In 2020, the University of Maryland College of Education earned national accreditation for its educator preparation programs from the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). In an important milestone that validates its accrediting process, the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) has been formally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a national organization.
“AAQEP is now a recognized accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which reviews the effectiveness of accrediting organizations,” said Ebony Terrell Shockley, executive director of teacher education at the University of Maryland College of Education. “As CHEA is a leading voice to the U.S Congress and the U.S. Department of Education, the acknowledgment of AAQEP by CHEA is another endorsement of our novel educator preparation programs that we continue to advance to ensure the success of our talented students, and the vital roles that they play in the lives of P-12 learners.”
National accreditation assures the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. This standards- and evidence-based approach serves two broad aims: accountability and continuous improvement.
“CHEA recognition represents an important validation of AAQEP’s rigorous, innovation-oriented and context-driven approach to accreditation,” said Mark LaCelle-Peterson, AAQEP president and CEO, in a statement. “It also affirms the vision and effort of the educator preparation professionals and state education staff who worked together to develop this next-generation model of quality assurance and improvement.”
“AAQEP accredits programs that prepare professional educators (including teachers, school leaders and administrators, and other education-related personnel) and that lead to recognized degrees at the bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate, or master’s level and/or to recognized post-degree professional certificates or endorsements, across the United States and its territories and dependencies,” the CHEA Board of Directors affirmed in a May 3, 2021 meeting.
The AAQEP model is designed to honor local contexts and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions.
“The exceptional quality of our programs reflects our commitment to innovation, recruitment, diversity, and school partnerships, earning us full accreditation for seven years by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation in 2020,” Dr. Terrell Shockley said.
Founded in 2017, AAQEP currently has 31 accredited members in 12 states and territories, with 151 educator preparation providers in 26 states participating in the accreditation system.