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ERIC Number: EJ833650
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0560
An Accreditation Dilemma: The Tension between Program Accountability and Program Improvement in Programmatic Accreditation
Murray, Frank B.
New Directions for Higher Education, n145 p59-68 Spr 2009
Because there is more doubt than ever before about the accomplishments of today's college graduates, the public, employers, often the graduates themselves, and others seek assurance that a program's graduates are competent and qualified. There is now the expectation that accreditation will give them that assurance. Moreover, nearly everyone seeks this assurance in an accessible manner, devoid of nuance, by some clear and direct criterion and assessment. That there are no such assessments and criteria that currently meet any reasonable standard of validity is only part of the problem. In this chapter, the author discusses the tension between program accountability and program improvement in programmatic accreditation. He examines the experiences of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), which highlight the conflicting and sometimes incompatible expectations for accreditation. The TEAC system balances three factors in a single system: (1) valid evidence that graduates are qualified, competent, and caring teachers; (2) evidence that the program has a quality control system that works as designed and improves program quality; and (3) evidence that the program has the capacity for quality as measured by the fact that a regionally accredited institution is committed to the program. In closing, the author states that it is a fair question whether TEAC's approach itself has shed light on the quality of teacher education and whether the collective evidence from its accreditation work is in line with current investigations of the national quality of teacher education. Findings from the audit of accreditation self-studies (the TEAC Inquiry Briefs) have potentially important implications for the design and rationale of teacher education programs, but require confirmation and deeper analysis. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A