Dr. Marilyn Watkins, Dean
School of Education
In the state of Indiana the majority of Schools of Education are NCATE accredited. (NCATE, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs has now become CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.) An important component of the accreditation process is that Schools must complete SPA’s for each of their programs.
SPA stands for Specialty Professional Association. SPAs are national associations representing the education profession, such as NAEYC, the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), the National Council of Social Studies teachers (NCSS), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Our School of Education has submitted SPA’s for our elementary education, secondary English, and secondary social studies programs. We have prepared SPA’s for secondary math and science. These will be submitted as our enrollments in these two programs increases. SPAs are typically submitted mid-way through the seven year accreditation cycle.
A SPA has five sections: the context information, assessments and related data, standards assessment chart, evidence for meeting standards, and use of assessment results to improve candidate and program performance. The assessments and related data must include reporting of state licensure exam data, demonstrate content knowledge, demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge and skills, and provide evidence of candidate impact on student learning. Each assessment must be closely aligned with the appropriate SPA standards.
SPAs can be nationally recognized, conditionally recognized with the opportunity to re-submit within a determined time frame, or needing improvement. If the latter category is attained, there are two opportunities to re-submit.