The Education Department at Wagner College has had its full accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education renewed through 2019, college President Richard Guarasci announced today.
“Accreditation by NCATE means that Wagner’s Department of Education, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare future teachers and administrators, meets the most rigorous and most widely accepted standards in the country,” Guarasci said.
Founded in 1954, NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the nation’s two specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education. NCATE has recently merged with the other national accrediting agency, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, and the two organization are in the process of becoming the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
The preparation of teachers has been a key component of Wagner’s curriculum since the college was founded in 1883 in Rochester, N.Y. The program began significant expansion with Wagner’s relocation to Staten Island in 1918. Today, 91 undergraduates and 88 graduate students are enrolled in the Education Department.
Wagner’s teacher education programs are unusual in that all undergraduates preparing to teach follow a two-track curriculum that leads to certification as elementary and special education teachers. The curriculum readies these new teachers to work in schools that include students with special needs in regular classrooms.
The eight full-time education faculty members at Wagner worked on preparing for NCATE reaccreditation for nearly 3 years. This spring, after receiving the faculty’s self-study assessment, a team of NCATE reviewers conducted a site visit.
The NCATE Board of Examiners Report gave Wagner’s Education Department consistently high marks on all of the standards they assessed, and their investigation showed that both Wagner Education students and the schools that employed them after graduation also thought highly of Wagner College. Among the highlights of the Board of Examiners report:
- 91% of Education students surveyed said they were very well or somewhat well prepared to teach — and all respondents said they felt they had been well prepared to teach their subject matter.
- Principals at eight schools that employed Wagner graduates all said that the Wagner grads were very well or somewhat well prepared when it comes to accommodating learning differences.
- All the surveyed employers of Wagner graduates said that their employees were well or very well prepared to be “reflective practitioners” — that is, to use well-researched teaching practices, reflect on their practice and contribute to collaborations with school- and community-based partners.
- All Wagner graduates surveyed said the college was very or somewhat successful in carrying out its mission of helping teacher candidates become caring, competent professionals — and so did all of the employers surveyed.
Wagner College’s education program offers an undergraduate degree in a liberal arts discipline in addition to childhood education (grades 1-6), which prepares students for initial teacher certification. It also offers an undergraduate minor in educational studies that prepares students for the college’s graduate education program.
Wagner’s graduate degree programs include two leading to initial certification (grades 1-6 or grades 7-12), two advanced master’s programs leading to certification in literacy education (through grade 6) or early childhood education (through grade 2), and two programs in educational leadership that prepare students for certification as school principals or school district superintendents.
The college also offers post-graduate certification in educational leadership in a weekend studies program modeled after Executive MBA programs.