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Preparing Educators

Updated Guidelines for the Approval of Educator Preparation Programs

To:Sponsoring Organizations
From:Heather Peske, Ed.D., Associate Commissioner for Educator Effectiveness
Date:November 2015


The Guidelines for Program Approval are provided to outline expectations clearly for educator preparation programs in the Commonwealth. Since the original release of the Guidelines in July 2013, ESE's work relative to preparation has evolved based on experiences implementing policies and based on feedback solicited from the field. To ensure that stakeholders are operating in alignment with a clear set of Guidelines, we have updated this document to reflect developments in both process and policy.

The foundation of the Guidelines remains unchanged. As outlined in the Commissioner's memo from July 2013, it remains ESE's expectation that Sponsoring Organizations are actively pursuing continuous improvement driven by outcome data, strengthening and deepening partnerships with the PK-12 system, and ensuring that candidates are prepared to have a positive impact with students beginning their first day in the licensure role.

That said, updates have been made to clarify the processes and policies that support this vision. Key updates include:

  • Previous "Effectiveness Indicators" have been replaced with the set of actionable, concrete criteria Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document currently in place to articulate expectations of the standards
  • Clearer and more detailed explanation of the approval process Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document, including clarification on the Needs Assessment policy, formal review procedures, and how to apply for a new program or become a new provider
  • Increased differentiation in the potential results of a review including additional Approval Determinations and Status Designations
  • The inclusion of policy updates that have been implemented since July 2013, including references to the 2014 Professional Standards for Teachers, the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP), and the Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL)
  • Updates relevant to the National Accreditation partnership agreement
  • A reorganization of the Guidelines for increased clarity.

We appreciate your continued efforts to prepare educators for the Commonwealth and your ongoing communication and partnership with ESE in ensuring that educators are ready to support the success of all students.

Please contact with questions, comments, or feedback.

Last Updated: November 13, 2015
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