May 11, 2011 – In five years, Dr. Judy Carter, a heavy-hitting, no-nonsense Fort Valley State University administrator, has led a team of faculty and staff in successfully winning reactivation of the College of Education’s teacher educator program. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education announced the decision this week.
“My team worked very hard, and they deserve a lot of credit for the results. I coached them through this process,” Carter said.
The road to regain NCATE’s seal of approval was not an easy one. In 2005, FVSU lost its accreditation after the Georgia Board of Regents and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission deactivated all of the university’s undergraduate and graduate-level education programs.
To get the education department back on its feet, Carter was hired as College of Education dean. After her arrival, the team prepared for visits from two accrediting boards.
“When I first came here, we started preparations for the NCATE visit in 2010,”“ says Carter. “The COE had to receive approval from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the state’s teacher educator accrediting board, before NCATE would even look at us. We only had six months to prepare for their visit in July 2006.” After winning approval from GAPSC, Carter worked to fulfill NCATE’s requirements for accreditation.
In October 2010, a five-member NCATE team arrived on campus to begin a detailed assessment. The committee toured FVSU facilities, evaluated campus resources and visited education classrooms. The reviewers interviewed faculty members and scrutinized academic transcripts to ensure professors were qualified to teach course areas. The team also interviewed community members, local school district administrators and teachers.
“The first day of interviews with the public came one of the worst downpours we ever had,” says Carter. “It was storming. I said, ‘O Lord, not today.’ People usually stay home. But, everyone came out anyway, and not one person missed their interview. This impressed the NCATE committee, which showed that we had the support of our community.”
During the evaluation process, NCATE assigns three levels of performance for each area: Acceptable, Unacceptable and Target. In the assessment, FVSU received no unacceptable ratings in any area.
Today, new teacher-educator candidates are applying for the FVSU programs; current students are conducting fieldwork inside local classrooms; and new graduates are earning diplomas.
Now that NCATE approval is secured, Carter will retire. Dr. Canter Brown Jr., FVSU’sexecutive vice president, says she will be missed greatly.
“How do you say enough about a consummate professional who accomplishes the near impossible and does it with style?” Brown asked. “Dr. Judy Carter has stamped her indelible imprint on our College of Education and on our university. We wish she wasn’t leaving; we’ll miss her when she’s gone. But, her legacy will endure for generations.”
NCATE was founded in 1954 and is a coalition of 30 organizations of teachers, teacher educators, policymakers and school specialists responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education programs. Currently, the organization accredits 623 institutions that produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education.
For additional information about Fort Valley State University’s College of Education, please visit http://www.fvsu.edu/academics/collegeofeducation or call (478) 825-6365.
Christina Milton, editorial assistant
Office of Marketing and Communications, FVSU
(478) 825-6319, firstname.lastname@example.org