Programs to be submitted for SPA Review

Educator preparation providers selecting review by specialized professional associations (SPAs), for national recognition, as part of the CAEP accreditation process, may use standards in the following areas:

  • Early childhood education
  • English/language arts education
  • Foreign language education
  • Gifted education
  • Mathematics education
  • Middle level education
  • School and district administrators
  • School library media specialists
  • School psychologists
  • Science education
  • Social studies education
  • Special education
  • Teaching English to speakers of other languages

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, the program cannot submit a SPA report. The provider is advised to contact state about continuing to offer the program or archiving it in CAEP’s accreditation management system. When the dormant program is reactivated by admitting candidates, it will be subject to review in preparation for the upcoming CAEP site visit.
  • New Programs: An EPP offering a new program should prepare for the review process in respect to the CAEP accreditation timeline. New programs should be reported on the Annual Reports submitted to CAEP.
  • 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 may have 10 or fewer candidates enrolled in the last three years taken together. Programs with low numbers are not automatically recused from being reviewed by a SPA. If a state requires programs to submit SPA reports or if a program chooses to submit a SPA report despite low enrollment, the program will 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. In that case, the provider will need to update the program’s selection of program review option on CAEP’s accreditation management system using another option recognized by the state and offered by CAEP.

Discontinuing SPA review may lead to the loss of National Recognition status earned by the program upon the expiration of the recognition decision-through date.

If a SPA report is not submitted due to low numbers, the program needs to be reviewed using either the state review or the CAEP Evidence Review of Standard One (formerly Program Review with Feedback) option, as permitted by the state.

If a program has no enrollment at the time of the site visit, the EPP needs to contact its state department to inform about the program’s status and to seek a waiver to conduct program review. In that case, the EPP will need to take the following actions:

  • flag the program in AIMS,
  • list it on the self-study report, and
  • discuss its status for formative review.

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: