For many teacher preparation programs, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—otherwise known as CAEP—is their Bible. These teaching guidelines are custom designed to standardize teacher education. The desired result? Awesome teachers who are ready to make a difference.
But most people don’t realize that CAEP standards are still quite new.
Recently I had the chance to attend Spring CAEPCon 2019 and pick up some interesting facts about CAEP standards. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the CAEP process and the organization behind it:
Fact 1: Most educators are still figuring out CAEP accreditation
If you feel like CAEP is pretty confusing, you’re not alone. Not even close.
CAEP was born in 2016 when NCATE and TEAC merged to form a brand new set of accreditation standards. Although CAEP is gaining steam across the country, many educator preparation programs (EPPs) are still unsure of how CAEP standards work.
Most of the professionals I talked with were brand new to the process. I walked away from CAEPCon realizing that EPPs could really use an easy guide to CAEP. Something that’s written in normal language and focused completely on understanding the basics. So we’ve done just that.
To shed some light on CAEP standards, we’ve pulled together a beginner’s guide to CAEP accreditation. It might be just what you’re looking for to grasp the system better and feel a little more confident on the path forward.
Fact 2: CAEP accreditation can take 7–10 years to achieve
Yes. Really. The accreditation process is far from easy or fast, and there are many reasons for this:
- The accreditation process is just complicated. It takes a long time to see through.
- Schools that receive stipulations need time to make changes and present evidence of improvement.
- The CAEP Board wants to see consistent excellence over an extended period of time, not just schools jumping through hoops.
And by all appearances, the CAEP standards work. Despite the general apprehension surrounding CAEP accreditation, the vast majority of conference participants I talked to had a positive outlook on the program.
As of 2019, CAEP has been successfully implemented in 238 universities around the country, and CAEP accredited EPPs have seen impressive results in their programs nationwide. Most EPPs familiar with CAEP’s track record have a lot of faith that CAEP standards produce savvy and successful teachers.
Fact 3: Standard 4 is a bear
At CAEPCon I had several conversations and attended several presentations all centered around the dreaded Standard 4. This standard is all about gathering data that proves your program helps students grow. And that’s a tough ask.
What are the best ways to gather data? Some states provide data that EPPs can use for Standard 4. But what if you’re in a state that doesn’t? Well there are still several options available to you. Program surveys are a wonderful tool, and collaboration with local school districts can unearth fantastic numbers for Standard 4. Writing your own program case study on candidates’ success is another fine way to tackle this standard.
If you’re still unsure how to begin gathering your data, check out our latest article: Crushing CAEP Accreditation Standard 4.
Fact 4: Passing your site visit is all about the details
Every organization must pass their site visits to become accredited. The trouble is that many administrators have no idea how to prepare.
At a past CAEPCon, CAEP representatives Richard Rice and Dr. Marilyn Haller gave a fascinating presentation on how schools can be prepped and ready to go. Here are five simple and targeted ways to pass your next site visit with ease:
The previsit evaluation is a virtual visit that will set the stage for your site visit. Ask lots of questions during the previsit and make sure you know what needs to change.
Rely on your formative feedback report. This report tells you everything that needs to improve in your program.
Site visit fees are calculated based on the size of your site team. All fees need to be paid prior to each site visit.
Know that there will be no surprises. The CAEP site visitors want you to succeed and will communicate everything they expect. If anything is unclear, just ask.
The lead site visitor is your point person for the site visit. Direct all questions, concerns, and requests to them for a simple and successful experience.
For more information on site visits, check out these interesting insights from Dr. Margie Crutchfield on the CAEP team.
Fact 5: Video is the secret weapon for CAEP success
A growing number of EPPs are harnessing the power of video. Recording preservice teachers in the classroom is a fast way to evaluate your program and gather evidence of how to improve.
But video is such a new tool that many programs haven’t tried the best tools out there.
One such tool that’s making a big difference is GoReact. GoReact is a video platform that allows instructors to record their students performing a skill and provide time-coded feedback directly on their videos. This feedback can be typed comments left live or later, markers to tag teaching standards, and even customized rubrics.
GoReact is already a popular tool for achieving other accreditation styles like edTPA. And its applications to CAEP are quite similar:
- Gather video evidence of students achieving CAEP standards, even after graduation.
- Enjoy easy collaboration with online courses or student teachers in remote locations.
- Allow supervisors to communicate valuable feedback that students will understand.
- Foster self-reflection and fast student improvement that benefits your entire program.
I hope these five little-known facts answered a question or two about CAEP standards. CAEP accreditation takes time to understand and complete, but know that this process is designed to help your program succeed.
To learn more useful tips on getting CAEP accredited, check out our article on how video conquers the five CAEP standards.
Sara is the Sr. Writer for Higher Education at GoReact, the premier video feedback software for teaching skills crazy fast. She has been writing and editing for companies in the tech and financial spaces for over seven years and enjoys creating content strategies for professional brands. She has a bachelor’s degree in traditional editing from Brigham Young University. When she’s not working, Sara can be found traveling and writing novels for young adults.