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UMPI’s Education programs secure MDOE reaccreditation

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s College of Education has been fully reaccredited by the Maine Department of Education following a unanimous vote on Feb. 11 by the State Board of Education.

At a meeting in Augusta, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to reaffirm UMPI’s Education programs after reviewing the interim status report officials had submitted near the beginning of the year. In reviewing the report, one MDOE official stated that she was “impressed with the amount and the quality of the work” that has been done. The affirmation extends the University’s state approval cycle for its education preparation programs through the winter of 2011.

“This is an important accomplishment and members of the College of Education – its chair Dr. Reginald Nnazor, the college’s faculty and staff, and all other support staff – are to be commended for their hard work,” Dr. Michael Sonntag, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. “I was present at the meeting in Augusta and the Board commented on the positive change in atmosphere as well as the sense of renewed energy and focus on our campus since their last visit. I feel confident we will be able to show them even better things at their next visit in the winter of 2011.”

While the University as a whole is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges [NEASC], one of six nationally recognized regional accrediting associations, several academic programs within the University are accredited by specific entities. UMPI’s Teacher Education programs are accredited by the Maine Department of Education.

Approved education programs are expected to be dynamic, to strive for continuous improvement, and to utilize the outcomes of new knowledge, practices and technologies, according to the MDOE’s website. Programs are expected to:
– Be involved in a process in which faculty and administrators, in collaboration with practitioners, are thinking and talking about the preparation of teachers and other educators.
– Be committed to assuring that teacher candidates are prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to assist Maine students in meeting the Learning Results.
– Collect and analyze data about their effectiveness, and make changes to improve their programs.
– Be engaged in ongoing self-assessment in which they assess the needs of schools and candidates, identify potential problems and points of vulnerability, and develop strategies for becoming more effective.

University officials are pleased about what the MDOE approval means in terms of the work being done in the College of Education and the education being offered to future teachers.

“Dr. Nnazor and the College of Education faculty and staff have distinguished themselves in vitalizing our program,” President Don Zillman said. “This reaccreditation validates their work. Furthermore, it places our University in an excellent position to market our program as one of Maine’s strong education programs and one that does creative work no other program is doing.”