Athens State University Founder's Hall

Founder’s Hall on Athens State University’s campus.

On Thursday, Athens State University announced it received accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”

The News Courier spoke with Dr. Lee Vartanian, the Dean of the College of Education at ATSU, regarding the change. 

"CAEP is a national accrediting body that has rigorous standards for teacher preparation programs like ours, and what they focus on is ensuring that all teacher preparation providers have a plan for continuous improvement," said Vartanian.

He went on to say, "that continuous improvement includes data and so we have to have a plan and we've been implementing that plan."

"We're constantly getting better. This was a peer review from professors and education experts across the states who have come to review our program in minute detail and have seen that we have a program that is very strong and getting better day by day," said Vartanian.

The accreditation provides a level of distinction and an assurance of quality. 

"We think we have a very strong teacher preparation program, but when somebody else with strong standards comes in and looks at your program; talks to your students, talks to your alumni, and talks to the principals that hire our student teachers and our alumni and they're seeing quality, that makes us feel that our own opinion of ourselves is valid," said Vartanian.

ATSU is one of 25 providers from 22 states to receive accreditation in the latest review, bringing the total number of providers to 471. 

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes CAEP. The consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council created CAEP. 

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