Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Milligan teacher education program first in area accredited under new NCATE standards

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (December 3, 2001)–Milligan College’s teacher education program–both the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels–has proven its commitment to producing quality teachers by achieving continuing accreditation under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), an organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education.

Milligan is one of 60 schools of education that received either initial or continuing accreditation from NCATE’s Unit Accreditation Board in its most recent round of decisions, announced last week.

Milligan is also the first school in the region to achieve accreditation under NCATE’s newly adopted performance-based standards.

“Milligan College was one of a sma ll group of institutions that agreed to host an accreditation review based on NCATE’s newly adopted performance-based standards. We congratulate Milligan for displaying the high quality necessary to be granted national accreditation,” said NCATE president Arthur Wise.

In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to a data-driven performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do. The new system expects teacher preparation institutions to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom.

“A major strength of our program and one that supports a major element of NCATE’s standards is our unique and long-standing collaboration with schools in the Tri-Cities region,” confirmed Milligan President Don Jeanes. “Area superintendents, principals and teachers are a vital part of the life of our teacher education program. Their expertise and cooperation is critical to the success of our graduates and the continuing improvement of our program.”

Jeanes said that more than 400 Milligan alumni are working in local school systems, including David Chupa, principal of Science Hill High School; Dr. John O’Dell, superintendent of Sullivan County Schools; Dr. Robbie Anderson, supervisor of elementary instruction for Johnson City Schools; and Dr. Dale Lynch, former director of schools for Elizabethton and now director of schools for Hamblen County.

Dr. Phil Roberson, director of teacher education at Milligan, said Milligan’s teacher education program has partnerships with several P-12 schools in the Tri-Cities region to provide hands-on experience and enable teacher candidates to develop the skills necessary to help students learn. The teacher candidates are supervised in their practice teaching by Milligan education professors and cooperating teachers. They are observed on a regular basis, and their teaching is comprehensively critiqued, explained Roberson.

“As an NCATE-accredited school, Milligan’s teacher education program meets rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public,” said Roberson. “Our teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that they plan to teach, as well as the skills necessary to convey that knowledge to ensure that students learn. Milligan carefully assesses this knowledge and skill to determine that candidates may graduate.”

NCATE accreditation also confirms that Milligan’s teacher candidates are prepared to understand and work with diverse student populations, that the college has the necessary resources to prepare teacher candidates, and that the college’s faculty model effective teaching practices, explained Roberson.

“This continuing accreditation status raises the bar for our graduates entering the classrooms of the future,” said Roberson. “It ensures that they have experience with students in real classrooms, and that they have been evaluated to ensure that they have the ability to teach in that field at that grade level.”

Roberson noted that meeting NCATE accreditation standards means that Milligan’s teacher education candidates are prepared for meeting rigorous licensing standards in many states throughout the nation.

Milligan’s undergraduate teacher education program offers professional licensure for teaching in early childhood, middle grades, secondary, and selected K-12 specialty fields. The Master of Education program includes both initial licensure and advanced degree options, and candidates typically can finish the program in 15 months.

Only a handful of states require accreditation for teacher education programs. NCATE accredits 525 institutions, which produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates each year.

The U. S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a professional accrediting body for schools, departments, and colleges of education. On-site visits, document review, and accreditation decisions are all carried out by professionals from the education community, including teachers, school specialists, and teacher educators, as well as members of the public and education policymakers.

For more information about Milligan’s teacher education program, visit or call 423-461-8745. More information about NCATE is available at

Posted by on December 3, 2001.