Ncate/Louisiana Partnership Protocol for ncate and State Reviews



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NCATE/Louisiana Partnership Protocol

for

NCATE and State Reviews
Team Composition: Program Review: Effective:

Joint NCATE Jan. 2005 – Dec. 2011


Original Partnership Agreement Date: 1999
The NCATE/Louisiana Partnership Protocol delineates the processes and policies for granting accreditation to teacher education institutions and agreed upon by Louisiana and NCATE.
I. Standards II. Team III. Preparation IV. On-Site Review

V. After On-Site Review VI. On-Going Responsibilities
** The NCATE website (www.ncate.org) contains information about all aspects of the accreditation process. Highlighted words marked with two asterisks (**), when inserted into the “NCATE Google search” will lead to the desired information.


NCATE Policy

State Policy

I. Standards




A. Unit Standards
NCATE unit standards** apply to the professional education unit.
Specific state standards and institutional standards may also be applied to units and/or programs reviewed by NCATE.



A. Unit Standards: NCATE Standards.
All units seeking NCATE accreditation or State approval will address Bulletin 996, Louisiana Standards for Approval of Teacher Education Programs*, which will be used for initial and continuing visits.
* Bulletin 996 contains State Protocol, Preconditions, NCATE Standards, and the Louisiana Supplement. For specific information regarding Bulletin 996, consult the Office of the State Register at http://www.doa.state.la.us/osr/lac/28v45/28v45.pdf


B. Program Standards
NCATE coordinates program reviews by specialized professional associations (SPAs) with program standards that have been approved by the Specialty Areas Studies Board.
If NCATE has standards for a program, the unit must submit the program for national review by NCATE. Program reports must be submitted electronically on NCATE’s website.
Program reports must include key assessments, scoring guides, and performance data to show that candidates meet professional standards. Six to eight assessments must by submitted to show that candidates know the content, can plan, can work successfully in their roles, and can support student learning.
NCATE accepts the decisions of national accrediting organizations for program areas as evidence of program content quality. These organizations are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and are listed in NCATE’s policy: “Relationships with Other Accrediting Agencies”**. They include:

AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business,

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AACS), American Library Association (ALA), American Psychological Association (APA), American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).


B. Program Standards: NCATE Standards
Teacher Education Programs within units desiring State approval will undergo review according to the NCATE/ Louisiana partnership agreement in Bulletin 996.
Alternate programs will be reviewed in the same manner as other programs.


II. Team




A. Team Composition: Joint State/ NCATE
NCATE and state team members work together, sharing equal roles and responsibilities in all functions of the review.
The NCATE team is selected from NCATE’s Board of Examiners (BOE). The team includes representatives from organizations of teacher educators, teachers, education specialists and/or policy makers. Non-voting members of the team include the state consultant (usually the NCATE state partnership contact, or his/her designee), and a representative of the state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA) and/or the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Team assignments are systematically made to ensure that conflicts of interest are avoided.


A. Team Composition:

Joint State/ NCATE
Members of the State team will be selected from a State Board of Examiners (BOE) pool. The teams should include representation from the Louisiana State Department of Education (LSDE), higher education units, and P-12 school personnel (i.e., teachers, principals, librarians, etc.), who have received accreditation visit preparation specific to Bulletin 996, including NCATE and State standards.


B. Training Expectations: Joint
NCATE team members must successfully complete the NCATE-sponsored BOE training**.
State team members successfully complete a state training session conducted jointly by state and NCATE staff.


B. Training Expectations: Joint
State BOE members will have successfully completed BOE training from both NCATE and State trainers within the past six years, or will have remained active in the accreditation process.
The State Board of Examiners’ preparation will be valid for six years.


C. Team Size: Joint
For first, continuing, and probation visits, the BOE team will include three to six members depending on several factors, including the number of candidates, faculty, and the programs in the unit. Additional team members may be added to visit off-campus sites.
For other visits, the team will include three BOE members, of which one will be a state team member.


C. Team Size: Joint
The total number of team members will be determined jointly by NCATE and the LSDE based on the number of programs to be reviewed, and will represent a broad background and experience in education (e.g. LSDE designate, higher education faculty/staff, P-12 representation)

The State team shall be comprised of one member less than the NCATE team.




D. Chair Responsibilities: Joint
The NCATE chairperson and the state chairperson serve as co-chairs. They are jointly responsible for planning and conducting the visit.
The co-chairs conduct a previsit approximately one to two months before the visit to plan interviews and finalize the logistics for the visit. The state consultant should participate in the previsit.
The co-chairs assign team members to write to specific standards and to conduct specific interviews.


