The department of education at Hope College has received continuing accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Hope's is one of 57 education programs that
received either initial or continuing accreditation by
NCATE's Unit Accreditation board in its most recent round of
decisions. The continuation will carry into the next
millennium, lasting for five years.
"The accreditation shows that we have met a very
demanding external standard and have demonstrated the
quality of learning and preparation for teaching that our
students receive," said Dr. Nancy Miller, who is dean for
the social sciences and a professor of education at Hope.
"Beyond that, it's an indication of the high level of
professionalism and expertise of the education faculty. I
think they are extraordinarily student-oriented, and they
expend enormous energy in giving their students the very
best possible preparation."
NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of
Education as the professional accrediting body for schools,
departments and colleges of education. On-site visits,
document review and accreditation are all carried out by
professionals from the education community, including
teachers, school specialists and teacher educators, as well
as members of the public and education policy makers.
Participation by colleges and universities is voluntary.
Approximately 500 institutions are accredited by
NCATE, out of more than 1,200 offering teacher education
programs. The accredited institutions produce two-thirds of
the nation's new teacher graduates.
Hope's accreditation continuation follows an
intensive review of the program by NCATE earlier this year.
Hope's last review was in 1992.
NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous
standards set by the profession and members of the public.
NCATE standards expect accredited education programs to
ensure that subject matter content, and how to teach it, is
a priority; to emphasize school district collaboration; to
ensure that candidates can use technology in instruction;
and to prepare teacher candidates to teach students from
diverse backgrounds. The standards also require each
program to base its work on current and established research
and best practice.
Hope's department of education currently has 11
full-time faculty, and annually certifies approximately 125
graduates as teachers. The college's program emphasizes
practical experience for the education students, including
placements in local classrooms from the very first class and
participation in two national professional organizations,
the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) and the
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Graduates of Hope's education program teach in
public and private K-12 schools around the country. Hope
education alumni also serve as teachers overseas, Peace
Corps volunteers, counselors in elementary and secondary
schools, curriculum coordinators and supervisors, school
administrators and college professors.