Whether or not an institution is required to submit program reports to NCATE is determined by its state’s affiliation with NCATE. NCATE has Partnership Agreements with a number of states in which the terms of the partnership (see State Protocols) defer the program review process to the state. Other state partnerships require that NCATE specialized professional associations (SPAs) conduct the program reviews. In states with which NCATE has no partnership, institutions are also required to submit program reports to NCATE.
Institutions located in states where the program review process is conducted by the state should contact their state agency responsible for program approval for further information on how the reviews are conducted. See link on state protocols above for information on state program review processes.
All states have an agency that oversees the quality of programs for the preparation of teachers and other educators in their states. These agencies are often state departments of education or state departments of public instruction, or in Colorado, Florida, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and West Virginia, the state higher education commission, but sometimes these agencies are independent professional standards boards.
State agencies, which are usually governed by state boards of education or members of the profession, have standards for the approval of professional education programs and licensure of individuals. Nearly all states require preparation programs to be approved in order to operate in the state. NCATE requires all education programs to be approved by the state to be eligible for national accreditation.
Some states use the NCATE unit and program standards for state approval. Some use NCATE’s unit standards and state-developed program standards; others have their own unit and program standards. To reduce the time and effort required by institutions to prepare for reviews, most states have developed partnerships with NCATE to work collaboratively in the application of standards and conduct of visits. Because the standards and review process vary from state to state, a protocol outlines state and NCATE expectations in partnership states.
Does the partnership agreement for your state require submission of program reports?
In some states NCATE accepts the state review of programs in lieu of a national program review by professional associations. The national review of programs is required in the few states that do not have a partnership with NCATE. A number of states require their institutions to submit programs for national review; the results of the national reviews are used by the state to determine state approval. The unit always has the option to submit one or more programs for national review, even though the state partnership does not require it.
If a program meets state standards, is it nationally recognized by NCATE?
Yes, in some cases. As part of the application for or renewal of partnerships, states must submit their program standards for review by the national professional associations. If the state standards and the program review process are found to be comparable to the national standards, approved programs in that state are nationally recognized and included on NCATE’s list of nationally recognized programs.