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The Teachers College Dean's Office

2016-11-13-headshot-weaver-kenESU is an EPP: Part I

In the education world, a crucially important ritual happens every seven years — state and national accreditation. Emporia State University is starting its accreditation cycle. In this article, I will describe the state process and do the same for the national process in the next issue of The Teachers College Newsletter. (The next issue’s article will clarify the meaning of the article’s title.)

Accreditation by the Kansas State Board of Education is essential for Emporia State because it gives the university the authority it must have in order to prepare educators. The state cycle started this past summer when faculty coordinators of the 34 initial (i.e., preparing teachers) and advanced (e.g., preparing principals, school counselors, etc.) education programs housed in all four schools and colleges at Emporia State worked on their three-year program reports.

The reports present a) the assessments the programs developed to assess the state standards implemented and approved for each program by KSBE, b) the candidate evidence derived from administering those assessments, and c) the analyses of the evidence to determine whether the candidates have met or not met the state standards. In addition, the reports include a section on changes made to improve the programs over the last seven years based on candidate evidence. The draft reports were submitted on August 1.

Dr. Joan Brewer, Associate Dean of The Teachers College, evaluated all reports and provided edits and suggestions for polishing the reports. Over two months, the reports were honed to be the very best they can be to prepare them for evaluation by the Kansas State Department of Education. The final reports were uploaded to the KSDE Data Warehouse on September 30, one day prior to the October 1 deadline. Many thanks to the faculty coordinators and to Dr. Brewer for accomplishing this critically important milestone.

In preparation of the October 1 deadline, KSDE staff have been creating committees of college and university faculty plus P-12 teachers or practitioners of the advanced programs who will read and evaluate the 34 committee reports.  The 34 evaluations will occur in October. In November, Emporia State will receive from KSDE a report on each of the programs detailing a) which standards were met or not met and b) what are the areas for improvement for a program, if any. Faculty coordinators will then have the opportunity to do a final edit of their reports to ensure that all standards are met, and there are no areas for improvement. Dr. Brewer will do a review of the edits for a polishing before they are resubmitted to KSDE in January for final evaluation.  

On or around March 1, KSDE will officially notify Emporia State of the final evaluations. The “gold standard” is “all standards met, no areas for improvement.”  We will have the opportunity to rejoin any evaluation we disagree with. The final evaluations along with all rejoinders are then submitted to KSDE’s Evaluation Review Council for one last review before final KSBE approval.

In the next newsletter, I will describe the national process. The culmination of both the state and national processes is a 2.5-day onsite visit by a joint team of 10 reviewers (five state and five national); that visit is to be Sunday, November 6, through Tuesday, November 8, 2018.

Preparing outstanding early childhood, elementary, and secondary teachers, principals, special educators, superintendents, library media specialists, school counselors, and school psychologists is the legacy and the excellence of Emporia State University. Each and every day at Emporia State's three campus locations, online, and in P-12 schools and classrooms throughout the state, our faculty in partnership with their P-12 counterparts model and present the highest levels of professionalism in transforming candidates into highly effective educators focused on student learning.   

This crucially important work is possible because of generous support of alumni providing and supporting scholarships so that our students have funding to assist them in making their dreams come true. THANK YOU — as a donor, you are making a difference in the lives of our students. If you are interested, you can learn how to make a gift to ESU.  


Ken Weaver, Dean