1. Teacher-preparation program(s) apply for eligibility. Programs must provide evidence of state approval and regional accreditation. They must also show that graduates meet licensure and other requirements for teaching in public and private pre-K-12 schools. In addition, participants must demonstrate a commitment to the evaluation process. If a program is accepted, additional paperwork and fees are submitted.
2. Faculty members submit one “inquiry brief” for each program to be audited. The brief, or research monograph, outlines program goals and documents how they have been fulfilled. The paper must also show how each of TEAC’s three basic standards have been met. The three principles include evidence of: student learning, the validity of the evaluation system, and efforts by the program to achieve continuous improvement and quality control. Faculty members must use multiple measures to outline compliance, such as student grades, standardized-test scores, and surveys of graduates’ employers.
3. A two-member auditing team—either a senior teacher-educator or a teacher-training administrator, a K-12 teacher or administrator, or a member of the business community with training in evaluations—visits the program for up to three days, examining the evidence provided to see if it is valid. Evaluators examine data and conduct interviews with faculty members, students, and employers, among other tasks.
4. An accreditation panel, made up of college administrators, association members, K- 12 administrators, consultants, and professors of education, meets and recommends a decision to the board of directors. Programs are awarded either “initial,” “continuing,” or “provisional” accreditation, are given preaccreditation status, or denied accreditation.
5. TEAC’s board of directors, which includes college presidents, teacher-preparation administrators, and a classroom teacher, acts on the panel’s recommendation, and then prepares documents for the institution outlining the decision.
6. Programs must accept or appeal the decision within 30 days.
A version of this article appeared in the May 23, 2001 edition of Education Week as The Route to TEAC Approval