At least one semester before submitting preconditions, the educator preparation provider (EPP) must submit the Intent to Seek NCATE Accreditation form. The Intent form requests basic information about the EPP and information on programs and degrees, including offcampus programs, distance learning, and alternate route programs. It is important that the EPP list all programs that prepare individuals for work in P–12 schools, no matter where they are offered or how they are delivered. Both the chief executive officer of the EPP and the head of the professional education unit must sign the Intent to Seek NCATE Accreditation form.
By submitting the Intent form, the EPP declares its intention to pursue NCATE accreditation within a two- to three-year time frame. Upon receipt of the Intent form, NCATE will send a confirmation message and classify the EPP as a precandidate for accreditation. Precandidates must pay an annual fee to NCATE. Precandidates receive newsletters, e-mail communications, announcements of relevant conferences, and updated materials that are regularly sent to all NCATE-affiliated EPPs. A precandidate is expected to submit the AACTE/NCATE annual report.