MSUM earns prestigious accreditation

What does South Dakota’s 2022 Teacher of the Year (Stephanie Ballard) have in common with the 2022 Fargo Public Schools Teacher of the Year (Amy Anderson)? And the 2022 West Fargo Public Schools Teacher of the Year (Amy Braddock)? And, for that matter, Moorhead’s S.G. Reinertsen 2022 Teacher of the Year (Sheila Stadstad) and Robert Asp 2022 Teacher of the Year (Becky Anderson)? All are alumni of MSUM’s educator preparation programs.

And it wasn’t only our alumni who received notable recognitions in 2022: MSUM’s educator preparation programs recently earned accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a distinction earned by only five colleges and universities in Minnesota and only two in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. This newest distinction extends MSUM’s continuous accreditation status to a remarkable 91 years: our School of Teaching and Learning has been continuously accredited since 1931, previously under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

During that time, accreditation standards have become increasingly rigorous and the new CAEP standards are particularly stringent. They’re also evidence based, requiring educator preparation programs to provide solid evidence that graduates are competent and caring educators, and demonstrate that program faculty have the capacity to use evidence to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer. In fact, the standards are so stringent that some previously accredited programs have decided not to pursue CAEP’s endorsement.

Of course, I’m delighted we’ve been recognized among the most rigorous and high-quality educator preparation programs in the country. But mostly I’m proud of Stephanie, Amy A., Amy B., Sheila, and Becky—and all the educators MSUM has prepared over the past century. Every one of them inspires my Dragon Pride.

Dr. Anne Blackhurst served as Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 11th president from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2023.

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