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May 10, 2005

Contact School of Education dean Sue Batell at 608-796-3382 or ssbatell@viterbo.edu

MARKING 50 YEARS: VITERBO SCHOOL OF EDUCATION RECEIVES NCATE CONTINUING ACCREDITATION APPROVAL

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Viterbo University has received official notice of continuing accreditation for its teacher education programs from the most prestigious national council that assesses teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities located throughout the U.S.
 
Approval was granted for all graduate level and undergraduate teacher preparation programs offered by Viterbo's School of Education.
 
The National Association for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) gave its approval after reviewing an extensive written report submitted by Viterbo which was followed by a site visit to La Crosse to meet with university officials, local K-12 teachers and administrators, and students enrolled in the program. The NCATE accreditation process, which requires continuous preparation, is exceedingly rigorous, requiring extensive documentation and evidence of quality based on six standards.

The council was founded in 1954 and Viterbo and only six other Wisconsin colleges have achieved continuous reaccreditation status.
 
According to Sue Batell, dean of the School of Education, the enormous amount of work required to be designated NCATE accredited is worth the effort. “NCATE approval is especially valuable because schools who hire our graduates can be assured these aspiring students are well-prepared for initial licensing and advanced board certification,” Batell said.
 
“A big plus,” Batell added, “is that NCATE accreditation enhances the reputation of the entire School of Education. Principals, superintendents, even prospective students or interested parents, know that we have met the highest national standards set for the teaching profession.”
 
The School of Education has nearly 300 students enrolled in its bachelor degree teacher education program. Over 500 student from throughout Wisconsin and Iowa are enrolled in the Master of Arts in Education program.
 
Receiving NCATE approval at the graduate level is a very important achievement, said Shirley Frick, director of the Graduate Studies in Education program. “We enjoy an excellent reputation in this region, but we enroll students from quite a distance. Wherever a person might live, the NCATE approval gives instant credibility for those who want to know about the quality of Viterbo's education programs.”
 
Viterbo received NCATE approval for seven years which is the maximum allowed by the council.

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