Montana State University

MSU Teacher Education Program nationally reaccredited

July 12, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Montana State University education major Jennifer Skinner reads with students at Hyalite Elementary. The Teacher Education Program at MSU is among the first in the nation to be fully accredited under new national standards. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – The Teacher Education Program at Montana State University recently received full reaccreditation for seven years through both Montana’s Board of Public Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the single specialized national accreditor for educator preparation in the United States.

The program is among the first in the nation to be fully accredited under new rigorous national standards for the preparation of new teachers, according to Jayne Downey, head of the Department of Education. The review team noted in its final report that MSU’s program fully met every state and national standard with no areas identified as needing improvement.

The CAEP standards, adopted in 2013, reflect the voice of the education field on what makes a quality teacher. CAEP accreditation ensures that there is solid evidence that a provider’s graduates are competent and caring, and that the faculty have the capacity to create a culture of evidence to be used for continuous improvement.

“It is quite remarkable that MSU’s program received no marks for areas for improvement (AFIs) or stipulations for reaccreditation,” said Aaron Popham, director of Brigham Young University’s teacher preparation program and a member of the accreditation team. “In this era of a new accreditor (CAEP) and new accreditation standards, it is almost unheard of for an educator preparation provider to not receive at least one AFI. Jayne Downey and her colleagues should be very proud of their efforts and the quality of their programs.”

In their final report, the review team commended the faculty for their hard work and dedication to the new, rigorous standards, stating, “MSU is poised to be a national and state leader.”

“We believe that, as a program, we have a duty to engage in the work of continuous program improvement.  We take our responsibility to serve the citizens of Montana and the country as a whole very seriously,” Downey said.

Through key partnerships with schools and districts across the state, the Teacher Education Program, housed in the Department of Education, prepares teacher candidates from eighteen majors in twelve departments located in four colleges at MSU. The Department of Education also supports the state by offering graduate degrees in curriculum and instruction, adult and higher education, and educational leadership. 

“Achieving Montana and CAEP Accreditation is a validation of the commitment that Montana State University has made to provide the innovative and rigorous educator preparation programs required for our students to achieve academic excellence and employment success,” Downey said.

The Department of Education at MSU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the following areas: teacher preparation for elementary and secondary education; technology education; educational leadership; adult and higher education and curriculum and instruction. The department is part of the College of Education, Health and Human Development, which is made up of the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Development. The college had a total enrollment of 1,820 in the fall of 2015, the most recent semester for which data is available.

For more information about CAEP, see

For more information about the MSU Department of Education, see

Contact: Jayne Downey, Department of Education, (406) 994-7426 or