What is NCATE?

The National Council Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), founded in 1954, accredited teacher certification programs at U.S. universities and colleges. It is a non-profit, non-governmental accrediting organization. NCATE was, however, authorized by the U.S. Department of Education. Thirty-three national member organizations supported NCATE, including the Council of Chief State School Officers. Other members extended to teacher associations and educator specialists who represented millions in the teaching profession.

The purpose of this accreditation is to ensure that schools attain a specified educational standard. There are regional and national accrediting agencies, as well as particular programs, in this case, teacher education.

NCATE’s performance-based system of accreditation created competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve the education of all P-12 students. Accreditation by the Council indicated that the learning institution underwent rigorous external review by professionals. Continuing accreditation requires schools to submit annual reports and hold on-site visits every five years by the Board of Examiners.

As stated above, the system is performance-based, with the most recent standards developed between 1998 and 2000. The system, effective in 2001, required schools to provide evidence that their students know the subjects they plan to teach and can do so effectively.

What is TEAC?

The Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), founded in 1997, is also defined as a national non-profit organization designed to improve academic programs for teachers, administrators, and professional educators. It covers Pre-K through grade 12. As with NCATE, TEAC strived to develop competent and qualified educators by instilling a set of academic standards at higher education institutions. An on-campus visit was part of the process for candidate schools to advance to full membership in TEAC. Accreditation applies to undergraduate and graduate programs. Schools must provide credible evidence that their graduates have the skills and knowledge to be competent teachers. It sounds the same as NCATE. One difference in NCATE and TEAC is that the former evaluated schools based on graduates’ pass rates on the state teaching license. TEAC did not endorse this requirement.

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With the change in the presidency for NCATE in June 2008, NCATE and TEAC announced that the two organizations had agreed to develop multiple pathways to accreditation. Despite the common goal of improving teacher education, TEAC informed members it would not merge with NCATE. Schools would have a choice between the two entities. Consequently, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) advocated a single accreditation system.

Design teams for NCATE and TEAC reported their practices and standards in 2010. The report resulted in the formation of a new group, the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The designers published new standards that were intended to be condensed, as well as comprehensive and higher. Debates ensued as to whether the new measures were easier to understand and acceptable to all involved. The merger was completed in 2013; however, accreditation by either NCATE or TEAC continued through the spring of 2016.


The Council became established before the finalization of the merger. The first meeting of the CAEP Board of Directors occurred in 2010 upon the recognition of the Design Teams of the NCATE and TEAC. Ohio was the first state to partner with CAEP as the new educator preparation accrediting body.

CAEP uses evidence-based standards to implement excellence and equity in education preparation. It operates under the premise that quality educators create improved student academic success. Five criteria are the foundation of their accreditation process. These are:

  1. Content and Pedagogical Knowledge: Use discipline-specific practices to promote career readiness for future teachers.
  2. Clinical Partnerships and Practice: Colleges adopt clinical practices that prepare students to have a positive effect on Pre-K through grade 12 classes.
  3. Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity: Providers’ (learning institution) admission requirements foster the development of candidate selection for high-quality educators.
  4. Program Impact: Provider has multiple measures to demonstrate that graduates have the professional skills and knowledge to excel as teachers.
  5. Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement: The school regularly assesses performance against its goals and relevant standards, tracks results over time, tests innovations, and the effects of selection criteria.


EPPs or education preparation providers seeking accreditation complete a two-part process. After the CAEP accepts the application, the EPP submits Part 2 of the application within one year and schedules a site visit within three years. A college or university currently accredited by the NCATE or TEAC need not reapply. The school must be good standing with either agency. Upon the expiration of the NCATE or TEAC accreditation, the provider must meet the CAEP Standards.

An interactive map serves as a list of all Accredited Providers and Recognized Programs in the United States.

Additional Resources:

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What is the difference between Praxis I and Praxis II?

Are there any preparation courses for the Praxis tests? 

Do Charter schools have different requirements for their teachers? 

What is usually done for a background check of teachers?