College Park, MD– The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) has awarded full 7-year accreditation to the University of Maryland’s educator preparation programs, including the initial teacher preparation programs and the advanced programs in reading, school counseling, and school psychology.
After reviewing the evidence collected through a process of self-study and peer review, the AAQEP Accreditation Commission issued the affirmative decision at its June 23 meeting. The Commission found “compelling evidence” that the university’s programs meet all AAQEP standards.
Overall, this evidence showed that UMD program completers are well prepared to work effectively in their professional roles and that they are able to adapt to different contexts and to grow professionally. The programs’ capacity to analyze data to guide evidence-based decision making on program design and innovation was recognized by the Commission.
In particular, the AAQEP Commission noted the teacher preparation programs’ effective internal processes for closely aligned student recruitment and advising, resulting in increased retention of teacher candidates in the program.
The Commission also recognized the College of Education’s extensive collaboration with partners to strengthen the P-20 education system across the state and region. AAQEP highlighted the College’s use of formal and broad-based structures to engage stakeholders, which leverage the programs' deep connections with field-based colleagues. This collaboration strengthens the evidentiary basis for ongoing program improvement and innovation.
“We are honored to receive full accreditation from AAQEP in recognition of our excellent educator preparation programs. Our programs prepare teachers, reading specialists, school counselors, and school psychologists to use innovative, evidence-based practice to educate and support diverse learners,” said College of Education Dean Jennifer King Rice. “Our commitment to promoting equity and excellence, working with P-12 school leaders, and engaging with the community is reflected in this positive assessment of our academic programs.”
“Congratulations to the University of Maryland and to all of the faculty, staff, and stakeholders who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said AAQEP President and CEO Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “The College of Education’s well-developed recruitment and support system strengthens and diversifies the teacher pipeline, and the strong participation in advisory groups by P-12 partners both signals and enhances the programs’ value in the region.”
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 process serves two broad aims: accountability and continuous improvement. The AAQEP model is also designed to honor local contexts and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions. AAQEP currently has members in 22 states and territories with 120 educator preparation providers participating in the accreditation system.
About the University of Maryland College of Education
The College of Education at the University of Maryland provides research- and practice-oriented programs through its three departments: Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership; Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education; and Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. College programs prepare students to be educators, counselors, psychologists, administrators, researchers, and educational specialists. Graduates work with individuals from infancy through adulthood in schools, community agencies, colleges, and universities. The College is ranked among the top schools of education in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. The organization promotes excellent, effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement in a collaborative professional environment. Visit aaqep.org for more information.