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Houghton’s Education Programs Awarded Professional Accreditation Through AAQEP and MSCHE

October 25, 2021

Houghton College Teacher Education Program (HCTEP) has been granted professional accreditation through Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). This is in addition to accreditation through Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Both of which determine institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement, innovation through, and the rigorous application of standards within the context of institutional mission.

Accreditation in the United States serves two major goals—quality assurance and continuous improvement—through a standards-based process of self-study and peer review. In its essence, accreditation is a professional conversation about quality. An institution or program that has successfully completed an accreditation review has in place the needed instructional, student support and other services to assist students to achieve their educational goals.

Sunshine Sullivan, Professor and Associate Dean of Education, highlights, “Each standard has multiple aspects for which we effectively provided evidence, clearly demonstrating the high quality and care of our Houghton College Teacher Education Program. As an AAQEP accredited Educational Preparation Program (EPP), they are stating to the world that the Houghton College Teacher Education Program meets these standards and that our completers (graduates who have met course and assessment criteria) are highly qualified educators equipped as professional educators with the capacity to support success for all learners and ability to adapt in a variety of contexts, always growing as professionals.”

Sullivan continues, “This aligns powerfully with our program’s mission and goals. In applying the standards within the context of our institutional mission: The Houghton College Teacher Education Program prepares teachers who are competent scholars, reflective teachers, and caring servants. Our graduates:

  • Demonstrate a breadth and depth of subject matter knowledge and facility with the intellectual tools of the liberal arts.
  • Articulate and implement a personal philosophy of education based on their knowledge of students’ cognitive, psycho-social, and moral development as well as the cultural and philosophical foundations of education, all of which inform and give coherence to their teaching.
  • Integrate the knowledge and intellectual tools of the liberal arts with pedagogical knowledge to create instruction and assessment practices that acknowledge, address and value the varied learning needs of diverse students in nurturing and culturally-responsive learning environments.
  • Work in partnership with students, educational professionals, parents, and community members to foster students’ learning and development.
  • Develop and critique educational thought and practice in light of Christian faith in a way that communicates the commitment and ability to grow as life-long learners who contribute thoughtfully to the profession while demonstrating integrity in their personal and professional behavior.

According to Cathy Freytag, Interim Dean of the Faculty, “The AAQEP accreditation team noted the deep, intentional, and ongoing work of our education faculty. This was reflected in the very positive review the program received and the glowing recommendation for continuous accreditation.”