CAEP is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. CAEP is responsible for the oversight on accredited programs, and ensures the proper educator standards are fully implemented for its accredited licensure programs. CAEP accreditation is widely considered the top educator-specific accreditation in the nation. The School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University complies with all CAEP standards across programs at the initial and advanced levels.
The School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on April 18, 2021. We recognize and greatly appreciate the positive impact that accreditation lends to our efforts in developing well-rounded and fully prepared educators. The following pages reflect highlights of our CAEP Self-Study and supporting resources.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public co-educational, state-supported research university located in metropolitan Richmond, Virginia. VCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The 2019 Strategic Plan; Quest 2025: Together We Transform, will chart the course over the next six years for VCU's rise as a pre-eminent urban, public research university committed to equitable access to social, economic and health success.
VCU offers baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral and first professional degree programs through the University's three colleges and 11 schools. VCU offers 215 degree and certificate programs on one of its three campuses: Monroe Park Campus, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, and the Qatar Campus in Doha, Qatar. The School of Education (SOE) is located on the Academic Campus (Monroe Park).
The university was founded in 1838 and became the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in 1854. In 1968, MCV merged with Richmond Professional Institute to create VCU. The SOE was formally established in 1964 as part of Richmond Professional Institute, granted bachelor's degrees in elementary education and offered courses for licensure.
In 2020, VCU is home to 24,058 undergraduate students, 5309 graduate students, and 1709 students in professional programs: 82% full time, and 86% Virginia residents. Other demographics include: (1) Gender 12,132 males (40%) and 18,565 females (60%), and (2) Race (50% White, 18% Black, 8% Hispanic, 13% Asian), 5% international. Students enrolled in full-time Graduate programs are majority White Female (31.7%), followed by White Male (21.6%) and Asian Female (8.55%) (Retrieved Jan. 1 2020 https://www.vcu.edu/about-vcu/facts-and-rankings/).
University Admission Policies General admission policies are published in the University bulletins (Graduate and Undergraduate). The Office of Admissions' undergraduate admissions policies is detailed in the online Undergraduate Bulletin. The Graduate Council establishes admission requirements for all graduate programs. Individual schools, such as the SOE, may have program-specific admission requirements in order to evaluate a student's potential for success in selected programs and courses. The Graduate School section of the VCU Bulletin documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education at the university. The majority of programs offered by the SOE and those seeking CAEP accreditation fall under the oversight of the University Graduate Council as master level programs.
Find additional institutional, SOE demographics, and resources on the CAEP AIMS Tables 2, 3, & 5 and supporting links below:
The University Organizational Chart provides the alignment of the institution's leadership and the School of Education's administration. The School of Education (SOE) is 1 of 11 Schools within the university. Find the University Organizational Chart.
The chief administrative and academic offices for the School of Education are found in Oliver Hall, Monroe Park Academic Campus. The dean is responsible for the overall operations and budget for the school, while three associate deans (associate dean for academic affairs, associate dean for research and faculty development, associate dean for student affairs and inclusive excellence) assist in the school's administrative functions. Find the SOE organizational charts, reflecting the administrative division of the unit (CAEP AIMS Table 5).
Since the 2014 accreditation review, the SOE has undergone several changes in key administrative positions. There have been 3 different deans, one of whom was as an interim. The current dean, Dr. Andrew Daire joined the VCU SOE in 2016. In January 2018, Dr. Joan Johnson, Executive Director of Accreditation and Licensure joined the dean's office staff. Dr. Johnson was charged to provide leadership to ensure continued national accreditation and state program approval of all educator preparation programs; develop innovative partnerships with challenged schools; and provide high-quality support services to students as they advance through academic programs. Additionally, staff turnover in the Student Services Center has impacted the quality of various procedures and processes.
In 2018 (after a 4-year dormancy) the EPP reestablished the Professional Education Coordinating Council (PECC, 25# evidence). The Continuous Improvement Task Force (CITF, 24#), established also in 2018 supports efforts to advance the EPP toward continuous improvement at the unit level.
The EPP consists of preparation programs in the School of Education, School of the Arts, and the Extended Teacher Preparation Program with the College of Humanities and Sciences. The School of the Arts oversees Art and Music Education; the College of Humanities and Sciences helps prepare pre-service educators in the integrated five-year master's programs in English, mathematics, science(s), social studies, and elementary education. There are 14 graduate initial programs, 2 initial undergraduate programs, and 4 advanced programs recently receiving continued approval by the Virginia Department of Education (9#). The list and status of initial and advanced programs can be found in AIMS Table 2. Program Characteristics.
Initial programs are offered on the main campus (face to face delivery) with potentially a course offered online or hybrid (w/exception of the Special Ed. General program). The advanced programs Administration and Supervision, Reading, and Math Specialist programs are offered online (w/exception of School Counseling).
