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Page last updated: May 08, 2019

Resources to Support Accreditation:

Below are links to agencies and organizations to provide information and resources regarding accreditation for Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs).  Informed by state legislation and policy, North Carolina does not mandate participation in national educator preparation accreditation (AAQEP or CAEP). The NCDPI Educator Preparation Division staff's a specialist to provide accreditation supports to EPPs statewide.  For more information regarding accreditation in North Carolina, specifically national educator preparation accreditation, please contact Dr. Theresa Coogan (

Regional Accreditation Resource:

SACSCOC - The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states, including North Carolina. More information about SACSCOC can be found on their website:

National Educator Preparation Accreditation Resources (in alphabetical order):

AAQEP – The Association for Advancing Quality Educator Preparation. Their Mission: “AAQEP promotes and recognizes quality educator preparation that strengthens the education profession’s ability to serve all students, schools, and communities, and to do so equitably.” More information about AAQEP can be found on their website:

CAEP – The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Their Mission: “CAEP advances equity and excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.” The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction entered into a 5-year partnership with CAEP beginning July 1, 2016 ending June 30, 2021. A copy of the partnership agreement may be found below. Please contact the North Carolina CAEP State Representative Dr. Theresa Coogan with any inquiries ( More information about CAEP can be found on their website:

NC CAEP Partnership Agreement
(pdf, 124kb)

Specialized Professional Association (SPA) recognition for eligible program areas are not required by EPPs in North Carolina. EPPs are not prohibited from seeking recognition from the SPAs; however, EPPs should be advised that holding national recognition by the SPAs is not associated with the state program approval process.

Additional Resources (in alphabetical order):

CHEA - Council for Higher Education Accreditation More About CHEA:

“A national advocate and institutional voice for promoting academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations.“ Additional information about CHEA can be found on their website:

U.S. DoE – the United States Department of Education

More About U.S. DoE Accreditation and Recognition: “Accreditation in the United States involves non-governmental entities as well as federal and state government agencies. Accreditation’s quality assurance function is one of the three main elements of oversight governing the Higher Education Act’s (HEA’s) federal student aid programs. Accreditors, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Under the HEA the Department “recognizes” (approves) accreditors that the Secretary of Education determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by institutions of higher education, and the Department publishes a list of nationally recognized accreditors. The Department does not accredit individual educational institutions and/or programs and is not directly involved in the institutional or programmatic accrediting process.” Additional information about the U.S. DoE can be found on their website:

*NEW in 2019* Accreditation Community Sessions (ACS):

 A new program called "the Accreditation Community Sessions" was created Fall 2018 and launched the first workshop in January 2019 welcoming more than 120 attendees from across the state. Since the launch, monthly sessions have been held throughout the state engaging EPPs and interested individuals in several topics that support continual improvement and best practices in educator training. This program was created to support an identified need for partnerships, conversations, and continuing development between and among all NC State Board Approved Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) with support from the State Representative of Accreditation housed within the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

Topics are selected by the field and directly support EPPs who participate in either national educator preparation accreditation agency (the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation [CAEP], or, the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation [AAQEP]). Attendees do not need to be from an EPP or an EPP participating in one of the national accreditation agencies to join a session. While focused on national accreditation, session content has transferability to inform best practices and accountability requirements for our regional accreditation agency in higher education (SACSCOC) as well as the state and federal regulations. Sessions are purposefully held at institutions around the state to grow our intentional partnerships and invite accessibility.

Please direct any inquiries about this program or any event session to the program manager: Dr. Theresa Coogan (   Event registration links and additional information about upcoming sessions can be found on the website, or by clicking here (