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75 Percent of Institutions Reviewed Get NCATE Accreditation

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By Karen Diegmueller

Some three-fourths of the 37 education schools that were up for accreditation last spring have been accepted by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

The passage rate is down slightly from the previous accreditation round, but it is up over all since tougher standards took effect in the fall of 1988.

The national body released the results of the latest round last week. The decisions were made by NCATE'S unit- accreditation board during its semiannual meeting in September, but the identities of the schools were withheld until those denied approval had decided whether to appeal.

During the past three years, 66.4 percent of the 207 institutions that have sought accreditation have been granted full status. Almost 11 percent have been accredited with stipulations; 23 percent have been denied certification.

In the latest round, Dubuque TriCollege of Education in Iowa, Livingsten University in Alabama, and Oklahoma Panhandle State University were denied approval.

The names of four other institutions denied accreditation are being withheld. Three of them have filed appeals; the fourth, in keeping with NCATE policy, is allowed to maintain its anonymity because it had sought national accreditation for the first time. Three other colleges were granted accreditation with stipulations.

Process Questioned

M. Ray Brown, the vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, last week questioned parts of the NcATE decision making process.

Mr. Brown said the visiting team from the board of examiners had indicated that his institution had passed all 18 standards, although some weaknesses were noted. The unit-accreditation board, he said, subsequently denied approval, citing deficiencies in the "knowledge base" standard. "It was not a reasonable decision," he contended.

Typically, a five- or six-person team visits a site and decides what standards the institution meets. But it is up to the full unit-accreditation board, which reviews the visiting team's work, to make the final decision.

Mr. Brown also expressed disappointment that NCATE no longer has a probationary period to allow institutions to come up to par.

"I think they have failed to communicate that change to the institutions," said Mr. Brown, adding that the university was uncertain if it would again seek NcATE accreditation.

Failing for Lack of Dollars

Asa N. Green, the president of Livingston University, said his institution was cited on four standards dealing primarily with its inability to articulate its philosophy and with its faculty load and faculty development.

The Livingston college of education has already begun work on better articulating its philosophy through improving its knowledge base, Mr. Green said, but the issues of faculty load and development will have to wait. "They were purely and simply functions of dollars," Mr. Green said.

He said Livingston plans to apply for another review once its finances are stabilized.

Similar to the other two institutions, Dubuque Tri-College was ac- credited under the old standards. Unlike the other two, Dubuque is a consortium of three colleges--Loras College, Clarke College, and the University of Dubuque. Because NCATE now grants accreditation on the basis of the administrative unit, the three were reviewed as one for the first time.

The consortium's executive committee last week agreed to seek a second review in late fall of 1992, but the plan has not been finalized with NCATE, according to Michael Vavrus, who chairs the department of education at Tri-College.

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