Chadron State College
Chadron State College

CSC earns education accreditation renewal

June 1, 2013

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education assessment team recently renewed accreditation for Chadron State College’s education program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The team visited campus and the Chadron area for three days in April to interview CSC students, student teachers, alumni, faculty, staff and area school principals about the quality of teacher preparation at CSC.

Patti Blundell, a member serving on the advanced faculty NCATE committee, said that assessment of students at all undergraduate levels and the graduate level is ongoing while the NCATE accreditation process takes place every seven years.

“We’re very pleased with the report. It recognizes our efforts toward continuous improvement. For example, we are making changes to the way we assess student teaching as a result of analyzing the data,” Blundell said.

The NCATE review process for CSC began in the summer of 2012 when a Nebraska team reviewed the folios demonstrating compliance with state curriculum standards and program rules. Next, the self-study was submitted online to the national NCATE team in the fall for a thorough review. The college’s self-study report included data from 2007-2011.

In mid-December, the CSC team held a virtual meeting with the state and national team members who shared their responses to and questions about the self-study. Any requests for different or additional exhibits were addressed by the CSC team prior to the face-to face visit in April.

NCATE review team members had full access to on-campus, online and interactive televised classes throughout the process.

“We are looking for growth and development in the undergraduate students, and with our bachelor’s degree holders and master’s degree candidates we are looking for measurable results. As we study these groups over time, we see if they are headed in the right direction and make needed adjustments. Our graduates today need to be more sophisticated in using data. We addressed this need by adding a course at the graduate level and assignments in various undergraduate courses,” Blundell said.

James Bahensky, graduate assistant for assessment and accreditation, said that CSC partnered with Tk20 in fall of 2010 to provide comprehensive assessment solutions to aid in the NCATE accreditation process and foster continuous improvement.

The Texas-based company has worked closely with CSC personnel to prepare not only for the recent NCATE visit, but also for re-accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the Council on Social Work Education.

—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator