August 2017
Source: CAEP Connections Newsletter

Introducing CAEP Voices

We spoke to Ann Larson, Dean of the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Louisville, and Amy Lingo, Associate Dean and CAEP coordinator, about why they chose to have their institution seek CAEP accreditation. The University of Louisville was granted accreditation based on the CAEP Standards in April 2017. Below they answer in their own words what CAEP accreditation means to them.

University of Louisville

Why did you choose/want to be accredited through the CAEP accreditation process?

Kentucky has a state partnership agreement with CAEP and requires institutions to seek CAEP accreditation. Even if Kentucky didn’t require national accreditation, the University of Louisville would require it. Quality assurance and accountability to our community and students are important to us. We believe in high-quality assessments and a standards-based curriculum to prepare educators. CAEP accreditation is a badge of honor that assures the public that we meet the rigorous standards set forth by CAEP and that we are a high quality educator preparation institution.

Impact on K-12 student learning is at the forefront of our mission. We want our candidates to be well-prepared to work with a diverse student population. CAEP accreditation is a validation of the work we are doing. As educators, our passion is to make a positive and lasting impact on K-12 students.

Why does accreditation matter to faculty at Louisville?

We were very intentional about engaging our faculty and staff to work through the accreditation process. This is a point of pride for us. We like to focus on continuous improvement in a way that makes our work and processes sustainable.

Community stakeholders and advisory boards meet regularly with faculty to provide feedback and examine assessments of our candidates. We meet regularly about our selected improvement plan, its timeline, and the data from it. It’s not just a periodic conversation in preparation for the site review, it is continuous improvement and we are enthusiastic about the work.

As a trained site reviewer, how has a deeper level of involvement in the CAEP process helped you approach Louisville’s continuous improvement efforts?
(Dr. Larson was trained on NCATE and Dr. Lingo trained on CAEP)

Together, we had a collaborative approach in transitioning from NCATE to CAEP. In our view, NCATE was more technical, and our team has been able to build on the previous work and bring it to a higher level using the CAEP Standards.

The idea of using critical thinking, critical reflection, sustainability; answering not just the “what and the how” but the “why” and the “what next” in the self-study process was critical.

What advice would you give to an EPP going through the accreditation process?

We recommend becoming a site reviewer. It provides invaluable knowledge – you focus and become a critical reader. It also allows the opportunity to understand a perspective of site reviewers that are reviewing your self-study report. The most valuable piece of knowledge I’ve gained in the last two years has been how to design and lead a team approach in preparing for a CAEP accreditation.