D. Chair Responsibilities: Joint
The state chair will be selected by the coordinator for teacher preparation program approval and the section administrator for higher education. The state chair will be responsible for coordinating the writing of findings addressing Louisiana standards.


E. State Consultant
NCATE invites the state education agency to appoint a state consultant to advise the team on state requirements, nomenclature, and special circumstances. The state consultant’s expenses are covered by the respective agency. The state consultant facilitates an orientation to the State/NCATE Partnership at a team meeting prior to the review activities. The consultant is usually the state partnership contact, but may be his/her designee, and is a non-voting member of the BOE team. The state consultant may serve as a voting member of the state team, if so designated by the state.


E. State Consultant
The state consultant is appointed by the LSDE and coordinates all accreditation visits in the state. The state consultant will not vote, but will have full rights otherwise.


F. NEA/AFT Representatives
NCATE invites the state affiliates of the NEA and AFT to appoint observers for the on-site visit. The participants’ respective agencies are responsible for their travel and maintenance expenses.
These observers can assist the BOE team with the collection of data, interviews, and the editing of the team report. However, they should not be given a writing assignment. Observers are non-voting members of the BOE team.


F. NEA/AFT Representatives
Representatives from teacher organizations, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), and the Board of Regents may serve as invited observers. All expenses for observers are covered by the sponsoring agencies.


G. Decision-making
Recommendations about whether the standards have been met and the Areas For Improvement to be cited are made jointly by national and state BOE members.
Decisions are usually reached through consensus about whether standards are met. When consensus cannot be reached, a vote may be taken.


G. Decision-making
All State team members participate as full members of the joint NCATE/state team, including discussions and decisions as to whether standards have been met.
For state standards, state team members will discuss their findings using rubric criteria. State members will make recommendations as to whether State standards have been met. Consensus will be sought; however, the majority decision will stand. The team will include its recommendation in the NCATE BOE report.
The report will be reviewed by the Louisiana Unit Accreditation Board (LUAB) and will be forwarded to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) for final approval.


H. Writing the Report: Joint
The co-chairs assign writing responsibilities to each team member. The BOE report includes the BOE team’s responses to the unit standards at both the initial teacher preparation and advanced levels as appropriate. If the state or institution has additional requirements, the report should have the BOE team’s responses to the state/institution requirements attached as a report addendum. The final report is compiled by the BOE chair.

The draft of the BOE report should be completed by the end of the on-site visit. Following the visit, the BOE team chair compiles and edits the report. It is then sent to NCATE and the team members for editing. After the chair incorporates these edits in the report, it is sent to the unit for correction of factual errors.


The BOE team chair e-mails one copy of the final report to the NCATE office and a copy to each member of the NCATE team and the state consultant following the editing process which usually takes one to two months.


H. Writing the Report: Joint
The state chair assigns writing responsibilities to each state team member. The state chair will be responsible for coordinating the writing of findings addressing state standards based on information provided by state team members.
State responses should be included in the draft BOE report.
The BOE draft report should be sent to state team members and the state consultant for editing.
The BOE team chair e-mails a copy of the final report to each State team member and the State Consultant within 30 days following the visit.


I. Evaluations
Following the on-site visit, the performance of BOE members is evaluated electronically by the unit, the other national and state BOE members, and state consultants who served on the same visiting team. The evaluations are used by NCATE and the state to determine who should continue BOE service and to identify potential team chairs.


I. Evaluations
Following the on-site visit, the performance of state BOE members is evaluated electronically by the unit, the other national and state BOE members, and state consultants who served on the same visiting team. The evaluations are used by the state to determine who should continue BOE service and to identify potential team chairs.

J. Expenses
During the semester of the visit, the unit will pay NCATE a Periodic Evaluation Fee** per NCATE BOE team member participating in the on-site visit. In addition, the institution is responsible for the local expenses of the BOE team members. Refer to a Periodic Evaluation Fee**


J. Expenses
The unit is responsible for all expenses of the State team. The State Consultants expenses are paid by the LSDE for visits within the state. For institutions and providers outside of the state of Louisiana, the unit is responsible for the expenses of the State Consultant.


III. Preparation




A. Unit’s Intent-to-Seek** Request
For first-time accreditation, the unit should indicate its interest in seeking accreditation at least two years before hosting an on-site visit by submitting an “intent to Seek Accreditation” form on NCATE’s website. The request should include the semester and year in which the unit plans to host the on-site review which must be at least one year after program reports are submitted to NCATE.
For continuing accreditation the institution should complete the “Intent to Continue Accreditation”** Form, found on the NCATE website, two years before the visit.


A. Unit’s Intent-to-Seek** Request
The unit notifies the LSDE of its intent to begin responding to the preconditions at least two years prior to the initial visit, or one year prior to a continuing visit.


