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Walden Magazine // Jul 20, 2020

Dedicated to Excellence: New Accreditations and Honors

Walden is not an institution that rests on its laurels. Since our beginning in 1970, we’ve continually reevaluated and refined our degree programs to keep in step with the evolving needs of our students and our commitment to excellence. In the past year, we’ve seen our efforts recognized with specialized accreditations for teacher preparation and public health programs as well as honors for our School of Management.

Specialized accreditations are typically bestowed at the college, school, or program level within a university. Seeking accreditation is a voluntary effort that, when successful, shows that an institution prepares students to practice at a high level in a certain discipline or profession. Walden earned two distinguished accreditations in 2019 that underscore our commitment to providing students with an education that meets recognized standards of quality.

CAEP ACCREDITATION: EXCELLENCE IN TEACHER PREPARATION

As a university founded by teachers, Walden’s roots in the education field run deep. With more than 60,000 students and alumni, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership is home to many dedicated and nationally renowned educators, including more than 150 state teachers of the year.

In April 2019, Walden achieved accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the only nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Of approximately 1,200 educator preparation programs in the U.S., fewer than 250 have earned this distinction.

“Accreditation status is one of the most important decision-making factors for students,” says Walden President Dr. Ward Ulmer. “Adding CAEP accreditation to the many others we have earned shows our adherence to the highest education standards and rigorous academic review.”

CAEP accreditation covers the Walden initial teacher preparation programs BS in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a specialization in Special Education (K–21), as well as the advanced educator preparation programs MS in Education (MSEd) with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration and EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration.

The three graduate programs also achieved national recognition from CAEP Specialized Professional Associations, which define what educators need to master to begin teaching or serving in school leadership. Walden’s MAT with a specialization in Special Education (K–21) was recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children, and its MSEd with a specialization in

Educational Leadership and Administration and its EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration programs were recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

CEPH ACCREDITATION: HIGH STANDARDS IN PUBLIC HEALTH TRAINING

Walden has one of the largest suites of public health degree online programs available today, including the Master of Public Health (MPH). In October 2019, our MPH program earned accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for assuring quality in public health education and training to achieve excellence in practice, research, and service.

“CEPH accreditation for our online MPH program demonstrates the exceptional quality of the public health education Walden provides its students, who aspire to effect positive social change through this fast-growing profession,” says Dr. Jorg Westermann, dean of the School of Health Sciences.

For students, CEPH accreditation is a gateway to professional credentialing. Graduates from CEPH-accredited MPH programs like Walden’s are eligible to take the Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam, administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Moreover, they can do so without needing five years of public health work experience after earning their bachelor’s degree. Walden is also now one of the CEPH-accredited members of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). This qualifies our students to apply for ASPPH fellowships.

The spotlight has also been on the accomplishments of the College of Management and Technology and School of Management recently, with recognitions that highlight the drive for excellence in the student experience.

ACBSP ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE

In April 2020, the Walden College of Management and Technology and School of Management earned a Silver Achievement Award from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Walden is the proud first recipient of this award, which is given to colleges that demonstrate performance excellence and serve as role models for excellence in higher education.

In August 2019, Walden was also the first recipient of ACBSP’s Bronze Achievement Award (formerly the Accreditation Plus Award).

“These awards are a testament to the excellent education our students receive and our faculty and staff’s dedication toward providing a high-quality online education,” says Dr. Marilyn Powell, vice provost of the College of Management and Technology.

PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE NETWORK (PEN) RECOGNITION

Earlier this year, the School of Management was awarded Advancement Level recognition from the Performance Excellence Network (PEN), which represents the Dakotas and Walden’s home state of Minnesota. The award is based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework and is the culmination of a rigorous evaluation of an organization’s management and performance system. The School of Management was evaluated on leadership, strategic planning, customer/student-related processes, measurement and knowledge management, workforce, and operations, and recognized for systematically improving results.

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