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NCATE Continues Accreditation of FHU Education Program

The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has notified the Freed-Hardeman University College of Education and Behavioral Sciences that its accreditation will be continued for the next seven years. The unit is accredited at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels.

“This accreditation decision indicates that the unit and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community,” NCATE President James G. Cibulka said in a letter to FHU President Joe Wiley. The Unit Accreditation Board met April 21-24 in St. Louis.

In accord with the state partnership agreement between NCATE and the Tennessee Department of Education, the eight-member Board of Examiners team that conducted FHU’s site visit Nov. 11-13, 2012, was a joint national and state team. In addition to NCATE’s decision to grant continued accreditation to the unit, all 22 of the licensure programs offered by the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences were reapproved by the Tennessee Department of Education.

FHU’s School of Education offers teacher preparation leading to licensure in PreK–3, K–6, 4–8, special education and secondary school licensure in 13 areas. Dr. Sharen Cypress is the dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Approximately 200 undergrad students are currently enrolled in a program leading to initial licensure.

The graduate program offers a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction, special education, administration and supervision and school counseling. It also offers an Education Specialist degree in school leadership. Courses leading to graduate degrees are available online and on campus in Henderson and Memphis. Dr. Elizabeth Saunders directs the graduate program with 375 students enrolled.

“The visit by the NCATE and Tennessee state teams affirmed that the work being done at the School of Education meets the highest standards for the preparation of education professionals. The accreditation process is so comprehensive that the entire community has to be involved. During the site visit, the teams interviewed approximately 140 persons, including administrators, faculty, teacher education candidates, alumni and P-12 school partners. We are extremely proud of and grateful for the response of the FHU community,” Cypress said.

NCATE first approved FHU’s teacher education program in 1982 and granted reaccreditation in 2005. The next accreditation visit is scheduled for Fall 2019 and will be conducted under the auspices of the new accrediting body, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Founded in 1954, NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education. NCATE and the Teacher Education Council (TEAC) have consolidated and are now transitioning into the CAEP.

Additional information about FHU’s teacher education program may be found at and

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