Accreditation is a process that assures the educational community and the general public that an institution or a program has clearly defined and appropriate objectives and maintains conditions under which their achievement can reasonably be expected. It encourages improvement through continuous self-study and review. It fosters excellence in postsecondary education through the development of principles and guidelines for assessing educational effectiveness. Accreditations can be for the university, colleges, departments or specific programs.
Appalachian State University is SACS accredited and has been since 1942. All teacher education programs at Appalachian State University hold accreditation through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as well as approval from the state of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Commission on Colleges (SACS - COC)
Accreditation by SACS - COC signifies that an institution:
- Has a mission appropriate to higher education,
- Has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission and
- Maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.
National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
NCATE is a performance-based accreditation system, which requires accredited institutions to provide evidence that their candidates have the knowledge and skill to work effectively with students in the classroom. NCATE accreditation responds to the public's expectation that colleges of education produce teachers and other school specialists who meet rigorous standards, and who can help students learn. To achieve accreditation under NCATE's standards, universities and colleges must offer intellectually rigorous programs which are relevant to the needs of today's classrooms. NCATE wants to know: what do candidates know and what are they able to do.
NCDPI Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)
The IHE program approval section of NCDPI, implements the North Carolina Teacher Education Program Approval process. This section is responsible for establishing, developing, and maintaining positive working relationships between the NCDPI and the public and private IHEs with teacher education programs.