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The Mississippi College Teacher Education and Leadership Department was granted full accreditation of all educator licensure programs at both the initial and advanced levels in April 2021 from the CAEP Accreditation Council.

What Is Accreditation?

While people may notice that a program is accredited, they may not know what accreditation means.

Accreditation is a lengthy and rigorous process in which established professionals in a field review an institution of higher education and its programs to make sure it meets quality standards that are thoroughly grounded in research.

Simply put, the CAEP defines accreditation as quality assurance through external peer review. When an institution or specialized program is accredited, it has demonstrated that it meets standards set by organizations representing the academic community, professionals, and other stakeholders. To maintain accreditation the institution or program must undergo a similar review on a regular basis. Typically, reviews are conducted every 7 to 10 years.

There are two types of accreditation: institutional and professional (sometimes called programmatic).

Professional accreditors review departments, schools, and colleges usually within a higher education institution. An institution, especially a larger university, might simultaneously maintain accreditation from a regional accreditor as well as from several professional accreditors.

CAEP is a professional accreditor because it reviews departments, schools, and colleges which prepare teachers and other educators. After completing a program, teachers seek licensure or certification from the state in which they wish to teach.

What Is CAEP?

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation ( advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.

CAEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. Approximately, 700 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including some previously accredited through former standards.

Accreditation’s Value and Importance

For students considering an M.Ed. program, accreditation means that the program is rigorous and recognized as such. It means the school will use methods and materials similar to those of other teachers and employ education professionals who also obtained degrees from accredited schools. The standards are nationally recognized.

Many schools require job candidates to have a degree from an accredited school. When a teacher earns a degree from an accredited institution, it also signals to parents and students that the teacher has knowledge of subject matter and knows how to teach the students in their own classrooms.

Educators in an M.Ed. program learn how to teach students with various learning styles. They learn multiple methods of assessment to capture their students’ learning over time.

Accreditation provides a framework that has pushed educator preparation programs to continually self-assess and conduct evidence-based analysis of their programs and their efficacy. These evidence-based shifts, rooted in continuous improvement, are helping to ensure that preparation programs are more likely to produce successful educators.

Accreditation matters to:

  • P-12 Learners – outcomes-based evidence means all learners are at the center of determining effectiveness of educators
  • Teacher Educators – since the process is infused with research and development, the knowledge base of effective practice will grow.
  • State education agencies –  provides a strong partner for quality assurance, helps connect the national consensus on preparation to state-level policy and provide support for a state’s own authorization/accountability system
  • Education Professionals – rigorous standards elevate the profession

Learn more about the Mississippi College online M.Ed. programs.


CAEP: History

CAEP: What is Accreditation

CAEP: Why It Matters

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