Franklin Pierce University Pilots New Accreditation Rules and Process for State

September 19, 2014

New Hampshire Department of Education

Last fall Franklin Pierce University’s faculty member, Dr. Alana Mosley, assisted the Council for Teacher Education in creating a new accreditation process for review of Professional Educator Preparation Programs. Subsequently, Dr. Mosley and her Council colleagues received a letter of commendation from the Chairperson of the State Board for their role in operationalizing the new accreditation rules endorsed by the New Hampshire State Board of Education.

"It was a pleasure to use standards that embrace the challenge of using our own data and tools to assess the quality of our candidates." Dr. Mosley said. "It aligns us with the direction K-12 schools have moved, improving these connections."

As a service to the State, Franklin Pierce then volunteered to serve as a pilot for the rigorous new process, allowing the Council for Teacher Education and their reviewers to make adjustments for increased rigor in a real time setting. The new approval process is characterized by a focus on data-informed decision making, using multiple measures and valid capstone projects to ensure all institutions are recommending well prepared educators for State certification.

The process also prompts colleges and universities to address state and national priorities, in addition to new initiatives, for creating the highly effective educators needed in 21st century schools. The emphasis on continuous improvement is reflected in the requirement that all programs submit an annual progress report to highlight upgrades and enhancements.

Dr. Robert McLaughlin, N.H. State Administrator of the Professional Educator Preparation Program Approval, said, "Franklin Pierce University was courageous in volunteering to pilot the State’s very new preparation program approval process; they knew this would be a more comprehensive and rigorous process. Faculty and staff at the University embraced the challenge of identifying and using a rich range of evidence to inform decisions affecting candidate preparedness for professional practice. This has benefited not only the University and its students, but also New Hampshire’s other educator preparation institutions by generating valuable insights on ways to improve the program review process itself."

Franklin Pierce University emerged from the process with accreditation for both its undergraduate and graduate education programs and a green light to offer several new programs. Franklin Pierce’s Education Division offers an undergraduate degree in Education as well as certification in elementary education, middle and secondary content areas, and K-12 general special education. The University also has accredited graduate certification programs in the same areas as the undergraduate offerings and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Dr. Mosley and Dean Kerry McKeever of the University’s College at Rindge were recently interviewed by NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown on the new accreditation process. The segment is scheduled to air sometime in the month of September.

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