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BHSU earns national education accreditation; first in the state to receive CAEP accreditation for education

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, January 29, 2019/Categories: Students, Academic Affairs, Awards, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Black Hills State University is the first institution in South Dakota to receive accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This means BHSU has met rigorous, internationally-recognized standards to ensure excellence in the University’s teacher preparation programs.

BHSU President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., recently announced the CAEP accreditation and praised BHSU faculty and administrators for their continued dedication ensuring BHSU education graduates are ready to succeed as educators.

“BHSU has a legacy of successfully preparing exceptional teachers. The BHSU education preparation programs have earned a stellar reputation in the region and across the nation. CAEP accreditation confirms the high level of our education programs,” Jackson said. “It’s gratifying to earn this accreditation but even more importantly, it’s recognition that our students are making an exceptional investment in their future by earning an education degree at BHSU.”

Jackson noted that the BHSU program was accredited with no stipulations, a prestigious designation which confirms the ongoing commitment to innovation and progress in our education programs.

CAEP is nationally recognized as an accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review to assure quality and promote improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (CAEP). Currently, more than 800 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system.

“The goal of the BHSU School of Education is to prepare students to be caring, competent and confident teachers. This accreditation recognizes the high level of quality educational experiences that can be found at BHSU, in collaboration with our PK-12 partners,” said Dr. Sharman Adams, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at BHSU.

BHSU graduates’ pass rate on licensure exams exceeds 90 percent. As a result, BHSU education graduates are highly sought by school districts in the region, nationally and throughout the world. Nearly 50 school districts have already registered to attend the annual Teacher Fair on Feb. 27 at BHSU to recruit prospective employees.

BHSU is among 52 providers “meeting high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate” according to the CAEP announcement.

Educator preparation providers seeking accreditation must pass peer review on five standards, which are based on two principles:
1. Solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators, and
2. Solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.

Dr. Kim Walters-Parker, Chair of CAEP’s Accreditation Council said, “We’ve set a very high bar with our standards and receiving accreditation validates the hard work educator preparation providers are doing. Candidates in programs receiving CAEP Accreditation are investing in an education program that is designated as nationally accredited for educator preparation.”

To learn more about the BHSU School of Education, visit or contact the Office of Admissions at 605-642-6343 or

About the School of Education at BHSU
Black Hills State University offers 19 undergraduate and three graduate degree programs in education with unique and significant field experiences. The university is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE). BHSU has the largest teacher preparation program in the state of South Dakota, and the elementary education degree can be completed entirely onsite at BHSU-Rapid City. BHSU graduates have a more than 90 percent pass rate on licensure exams. A high percentage of graduates from the BHSU education program are hired immediately in classrooms throughout the world. Nearly 50 school districts attend the annual Teacher Fair at BHSU to recruit education students.

About CAEP
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation ( advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.

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