PRESS RELEASE: Westfield State Professional Education Program Earns National Accreditation, Commendation for Anti-Racism Work

PRESS RELEASE: Westfield State Professional Education Program Earns National Accreditation, Commendation for Anti-Racism Work

(July 9, 2020, Fairfax Station, VA) – AAQEP has awarded full 7-year accreditation to the Professional Education Program of Westfield State University. The accreditation decision is accompanied by an official commendation for the program’s work in anti-racism education.

After reviewing the evidence collected through a process of self-study and peer review, the AAQEP Accreditation Commission issued the decision at its June 24 meeting along with the following rationale:

The program presented compelling evidence that it meets all AAQEP standards. The evidence showed that program completers are prepared to work effectively as professional educators and that they are able to adapt to different contexts and to grow professionally. Program capacity to analyze and provide evidence for sustained actions and revisions on behalf of candidates was evident and sufficient to meet AAQEP standards. The program engages with stakeholders and partners to strengthen the P-20 education system across the region. The program is commended for its wide-ranging, respected, and growing work in anti-racist education.

“Congratulations to Westfield State University and to all of the faculty, staff, and stakeholders who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said AAQEP President and CEO Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “The program made a clear case for quality in relation to all four AAQEP standards, and its remarkable work in anti-racist education merits close consideration by others.”

The commendation reads:

The Accreditation Commission commends Westfield State University’s education programs for their concerted and deepening work in anti-racist education. These efforts permeate the preparation of educators, are both embedded in and impact the wider campus culture, and reach into the community through campus- and program-based partnerships.

This commendation recognizes excellence related to several AAQEP standards and aspects: preparation for culturally responsive practice (1c), completer engagement with local school and cultural communities (2a), engagement with diverse community contexts (2b), meaningful clinical partnerships (3b), effective engagement with stakeholders (3c), support for equity (4a), diversifying the education workforce (4b), and supporting the improvement of the P-20 education system (Standard 4).

National accreditation assures the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. This standards- and evidence-based process serves two broad aims: accountability and continuous improvement. The AAQEP model is also designed to honor local context and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions. AAQEP currently has members in 22 states and territories with 120 educator preparation providers participating in the accreditation system.

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About AAQEP

Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. The organization promotes excellent, effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement in a collaborative professional environment. Visit aaqep.org for more information.

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