Continuing evaluation and improvement of the unit and its programs is a key principle of the NCATE accreditation system. BOE teams view systematic evaluation and change as evidence of the growth and vitality of the unit. NCATE especially encourages innovations that respond to standards, new research, and educational reform. Many units are strengthening traditional routes to teaching as well as developing high-quality alternate route programs. Units should not suspend change because an NCATE visit is imminent. In fact, the standards require serious self-study that should lead to ongoing change in how the unit prepares professional school personnel.
Consequently, it is expected that some candidates will be entering new programs while others are completing programs that are being phased out. Although BOE teams will be looking at a unit at a point in time, the unit’s institutional report should also describe new operations and programs. Teams will examine established programs as well as programs admitting their first candidates and programs in the planning stage as they make recommendations on unit standards being met.