For Immediate Release Contact: Matt Vanover
June 9, 2017

(202) 753-1637 

CAEP Names Dean of USC’s Rossier School of Education to Chair Board of Directors

Karen Symms Gallagher Selected by Peers to Take on New Leadership Role for Educator Preparation  

WASHINGTON – The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced Karen Symms Gallagher, was elected as the new chair of the CAEP Board of Directors. Gallagher currently serves as the Dean of the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education. She will succeed Mary M. Brabeck, July 1, 2017, as chair of the CAEP Board of Directors. Brabeck, who has served as chair since July 2013, will remain a member of the CAEP Board of Directors.  

“Karen is an innovator in teacher preparation. She launched a Master of Arts in Teaching program and an immersive education leadership program that have become national models for engaging students in practice within schools and districts,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “She brings a wealth of diverse experience and serves as a voice for those professionals who work to develop our educators of tomorrow.”

The CAEP Board of Directors is responsible for making policy for CAEP, appointments to committees and the CAEP Accreditation Council. The Board of Directors is also responsible for reviewing the performance and activities of CAEP, approving its annual budget and annual independent audits.

Gallagher has more than 30 years of experience in working in the field of educator preparation. Since 2000 she has served as the Dean of USC’s Rossier School of Education and was the Dean at the University of Kansas, School of Education from 1994-2000, leading accreditation efforts at both schools. She has been on the faculty at several universities during her career, also serving as Staff Director and Senior Policy Consultant to the Ohio General Assembly’s Commission on Education Improvement. Gallagher also served on the CAEP presidential search committee.

“As an experienced dean of both a private and public school of education, I know Karen understands what it takes to prepare students to teach and lead in diverse academic settings,” said Mary Brabeck, CAEP Board Member and current Chair. “She brings her informed perspective to the accreditation process. She is committed to excellence in educator preparation, and understands the challenges providers face, with budget demands, admission goals, and faculty needs in a time of enormous change in higher education.”

“I appreciate the opportunity my fellow Board members are providing me. The work we face is challenging, but very rewarding,” said Gallagher. “Accreditation is an opportunity for us to work together to demonstrate excellence in educator preparation, and to create a broad vision of successful preparation of professionals for diverse learners based on equitable, data-driven practice. I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and fellow Deans to strengthen and enhance the accreditation experience.”

CAEP is the sole accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all providers focused on educator preparation. Currently, more than 900 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system, including many grandfathered into accreditation under former standards.


The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation ( advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.