May 27, 2020
Las Vegas, N.M. – The New Mexico Highlands University School of Education received official notice of full accreditation May 15 from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
The School of Education received accreditation at both the initial-licensure level for bachelor’s degree graduates as well as advanced-level licensure for master’s degrees graduates in educational leadership and counseling. The accreditation extends for seven years through spring semester 2026, the maximum time possible.
“I appreciate your commitment to excellence at New Mexico Highlands University in educator preparation,” wrote Christopher Koch, president of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
“Accreditation ensures that all of our candidates have mastered the essential standards necessary for high student outcomes,” said Sheree Jederberg, School of Education interim dean. “This accreditation demonstrates that our School of Education meets and exceeds standards that are set by the national academic community.”
Some of the CAEP standards that the Highlands School of Education met at both the initial licensure and advanced level include content and pedagogical knowledge; clinical partnerships and practice; candidate quality, recruitment and selectivity; program impact; and provider quality assurance and continuous improvement.
“These standards are set so we can monitor candidate progress throughout the program and build in viable assessments that align with the standards to ensure licensure competency,” Jederberg said.
Roxanne Gonzales, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Highlands, said the School of Education accreditation has statewide impact.
“This accreditation means that a Highlands University School of Education graduate meets national standards in teacher preparation, therefore a school district can be assured they are hiring a well- qualified teacher,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said that New Mexico Highlands University was founded in 1893 as the New Mexico Normal School, which was established to prepare teachers.
“The School of Education accreditation continues our university’s long history of providing New Mexico with outstanding teachers,” Gonzales said.
Jederberg said a great deal of exemplary teamwork went into the accreditation process, which is rigorous and lengthy.
“Thank you to the School of Education faculty and staff for its dedication in working so diligently over many weekends to accomplish this accreditation. Truly it is only from their hard work that we were able to achieve such a recommendation,” Jederberg said.
The Highlands School of Education was fully accredited previously by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which is now the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.