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UW College of Education Receives National Accreditation

December 14, 2016

The University of Wyoming College of Education recently received national accreditation for the next seven years based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards.

NCATE’s performance-based accreditation system for teacher preparation ensures that teacher candidates are prepared to make a difference in P-12 student learning. Accreditation requires an on-site review of the professional education unit and a review of the individual programs within the unit.

“National accreditation is a mark of distinction and quality. NCATE accreditation is just such a mark of distinction for the College of Education at the University of Wyoming,” says Ray Reutzel, UW College of Education dean. “The College of Education has been continuously accredited at the national level since 1954. This assures the stakeholders of the state of Wyoming that the quality of educator preparation programs at UW remains in the upper echelons of comparable programs offered nationally.”

To seek continuing accreditation, the College of Education compiled data about its educator preparation programs and submitted an institutional report to NCATE in July 2015. Following the review of the report and data, a group of examiners conducted an on-site visit last March. The evaluation team determined that the college meets each of the six NCATE unit standards: candidate knowledge, skills and professional dispositions; assessment system and unit evaluation; field experiences and clinical practice; diversity; faculty qualifications, performance and development; and unit governance and resources.

The evaluation team noted in its report that all parties interviewed indicated that teacher candidates “are well prepared in their content areas, and have good pedagogical content knowledge and skills.” Additionally, when the team spoke with candidates, it was clear that the prospective teachers have a passion for working with children and in creating safe environments in their classrooms and schools.

The team also cited UW’s Literacy Research Center and Clinic (LRCC) and the Counselor Education Training Clinic (CETC). The LRCC offers professional development for teachers, literacy education for pre-service teachers and graduate students, research on literacy education and service as a statewide clinical resource. The CETC provides a training laboratory for advanced candidates, and offers free and confidential counseling services for UW students and Laramie community members.

“With this accreditation in hand, the programs offered in the College of Education are viewed by the national professional peer group as very good,” Reutzel says. “But, that is not enough for the College of Education at UW. We desire to become the state’s preferred, predominant provider of educator preparation programs that will supply the next generation of teachers, school leaders, instructional designers and counselors for Wyoming.”

The College of Education has prepared educators since 1914. The college has 65 faculty members, including four endowed chairs, and consists of four departments: Educational Studies, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Professional Studies and Secondary Education. In 2014, the UW Board of Trustees established the Trustees Education Initiative to “elevate the UW College of Education to national pre-eminent status in professional education preparation, ultimately to improve and enhance K-12 education in Wyoming.”

Educator preparation providers that are accredited based on NCATE standards, as well as those accredited based on the Teacher Education Accreditation Council quality principles, are now served by the single specialized accreditation system for educator preparation in the United States, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). More than 840 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system.

UW’s next accreditation visit -- using the CAEP standards -- is scheduled for spring 2023.

For more information about CAEP, visit

To learn more about the College of Education’s educator preparation programs, go to

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