North Dakota State University’s School of Education received full and continuing accreditation from two national accreditation associations and program approval from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board.
Full seven-year continuing accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education recognized the School of Education met all standards for programs that prepare school personnel, including teachers, counselors and administrators. The organization held a site visit in April. Bill Martin, head of the School of Education, said the accreditation is required for the program’s graduates to obtain state licensure.
Martin said the School of Education’s program for school personnel was approved at the same time during a joint site team visit by the Education Standards and Practices Board and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Both organizations approved NDSU with no weaknesses. “It’s external recognition that we have very strong education programs,” he said. “They also are not just coming to campus to visit our faculty and students – they meet with practitioners in the field who work with us and hire our graduates.”
Earlier in the year the counselor education program also received continuing accreditation. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs sent its team to NDSU in mid-February and approved NDSU for the full eight-year continuing accreditation with all standards met and no areas of weakness cited. “It shows that our program is one of the top in the nation,” Martin said. “A relatively small portion of counseling programs are CACREP accredited.”
The council’s latest newsletter lists all 33 colleges and universities that had accreditation decisions made at the council’s board meeting in July. Of those, 20 received two-year accreditation and just 13 received the full eight-year accreditation. Many counseling programs do not seek Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs accreditation.
Jill Nelson, associate professor of education and counselor education program coordinator, said the accreditation standards’ biggest change was moving to a 60-credit clinical mental health counseling program. “We have really strong faculty who always work for the good of the program,” she said. “We make decisions with the health of the program in mind. We also have strong administrative support for helping us maintain accreditation.”