Due to a decrease in program enrollment and changing market demands, the following programs were discontinued in 2018: ESL (Graduate), Music Education (Graduate), and Health & PE (undergraduate and graduate). Teach-out procedures were followed for the remaining program participants of the Health & P.E graduate program. The Social Work Master's Program, currently accredited by the Council on Social Work Education Commission on Accreditation was not submitted for CAEP review in 2020 due to CAEP's 2017 policy on exemption.
To be a leader in responsive, needs-driven, and research-based educational practices that transform the lives of those we serve in our communities, especially those who have been historically marginalized.
We advance learning and knowledge through impactful research, teaching, and engagement to provide our students, professionals, and communities with the tools to create progressive change. We prepare and support professionals to lead change and inform social, economic, health, and educational policy and practice.
Innovative - Cultivate discovery, creativity, originality, inventiveness, and talent.
Inclusive - Ensure a climate of mutual trust and respect where individuals of differing cultural backgrounds, identities, abilities, and life experiences are embraced, engaged, and empowered to drive excellence and success.
Community-focused - Build deliberate/intentional relationships with the surrounding community and engage in actions that focus on the needs of its people.
Collaborative - Foster collegiality and cooperation with internal and external partners to advance learning, research, and service.
For more details about the school, please read our Fast Facts [PDF] flyer.
With the help of internal and external stakeholders, the VCU School of Education developed a new vision, mission, values, and strategic plan that will lead the work of the school from 2019 to 2022. The themes of the plan and priorities of the school are student success, national prominence, collective urban and regional transformation, and diversity driving excellence.
SOE's Conceptual Framework is tied to the beliefs, values, and practices of professionals responsible for design, implementation, and evaluation of the school's initial and advanced preparation programs. In alignment with our School vision and department missions, program faculty endeavor to enhance candidates' understanding of and commitment to the concepts of social justice and social responsibility in ways that support democratic ideals and enhance the human condition (See additional details in section D).
Proficiencies in the Conceptual Framework focus on the following:
I. Candidates demonstrate content knowledge in their disciplines by
- (Skills) Explaining major concepts and structures of inquiry of the disciplines and fields of study.
- (Knowledge) Recognizing state and national content standards and/or professional standards appropriate to their roles.
- (Dispositions) Exhibiting a commitment to professional standards associated with their areas of expertise.
II. Candidates demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge by
- (Skills) Creating and conducting lessons that align goals, objectives, instruction, and assessment and /or creating positive learning environments that are responsive to state and national content standards, student needs, and best practice research.
- (Knowledge) Using multiple assessments to inform their work and enhance student learning; understanding the appropriate use of information garnered from various assessments.
- (Skills) Creating positive and safe learning environments, including organizing for effective classroom instruction and classroom management; linking theory to practice.
- (Skills) Supporting student motivation to learn and student efficacy through selecting meaningful and developmentally appropriate materials, methodology and experiences.
- (Dispositions) Committing to informing themselves about students to create supportive learning environments that encourage the academic, social, and personal growth of all students.
III. Candidates demonstrate commitment to diversity by
- (Knowledge) Analyzing student abilities and disabilities, readiness, interests, cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
- (Skills) Utilizing the principles of universal design for learning to enhance instruction for all learners, including the use of technology.
- (Dispositions) Recognizing the importance of the social context of schooling.
- (Dispositions) Collaborating with parents and other relevant parties.
- (Dispositions) Holding realistically high expectations for all students.
IV. Candidates demonstrate critical reflection by
- (Skills) Utilizing critical thinking in framing and solving educational problems.
- (Dispositions) Taking other perspectives into account.
- (Dispositions) Committing to engage in reflective practice.
- (Dispositions) Adhering to a professional code of ethics in decision-making.
The school's conceptual framework is closely aligned with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards, which has influenced the planning of initial teacher preparation programs. The faculty recognizes that InTASC Standards provide common ground for cross-program planning and assessment of candidates. The relationship of InTASC Standards to individual program goals, the latter sensitive to and/or derived from the guidelines of specialty organizations and Virginia Approved Program Regulation endorsement competencies, is made clear in a series of analytical matrices in individual program reports, clinicals, and in the assessments used to evaluate teacher candidate performance (7#).
Advanced educator preparation programs in the SOE are influenced by national standards appropriate to each program, as well as Virginia Approved Program Regulations. The specialty association standards are highly influential in planning each program. The School Counseling program is influenced by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Standards and American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Standards while the Educational Leadership programs are guided by the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and the 2018 Georgia Educational Leadership Standards. Finally, the Reading Specialist and Mathematics Specialists respectively: International Literacy Association (ILA) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The conceptual framework is closely aligned with the standards in each of these areas.
Table 2: Program Characteristics
Table 3: EPP Characteristics
Table 5: The Parity Table