Program Review Process

For institutions required to undergo the NCATE program review process, NCATE has implemented an online system for submitting and reviewing program reports. This process entails the submission of no more than 8 assessments that provide evidence of candidate mastery of specialized professional associations (SPA) standards. Paper reports will no longer be accepted. The national program review system is centrally managed by NCATE staff, although the development/revision of program standards and the review of programs are conducted by the SPAs. The new program report format is common across SPAs, although SPAs have customized the requirements for the assessments to conform to the standards and assessments unique to each discipline. The number of required assessments depends on which option the institution chooses to use to submit their program reports.

Option A

The current process will continue to be an option. This option requires that the program select 6 to 8 key assessments required of all candidates. NCATE has prescribed the type of assessments for #1 – 5:

  1. State licensure examinations of content knowledge

  2. An additional assessment of content knowledge

  3. An assessment of candidate ability to plan instruction, or (for non-teaching fields) to fulfill identified professional responsibilities

  4. An evaluation of clinical practice; and

  5. An assessment that demonstrates candidate effect on student learning, or (for non-teaching fields) the ability to create supportive learning environments. 

Option B

This option provides institutions greater flexibility to choose their own assessments (up to a maximum of 8) and take responsibility to demonstrate the collection demonstrates candidate mastery of the SPA standards. Faculty can select the key assessments (required of all candidates) with the following constraints:

  1. Faculty can select up to 8 assessments (there is no lower limit on the number of assessments).

  2. One assessment must be the state licensure test if there is a state licensure test in the discipline area.

  3. One assessment must focus on candidate impact on student learning, or, for non-teaching programs, an assessment of candidate impact on providing a supportive learning environment.

  4. Assessments, taken as a whole, must demonstrate mastery of SPA standards.

  5. Assessments must address the following key elements of NCATE Unit Standard 1: content, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, and impact on student learning.     

Option C: Continuing Recognition

This option is available to programs that, during their previous review cycle, were recognized using the 6 to 8 key assessment model, and are submitting to SPAs whose standards have not changed since the previous submission. This model was first available for programs submitted in Fall 2004 and required for all programs submitted in Spring 2005 and thereafter. If programs meet these criteria, the documentation required for the current review could be significantly reduced as follows:

  1. Programs must submit data on all assessments.

  2. Programs submit documentation only for those assessments that are new or substantially changed since the previous submission.

  3. Programs respond only to those items in Section I for which there has been substantial change since the previous submission. 

  4. There is a greater focus on Section V focusing on how programs have used data to improve their program. 

Option D: Validity and Reliability Studies

This option permits an institution to conduct validity and reliability studies of its assessments in lieu of other program report evidence requirements. The validity and reliability of assessments (content in relation to standards, consistency with other evidence, success in subsequent employment, etc.) is so integral to a standards and performance-based national recognition review that systematic examination of validity is essential.  It would, by definition, directly address SPA standards.  It would permit institutions with appropriately prepared faculty to formulate a task as part of accreditation that is meaningful for them, while, not unimportantly, helping to advance the research base for educator preparation.  It is an option that might lend itself to joint participation across several institutions, or at least across programs within an institution.  It is probably not an option that every institution has the capacity to execute; moreover, it would require a different kind of selection and/or training of reviewers. Before a program could choose this option, it must receive approval from NCATE.  


See also:

Instructions for Submitting Program Reports in PRS

Managing Programs in AIMS (webinar)