University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
February 4, 1999
Contact: Randy Hitz, Dean, College of Education, 956-7703
Mary Anne Prater, Interim Associate Dean, 956-7704
SPECIAL EDUCATION MASTER'S DEGREE
UH Teacher Training Meets National Standards
The University of Hawai'i master of education degree programs for mild/moderate disabilities and for severe disabilities have received national approval from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Approval means the graduate training for special education teachers in UH Manoa's College of Education meets CEC standards.
CEC is the national organization that accredits special education teacher preparation and advanced programs. It also represents special education on the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
"The CEC program approval is the first of many that we will seek as we pursue NCATE accreditation," says Randy Hitz, dean of the College of Education. Other areas of program approval include mathematics, elementary education, science, language arts, early childhood, social studies, physical education and vocational education. An NCATE site visit is anticipated in 2001.
The application process for CEC program approval involved preparing a thorough description of programs with details about each course and about the faculty members. The application (actually a large folio) was reviewed by special education experts from around the nation. The approval, received Jan. 15, is good for five years.
"All College of Education programs, including special education, are state approved," Hitz notes. "National accreditation is a further step toward ensuring high quality in UH's teacher preparation programs.
"Program approval and accreditation are important for four reasons," he adds. "First, they provide the highest national standards and a good structure as a yardstick for program review. Second, experts from around the country have a chance to provide feedback on our programs and validate their quality. Third, students receive assurance that their education meets the highest standards, thus improving the students' employment opportunities in Hawai'i and other states. Finally, program approval and accreditation are a form of consumer protection-citizens of Hawai'i can be assured that these programs meet the highest standards of the profession.