Steps to Accreditation

Throughout these descriptions you’ll find links to specific pages of the TEAC Guide to Accreditation. Download a copy of the TEAC Guide to Accreditation.

Apply for membership in TEAC. Program prepares and submits eligibility application and fee.

Complete and submit an Accreditation Plan. (This form includes contact information, information about the program being submitted for accreditation, and a proposed schedule for the TEAC site visit/audit. The Accreditation Plan will need to be updated as this information changes.)

Prepare an Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal: The program prepares and submits an Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal presenting evidence that it produces graduates who are competent, caring, and qualified educators and that the program has the capacity to offer quality.

TEAC provides a formative review of the full draft of the Brief, offering feedback on methodological design, statistical analysis, and interpretations of the evidence. After the draft Brief has been declared clear and complete and ready for an audit, the program submits a final version electronically to TEAC and sends five bound paper copies to the TEAC office.

View additional resources for preparing the Brief.

Audit Process: One defining feature of the TEAC accreditation process is the academic audit: a team of auditors visits a campus to examine and verify on site the evidence that supports the claims made in the professional education program’s Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal.

The audit process does not address the basic accreditation question of whether or not the evidence is compelling, persuasive, sufficient, or convincing. Instead, the audit, with the exception of the case for institutional commitment, determines only whether the descriptions and characterizations of evidence in the Brief are accurate. The auditors’ question is no more or no less than, Are the statements in the Brief accurate?

  • Call for Comments: TEAC places the program on the TEAC website for public comment.
  • Planning the TEAC audit: audit team conducts 2-4 day site visit.
    • Preparing for the audit visit.
    • Sample schedule for audit (modify as appropriate).
    • Program responsibilities include assembling all information, documentation, and other evidence; developing the audit schedule in collaboration with TEAC; making provisions for lodging, meals, transportation, and the handling of expenses; nominating a teacher or administrator to serve on the audit team as the local practitioner; providing email addresses for faculty, students, and cooperating teachers or intern supervisors to whom TEAC will send an electronic survey; and providing administrative support as needed.
    • Auditor responsibilities include understanding the program and its context, verifying the text and evidence of the Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal, corroborating the evidence, judging institutional commitment to the program, and representing TEAC.
  • Producing the Audit Report: the audit team prepares audit report for the program.

Accreditation Decision Process: The TEAC accreditation decision is made in two steps. Members of the former TEAC Accreditation Panel and TEAC Accreditation Committee were appointed as members of the TEAC Inquiry Brief Commission. TEAC prepares a Case Analysis and sends it with the Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal and the Audit Report to a review panel of 3-5 Commissioners for an accreditation recommendation. Using these three documents, the review panel determines whether (1) the evidence and arguments in the Brief are sufficient to support the program's claims that it meets TEAC's quality principles and standards; (2) the program's graduates are competent, caring, and qualified; and (3) the evidence is reliable, valid, and sufficient. The recommendation is then reviewed and accepted or modified by the TEAC Inquiry Brief Commission. The Inquiry Brief Commission determines the accreditation status for all TEAC Legacy Cases. Program representatives are invited to attend the TEAC Inquiry Brief Commission's deliberation of their case. Within 30 days of the accreditation decision, the program is formally notified in writing. Acceptance or appeal: Program accepts or appeals TEAC's action within 30 days.

Annual Report: The program submits an annual report and dues to CAEP at the beginning of each year.