Educator preparation programs awarded new national accreditation

With the second-largest educator preparation program in the California State University system, Fresno State prepares three out of every four teachers in the San Joaquin Valley.

And now, Fresno State is the first in the California State University system to earn recognition from a new national accrediting body, the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation.

The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation awarded full, seven-year accreditation to nine education-related programs at Fresno State — seven within the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, one in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and one in the College of Health and Human Services.

Founded in 2017, the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers.

“Fresno State began as a teacher preparation institution and has grown into the world-class University it is today,” said Dr. Randy Yerrick, dean of the Kremen School. “We are grateful to the innumerable community partners we collaborate with who place our emerging professionals in their schools and workplaces throughout their preparation experiences. We couldn’t accomplish such a feat alone.”

Previously, the Kremen School was awarded national accreditation under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education standards under the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation in 2014.

This new national accreditation was awarded to the Kremen School’s multiple subject, single subject and education specialist teacher education programs; bilingual authorization program; school counseling program; reading and literacy specialist program; and preliminary administrative services program. Fresno State’s agriculture specialist program and school nurse services program were also accredited.

Collectively, each program engaged in a process of selecting and examining data to determine where they were in meeting each of the accreditation standards. After looking at the results of the analysis, the programs took steps to continue to build on the work they were already doing to prepare educators to serve the region.

“After AAQEP was established, Fresno State realized it had a choice in its national accrediting body. We chose AAQEP because of its focus on continuous improvement and the opportunity to select our own measures to evaluate the work we are doing,” said Dr. Juliet Wahleithner, an associate professor in the Literacy, Early, Bilingual and Special Education Department and the Kremen School’s assistant director of teacher education.

Driven by her passion for the Kremen School’s mission, Wahleithner helped lead accreditation efforts. Wahleithner said receiving national accreditation goes beyond teacher prep — it’s about producing results that remain consistent to the core of the programs and the students who benefit from the instruction.

“This accreditation affirms the Kremen School’s development and preparation of educators in the region — teachers, counselors and leaders,” Wahleithner said.

(Story by Jason Smithberg, communications specialist for the Kremen School.)

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