What Is CAEP Accreditation and Why Is It So Important to Teachers?
Stamp of excellence. Seal of approval. Those are two statements that signal a commitment to quality, and they’re what consumers often look for when choosing a business to patronize or a product to buy.
Quality assurance is also something to look for when you’re ready to earn a degree in elementary education. To find that, look for a college accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Let’s explore the meaning and value of CAEP accreditation when earning a teaching degree.
What Is CAEP?
CAEP is a nonprofit and nongovernmental agency that accredits educator preparation providers (EPPs). It is the only recognized national accreditor for educator preparation.
What Does CAEP Accreditation Mean?
“Simply put, accreditation is quality assurance through external peer review,” CAEP explains. “When an institution or specialized program is accredited, it has demonstrated that it meets standards set by organizations representing the academic community, professionals, and other stakeholders.”1
The accreditation process is repeated every seven to 10 years.1
What Does CAEP Assess?
CAEP has seven standards against which EPPs are measured. They are:2
Content and Pedagogical Knowledge
Clinical Partnerships and Practice
Candidate Recruitment, Progression, and Support
Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement
Fiscal and Administrative Capacity
Record of Compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act (only for EPPs seeking access to Title IV funds)
The standards themselves are reviewed and updated to keep pace with societal and educational shifts. More recent changes include adding a stronger focus on equity and diversity and setting standards for technology given the growth in online learning.2
Why Does CAEP Accreditation Matter?
Receiving and keeping CAEP accreditation takes a commitment to self-review, evidence-based analyses, and continuous improvement. It’s a process that is “helping to ensure that preparation programs are more likely to produce successful educators,” CAEP says.3
Why Should Teachers Choose a CAEP-Accredited EPP?
When you commit to earning a teaching degree, you’re investing valuable time, energy, and money in your future. You want to know that you’ll be prepared to seek teacher certification, and be classroom-ready, when you graduate. Colleges with CAEP accreditation have demonstrated they have what it takes to prepare students to do just that.
“Accreditation makes sure that educator programs prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students, and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively,” CAEP explains.3
That kind of academic preparation matters not only when you are applying for teaching jobs but also when you begin your work in the classroom.
Get Ready to Launch Your Teaching Career
If you’re not yet a teacher but want to become one, earning a teaching degree from a CAEP-accredited EPP can help you become an effective educator.
Walden University’s CAEP-accredited Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences offers an online BS in Elementary Education (Teacher Licensure) degree program that can help you launch your teaching career. Bachelor’s candidates in Walden’s elementary education online degree program learn teaching strategies designed to help students build confidence and excel in today’s diverse classroom environments.
Walden’s bachelor’s degree program includes access to a complimentary self-paced test preparation course that can help you prepare for licensure exams. Walden also will pay for your edTPA, a nationally used performance assessment that measures the skills you’ll need as a teacher.
A bachelor’s in elementary education can help academically prepare you to become a teacher in public or private school settings, though career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of the degree program. You might also choose to pursue online teaching jobs in elementary education.
Another option from Walden is the online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - Elementary Education degree program. In this graduate program for teachers, you’ll learn best-practice teaching strategies to benefit all children.
Walden’s wide range of online education degrees also includes an MS in Education (MSEd) with multiple specializations, a PhD in Education with 11 specializations, and a Doctor of Education (EdD) with 13 specializations.
Earning a teaching degree online is often the perfect choice for professionals who want to go back to school while working and enjoying their personal lives. Walden lets you manage your own weekly schedule, and you can log in and work on your studies anywhere you have an internet connection.
If you want to develop your teaching talent to benefit some of the country’s youngest learners, earning an elementary education degree from a CAEP-accredited EPP can be one of your best strategies.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online BS in Elementary Education (Teacher Licensure) and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - Elementary Education degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences is accredited based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards through June 2026. This accreditation covers specific Walden initial teacher and advanced educator preparation programs, including the BS in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) – Special Education specialization, MS in Education – Educational Leadership and Administration specialization, and EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration. The MAT-SPED, MSED-ELA, and EdS-ELA programs were reviewed by Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs), which define content-area standards for programs, and achieved national recognition.
CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. Walden’s College of Education and Leadership has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement. CAEP is a Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) – recognized national accreditor for educator preparation.
Walden is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) to offer a program leading to a Minnesota Tier 3 license in Elementary Education. Candidates seeking licensure in Minnesota are responsible for completing all Minnesota requirements beyond Walden’s state-approved program, including passing the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams. The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) is solely responsible for reviewing applications and issuing licenses.
Individuals interested in licensure in states other than Minnesota may qualify by virtue of completing a state-approved educator preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers. Individuals who reside in certain states may be ineligible to enroll in this program. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance on licensure questions; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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