Northwestern Teacher Education Program Receives Full Accreditation

June 8, 2020

Education Accreditation Certificate

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s teacher education program was recently notified it has been fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

The Division of Education’s bachelor’s and graduate-level programs were accredited without areas for improvement.

“The success of the accreditation process for teacher education at Northwestern is due to many people,” said Dr. Christee Jenlink, professor of education, chair to the Division of Education and associate dean of the School of Education. “Northwestern teacher faculty worked hundreds of hours in preparation for the site visit. Our administration provided total support throughout the process.

“Northwestern students were also supportive in the preparations and willingly participated in the interviews that were conducted on campus. Stakeholders from area public schools were extraordinary. When asked to participate in interviews with the site team, all were eager to help. The stakeholders' response to the call was exemplary.”

In Oklahoma all programs, undergraduate and graduate, that lead to licensure must be accredited. Every seven years, an institution with programs that lead to licensure are reviewed by national and state entities to determine if the institution has met the standards set forth by the accrediting body. Failure to be accredited results in graduates of programs not being able to receive licensure in their field.

The accreditation process is ongoing in that programs continually review and revise the requirements of programs to ensure accreditation standards are being met through the policies and procedures established by the preparation programs. The preparation for the onsite visit by the accreditation team begins months before the visit. A self-study report is submitted to the accrediting body nine months prior to the visit. Northwestern's on-site visit was November 10-12, 2019.

Two accreditation teams reviewed Northwestern's programs: a national team and a state team. The teams reviewed the self-study report and evidence to support the institution's case in meeting standards required by CAEP and standards set by the state of Oklahoma. During the site visit, the team interviewed 101 current students, graduates, faculty, Northwestern administrators, and stakeholders from public schools in Northwestern's service area.

The accreditation teams submitted a report to CAEP summarizing the on-site visit. The Accreditation Council for CAEP voted April 27 to accredit Northwestern's programs for seven years without any areas for improvement. An institution rarely receives accreditation without any areas for improvement cited.

Dr. Bo Hannaford, executive vice president, said Northwestern’s successful accreditation review is a verification of the superior direction within the teacher education program.

“I am extremely proud of Dr. Jenlink and our faculty for their hard work during this process,” he said. “Their relentless effort to continuously improve and upgrade our education programs and provide exceptional educational experiences for our students is a testament to the talent and leadership within the program.”

CAEP, formed in 2010 by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), advances equity and excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation assuring quality and continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.

For more information on Northwestern’s teacher education program contact Jenlink at (580) 327-8450 or


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