Accreditation and Assessment


The School of Education at Georgia Southwestern State University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. More information on the accreditation process can be found at the NCATE website. All initial teacher education programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) for recommendation for Georgia professional educator certification.

NCATE Standards

Standard 1 - Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions
Standard 2 - Assessment System and Unit Evaluation
Standard 3 - Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
Standard 4 - Diversity
Standard 5 - Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development
Standard 6 - Unit Governance and Resources

The School of Education’s next NCATE/PSC review is Spring 2013.



Assessment Documents

The School of Education at Georgia Southwestern State University employs a comprehensive and systematic data collection process that the faculty and other stakeholders use to make program and unit level performance decisions. Specifically, the assessment system is designed to do the following:

  • Provide a tool to track candidates across the unit’s transition points.
  • Provide feedback to faculty advisors as well as program faculty regarding candidate performance.
  • Provide data about unit and program performance relative to the School of Education’s student learning outcomes.
  • Provide a tool by which faculty can identify strengths and weaknesses and work to make data-based improvements.
  • Provide the framework for the national accreditation, state program approval, report writing, and evaluation process.
  • Provide a comprehensive and systematic way to analyze unit and program operations for strategic planning and goal setting.
  • Provide a means by which the faculty can track progress on those goals. 

Accordingly, the School of Education focuses its assessment system around the unit’s mission statement, conceptual framework, and student learning outcomes with the goal of improving candidates’ preparation to teach p-12 learners.

NCATE Standard 2: Assessment and Unit Evaluation

A primary concern of the School of Education is the faculty’s ability to monitor, assess, and interpret the work of our preservice and in-service teacher education candidates and graduates. As such, the School of Education’s assessment system is founded on the NCATE framework for successful teacher education programs. Specifically, this handbook is concerned with NCATE Standard 2: Assessment and Unit Evaluation which states the following:

The Unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance, and Unit operations to evaluate and improve the Unit and its programs 

Element 1: Assessment System

  • The Unit has developed an assessment system with its professional community that reflects the conceptual framework(s) and professional and state standards.
  • The Unit’s system includes a comprehensive and integrated set of evaluation measures that are used to monitor candidate performance and manage and improve operations and programs.
  • Decisions about candidate performance are based on multiple assessments made at admission into programs, at appropriate transition points, and at program completion.
  • Assessments used to determine admission, continuation in, and completion of programs are predictors of candidate success.
  • The Unit takes effective steps to eliminate sources of bias in performance assessments and works to establish the fairness, accuracy, and consistency of its assessment procedures.

Element 2: Data Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation

  • The Unit maintains an assessment system that provides regular and comprehensive information on applicant qualifications, candidate proficiencies, competence of graduates, unit operations, and program quality.
  • Using multiple assessments from internal and external sources, the Unit collects data from applicants, candidates, recent graduates, faculty, and other members of the professional community.
  • The Unit maintains a record of formal candidate complaints and documentation of their resolution.
  • These data are regularly and systematically complied, summarized, and analyzed to improve candidate performance, program quality, and Unit operations.
  • The Unit maintains its assessment system through the use of information technologies.

Element 3: Use of Data for Program Improvement

  • The Unit regularly and systematically uses data, including candidate and graduate performance information, to evaluate the efficacy of its courses, programs, and clinical experiences.
  • The Unit analyzes program evaluation and performance assessment data to initiate changes where indicated.
  • Candidate and faculty assessment data are regularly shared with candidates and faculty representatives to help them reflect on their performance and improve it.

Using these standards as a guide, the School of Education monitors, assesses, and interprets the progress that our candidates and programs make toward meeting our conceptual framework and student learning outcomes. Accordingly, the faculty focus on a series of questions to guide their analysis and evaluation. These questions are:

  • How do we prepare our candidates to accomplish our student learning outcomes and exhibit the behaviors outlined in the conceptual framework?
  • What are our candidates’ weaknesses and how can we improve our instructional practices and program curriculums to address these weaknesses?
  • What are our candidates’ strengths and how can we build on those strengths with our instructional practices and program curriculums?
  • What are we doing? How do we do what we are doing? Why do we do what we do?
  • What are we not doing? Why are we not doing what we are not doing?
  • What does what we are doing accomplish? What does what we are doing not accomplish? What might what we are not doing accomplish? How do we know?


The Education Unit has the leadership and authority to plan, deliver, and operate coherent programs of study within the context of the university, its policies and procedures, and those of the University System of Georgia. Within this context leadership of and authority for planning, delivery, and operation of programs within the Education Unit are collaboratively exercised through the departments, functional committees, Teacher Education Council, and the dean. As the Partner School Network matures, more systematic input from unit's P-12 colleagues intro program development, delivery and revision is anticipated.

SOE organizational chart

Teacher Education Council

Committees of the School of Education

Rachel L. Abbott (Hilbish), Ph.D., CHES
Assistant Professor
Health and Human Performance
Student Success Center, room 1228
School of Education, Room 115
(229) 931-2156
(229) 931-2813

Joseph R. Nichols, Jr., Ph.D.
Assessment Director and Assistant Professor
210 Education Center
(229) 931-5132