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U.S. Department of Education

Staff Report
to the
Senior Department Official
on
Recognition Compliance Issues

RECOMMENDATION PAGE

1.
Agency:   National Council For Accreditation Of Teacher Education (1952/2006)
                  (The dates provided are the date of initial listing as a recognized agency and the date of the agency’s last grant of recognition.)
 
2.
Action Item:   Other Report
 
3.
Current Scope of Recognition:   The accreditation throughout the United States of professional education units providing baccalaureate and graduate degree programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional personnel for elementary and secondary schools including programs offering distance education.

4.
Date of Advisory Committee Meeting:   June, 2016
 
5.
Staff Recommendation:   Withdraw recognition from NCATE, and remove NCATE from the published list of nationally recognized accrediting bodies, effective on the date of the official notification letter from the Senior Department Official.
 
6.
Issues or Problems:   The agency does not meet the following section of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition. This issue is summarized below and discussed in detail under the Summary of Findings section.

-- NCATE has ceased to exist as an independent accrediting agency, which de facto severed any previous Federal link, and rendered moot any question of continuing program eligibility based on NCATE accreditation. [§602.10]



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 
 

PART I: GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGENCY

 
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) was a programmatic accreditor. Its scope of recognition was for the accreditation throughout the United States of professional education units providing baccalaureate and graduate degree programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional personnel for elementary and secondary schools including programs offering distance education. During its last review for recognition, NCATE had given status to 575 programs. The agency had accredited approximately 500 programs and had preaccredited the rest.

Accreditation by NCATE was a required element in enabling its programs to establish eligibility to participate in a non-HEA Federal program. The non-HEA program provided grants for training teachers in special education under the Department of Education's Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Reductions in available IDEA grants resulted in vastly diminished participation by NCATE programs.

The fact that NCATE has ceased to exist as an independent accrediting agency de facto severed any previous Federal link, and rendered moot any question of continuing program eligibility based on NCATE accreditation.

In conjunction with the current request for withdrawal of recognition, Department staff provided four pertinent documents under 602.10 (Link to Federal programs). The first document dated November 13, 2014 was to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which is the organization that absorbed both NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). That document noted that the renewal of recognition for both NCATE and TEAC was overdue, and that a formal notice to submit those petitions in June 2015 would be forthcoming.

The next document, dated December 15, 2014 was sent to both NCATE and TEAC and formally informed them that their petitions for renewed recognition were to be submitted to the Department by June 4, 2015.

The third document, dated November 10, 2015, was addressed to CAEP and informed the agency that since the renewal petitions had not been submitted, a formal action to remove NCATE and TEAC from the list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies would be placed on the spring meeting agenda of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI).

The final document from March 28, 2016 is a copy of the notice that CAEP provided to its NCATE and TEAC constituents notifying them of the impending withdrawal of recognition to be considered at the June 2016 meeting of NACIQI. (CAEP provided that document to the Department in an email dated March 30, 2016.)
 
 
Recognition History
 
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) was established in 1952 and began to accredit programs in 1954. At one point NCATE consisted of over 30 constituent member organizations that represented various aspects of teacher education. Those organizations included the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National School Boards Association, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the Association of Teacher Educators, and 16 professional specialty associations (e.g., the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Teachers Association, etc.). NCATE accredited baccalaureate and graduate-level professional education units that prepared teachers and other school personnel for elementary and secondary schools.

One of the permanent constituent member organizations, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), was on the initial list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that was published by the U.S. Commissioner of Education in 1952. After the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility in 1968, NCATE (as successor to AACTE) was reviewed in 1970 for continued recognition under the 1969 Criteria for Recognition. It received continued recognition at that time and had continued to do so through its last review for continued recognition.


PART II: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

 
§602.10 Link to Federal programs


The agency must demonstrate that--



(a) If the agency accredits institutions of higher education, its accreditation is a required element in enabling at least one of those institutions to establish eligibility to participate in HEA programs; or


(b) If the agency accredits institutions of higher education or higher education programs, or both, its accreditation is a required element in enabling at least one of those entities to establish eligibility to participate in non-HEA Federal programs.

 
Accreditation by NCATE was a required element in enabling its programs to establish eligibility to participate in a non-HEA Federal program. The non-HEA program provided grants for training teachers in special education under the Department of Education's Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Reductions in available IDEA grants resulted in vastly diminished participation by NCATE programs.

NCATE phased out its independent accrediting activities when it was totally absorbed into another accrediting body that is not recognized. In addition, NCATE failed to respond to two written requests regarding the need to submit a petition for continued recognition if it wished to remain on the list of recognized agencies. In accordance with 602.31(a) an accrediting agency seeking initial or continued recognition must submit a written application at least once every five years. This agency has not done so.

Currently, the fact that NCATE has ceased to exist as an independent accrediting agency de facto severed any previous Federal link, and rendered moot any question of continuing program eligibility based on NCATE accreditation.
 
 

PART III: THIRD PARTY COMMENTS

 
The Department did not receive any written third-party comments regarding this agency.