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Kentucky Board of Examiners: A Collaborative Effort

Introduction
Kentucky has 29 approved educator preparation institutions. Each institution must undergo a stringent process of examination to maintain its state and national accreditation status. The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) adopted the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards and peer review process for evaluating institutions in order to ensure quality of teacher/administrator preparation. While all institutions must maintain state accreditation, 15 of the institutions also have chosen to have national NCATE accreditation.

NCATE is an independent accrediting agency that replaced the accreditation function for teacher/administrator education previously conducted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). NCATE provides professional judgment via peer review of the quality of the education unit (i.e., program) and encourages continuous improvement and accountability in teacher/administrator preparation. NCATE establishes standards and procedures to carry out the accreditation process for on-site reviewers, determines the accreditation status of institutions, and publishes a biannual guide of accredited units.

The NCATE review process ensures that requirements for accreditation are related to established knowledge and sound professional practice; establishes and upholds national standards of excellence; and strengthens the quality and integrity of professional education units.

Through the accreditation process, NCATE also provides assurance to the public that professionally accredited units have met national professional standards.

Additional information regarding NCATE and the Board of Examiners Updates can be found by accessing the NCATE website: http://www.ncate.org

BOE: Board of Examiners
The BOE is a team of professional educators who perform the most essential component of the NCATE and Kentucky accreditation process – the peer review of the professional education unit at a college or university.

The BOE comprises equal representation from teacher education, teachers, administrators, specialty areas, and state/local policy makers.

BOE Selection Procedure
Nominees to the BOE must have demonstrated expertise in professional education, teaching, research, and/or evaluation; good writing skills; proficiency in evaluation technique, such as interpreting quantified data, using rating scales and questionnaires, interviewing and observing, and reading and analyzing narrative information; and the ability to make respected professional judgments about education units.

BOE Opportunities
Educator preparation programs in Kentucky undergo accreditation visits on a 5-year or 7-year cycle. Trained BOE members, along with state staff, make up the team for these visits.

In addition to participating on the on-site visiting teams, BOE members act in other capacities, such as serving on EPSB committees. Teachers who participate in the BOE training may earn professional development credit (as approved by their local district). The EPSB provides funding for substitutes and will reimburse participants for expenses incurred for travel, lodging, and food during training and visits.

Training
Training is designed to help BOE members develop skills for making professional judgments about the application of NCATE/state standards to education units. Participants are trained in the philosophy, policies, procedures, and processes of on-site evaluation.

After Training
BOE members are expected to stay current on best practices and attend state, regional, and national professional education meetings. Prior to an accreditation visit, a team of BOE members is formed. A list of these members is then forwarded to the college/university. The institution sends the team members a packet of materials describing the education unit and the institution as a whole.

During the Visit
When team members arrive on campus, all preliminary reading about the institution and its programs should have been completed. Team members are scheduled to spend three - four days together to determine whether the professional education unit has met the NCATE/state standards. These days are spent reviewing documents; visiting schools; observing classes; touring facilities; and interviewing candidates, faculty, cooperating teachers, administrators, and others. Working collaboratively, the team reaches consensus and determines if the professional education unit has met the standards. The team submits a written report of its findings to the EPSB for an accreditation decision.

After the Visit
In order to ensure quality, BOE team members evaluate their team colleagues on characteristics related to interpreting the standards and NCATE’s procedures. The institution also is asked to evaluate the performance of each team member.

If you have an interest in the education of Kentucky’s teachers/administrators in education quality issues, your service as a member of Kentucky’s Board of Examiners would be appreciated.

Contact the Division of Educator Preparation via Email

KyEducators.org