B. Preconditions
For first visits, the unit must show evidence that it meets NCATE’s preconditions**. The preconditions report must be submitted to the NCATE office at least eighteen months prior to the on-site visit by February 1 or September 15.
All accredited units must continue to meet the preconditions for continued NCATE accreditation. Annually, NCATE reviews Title II test data and will request additional information from a unit that no longer meets the required state pass rate** or other preconditions.


B. Preconditions
For first visits, the unit responds to preconditions found on the NCATE website and in Bulletin 996. One copy of the preconditions report is sent to the LSDE office for review approximately 18 months prior to the on-site visit.


C. Program Reports
The unit must submit program reports to NCATE by March 15 or September 15, at least two semesters before the continuing visit.
For specific information on the preparation of program reports visit the NCATE website.


C. Program Reports
NCATE coordinates program reviews by national professional education associations 4-6 months prior to the on-site visit. *


D. Institutional Report
The professional education unit must write and submit an Institutional Report** (IR) which describes the unit’s conceptual framework and the evidence demonstrating that the unit standards are met. In continuing accreditation visits, the IR also serves as the primary documentation of the unit’s growth and development since the last accreditation visit.
The IR is written online and all team members have online access.


D. Institutional Report
Units will respond to requirements in Bulletin 996, inclusive of NCATE standards and state standards, and submit an Institutional Report to the LSDE state consultant and a copy to each state team member


E. Dates of On-Site Visit
NCATE requests the unit to submit its preferred visit date to NCATE at least one year prior to the on-site visit. The date must be approved by the state agency prior to submitting its request to NCATE.
First, continuing and probation visits are scheduled from Saturday through Wednesday except in special circumstances.
The state agency must consult with NCATE regarding any delays requested by institutions.


E. Dates of On-Site Visit
The unit must have approval by the LSDE before submitting its request to NCATE.

F. Previsit
The previsit should be scheduled about one to two months before the on-site visit. See the NCATE Handbook** for Accreditation Visits for further details.
The state consultant, BOE co-chairs, head of the unit, and NCATE coordinator should participate in the previsit.


F. Previsit
The state chair, the state consultant, and the NCATE chair meet with the institution’s unit head and/or designee to plan for the visit.


G. 3Rd Party Testimony
Six months before the on-site review, the unit must publish a “Call for Comment” inviting 3rd party testimony related to the upcoming NCATE visit. Comments should be sent directly to NCATE.
One to two months before the on-site review, NCATE sends copies of third-party testimony to the unit for comment.


G. 3Rd Party Testimony

IV. On-Site Review




A. Orientation to State Process/ Protocol
The state consultant (or his/her designee) will facilitate an orientation to the state process and Protocol at one of the team meetings early in the visit.


A. Orientation to State Process/ Protocol
The state consultant or designee will facilitate an orientation to the state process and Protocol.

B. Conducting the On-Site Review
The national BOE and state team members work together as a single team throughout the visit. State team members have the same responsibilities as national members including writing the BOE report.
The template for an on-site visit** can be found on the NCATE website and in the NCATE Handbook** for Accreditation Visits.


B. Conducting the On-Site Review
The Louisiana State Board of Examiners’ protocol reflects that of NCATE, including collection of data, deliberations, and exit interview.


C. Exhibit Room
Electronic exhibit rooms are encouraged. See NCATE’s electronic exhibit room guidelines**.


C. Exhibit Room
Evidence rooms should contain exhibits addressing specific state standards.

D. BOE Report
The BOE report includes the BOE team’s responses to the unit standards at both the initial teacher preparation and advanced levels as appropriate. It indicates the level (unacceptable, acceptable, or target) at which each element of the standards is met. If the state/Institution has additional requirements, the report should have the BOE team’s responses to the state requirements attached as a state addendum. The final report is compiled by the BOE chair.
After the report has been edited the BOE team chair submits one copy of the final BOE report to the NCATE office. NCATE BOE team members, state team members and the state consultant are notified that the report is available electronically.


D. BOE Report
The BOE report shall include the State team’s responses to specific state standards. When possible, the responses should be embedded within the findings section of the BOE report; otherwise, State responses should follow the corresponding NCATE standard.



E. Exit Report
An exit report is conducted before the team departs. It is conducted by the co chairs and state consultant. The unit is represented by the unit head and coordinator of the NCATE review; the president and/or provost may also attend.


E. Exit Report

V. After the On-Site Review




A. BOE report sent from NCATE
NCATE notifies the CEO of the institution, the unit head, and the appropriate state agency or agencies that the BOE report is available electronically.


