Lehman’s School of Ed Earns Reaccreditation with Perfect Score from National Accreditor

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A woman standing next to students sitting at desks.
School of Education students with Leslie Lieman, director of clinical practice and partnerships.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a national standard-setter for teacher preparation programs, has granted reaccreditation to Lehman's School of Education through 2028, giving the College a perfect score in its latest assessment.

CAEP requires member institutions to undergo a rigorous accreditation process to assess their teacher education programs’ effectiveness, data collection and reporting transparency, the integrity of their degrees, and their commitment to the public good. Schools must submit to a similar review roughly every seven years to maintain accreditation. Lehman’s School of Education was last reaccredited in 2015.

The College is one of 462 institutions accredited by CAEP and one of 39 to earn the designation during the council’s Fall 2021 review, completed in November. Receiving a perfect score, CAEP’s highest possible rating, means the council’s final assessment was unconditional and did not require improvements to a program’s curriculum or training methods.

“This national accreditation affirms the high standards of our programs and our commitment to remaining responsive to the needs of our students and community,” said Rene Parmar, dean of the School of Education. “We would like to express our appreciation to all our external partners as well as our Lehman and CUNY colleagues who helped us attain this recognition.”

Reaccreditation was a five-year process that began in 2016 and involved four components: a self-study by the School of Education; an evaluation of the report and campus visit conducted by a six-member team of CAEP peer reviewers; and a final judgment by CAEP to determine whether its standards were met and accredited status should be renewed.

The School of Education earned top marks in each area of evaluation: content and pedagogical knowledge; clinical partnerships and practice; candidate quality, recruitment, and selectivity; program impact; and quality assurance and continuous improvement. In her comments, CAEP team leader Jerrie Brooks noted that this was her first experience as a member of an accreditation team in which the final assessment did not include areas for improvement or stipulations for reaccreditation.

She added that the CAEP team was especially impressed with the quality and thoroughness of the reports, the high-quality data, and the input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and teacher-mentors who work with Lehman students in public school classrooms.

“The CAEP team was amazed by our connection to the community, our excitement and passion when talking about our students, the large number of meaningful grants the school receives, and the ability of our candidates and alumni to articulate so greatly the positive experiences they had in their programs,” said Serigne Gningue, a professor of math education and former interim associate dean who oversaw the reaccreditation process.

The site visit and self-study ultimately demonstrated the impact Lehman College is making on New York City and regional schools. The School of Education serves 1,244 students through 35 degree programs in three departments: Early Childhood and Childhood Education, Middle and High School Education, and Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and Special Education. It also runs a number of grant-funded initiatives designed to enrich the quality of education across all grades. 

In the past three years, 99 percent of Lehman College teachers received a “highly effective” or “effective” on evaluations from teachers and administrators working for the New York City Department of Education. The self-study also highlighted the longevity of Lehman teachers—a key indicator of professional commitment and career success. Between 75 and 100 percent of graduates from Lehman’s teacher education programs achieved tenure in the past five years.

In an announcement to the campus community about the accreditation renewal, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success Peter O. Nwosu expressed his admiration for his colleagues at the School of Education. “I commend the faculty, staff, and students in the School of Education for their tremendous contributions towards this significant and impressive accomplishment,” he said.