The University of New Orleans Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education recently received the distinction of national recognition from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for three special education teacher preparation programs. The programs are the bachelor’s degree in elementary education and mild/moderate disabilities; the master’s in teaching in early intervention and mild/moderate disabilities for elementary education; and the master’s in teaching in mild/moderate disabilities for secondary education. The department is housed within UNO’s College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development.
“We pride ourselves in preparing quality special educators,” said Janice Janz, interim chair of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education. “Schools in our area value the knowledge, skills and dispositions that graduates of our special education program possess.”
The University’s institutional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges while a range of professional accrediting organizations evaluate its academic departments through a similar process of rigorous peer review. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is one of those professional accreditors involved in certifying the quality of teacher preparation provided through UNO’s Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education.
According to CAEP, accreditation demonstrates that a specialized program meets standards set by organizations representing the academic community, professionals and other stakeholders. In accrediting teacher preparation programs for special education, CAEP collaborates with the Council for Exceptional Children, which represents the academic community in this process. To maintain the accreditation, programs must undergo review regularly, typically every seven years. The council’s accreditation process is based on seven standards: individual learning differences, learning environments, curriculum content knowledge, assessment, instructional planning, professional learning and collaboration.