Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
PORTALES — The College of Education at Eastern New Mexico University recently received continued accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in Washington, D.C.
In the 10-year accreditation, NCATE praised Eastern's program for its preparation of teachers, a versatile curriculum which prepares educators to serve the needs of students from culturally diverse backgrounds, the learning strategies of faculty and an enhanced academic learning environment attributed to $1.9 million in renovations completed on the College of Education building in 1999.
The re-accreditation is testament to Eastern's reputable teaching preparation program that Dr. Mary Drabbs, interim dean of the College of Education, says is hailed statewide. "What I can say is that when I decided to come here to Eastern in 1997, people from New Mexico told me this university had an excellent reputation for providing teachers and I believe it," Drabbs said. "I see the quality of teachers we put out there and the schools corroborate that. They want teachers from ENMU."
In the accreditation report, NCATE commends the College of Education for producing candidates who appear qualified for their respective teaching fields and also commends an active faculty for their use of effective learning strategies and activism in attending conferences and publishing papers. "The faculty in education really cares about their own disciplines and they care about the quality of the students they are putting out into the public," Drabbs said.
When it comes to cultural diversity, Drabbs said all students in the teacher program are required to take BLED 350, a class in bilingual education called Cultural and Linguistic Pluralism. According to Drabbs, the class shows future teaches how to think about all the different social and cultural contexts of the students in public schools.
The accreditation is conditional because of NCATE's Standard 2, which includes the university's assessment system and unit evaluation. However, the accreditation will remain in effect as long as Eastern addresses these issues before NCATE's next visit in the fall of 2006. Standard 2 means that "the unit has not developed an assessment system that includes a comprehensive and integrated set of evaluation measures to monitor candidate performance and manage and improve programs and unit operations," according to NCATE.