Among the Dalton State School of Education faculty and staff members who participated in the recent site visit by representatives of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and Georgia Professional Standards Commission were, from left, front row: Dr. Jacquelyn Mesco, Dr. Orenda Gregory, Dr. Sharon Hixon, Dr. Alex Kumi-Yeboah, Dr. Molly Zhou, and Ms. Beverly Jackson; back row, Dr. Roben Taylor, Dr. Sharon Beavers, Dr. Josh Pfiester, Ms. Kelly Von De Bur, and Dr. Renee Antrop-Gonzalez.
Dalton State College’s Educator Preparation Programs have been found to be in compliance with all standards adopted by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The decision, announced in January, granted the programs Continuing Approval.
The GaPSC is responsible for providing a regulatory system for certifying and classifying professional employees in public schools. The regulations and standards of the GaPSC are established to evaluate the preparation, certification, and qualifications of prospective educators. Paired with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (now the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation), the GaPSC reviewed Dalton State’s Education Program in late October.
In 2010, NCATE/GaPSC accredited Dalton State’s Early Childhood Education Program and approved plans for the Secondary Education Program. For this visit, GaPSC returned to confirm that the secondary education program was meeting all standards and to verify that the College’s plans for the program were meeting with success.
“Our faculty, teacher candidates, and staff worked diligently over the last three years to ensure that our secondary program was as rigorous and successful as the Early Childhood Education program that received approval in 2010,” said Dr. Sharon Hixon, interim dean of the School of Education and Associate Professor of Education at Dalton State.
Dalton State’s English, History, Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry Education programs met or exceeded requirements for all eight Georgia Standards for the Approval of Professional Education Units and Educator Preparation Programs. Qualities such as content and pedagogical knowledge for teacher candidates, use of data for preparation program improvement, and field experience were examined and found satisfactory.
“When the review team interviewed our faculty and examined the evidence, they found our faculty to be strong because they foster undergraduate research,” said Dr. Hixon. “This showed that our faculty demonstrated intellectual vitality in their sensitivity to critical issues.”