More than 40 education programs across four colleges at Northern Arizona University have been nationally accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)—making NAU one of 43 providers from 22 states and the only institute of higher education in Arizona to be honored with this distinction.

This evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement of student learning not only draws attention to the merit of the programs offered at NAU, but also the value of its teachers who enter the workforce after graduation.

On average, more than 900 students from the College of Education, College of Arts & Letters, College of Engineering, Forestry, & Natural Sciences and the College of Health & Human Services graduate from NAU’s teacher preparation and advanced education programs each year. With this accreditation, students who complete these programs will have met national standards for education within the profession and will be ready to enter a classroom prepared for the professional challenges and teach effectively.

“Accreditation provides our graduates with a competitive advantage within the field,” said Cynthia Conn, assistant vice provost in NAU’s professional education program. “It requires programs to meet a high level of expectations in preparing highly effective teacher candidates, educational professionals and leaders to meet the current and changing needs of school communities in the state.”

This national accreditation application process supported the development of NAU’s strategic focus to combat Arizona’s significant teacher shortage by recruiting new education students. NAU continues to cultivate enhanced partnerships with school district and county stakeholders, especially in rural and urban areas serving high-need student populations, in hopes of expanding scholarship opportunities through increased fundraising efforts, federal grants and the NAU Teachers’ Academy.