The NCATE accreditation process has two primary components: the unit review and the program review. The unit is the school, college or department of education—the entity with the responsibility for managing or coordinating all programs offered for the initial and continuing preparation of teachers and other school personnel, regardless of where these programs are administratively housed. A program is a discipline-specific component within a unit that provides a planned sequence of courses and experiences for preparing P-12 teachers and other professional school personnel (e.g. social studies educators, school psychologists).
NCATE accepts program reports from institutions at fixed dates-in the spring semester (due by March 15) and in the fall semester (due by September 15). Previously, NCATE required that program reports be submitted in the semester one year prior to the unit site visit. Over the next few years NCATE will transition to requiring that they be submitted three years before the visit. The standards for program review are developed by the appropriate specialized professional associations (SPAs) and program reviewers evaluate the program report to determine if the program meets the appropriate SPA standards. Because NCATE Unit Standard 1 requires that the unit demonstrate that its candidates “know the content of their fields, demonstrate professional and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions and apply them so that students learn” this information becomes very important at the unit level.
Program Submission Due Dates