Spartanburg, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to announce that its School of Education has completed its self-study and accreditation visit through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Sarah-Hunt Barron, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Education, chaired the committee to ensure that USC Upstate’s commitment to holding itself to the highest national standards in teacher education are reaffirmed.
“It’s a complex process,” Hunt-Barron said. “But one that is well worth the time and attention it takes to ensure that we are graduating teachers who are not only successful as teachers in the classroom, but who are also preparing their PK-12 students for future classroom success.”
The self-study process began in June, but the data used as supporting documentation in the process goes back three years, Hunt-Barron said. In the self-study, the University had to provide evidence that it was meeting each of the five standards set by CAEP for accreditation. Those standards include: content and pedagogical knowledge; clinical partnerships and practice; candidate quality, recruitment and selectivity; program impact; and provider quality, continuous improvement and capacity.
“As part of the accreditation, we have to provide solid evidence that we are graduating caring, competent teachers and that they are making strides in their classrooms and making an impact in the lives of their students,” she said.
Hunt-Barron said the interaction allows the School of Education to look at continuous improvements for teacher education programming and in preparing teacher candidates for required licensing by South Carolina.
“We work closely with our partner schools when making changes to our curriculum,” Hunt-Barron said. “We want to be sure that our teacher candidates are meeting the needs of the schools. That may mean changing a policy and procedure on our end, or making a key change to curriculum that allows for more classes to meet state requirements, but it’s all focused on best preparing our students for the field.”
A team of both national and state reviewers spent time on the campus of USC Upstate Feb. 25-27 meeting with various constituent groups, including staff, faculty, and current teacher candidates, as well as more than 50 people from outside of the University including recent graduates of the program who are now teaching in local schools and school district partners who employ graduates. Their visit was a way of looking for evidence to support that the School of Education meets the five national standards.
Hunt-Barron said the School of Education received positive feedback from the visit, but the official results would not be complete until late fall 2018.
About USC Upstate
The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional, comprehensive university that offers more than 40 bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education, and master’s degrees in education, informatics, and nursing. These degrees help students to transition easily to careers in the Upstate region. USC Upstate is committed to fulfilling regional and state workforce needs and thus the university is a major engine of social and economic development. Comprised of a diverse and dynamic community of approximately 6,000 students from 26 states and 17 countries, USC Upstate is a wonderful blend of traditional and nontraditional students who reflect the Upstate’s rich international character. USC Upstate offers a balance of strengths that, when added up, results in a learning experience that is hard to match. The academic programs are accredited and highly ranked, with amazing research and internship opportunities for students. USC Upstate has its main campus in Spartanburg, the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics and the UPSTATE Gallery on Main in downtown Spartanburg, a location in Greenville, and a growing number of programs online. The USC Upstate Spartans, which fields 17 varsity sports, compete on the NCAA Division I level as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Nearly 30,000 alumni have earned degrees from USC Upstate and approximately 85 percent choose to remain in the Upstate region to build their lives and careers, making a significant impact of the region’s economy and quality of life. Learn more at www.uscupstate.edu.