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The Professional Education Unit at the University of Central Oklahoma is currently accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) using the standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This accreditation covers both initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. UCO is a charter member of NCATE and has been continuously accredited since 1954.

July 1, 2013 was the day of the de facto consolidation of NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), making CAEP the new, sole specialized accreditor for educator preparation. The mission of CAEP is accountability and continued improvement of educator preparation. The accreditation process utilizes rigorous standards for educator preparation programs and holds accredited institutions accountable for providing continuous evidence of meeting these standards.

UCO is the third largest preparer of teachers in Oklahoma and, as a result of a review on 2016, has received renewal of its NCATE/CAEP accreditation through 2023.


CAEP Annual Measures

Measure 1: Completer Effectiveness


Contribution to P-12 Student Learning Growth and Application of Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

Case studies of program graduates in their first five years of teaching provide evidence of completers positive impact on student-learning by (1) using student assessment data to guide instructional decisions, (2) developing relationships with their students as the foundation of the assessment process, (3) developing agency within their students to determine their own growth, and (4) understanding the value of teaching experience in determining student-learning growth. In addition, the 2020-2021 Early Career Teacher Case Study Report identifies effective teaching (see Table 2) and assessment strategies (see Table 3) evidencing that UCO graduates demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions of effective P-12 teachers.

2022-2023 was spent developing the next phase of our study of program graduates’ impact on student learning. Findings will be available spring of 2024.

Teacher Leader Effectiveness (TLE) evaluations show that UCO completers are able to successfully apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions as practicing teachers. School site administrators annually assess the effectiveness of teachers using the TLE. This performance measure assesses teachers’ abilities to managing classrooms, to prepare and deliver instruction, to use assessment data for guiding student learning, and to meet professional responsibilities. School site administrators consistently scored teachers prepared by UCO at the effective level.

Measure 2: Satisfaction of Employers and Stakeholder Involvement

Initial Programs

Evidence shows that employers are satisfied with the preparation of initial program completers. Each spring, the Office of Educational Quality and Assessment (OEQA) sends employers a survey asking them to rate the preparation of each first-year teacher (FYT) hired by the district. Employers consistently agree or strongly agree that FYTs from UCO possess the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions needed to effectively teach P-12 students.

Advanced Programs

Evidence shows that employers are satisfied with the preparation of completers from advanced programs. Advanced programs prepare candidates for specialized certifications in Bilingual Education, Educational Leadership, Library Media, Reading Specialist, School Counseling, and School Psychology. Once a year, program coordinators for advanced programs contact employers about the preparation of advanced program completers. Employers are asked to complete surveys on recent hires.

Stakeholder involvement

Internal and external stakeholders are involved in program design, evaluation, and continuous improvement. At the initial level, stakeholders participate in feedback sessions and on working committees through the UCO Council on Teacher Education. In addition, they are partners in special initiatives such as the Urban Teacher Preparation Academy and the Bilingual and Diversity paraprofessional pathways to certification. Advanced programs hold annual advisory board meetings with their stakeholders. The link below provides examples of stakeholder involvement.

Measure 3: Candidate Competency at Completion

Initial Programs Certification exams

State certification exams provide evidence that UCO initial candidates meet program competencies at completion. The Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT) assesses candidates’ knowledge of learners and learning and their instructional and assessment practices. Over 95% of UCO student teachers successfully pass the exam. Pass-rates for UCO are at or above state averages. Data from the PPAT has helped to identify areas for program improvement. We have made changes to better prepare teacher candidates to differentiate instruction, to analyze assessment data and to reflect on their instructional practice.

Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (OSAT) assess candidates’ content area knowledge and skills. UCO candidates pass the exams at rates comparable to state averages.

The Candidate Preservice Assessment of Student Teaching (CPAST) is a performance assessment used to evaluate candidate performance during student teaching. At the completion of student teaching the student teacher, mentor teacher, and university supervisor meet and determine a consensus score for the student teacher’s knowledge of learners and learning, abilities to construct and implement instruction, and their demonstration of professional dispositions. The data show that on completion of their preparation student teachers demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of entering P-12 teachers.

Advanced Programs certifications exams

OSATs provide evidence that UCO advanced candidates meet program competencies at completion. OSATs are Oklahoma Certification Exams that assess candidates’ content knowledge and skills. UCO candidates pass the exams at rates comparable to state averages.

Title II Reports

Measure 4: Ability of Completers to be Hired

In the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and across the state there is a severe shortage of comprehensively prepared educators at the initial and advanced levels. There is strong demand for teachers and other education professionals in all certification areas. Provided below, are the shortage areas in Oklahoma recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and a recent report from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) with information on workforce trends for teachers and school counselors in Oklahoma.

Supply and Demand