Perfect score for the School of Education and Human Services

Rachel Yim, Staff Reporter

Oakland University’s School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) recently received a perfect score on its accreditation report from the council for the accreditation of educator preparation (CAEP).

The CAEP is a professional accreditor, whose council determines the accreditation status of educator preparation providers. At the fall 2020 meeting, the council made its final decision. It awarded OU the highest ratings on all assessment criteria, including candidate quality, recruitment and selectivity; clinical partnerships and practice; content and pedagogical knowledge; program impact; and provider quality, continuous improvement and capacity.

After the SEHS received feedback from a team of teacher educators from around the nation on its self-study report in March, a virtual visit was conducted. The visit involved coordinating over 100 people and about 20 online meetings over a three-day period.

“The visit was a tremendous success,” Jon Margerum-Leys, dean of the SEHS, said. “For us, [this result] is an affirmation by a group of our peers – the visit team and accreditation council – that what we are doing meets a very high standard. That’s gratifying, of course.”

According to Margerum-Leys, this accreditation process has high stakes because teacher preparation programs in Michigan are required by the Michigan Department of Education to be accredited.

Through accreditation, each institution is assured of improvement of internal policies, processes and procedures for transparency, accountability, high quality program and service. When an institution or specialized program is accredited, it has “demonstrated meeting the standards set by organizations representing the academic community, professionals and other stakeholders,” according to the CAEP.

This also means that OU will continue to be able to grant teaching licenses to its graduates and marks OU as one of the institutions with the strongest education and human service programs.

Margerum-Leys noted that the people and the relationships between them is the bottom line.

“We have wonderful students who have persevered in a time of pandemic — outstanding faculty, all of whom have been teachers, great staff who are dedicated to the SEHS and alumni of the program who work as educators and school administrators and can be a bridge between OU and the P-12 schools,” he said.

Proven by the CAEP as one of the strongest education programs in the country, the SEHS will be introducing an updated teacher preparation program that will start in the fall of 2021.

This program has experiences in schools built in from start to finish, updated curriculum that is relevant to Michigan’s education landscape. The program will also be streamlined, meaning that they cut the number of credits and the amount of time required, without sacrificing quality.

“That will save valuable time and money for our students, and will allow us to respond more quickly to the shortage of teachers here in Michigan,” Margerum Leys said.

Continuing with its 60-year-long history at OU, the SEHS strives to build stronger programs each year to guarantee student success, scholarship, community engagement, diversity and equity.

To learn more about what the SEHS offers, visit its website.