Bathed in the dusky haze of the afternoon sun, the smell of freshly mowed grass hovering as an undeniable harbinger of spring, the University of La Verne baseball and softball teams on April 8 don...
Dean Mark Goor announced the University of La Verne’s College of Education & Organizational Leadership has been granted national accreditation, a confirmation of the college’s high standards and commitment to producing top educators and leaders.
The National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) announced the decision in October, four months after the college received full accreditation for seven years from the California Commission on Accreditation. The California decision renews the college’s authorization to offer state credentials in all locations to La Verne students who complete any program that prepares educators and leaders for roles in schools.
The national accreditation provides the college with an advanced standing and means that people across the country recognize that La Verne has met heightened standards.
“The university and the community are now seeing that our college is a national player and that we think of ourselves beyond a regional player,” said Mark Goor, Dean of the College of Education & Organizational Leadership. “This is the first national accreditation for our college, which is significant in that it puts us in a different stratum of colleges of education nationwide. It gave us the opportunity to examine national level standards and show that we can meet that high level of standards.”
Prospective students know NCATE and want to know if the college of education they are considering is nationally accredited because such accreditation has significant consequences, Goor said.
“When our graduates go to other states, they have an easier time getting accreditation in other states because their transcript will be stamped with the NCATE accreditation,” he said.
To receive California accreditation, the college collected student data in every program to ensure that students achieved high standards; aggregated and analyzed the data to determine ways to improve programs; submitted biennial reports with this data and program reviews; and hosted a three-day, on-site visit. The feedback from the state team coordinated by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) was extremely positive.
During this process, the college submitted reports and prepared for an initial national accreditation review.
That three-day, on-site visit was a joint effort with 10 state team members and five reviewers from the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
La Verne has long been recognized as one of California’s premier producers of outstanding K-12 educators and administrators, and its College of Education & Organizational Leadership has one of the largest and most successful programs in the country for training executive leaders at the doctoral level.
“We prepare leaders,” Goor said. “People who want to be high-level administrators and leaders come to the University of La Verne.”
In fact, a quarter of superintendents and administrators in California have earned their doctorates from La Verne.
More than 125 graduates of the Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership are superintendents, more than 100 others hold key central office leadership positions, and 165 are serving as principals in California school districts.
Graduates include Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Arturo Delgado and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Gary Thomas.
Thomas said the college deserves the national accreditation.
“I have nothing but compliments for their work,” he said. “It certainly benefitted me.”
Educators seek out La Verne because of its reputation and because of the leadership skills offered, said Barbara Poling, Associate Dean of the CEOL.
“They leave us having strategies to deal with those difficult situations,” Poling said.
The education at La Verne benefits the educator and the educator’s employer, she said.
“This distinction of being nationally accredited tells a school district that they can be assured that the people they are hiring have met very high standards and have proven they can accomplish those standards,” Poling said.
It is more challenging for universities that develop their programs in multiple regions to demonstrate that the quality is consistent across all settings, Goor said.
“In this way, we are leaders in the state in becoming nationally accredited while delivering our programs across many settings,” he said.
Goor said he hopes the CEOL will be a model for universities nationwide that deliver their programs the way La Verne does. Poling and Goor said achieving national accreditation took a tremendous amount of teamwork and strong leadership.
“The University of La Verne has been known for preparing teachers for over 100 years,” Goor said. “Everyone associates La Verne with quality teachers so this is verification that our teacher quality matches the highest possible standards.”