Preparing For The Visit

Institutions that continually use performance data for program improvement often find that planning for the visit happens on an ongoing basis. Nonetheless, certain logistics need to be addressed in the months preceding the visit. If you have questions as you prepare for the visit, contact the NCATE office via e-mail (ncate@ncate.org) or telephone (202 466-7496).

Institutional Contact Information

NCATE recognizes three individuals as having formal responsibility for accreditation: the president or chief executive officer of the institution; the designated head of the unit; and the NCATE coordinator. The NCATE coordinator is the individual designated by the unit to administer the accreditation efforts on campus. In some institutions, the head of the unit and the NCATE coordinator are the same.

One of the first steps in planning for the visit is to make sure that NCATE has the correct name, phone number, and e-mail address for the unit head and NCATE coordinator. Non-accredited institutions should report this information on the Intent to Seek NCATE Accreditation form. Accredited institutions can check the information in NCATE’s database, and ensure that it is correct on the Intent to Continue Accreditation form and annual report form.

The NCATE coordinator and the unit head are the contact persons for NCATE staff, the BOE chair, and all other individuals involved in the accreditation review. Therefore, it is important that any changes in designation or contact information be communicated immediately to NCATE staff. As NCATE moves increasingly toward electronic communication, it is important that e-mail addresses be supplied and updated for all contact people. Changes to the contact information can be made in the institutions AIMS workspace under Update Contact Information. Additions should be communicated to NCATE tech staff via e-mail (techsupport@ncate.org) or on the Intent form.

Involvement of the Professional Community

NCATE expects units to involve members of the professional community 1 in the design, evaluation, and delivery of professional education programs. Members of this broader professional community should be involved in the preparation for an accreditation visit. They often serve on committees within the unit that have responsibilities related to the standards. They sometimes join education faculty at NCATE orientations, Holmes Group meetings, and meetings of AACTE, ATE, and other professional associations. They are involved in teaching courses and supervising student teachers and other interns.

During the on-site visit, BOE teams interview cooperating teachers, principals, superintendents, personnel directors in local school districts, and faculty and administrators from Arts and Sciences and other units on campus with responsibility for preparing teachers and other professionals to work in schools. It is important that members of the professional community be involved on a regular basis between NCATE visits.

Privacy Concerns and Access to Information

Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA; http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html), institutions are permitted to disclose candidate information to accreditors without consent from candidates or their parents.

1NCATE defines the professional community as full- and part-time faculty (including clinical faculty) in the professional education unit, faculty in other units of the college/university, P–12 practitioners, candidates, and others involved in professional education.

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