FLORENCE -- For nearly three years a team in the Francis Marion University Department of Education has worked toward achieving accreditation by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
The latest step in the process was a 10-member team evaluation on campus March 20-24. The team evaluated the university's teacher education program, curriculum, policies and procedures, said Robert Sawyer, Dean of the FMU School of Education, Behavioral and Social Sciences.
The FMU education department team that organized efforts in readying the campus for the visit was led by Marjorie Pace, professor of education, and Wayne Pruitt, chairman of the FMU education department.
The school will know in October if it has been accredited, but FMU officials feel confident the school will be accredited by NCATE, one of the most prestigious national accreditations that teacher education programs can receive.
FMU's teacher education program is currently accredited through the state board of education and by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. The visiting team was composed of educators from across the nation as well as representatives of the State's Commission on Higher Education and the State's Department of Education.
Between now and October, Sawyer said, department officials and the NCATE evaluation team will communicate regarding areas the department must address because of weaknesses cited in the evaluation.
Already, the FMU teacher education program is better for the in-house evaluations and changes made in preparation for the NCATE accreditation, Sawyer said.