make the case for why those who prepare educators need to attend to diversity in the preparation of future teachers.

The book is available through Linus Learning. Preview the chapter on CAEP.

Read more in an interview with the editor, Dr. Solomon Abebe, from the September 2016 issue of World Journal of Research and Review (WJRR).

SEED Partnership focused on Increasing the Diversity of the Teacher Workforce

CAEP has recently been awarded participation as a partner in U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement prestigious SEED Partnership. SEED Partnerships provide an opportunity for partner organizations to receive assistance from SEED grantees to improve their educator preparation and development efforts. CAEP has been matched with National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) to share ideas, discuss challenges, develop solutions, and work together on operationalizing how EPPs provide evidence of meeting Component 3.1 (Plan for Recruitment of Diverse Candidates who Meet Employment Needs), while informing how CAEP judges such plans and evidence. 

More specifically, goals of the partnership include:

  • identifying models and evidence-based strategies EPPs can use to improve the diversity of teacher candidates, focusing on recruitment and providing support to diverse candidates as key levers; and
  • thinking more about the structure and requirements of those plans to ensure that they focus programs on implementing approaches likely to yield desired results.

For more information, read CAEP’s original application to the RFP.

Leveraging CAEP Standards and Accreditation Processes to Improve Educator Preparation
The CAEP Standards are a significant paradigm shift from a focus on inputs and compliance to an evidence-based culture that values learning outcomes and continuous improvement. To gauge the effects, CAEP is launching a study of the impact of its 2013 Standards and evidence-based accreditation.  Case studies will feature prominently in the methodology to explore where any modifications in preparation programs may be occurring and how these created intended or unintended results in specific contexts. The goal is to capture information on the implementation and effectiveness of the accreditation process to inform CAEP and EPP outcomes. Currently the effort is in the initial planning stages; thanks to the support of a planning grant from the Spencer Foundation, an external contractor - Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) - is developing the execution, recruitment, and data collection plan necessary prior to launching the full study.

Learn more about the planning and CAEP’s use of improvement science from our presentation at the 2017 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education

  • Bringing Improvement Science into Educator Preparation Programs through Accreditation - Part I | Part II

CAEP State Alliance for Clinical Preparation and Partnerships

Now sunsetted, the CAEP State Alliance for Clinical Preparation and Partnerships was a group of 13 states committed to major transformation of educator preparation policies and practices. Members included clinical educators and partners working with one another to pilot approaches to implementation and seeking to bring new models of clinical preparation to scale using principles of improvement science. The State Alliance was established in 2010 to implement recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning.

Working With Partners: Publications

Good to Great Study Series
Convened by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) and supported by the GTL Center, CAEP is among the 10 leading education organizations conducting research activities together since 2013 to advance the profession. The collaboration has resulted in a series of three reports detailed below.
Learn more from the recent presentation at CAEP Conference: Listening to Great Teachers: Findings from the Good to Great Study Series.

From Good to Great: Exemplary Teachers Share Perspectives on Increasing Teacher Effectiveness Across the Career Continuum
Partners collaborated to develop a survey, study, and results report of what State and National Teachers of the Year believe are the most critical factors that increase teacher effectiveness. Among the most important were: high-quality preservice clinical experiences with effective cooperating teachers, preservice coursework in their content area, and appropriate placements that match their training. This report was a first-of-its-kind exploratory survey of National and State Teachers of the Year, reflecting on various stages of their teaching experience. The full reportexecutive summary, and a discussion starter tool are all available to read now.

Great to Influential: Teacher Leaders’ Roles in Supporting Instruction

The follow-up report utilized focus groups with State and National Teachers of the Year to better understand why teacher leaders and teacher leadership opportunities played such an important role in developing teachers’ effectiveness. Teacher leaders were characterized by participants as having and modeling a growth mindset that promotes continuous improvement and innovation. Further, emerging themes characterizing teacher leaders’ roles across the career continuum included: collaboration and self-reflection, connecting research and practice, modeling effective practices, and risk-taking

Investing in What it Takes to Move from Good to Great: Exemplary Educators Identify Their Most Important Learning Experiences

The recently released final report in the series looks at how the findings of its predecessors translate to a different population of teachers identified as being effective – National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). Again, findings emphasized the significance of high-quality preservice clinical practicum with cooperating teachers who effective at both promoting student learning and mentoring adults. Recommendations to schools and districts: offer flexibility or choice of preservice candidate ensuring personality fit and schedule coordination, reduce or streamline courseload for cooperating teachers, and customize evaluations for cooperating teachers. Recommendations to EPPs: offer cooperating teachers access to supports, information, or courses that are part of the preparation program.

Teacher Preparation Analytics (TPA) Report for a More Evidence-Based System of Teacher Preparation

CAEP commissioned a report from TPA to help move forward the creation of a more evidence-based system of teacher preparation. CAEP intends the TPA Report and their suggested Key Effectiveness Indicators as a starting point for a much needed discussion.

Why did CAEP commission this report?

  • To generate a national discussion of the measures, incorporating which measures are most meaningful as well as how to achieve more common measures across states and CAEP, that should be part of a system for reporting teacher preparation key effectiveness indicators;
  • To align CAEP accreditation with these reporting systems as closely as possible to strengthen accreditation, facilitate state data collection and reporting, and reduce reporting burdens for EPPs; and
  • To promote collaboration and best practices among states, CAEP, and other stakeholders (such as piloting new measures, sharing information on requirements for building strong data systems, and related issues).
  • In these ways, the report will help CAEP and its collaborators frame how to move forward so that teacher preparation data moving forward will be more robust, informative, and useful. From CAEP’s perspective, this is one of the greatest challenges and opportunities for our field.

Read the full report here. Read the report highlights here.

Learn about TPA’s recent opportunity to expand and build on this work: Accountability in Teacher Preparation: Policies and Data in the 50 States & DC

Student Data Principles: Data Quality Campaign (DQC) Partners with CAEP, Others to Safeguard Students’ Personal Information[ZE1] 
CAEP is proud to have been among the developers and original supporters, joined with voices at all levels of the education system—from parents to school administrators to state education chiefs—, of these foundational principles to support student learning through effective education data use and safeguarding students’ personal information. Visit StudentDataPrinciples.org to find out more!