SALISBURY, MD---When Salisbury University opened as Salisbury Normal School in 1925, its main focus was educating future teachers.
Now, eight decades later, the SU Education Department has earned the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education’s (NCATE) highest honor: national re-accreditation. NCATE reviewers lauded the University especially for its collaboration between the Education Department and other departments on campus, as well as with local school officials, said Dr. Ed Robeck, chair of the Education Department.
Accreditation is required for every four-year teacher education program in the state with full-time enrollments over 2,000. Salisbury is the third largest producer of teachers in Maryland.
The accolade adds merit to the department’s 15 separately accredited programs: early childhood education, elementary education, secondary English, secondary social studies, secondary biology, secondary physics, secondary chemistry, secondary math, K-12 physical education, K-12 teaching English as a second language, k-12 music, secondary Spanish, secondary French, secondary health, educational administration and reading specialist certification.
“This accomplishment represents the highest distinction for professional educator programs in the nation,” said Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland state superintendent of schools.
“Teachers in today’s schools face a multitude of challenges,” said Dr. Starlin Weaver, NCATE coordinator for SU. “Our programs must evolve to help schools and teachers respond to the ever-changing needs of P-12 students. This accreditation decision is especially meaningful because it is based on the performance of our candidates (SU teacher education students). NCATE standards are based on student performance.”
“This is a stamp of approval and lends credibility to the training our education students are receiving,” said SU Provost David Buchanan.
“Continuing NCATE accreditation confirms all of the excellent work done by faculty and by our school district-based professional partners,” said Dr. Dennis Pataniczek, dean of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. “ It is a marker of excellence for both the professional education unit and the entire University.”
“SU’s accreditation is the result of a campuswide effort,” said Robeck. “While people tend to think of teacher education as something connected to the Education Department, the truth is that the Education Department is really at the nexus of activity that involved every school and most departments on campus, as well as a range of school partners through our professional development school network and other community agencies and business partners.
“We have enjoyed truly astounding support from all quarters, and we could not do what we do for the region’s students, teachers and schools if not for all those people and agencies.”
These include partners from the Maryland State Department of Education and MSDE liaison Maggie Madden.
Founded in 1954, NCATE is the most widely recognized accrediting agency for teacher education programs. Maryland is the only state that requires every institution with an approved teacher education program to carry the highest level of national accreditation, earned through NCATE.
SU was one of the original teacher preparation institutions that earned the 1954 NCATE accreditation.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.