The purpose of NCATE’s State Partnership Program is to save states and institutions time and expense by eliminating duplication of effort and paperwork in conducting state approval and NCATE accreditation reviews of teacher education institutions.
NCATE has partnerships with 50 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 23 partnership states, all public teacher education institutions are NCATE accredited. In 31 partnership states, a majority of all the teacher education institutions are NCATE accredited.
The State Partnership Program has also created an alignment between state teacher education standards and NCATE’s professional standards for teacher preparation. Thirty-nine states have adopted or adapted NCATE Unit standards as their own and apply them to all institutions for purposes of state approval. Twenty-nine states delegate the program review process to NCATE in lieu of their own for purposes of both NCATE accreditation and state approval.
Features of NCATE's State Partnerships
Partnerships may be established between NCATE and the state department of education or the state board of teaching, referred to as a “two-way” agreement. Partnerships may also include the state’s higher education commission in a “three-way” agreement.
Team Composition: In a state/NCATE partnership, the state and NCATE conduct reviews of teacher education institutions simultaneously. The on-site team may be solely composed of NCATE Board of Examiner members (“all NCATE team”). This team arrangement includes a representative from the state agency and is very economical for the state and institutions. The most popular team type includes both NCATE BOE and trained state reviewers who work together to conduct the review and make decisions (“joint team”). Some states prefer “concurrent teams” in which a state team and the NCATE team work at the same time, and may share information, but make independent decisions about the standards. In all cases, the state and NCATE retain their rightful authority to respectively approve and accredit institutions.
Program Review: Review of specific content programs (English education, elementary education, educational leadership, etc.) is an essential component of NCATE and state reviews of teacher education institutions. A feature of the NCATE Partnership Program allows the state to delegate program review to NCATE and use the findings for its program approval process; or, NCATE may defer to the state’s review if the state adopts or adapts NCATE program standards and has a performance-based program review process. This feature eliminates duplication of effort and saves money for institutions and the state by conducting one program review for use by the state and NCATE.
NCATE or National Accreditation Required: While NCATE accreditation is voluntary, some states mandate NCATE or national accreditation of teacher education institutions.
All Public Institutions NCATE Accredited in 23 States: Some states mandate NCATE or national accreditation of its public teacher education institutions; or in some cases all public institutions are NCATE accreditation even if there is no mandate.
Nine States delegate the entire process to NCATE: AK, AZ, AR, HI, IL, NJ, NY, OH, TX and UT use an All-NCATE Board of Examiners for the on-site visit (along with a state consultant) and delegate the program review process to NCATE. This type of partnership is the most economical and streamlined process for states.