The accreditation process requires preparation of reports for all specialty licensure area programs using CAEP Program Review with National Recognition. As of 2015, CAEP has program standards in the following areas:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • English/language arts education
  • Foreign language education
  • Gifted education
  • Health education
  • Mathematics education
  • Middle level education
  • Physical Education
  • Reading specialists and supervisors
  • School and District administrators
  • School library media specialists
  • School psychologists
  • Science education
  • Social studies education
  • Special education
  • Teaching English to speakers of other languages
  • Technology Coaches
  • Technology Directors

Special Cases

The following applies to programs that may have difficulty providing appropriate data for the program review.

  • Dormant Programs: If no candidates are in the pipeline and no one has graduated from the program in the past three years, a program report is not required. When the dormant program is reactivated by admitting candidates, a program report may be voluntarily submitted at that time.
  • Reactivated Programs: If a dormant program is reactivated by admitting candidates, the program may voluntarily submit a program report at that point. However, the EPP must submit a program report for a reactivated program as part of its scheduled program review cycle whether or not candidates have graduated from the program.
  • New Programs: An EPP can voluntarily submit a program report for a new program anytime between on-site visits if the program has been approved by the state. It must submit a program report for the new program as part of its scheduled program review cycle whether or not candidates have graduated from the program.
  • Redesigned Programs: If a program is undergoing a major program redesign, it may request a delay of its submission of the program report. The delay request must be submitted to CAEP program review staff with a detailed explanation of the redesign and its timeline. A delay will be granted if the redesign requires major changes in the program and if the appropriate state agency agrees to the delay.
  • Low-Enrollment Programs: A low enrollment program is defined by CAEP (CAEP Accreditation Handbook, p. 77) as a licensure area program that has under 10 candidates over three cycles of data reported. If a state requires programs to submit SPA reports or if a program chooses to submit a SPA report despite low enrollment, the program must be given a fair review. Reviewer decisions, in this case, will be based on the minimum required evidence provided by the program and the quality and alignment of the assessments used to meet SPA standards.

    A low-enrollment program may choose to seek waiver from the state to submit a SPA report. If the state grants the waiver, the program may choose not to submit a SPA report when it is due and update the program’s status on the Accreditation Information Management System (AIMS) accordingly. Not submitting a SPA report on time may lead to loss of any National Recognition earned by the program upon the expiration date of the recognition status.

Review of Endorsement and Add-On Programs

For information on the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) review requirement of programs that are considered endorsements and/or add-ons (or a similar term used in their state) please refer to the listed criteria. If a program is still unsure how to apply these criteria, they should contact CAEP Program Review staff to make a determination. 

(1) Programs that do not need to be submitted for SPA Review because they will not be able to meet the comprehensive SPA requirements (the scope and stature of program(s) would determine if they will be or need to be reviewed by SPAs:

  • Endorsements and add-on programs that require only a few courses, are insufficient in content, and/or have limited requirements need not be submitted for SPA review nor included as part of the self-study report for reviewers during on-site visits. They also will not be listed among the programs of an accredited EPP in AIMS.
  • Minors in subject areas are not normally submitted for national program review unless the state agency requires them to be reviewed against national or state program standards.
  • Short-term programs offered as professional development for teachers and other educators are not included as part of the self-study report for reviewers during on-site visits and will not be listed among the programs of an accredited EPP.

(2) Programs that must be submitted for SPA review (if required to do so by the state) and that are included for review as part of the self-study report include the following:

  • Endorsement and add-on programs that are similar in content and requirements to other programs within that content area.
  • Programs that are of sufficient breadth and depth to meet the SPA standards.

Programs Accredited by Other Accrediting Organizations 

An educator preparation provider (EPP) that has secured specialty area accreditation from a specialized accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or CHEA can choose to have any such accredited program(s) exempted from review by CAEP. In this circumstance, the program will not be recognized as accredited by CAEP and the EPP will not be required to report the number of completers in these programs in any annual report submitted to CAEP.

Should an EPP choose to have these programs reviewed during the CAEP accreditation process, they would be treated in the same manner as a program that has SPA recognition. If the EPP chooses to have these programs be part of the CAEP accreditation process and recognized by CAEP, evidence required to meet the CAEP Standards must be submitted for review, and completer numbers must be reported in the EPP Annual Report.

The other accrediting agencies may include the following: