TAMIU College of Ed Earns Full Accreditation
Posted: 6/19/14

TAMIU College of Ed Earns
Full Accreditation from SBEC

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) has notified Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) College of Education of its full accreditation based on students’ scores on 2012-2013 performance tests.

Last year, the College had been placed on probationary status in light of student scores on 2011-2012 performance tests.  The probationary status provided an opportunity for the College to put corrective measures in place to improve test scores based on low pass rates or small numbers in demographic sub-groups by August 2013 to the SBEC-mandated benchmark of 80%. Some 19 other Texas university teacher education training programs were similarly affected.

The TAMIU College of Ed implemented sweeping changes, developing, revising, and reinstituting policies and procedures to meet and exceed SBEC testing mandates.

College Dean Catheryn Weitman’s corrective changes focused on four areas: raised admission requirements for Teacher Education, elevated academic standards, curricular issues, and restructured testing procedures. 

According to official scores, TAMIU students clearly responded to the challenge, posting overall scores of 96% (59 testing); 97% for females (46) and 95% for males (13). To date, 110 students for this academic year have taken the TExES exams, posting 100% success in passing. Approximately 90% of these students passed the exams on their first attempt.  

Dr. Weitman credited the collaboration of students and many faculty and staff with the rapid turn-around and successful attainment of accreditation status.

“Since these changes were implemented, we have seen a stronger, more focused student enrolling into our educator preparation programs. Without the support of many, the changes could not have had such a positive and immediate effect. We are most proud of our students, our faculty and staff.  We remain confident that our Educator Preparation programs will continue to thrive and meet the needs of students, graduates, employers and all monitoring agencies,” Weitman said.

TAMIU president, Dr. Ray Keck, concurred.

“We are certainly grateful to the TEA for their dedicated assessment and oversight of our teacher education program that helped reveal serious weaknesses and strengths, and most impressed by the collaboration between faculty and students that aggressively secured this accreditation status,” Dr. Keck said.

Among corrective actions taken by the College were the raising of admission standards so that only general core education courses with grades of “C” or better are accepted (regardless of where they are taken) and an oral interview, with a written sampling; elevated academic standards including limited numbers of times a student may repeat any class before changing majors, a stiffer grading scale, all content TExES exams passed prior to enrolling in Student Teaching, while all suspensions incur a long-term absence; improved curriculum which better addresses the standards.

Also, new courses in Arts and Sciences as well as in the College; a new professional core for all certification areas grounded in the TExES Professional Practices and Responsibilities, and a new foundation for all elementary programs centered on subject area readiness.  Finally, restructured testing protocols are in place so that students demonstrate diagnostic readiness to sit for the TExES exam. 

Additional changes aimed at improving the quality of future educators continue and include a higher 2.75 admission GPA effective this fall.

For additional information on teacher education programs available at TAMIU’s College of Education, call 956.326.3145, visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Suite 429  or click on www.tamiu.edu/coedu/

TAMIU summer hours of operation are from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 8 a.m. – 12 noon on Fridays.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu