After its recent site visit, the state-level team from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing recommended the Teacher Education Program (TEP) at UCSB receive full re-accreditation with no stipulations and no concerns (a rare occurrence).

The draft report asserts: “Multiple interviews and copious review of documents provided the review team with evidence that the university in fact ‘develops and maintains exemplary programs that serve as models for teaching, research and service.’” Further, the report commends the TEP on the quality of its programs that are further enhanced by the high level of collaboration between TEP and K-12 school partners. (Official accreditation will not occur until the CTC meets and approves the report in February.)

“In all cases, interviews with cooperating professionals and districts leaders confirmed the assessment data [provided in reports to the CTC]. Interviewees agreed that UCSB candidates are held in high regard throughout the region for their professionalism and reflective practice, as well as for their skills in collaboration,” the report reads. “In addition, UCSB graduates were described as exceptionally well prepared to educate and support diverse learners, and able to draw knowledgeably on a wide range of effective strategies. Several employers stated during interviews that they seek out graduates of UCSB programs, who often become leaders in the field. In addition, a variety of stakeholders noted that UCSB candidates seek out opportunities to engage with families and communities. UCSB is to be commended for preparing educators who are so highly valued throughout the region.”

“We felt the accreditation visit was extremely thorough, involving multiple student assessments and interviews with over 200 stakeholders, including students, alumni, teachers, administrators and faculty,” said Tine Sloan, director of the TEP. “We are a very committed group of educators in Santa Barbara, uniquely situated to collaborate as a result of our small geographic area. It was extremely satisfying to have the commitment of our K-12 and university faculty validated by such a strong report. We know we do good work. It is very important that the field know as well, because not only is our goal to prepare excellent teachers, but to research and promote practices that will change how teachers are prepared in general. Our program does serve as a model for excellence in teacher preparation, and now we have further validation for promoting it as such.”

UCSB’s Teacher Education Program offers a rigorous, 13-month, post-graduate M.Ed.+Credential program (an academic year with two summers). It is one of the highest quality programs in the nation, with state-of-the art practice grounded in partner schools, a focus on teaching to reach all learners, and teacher educators with established records of success.

TEP works with one cohort of teacher candidates per year and keeps the program small to ensure individualized attention for each teacher candidate (about 100 candidates). Course- and fieldwork is concurrent, which means candidates spend the entire academic year in schools, developing their practice with daily guidance, then extending their learning in afternoon/evening courses. This allows for a more streamlined, purposeful integration of university and fieldwork, which drives our faculty to collaborate across all aspects of teacher preparation. TEP strives for a community of learners where everyone — teacher candidates, teacher educators and K-12 teachers — are working together to meet the needs of our new, our diverse and our very different generation of learners.

TEP offers a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for elementary school teachers; a Single Subject Teaching Credential for junior high or high school teachers in: English, Math, Social Science, World Language (French, German, Latin, and Spanish), and Science (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics); and, an Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Teaching Credential for special education teachers.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is an agency in the executive branch of California government. The major purpose of the agency is to serve as a state standards board for educator preparation for the public schools of California, the licensing and credentialing of professional educators in the state, the enforcement of professional practices of educators, and the discipline of credential holders in the state.

— Leslie Benedict Turnbull is director of development for the UCSB Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.