SOE Earns National Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs

Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation gray seal mark

Albany, NY (August 27, 2021) – The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) has awarded full 7-year accreditation to the University at Albany’s graduate programs for school leadership, literacy educators, and special education preparation. The award includes a commendation for the literacy and special education programs (inclusive of the early childhood and childhood education programs).

After reviewing the evidence collected through a process of self-study and peer review, the AAQEP Accreditation Commission issued decisions on the programs at its July 23 meeting. The following rationale was provided:

The Commission evaluated the program’s evidence for each AAQEP standard and determined that all four standards are met. The program’s completers are prepared to work effectively as professional educators and are able to adapt to different contexts and to grow professionally. The program has the capacity to analyze and provide evidence for sustained actions and revisions on behalf of candidates, and it engages with stakeholders and partners to strengthen the P-20 education system.

For the literacy and special education programs:
A comprehensive approach to developing candidates’ professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions contributes to the programs’ strong reputation and demand for their graduates in the field. Diverse clinical placements and attention to sociocultural identity support the programs’ commitment to equity. A collaborative internal culture and shared decision-making with stakeholders facilitate continuous improvement.

For the school leadership preparation program:
The program is committed to culturally responsive practice and diversification of both its faculty and student body. It is also working to enrich its data collection and
reporting systems and strengthen its engagement with program completers.

The literacy and special education programs also received an official commendation from the AAQEP Commission related to Standard 1, “for carefully supporting and documenting candidates’ development of expert knowledge, skills, and dispositions for their target professional roles.”

“Congratulations to the University at Albany and to all of the faculty, staff, and stakeholders who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said AAQEP President and CEO Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “These advanced programs’ graduates are in demand for specialist and leadership roles within schools across New York State and beyond.”

National accreditation assures the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. This standards- and evidence-based process serves two broad aims: accountability and continuous improvement. The AAQEP model is also designed to honor local context and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions. AAQEP currently has members in 27 states and territories with over 160 educator preparation providers participating in the accreditation system.

Virginia Goatley, interim dean of the School of Education noted, “The AAQEP accreditation further supports the nature of excellence in these teacher and leader preparation programs, including our ongoing collaboration with P-12 partners toward more inclusive and equitable education.”


About the School of Education
Founded in 1844, the School of Education at the University at Albany (SUNY) is New York’s oldest and leading public higher education institution focused on the preparation of many career areas, including teacher educators, leaders, policy makers and mental health practitioners. Approximately 1,500 students from across New York and around the world are educated annually in more than 40 graduate programs, 17 combined programs, one undergraduate major in Human Development, and undergraduate minors in education and leadership. The School offers 16 certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs fully online and is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 10 providers of online graduate education. Graduate programs are accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), American Psychological Association (APA), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). Faculty are leaders in their fields, both nationally and globally, engaging in more than $6 million in externally funded research annually. Visit to learn more.

Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. The organization promotes excellent, effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement in a collaborative professional environment. AAQEP is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Visit for more information.