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ACU earns national accreditation of teacher education program

The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) has awarded full seven-year accreditation to the Abilene Christian University Teacher Education Program.

After reviewing the evidence collected through a process of self-study and peer review, the AAQEP Accreditation Commission issued the decision at its July 10 meeting along with the following rationale:

The program presented compelling evidence that it meets all AAQEP standards. The evidence presented showed that program completers are prepared to work effectively as professional educators and that they are able to adapt to different contexts and to grow professionally. Program capacity to analyze and provide evidence for sustained actions and revisions on behalf of candidates was evident and sufficient to meet AAQEP standards. The program engages with stakeholders and partners to strengthen the P-20 education system locally and across the state.

“Congratulations to the Abilene Christian University faculty, staff and stakeholders on completing a successful quality assurance review,” said AAQEP president and CEO Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “The program provided clear and compelling evidence of completer effectiveness and deep engagement with schools across Texas. AAQEP is also grateful for the program’s willingness to put this new accreditation system to the test and to offer feedback as one of the first educator preparation providers to complete an AAQEP review.”

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. In AAQEP’s system, the process is also designed to honor local context and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions.

Dr. Dana Pemberton, chair of the ACU Teacher Education Program said, “The mission of the ACU Department of Teacher Education is to prepare exemplary, committed educators for service in diverse and multicultural communities for the glory of God. The mission of AAQEP aligns perfectly with this mission. The Texas Education Agency does not require that Texas educator preparation programs be nationally accredited. However, because of our commitment to exemplary practice, the Teacher Education faculty chose to engage in this rigorous evaluation process. We hold ourselves to the highest standards as a reflection of our faith-informed professional calling.”

Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services to all types of educator preparation providers. The organization promotes excellent, effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement and that enjoys a high degree of community engagement and public confidence. Visit for more information.

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