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The accreditation team in the Teachers College used Toy Story characters as a way to educate about and reinforce the accreditation standards. They presented on their efforts at the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation Conference in Washington DC.

The Teachers College at Emporia State University received national recognition Sept. 26 from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation for surpassing the standards in becoming re-accredited during their most recent accreditation cycle.

Emporia State was the only university in Kansas to receive the award this year, and was one of only 13 institutions to receive the award out of the 238 nationally which have CAEP accreditation. Other schools recognized included Duke and Boston College.

“Recognition via the Frank Murray Award from CAEP further confirms the commitment of faculty and staff in the Teachers College to preparing outstanding teachers through maintaining excellence within our educator preparation programs,” Interim Dean of the Teachers College Joan Brewer said. “Our faculty and P-12 school partners make it a priority to ensure our candidates are ‘classroom-ready’ upon program completion.”

Brewer, along with faculty instrumental in the accreditation preparation process, were present to accept the Frank Murray Award for Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement at the most recent CAEP Conference. This is the first year the honor has been given by CAEP.

“Our faculty and staff in the Teachers College work hard every day to help our graduates pursue their calling,” ESU President Allison D. Garrett said. “This hard work comes both in the classroom and in the efforts it takes to gain re-accreditation.”

After receiving the award in the morning at the CAEP Conference in Washington DC, the ESU team presented “It’s Better to be Absolutely Ridiculous than Absolutely Boring: The Fun Side of Accreditation.” The presentation highlighted how the team engaged faculty and other stakeholders in the analysis of evidence and accreditation preparations.

“Pulling together the large amounts of information needed for accreditation can be a very arduous task,” Brewer said. “Add to that the need to ensure all involved in the process understand the various components. So an unusual dream led to connecting various Toy Story characters to the accreditation standards. This led to a fun and memorable approach to the accreditation process.”

“(The Frank Murray award) recipients reflect the creativity that CAEP affords in achieving excellence, by meeting the standards in a variety of ways, for the diverse populations they serve,” CAEP President Chris Koch said.

Accreditation lasts seven years and ESU’s next site visit will be in 2025. ESU was previously accredited through NCATE, an accreditation it maintained for more than 20 years.

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