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GSW’s College of Education receives successful accreditation review

AMERICUS, GA (May 19, 2022) – The College of Education (COE) at Georgia Southwestern State University proudly announces a successful accreditation review and site visitor report from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) after meeting in early May. The COE met all six Georgia standards and received two areas of strength for technology and clinical practice.

Every seven years, educator preparation programs in the state of Georgia go through re-accreditation by the GaPSC, explained Rachel Abbott, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education.

“It is very rewarding for the GaPSC and the site visitor team to recognize our hard work and commitment to teacher preparation,” Abbott said. “While we had to adapt and overcome the challenges of the past few years, this review indicates our excellence and assurance of meeting both the standards as well as the needs of our candidates, P-12 students, and partners.”

During the internal evaluation process by COE faculty, technology was identified as an area that could be strengthened. Intentional efforts to focus on aligning with the International Society for Technology in Education Standards (ISTE) proved beneficial after GaPSC recognized this as a strength.

The second area of strength identified the COE’s clinical partnerships. The site visit, which was conducted virtually, included interviewing P-12 partners and GSW faculty and staff. Abbott expressed her appreciation for their partners’ participation in the virtual interviews who had “positive comments and feedback regarding our candidate’s preparation and mutually beneficial partnerships.”

Michele McKie, Ed.D., assessment director of COE, stated, “This experience helped me to see it takes a community to accomplish the goals of accreditation. Our faculty and staff met countless times over the years to analyze data and ensure we met the state standards for teacher licensure. I am thankful for the hours put in by our faculty and staff. Without their support and dedication to the profession, this would not be possible.”

The College of Education submitted their offsite self-study report in July 2021, the site visit team reviewed and provided feedback in November 2021. The COE submitted an addendum with additional evidence and then the team came for the site visit in March 2022.

The GaPSC accreditation continuing approval lasts for seven years and includes approval for all programs. Although accreditation visits occur once every seven years, teacher preparation programs continually review their programs, ensuring they meet the Georgia Standards and the needs of P-12 education partners.

Learn more about GSW’s College of Education programs and certificates at gsw.edu/coe.