MURRAY, Ky. — On Aug. 21, Kentucky’s Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) met in Frankfort to consider state reaccreditation of the unit-wide educator preparation program at Murray State University’s College of Education and Human Services. Unanimously, the board voted to reaccredit the college’s 92 individual education programs, marking no areas for improvement. This achievement follows a May hearing by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), in which this separate accrediting body voted to award national accreditation to the College of Education and Human Services — also with zero areas for improvement.
“Frankly, it does not get any better than this,” noted Dr. David Whaley, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “I am very proud to be a part of the team who was able to demonstrate to our accrediting bodies the excellent programs, faculty, staff and students that we have.”
The EPSB’s August 2017 review marked the end of a two-and-a-half-year process, which began in early 2015 and included an onsite review that took place in November 2016.
“It was truly a unit-wide effort, with input and expertise from so many in our college, throughout the University and in our partner schools,” Whaley continued.
Accreditation efforts were largely led by Dr. Jacqueline Hansen, department chair and college assessment director; Dr. Robert Lyons, assistant dean and assessment coordinator; Dr. Alesa Walker, director of Teacher Education Services; and the remainder of the college’s accreditation team.
Many faculty and staff members of other units on campus aided in the process as well. These included the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Hutson School of Agriculture and the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.
In preparation for the onsite visit, the college assembled and met with advisory groups of its prime constituents, such as regional teachers, principals, superintendents, alumni and current students. Many of these individuals also participated in focus groups held during the actual onsite visit.
“The accreditation decision indicates that the provider and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community,” wrote James W. Adams, executive director of the EPSB, in a letter to Murray State President Bob Davies.
The state review process involved an analysis of the following five standards, all of which were met: content and pedagogical knowledge; clinical partnerships and practice; candidate quality, recruitment, and selectivity; program impact; and provider quality assurance and continuous improvement.
“It’s worth noting,” offered Whaley, “that Murray State began in 1922 as one of the first two normal schools — or teachers’ colleges — in Kentucky. By earning state and national accreditations with the highest possible outcomes, we are honored to help solidify the University’s reputation as a leader in educator preparation.”
These accreditations will be valid for the next seven years, at which point another review process will take place.