Q: Why did you decide to volunteer with CAEP?
A: The heart of the CAEP accreditation process is peer review. As a profession, we are all in this together. Peer site review assures that standards are applied objectively from colleagues whose own institutions are striving to meet the standards on their own campuses. The process also allows for reviewers to learn about programs in other places, to observe various models of excellence, and to see multiple examples of the CAEP standards in practice.
Q: Why did you choose to become a site lead?
A: My decision to move from team member to lead was precipitated by several things. First, colleagues who I had served with on-site teams encouraged me to do so. Second, I had already served as a lead for site review teams at the state level and found the work both stimulating and an incredible learning experience. Finally, I saw service as a lead as an excellent way to make a valuable contribution to the improvement of the profession.
Q: What has been the best part of your CAEP experience?
A: The best part of the experience has been the occasion to network with so many excellent colleagues across our profession. Ultimately, our work is about people, and the common interest we all have in accreditation and program excellence is intellectually stimulating.
Q: What has surprised you about your experience?
A: I don’t know that there have been many surprises. What is perhaps pleasantly surprising is how much folks at EPPs appreciate the efforts of site reviewers. We don’t necessarily do the work for appreciation, but rather more from a service mentality. However, I have often been thanked by colleagues long after the review was over for thoroughness of the process and for the value of the feedback the team provided.
Q: What would you tell someone who was thinking about volunteering at CAEP?
A: If you want to make a valuable contribution to the improvement of teacher education, have excellent opportunities to network with exceptional colleagues, and are willing to invest sweat equity as a volunteer, please consider being a site reviewer. The work is demanding, but the rewards outweigh it.
Q: What would you advise someone who was thinking about taking their EPP through the CAEP Accreditation process?
A: The CAEP accreditation process builds excellence, promotes continuous improvement, and gives external validation to quality work. I would encourage any EPP who is considering CAEP to take the plunge.