Unless special circumstances dictate differently, a three- to eight-person BOE team conducts the accreditation review. The size of the team depends on a combination of factors, including the number of candidates and the complexity of the unit and the university. In states with joint NCATE/State visits that include state BOE representatives, a team of three to six BOE members will be assigned. In states in which state BOE members do not join the NCATE team, a team of four to eight members will be assigned. The following guidelines help determine the exact size of teams:
- Three person teams are typically assigned for units hosting a focused visit, unless the size/complexity of the unit dictates an addtional team member(s).
- Three to five persons are assigned to accredited institutions with initial teacher preparation programs only; these programs can be offered at the baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate level.
- Four to six persons are assigned to small and medium-sized accredited institutions with both initial teacher preparation programs and advanced master’s programs.
- Five to seven persons are assigned to accredited institutions with initial teacher preparation programs and advanced preparation programs at the specialist and doctoral level, and to institutions seeking accreditation for the first time.
- The largest team of six to eight persons will be assigned to large comprehensive institutions with numerous programs and large numbers of candidates and faculty.
Additional team members may be assigned under the following two circumstances:
- The institution has off-campus programs that fall within NCATE’s scope of review but are not located within easy driving distance of the campus. The need to visit off-campus sites is determined by the team chair in consultation with appropriate institutional representatives and NCATE. (Listing all off campus sites under "Institutional Information" in AIMS will also help to determine if additional team members are needed for the visit.)
- If the visit combines a continuing accreditation review at one level with the first review of the other level, additional team members may be added at the request of the team chair in consultation with institutional representatives.
NCATE staff has responsibility for assigning BOE teams. In most cases a three-member team includes representatives from (a) the organization of teacher education institutions (i.e., AACTE), (b) a teachers’ organization (i.e., NEA or AFT), and (c) an organization that represents NCATE’s professional content or policymaker constituencies. Every effort is made to include at least one team member from an institution that is similar in type to the institution being visited. Teams will also represent gender and ethnic diversity; exceptions may occur when BOE members withdraw close to the time of the visit.
NCATE sends the name of the team chair to the institution approximately six to eight months before the scheduled visit. The institution should receive the names and email addresses of other team members shortly after the team chair is named. A team member will be removed from the team at the institution’s request only if the unit can document that potential conflict of interest exists.
Assignment of the State Consultant and NEA/AFT Representatives
If the institution is located in a partnership state, NCATE invites the state education agency responsible for program approval to appoint a state consultant for the onsite visit. NCATE also invites the state affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to appoint a representative/observer to join BOE teams in their state.
In most cases, state consultants and representatives/observers are actively involved in the data-collecting process. They usually participate in the BOE team meetings to provide clarification of state conditions and policies; they also report the data that they have collected in interviews and reviews of documents. These state representatives/observers generally are not asked to assist with the writing of the BOE report, but they may be asked to work with the assigned writers and edit the team’s work.
The state NEA and AFT representatives/observers are not voting members of the team. The State/NCATE protocols describe the composition of state teams and the role of the state consultant.
The state consultants and representatives/observers will receive the same materials as the BOE team members. In most cases, the unit should make hotel reservations for them, but the state agency and the teachers associations are responsible for covering the travel and maintenance expenses of their representatives.
Communications with the BOE Team and State Representatives
Communications with the team chair, team members, and state representatives are conducted primarily through e-mail. Unit representatives may contact the BOE team chair as soon as they receive the chair’s name. The e-mail addresses and phone numbers of team members are available to the unit in AIMS after all team members have accepted the invitation to serve on the team. If the visit is being conducted jointly with the state team, the list will include the state team members as well. The team list will also include the names and contact information for the state consultant and NEA and/or AFT representative.
All documents and exhibits for the visit should be posted by the unit in AIMS to be accessible to both the national and state team. The team chair may ask unit representatives to contact team members with travel, hotel, and other logistical information, but most communication will be conducted solely between the unit representatives and the team chair.