A. BOE report sent from NCATE

B. Rejoinder
The unit submits to NCATE and the state an electronic copy of its institutional rejoinder** to the BOE report within 30 days after receipt of the BOE Report.


B. Rejoinder
The unit submits a copy of its rejoinder to the State Consultant at LSDE.


C. Accreditation
NCATE’s Unit Accreditation Board (UAB) determines the accreditation status of professional education units, during meetings twice a year in April and October. Accreditation decisions are rendered at the UAB meeting in the semester that follows the BOE review. A description of the Unit Accreditation Board** can be found on the NCATE website.
Final decisions about national recognition of programs are posted on NCATE’s website after the UAB has determined accreditation.
NCATE provides written notice of all accreditation decisions to the U.S. Department of Education, the appropriate state licensing or authorizing agency, all accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the public (via the NCATE website).
More information about reporting accreditation decisions may be found in NCATE’s Policies on Dissemination of Information**. Definitions of NCATE accreditation decisions** can also be found on NCATE’s website.


C. Program Approval
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) makes the final decision on the approval of the teacher preparation programs at an institution. Once a final accreditation decision has been reached by NCATE, the Louisiana Unit Accreditation Board (LUAB) meets to recommend the action to be taken, based on the reports and rejoinder. LSDE staff takes the action recommendation to BESE.

D. Final Action Report
Within 30 days after NCATE’s Unit Accreditation Board takes action on the accreditation of the unit, NCATE sends the chief executive officer and head of the professional education unit a letter that indicates the official action.


D. Final Action Report
When BESE reaches a final decision on approval of the teacher preparation program at the institution, a letter is sent to the dean or head of the teacher education unit, with a copy to the president of the institution, indicating full approval, provisional approval, probational approval, or denial of approval for the unit.


E. Appeal Procedure
Units may appeal any Unit Accreditation Board decisions. See NCATE’s website for specific policies and procedures related to the appeals process**.


E. Appeal Procedure

VI. On-Going Responsibilities




A. Protocol Distribution
NCATE will post the NCATE/Louisiana Partnership Protocol on its website; it is also available in hard copy upon request.


A. Protocol Distribution
Louisiana distributes the protocol to all units following the creation/renewal of a Partnership and after either party makes revisions.
For specific information regarding Bulletin 996, consult the Office of the State Register at http://www.doa.state.la.us/osr/lac/28v45/28v45.pdf


B. Accreditation Cycle
Units that receive continuing accreditation will be scheduled for their next visit seven years from the semester in which their visit occurred. The seven-year cycle of visits applies only if the state has agreed to a seven-year cycle.
Units may host a probationary or focused visit as a result of the accreditation. Visits will be within eighteen months of the UAB’s decision.


B. Accreditation Cycle
Units that receive continuing accreditation will be scheduled for their next visit seven years from the semester in which their visit occurred.
The state will participate in reviews requiring an on-site visit.


C. Code of Conduct
To assure units and the public that NCATE reviews are impartial and objective, to avoid conflicts of interest, and to promote equity and high ethical standards in the accreditation system, BOE members, board members, program reviewers, and staff shall follow NCATE’s Code of Conduct**.
Violation of any part of the Code of Conduct could result in the board member’s removal from the board.


C. Code of Conduct
The state consultant, state teams, and members of the LUAB shall adhere to NCATE’s Code of Conduct.

D. Annual Reviews

D. Annual Reviews

1. Regional Accreditation
Units must maintain regional accreditation or institutional accreditation by a USDE or CHEA recognized agency in order to continue their NCATE accreditation.


1. Regional Accreditation

2. Change in State Status
Notification of an NCATE accredited unit’s “Change in State Status” by the state will initiate a review by NCATE’s Annual Report and Preconditions Audit Committee (ARPA).
The NCATE president will notify the unit that the state has informed NCATE of a change in their state status and require the unit to submit a special report within 90 days.



2. Change in State Status
The state will provide to NCATE its policy leading to a “Change in State Status.”
The state will notify NCATE within thirty days of action taken when an NCATE unit has had a “Change in State Status.”


3. Precondition 7
The unit’s programs are approved by the appropriate state agency and, in states with educator licensing examinations and required pass rates, the unit’s summary pass rate must continue to meet or exceeds the required state pass rate to maintain national recognition.


3. Precondition 7

4. Annual Report
Submission of the Annual Report** is a requirement for all units that are accredited by NCATE. Annual Reports are due October 1st and must be submitted electronically.
Substantive changes to the unit and its programs must be reported annually in Part C of the Annual Report. Substantive changes, such as offering distance learning programs, may require a follow-up report or interim visit.


4. Annual Report
A copy of the unit’s Annual Report should be submitted to the LSDE at the time of submission to NCATE.








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