The Unit Accreditation Board of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) notified University President Walter Harrison on May 6, 2011 of the decision to continue the accreditation of the educational unit at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. According to the Board, this accreditation decision indicates that the unit and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community.
“I am very proud of the collaborative efforts of the University’s ‘Educational Unit’ across three colleges – Arts and Sciences; the Hartt School; and Education, Nursing and Health Professions,” said ENHP Dean Ralph O. Mueller. “Together, they brought a multiyear effort for the continuing accreditation to a successful conclusion. National accreditation without qualifications by NCATE is a significant achievement. I wholeheartedly congratulate and thank everyone involved.”
Individual programs reviewed and evaluated in the process include the undergraduate programs in elementary education, early childhood education, integrated elementary/special education, secondary education (mathematics and English concentrations) and music education. At the graduate level, programs included elementary education, early childhood education, school psychology, and music education. Rick King, chair of the Department of Education and Human Services, credits the successful outcome to the efforts made by the faculty who teach and counsel students in all of these programs. His reaction upon learning of the Unit’s success was, “This is absolutely the best news. Many, many kudos belong to the faculty for all of their efforts. This ‘fully recognized’ accreditation decision reflects all of their hard work. I couldn't be happier with the outcome."
It is the faculty who are responsible for developing and evaluating curricula that prepare students to become competent and creative teachers ready to meet the challenges of their profession. The accreditation decision affirms the quality of our faculty and assures prospective education students that their experience at the University will be positive.
For those who may be considering entering one of our programs, it is appropriate to note that in addition to a solid preparation for the teaching profession, there are unique opportunities at the University of Hartford.
For example, future teachers have a chance to participate in Educational Main Street (EMS). As a key initiative of ENHP’s Center for Learning and Professional Education, EMS has adopted a model of research, service, and outreach to integrate its mission to serve the educational needs of the Greater Hartford community and the academic needs of University students. Through EMS’ programming, students from all majors can participate in tutoring children in the greater Hartford area; for education majors, EMS provides early opportunities to work with children in a variety of school settings prior to completing their formal student teaching requirement. Faculty and community partners benefit as well as they utilize the structure of EMS to help identify and address the professional preparation of University students and the needs of school children through the implementation of relevant research.
The presence of two public schools on the University’s campus – the University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE) and the University of Hartford Magnet School (UHMS) – is a unique opportunity for students of education. UHSSE is a high-performing high school based on the early college model. UHMS is an innovative elementary school (pre-K to grade 5) with a curriculum based on Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Easy access to these schools and their resources (as well as the schools’ access to the University and its resources) has resulted in increased collaboration between and among University and school faculty.
Finally, we are proud of our continuing and expanding relationship with the Hartford Public School System. The University is uniquely located to provide rich urban and suburban teaching experiences for our students. In addition to EMS’s tutor-based school and after-school programs, the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions is formalizing its relationship with the Hartford Public Schools. Although University students and faculty have worked with the public schools in Hartford for many years, in April 2011, The Hartford Board of Education unanimously voted to enter into a formal partnership that will allow for the expansion of student opportunities, joint faculty research, and relevant programming.
A certificate acknowledging the renewed accreditation hangs in the office of the Department of Education and Human Services. The next accreditation visit is in fall 2015.