NCATE’s Technical Assistance Network Helps Improve Teacher Preparation at HBCUs
Historically Black colleges and universities have significantly upgraded the quality of their teacher preparation programs in the past 10 years, according to a report produced by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
The report shows that fewer than 40 percent of HBCUs’ colleges of education were professionally accredited or in the accreditation system as candidates in 1991, but that in 2000, 80 percent of these colleges of education are accredited or working toward accreditation in candidacy status. There are 82 HBCUs with teacher preparation programs; 50 of those are now accredited with 12 in
HBCUs currently enroll approximately 44 percent of all African American candidates in undergraduate teacher preparation programs.
With seed money from the Lilly Endowment Inc., and funds from the Mott Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, NCATE initiated a technical assistance network to help improve teacher preparation at HBCUs. The technical assistance network served as a stimulus that helped increase the number of HCBUs in the NCATE system — either as accredited institutions or candidates. NCATE’s report, which was released in February, also shows that during 1991 to 2000, for the first time, many states have adopted standards set by the teaching profession as their own, thus integrating state and professional expectations for teachers and developing a more coherent system for those who enter the teaching field.
The report also shows that the accrediting body’s teacher preparation standards have raised expectations for colleges of education in all areas, including candidate knowledge of subject matter, use of technology, overall performance of candidates, clinical experiences and faculty performance. The standards now require institutions to provide compelling evidence that candidates know the subject they plan to teach and how to teach it effectively so that students demonstrate learning.
In addition, the report reveals growth in the number of accredited institutions and the number of institutions applying for accreditation. The number of institutions in the NCATE system, counting accredited institutions and those applying for accreditation, increased from a total of 500 in 1991 to 600 institutions in 2001.
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