The University of Denver’s (DU) Morgridge College of Education’s (MCE) Teacher Education Program (TEP) has received accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Such accreditation is quality assurance that the program meets standards set by organizations representing the academic community, professionals, and other stakeholders. To maintain accreditation the institution or program must undergo a similar review on a regular basis every 7 to 10 years.

“At the Morgridge College of Education we strive for excellence in everything that we do, which is why we chose to pursue CAEP accreditation. National accreditation denotes a commitment to best practices and continual quality improvement that we at Morgridge feel is important for our teacher candidates as well as the students and families that they will serve as well. The programs that have CAEP accreditation are national leaders in the field and we are very excited to be a part of this prestigious group,” Dr. Karen Riley, Dean of the Morgridge College of Education said.

In the wake of dubious providers of educational offerings – or “degree mills” – educator accreditation is a seal of approval that assures programs prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students, and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively. The Morgridge College of Education is the most accredited college at the University of Denver. The CAEP accreditation is reflective of MCE’s commitment to achieving the highest educational standards available.

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”

Preparing for CAEP accreditation is a three-year process that involves rigorous internal and external assessment and reporting, which culminates with an on-campus site review. MCE’s CAEP accreditation process was led by Jessica Lerner, EdS, Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of Teacher Education, and Maria Salazar, PhD, Associate Professor Teacher and Learning Sciences and Teacher Education Program.

CAEP accreditation has a direct impact on the entire educational ecosystem:

  • P-12 Learners – outcomes based evidence ensures all learners are at the center of determining effectiveness of educators
  • Teacher Educators – because the process is infused with research and development, the knowledge base of effective practice will grow
  • State Education Agencies – provides a strong partner for quality assurance, helps connect the national consensus on preparation to state-level policy and provide support for a state’s own authorization/accountability system
  • Education Professionals – rigorous standards elevate the profession

TEP offers an intensive, integrated, one-year professional preparation experience. Apprentice teachers receive field placement for the entire academic year, with a gradual release of teaching responsibility over the year.

As part of its commitment to placing qualified teachers in underserved schools, the Morgridge College of Education has partnered with the Denver Public School (DPS) district to create Urban Teacher Fellowships (UTF). These competitive fellowships provide additional financial support for those students dedicated to working in one of the high-needs urban schools within DPS.

The University of Denver Morgridge College of Education (MCE) and Denver Public Schools (DPS) today announced the creation of a pilot teacher education program aimed at placing highly trained educators in some of the most highly impacted schools in the Denver metro area.

The DPS Urban Teacher Fellowship (UTF) program will position selected teacher candidates in highly impacted schools and provide them with the support necessary to both learn and thrive. UTF students will receive their graduate training as part of the University of Denver (DU) Teacher Education Program, and will complete their one-year teacher residency in selected schools within DPS.

“At a time when fewer and fewer college students are choosing to pursue a career in education and more and more K-12 students need great teachers, we are excited to launch a new program that we hope will serve as the model for future programs,” Dr. Karen Riley, MCE Dean says.

As a pilot program, DU and DPS will partner to evaluate the success of the model, collaborative partnership, and the transferability to other areas and program providers across the district. The UTF program is consistent with national trends in teacher residency programs in which the coursework is provided by the higher education partner and the field placements are designed and supported by the district. The program will be co-developed by the two partners in keeping with best practices creating new opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations.

“Nationally, over the last 10 years, teacher residency programs have evolved and grown,” said Laney Shaler, DPS Director of Teacher Pathways & Development. “We are excited to take what we have learned through our previous partnership with DU and apply the framework to this new program that will both extend the partnership and serve as the foundation for expanded pre-service training experiences in DPS.”

The UTF program will replace the existing Denver Teacher Residency (DTR) program which was co-developed between DU and DPS nearly a decade ago to meet the critical challenge of filling vacancies in highly impacted schools and hiring candidates who reflect the students the district serves. Since then, 350 teachers have been trained through DTR in a model of joint operation between DPS and DU. Eight cohorts of residents have confirmed the value of residency as a productive way to prepare teachers.

“I see this new partnership as taking our existing partnership to the next level. It allows us to strengthen our collective efforts to train a diverse teacher corps and serve teacher candidates with relevant on-the-job training opportunities,” Dr. Karen Riley says.

The pilot UTF program represents the next phase in the longstanding DU/DPS partnership committed to finding innovative ways to ensure highly trained educators are available to all students in the DPS district. The first UTF student cohort will begin in fall 2018.

Teacher Education Program (TEP) student Krystal Giles participated in a round-table discussion with Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock as part of the Make Your Mark campaign. The round-table, hosted by Denver Public Schools (DPS) Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova and Mayor Hancock, focused on the important role teachers of color play as advocates and role models for students of color.

The Make your Mark Campaign is an initiative dedicated to diversifying the faculty population working in Denver schools by recruiting educators of color. Mayor Hancock, DPS, six charter school networks, and several foundations have teamed up to lead this campaign. Their goal is to assure that the faculty working in Denver schools better reflects the diverse student population.

Diversifying teacher demographics is especially important in Denver. Statistics from Make Your Mark show that—in DPS—while over 75% of Denver students are of color, teachers of color make up less than 25% of the regions educators.

As part of the TEP field experience requirement, Giles, a Dual Degree Teacher Education candidate at MCE, works as an Apprentice Teacher at Barnum Elementary School in Denver. She was invited to participate in the round-table through the connections she developed during her field experience.

MCE promotes inclusive excellence and diversity in all of its programs, and recruits students who have a passion for inclusivity. Students like Giles are trained to become ideal candidates for schools looking to employ teachers dedicated to serving diverse populations.


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