By Megan Shearin

Old Dominion University's educator preparation programs, housed in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies, the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Sciences, have received accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP is the only educator preparation program accreditor recognized by the Council for Higher Educator Accreditation and promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement.

ODU is one of 60 providers from 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to receive the accreditation.

"When students and their families invest in an education degree from ODU, they are investing in a rigorous program that prepares equipped and effective educators," said Tammi Dice, interim dean of the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies. "CAEP is the gold standard in accreditation for education and reflects our commitment to providing high-quality training and preparation for our students."

Educator preparation providers seeking accreditation must pass peer review on five standards, which are based on two principles:

  • Solid evidence that the provider's graduates are competent and caring educators.
  • Solid evidence that the provider's educator staff can create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.

ODU's professional education program is a collaborative effort among the Darden College, the College of Arts & Letters and the College of Sciences, offering both undergraduate and graduate programs in educator preparation. Students can choose from more than 30 programs, spanning from early childhood education and reading specialist to school principalship.

"We in the College of Arts & Letters are proud of our teacher preparation programs, and the CAEP accreditation highlights the dedication and contributions of our faculty and students," said Kent Sandstrom, dean of the College of Arts & Letters. "We are pleased that our high-quality programs have been recognized by our national accrediting body and that our teacher education students will graduate with the knowledge that they are well prepared for their future teaching careers."

In addition, the University offers unique accelerated teacher preparation programs to help meet the needs of school districts. One such program is Teacher in Residence (TIR), which prepares a diverse cadre of high-qualified teachers to serve in critical shortage areas, such as math, science and special education. The TIR program, funded in part from a Virginia Department of Education grant and school division contributions, has grown in recent years and includes partnerships with Norfolk, Newport News and Virginia Beach Public Schools.

MonarchTeach, a collaboration between the Darden College and College of Sciences, is an innovative teacher preparation pathway that prepares mathematics, science and technology majors for licensure at the secondary level. Unique elements include course-based field experiences, stipend reimbursement for eligible students and paid summer internships.

"A lot of faculty in the colleges had to work very hard to earn CAEP accreditation," said Gail Dodge, dean of the College of Sciences. "We have an excellent teacher prep program - graduating highly qualified and talented math and science teachers is a priority for ODU. These trained professionals are in high demand and satisfy a critical need in Virginia."

"I am extremely proud of the work our academic colleges, faculty, staff and students are doing to advance the education profession," Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Austin Agho said. "We've set a high bar for ODU's educator preparation programs, and the CAEP accreditation validates the hard work."

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