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CAEP Answers FAQs on Recognition Status, Unified Process

The following text is reposted with permission from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

My colleagues and I were pleased to attend the AACTE Annual Meeting. It was an opportunity to meet with, and listen to, many of you. Thank you for sharing your support, questions, and guidance with us.

We compiled answers to recurring questions we received during those conversations. We encourage you to share these answers with your teams and colleagues.

We look forward to many more productive conversations and welcome your continued feedback.

U.S. Department of Education Recognition Status

CAEP has been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) since 2014 and, thus, is a nationally recognized accreditor.

Recognition by the U.S. Secretary of Education, as provided for under the Higher Education Act of 1966, as amended in 2008, is optional for accreditors and is used for oversight of participation in federal programs to demonstrate an accreditation organization has met U.S. Department of Education standards.

The process for seeking recognition requires an accreditor to demonstrate that institutions they accredit are not able to access federal funding without such accreditation. Thus, it is not a matter of whether CAEP wants recognition, but rather, whether recognition is needed for programs to access federal funding. NCATE and TEAC had established a prior federal link through Individuals with Disabilities Education Act teacher preparation grants. CAEP is actively conducting research to see if there are institutions that require CAEP accreditation to access federal funding.

CAEP also has had conversations with Department officials and learned that the approval process is lengthy and can take up to two years, and that applications for new accreditors will not be accepted until 2018. The length of time for the process is not an indicator of an accreditor’s quality; it is simply a matter of process.

Further, federal regulations (34 CFR §602.12) require any agency seeking initial recognition to demonstrate that it has granted accreditation to one or more institutions or programs that cover the range of the specific degrees, certifications, institutions, and programs for which it seeks recognition, and in the geographic area for which recognition is sought, and that the agency has conducted accreditation for at least two years prior to seeking recognition.

The CAEP Accreditation Council endorsed a single CAEP accreditation process in October 2016, and the CAEP Board directed implementation of this process in December 2016. Under the CAEP accreditation process, educator preparation providers (EPPs) can take up to five years from completing the Part 1 application until an accreditation decision is made; therefore, it will take time to get a representative group of EPPs through this process to meet the two-year experience requirement.

Read more on CAEP’s website, where Koch also addresses these topics:

  • CAEP’s decision to move to a single accreditation process
  • Organizational capacity
  • Advanced standards
  • Program review options
  • Discontinuation of early assessment reviews
  • Sample sizes required for Standard 4

Christopher Koch is president of CAEP.


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Christopher Koch

President, CAEP

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