State program approval and accreditation assures the public that the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has examined the quality of programs that prepare teachers and other school personnel for District of Columbia’s classrooms, and has made a determination that the programs meet state standards for entry into the profession. Pursuant to DCMR Title 5 1601.11:
The State Superintendent of Education shall develop policies or directives setting forth objective and verifiable standards for the approval, renewal, and revocation of approval by the OSSE of teacher preparation and practicing teacher programs in the District of Columbia that qualify candidates to earn a Regular Teaching Credential pursuant to subsections 1601.3, 1601.4 or 1601.5 of this chapter and for purposes of interstate reciprocity.
(a) Only programs sponsored by an accredited institution of higher education, a non-profit organization, or LEA may be considered for approval pursuant to this subsection by the OSSE.
(b) Any approval granted by the OSSE pursuant to this subsection, shall specify the objective and verifiable standards that must be successfully completed to qualify a candidate for the Regular Teaching Credential pursuant to subsections 1601.3, 1601.4 or 1601.5 of this chapter.
(c) Any such programs in existence as of the date of the final approval of this regulation, shall maintain their qualified status pursuant to this subsection, for the duration of the term of their current approval as a qualified program. Programs approved by other states and recognized by the OSSE may also qualify candidates to earn a Regular II Teaching Credential.
(d) Each application for the approval of a teacher preparation or practicing teacher program located in the District of Columbia under this Section shall at a minimum include industry recognized standards in child development, classroom management, and content knowledge.
The goal of OSSE’s accreditation and program approval system is to ensure a steady flow of high-quality candidates for teaching and administrator positions in the District of Columbia by allowing multiple routes for educator preparation. The District of Columbia’s standards for State-accreditation and approval of programs insist on high selectivity and high standards for teacher, administrator, and service provider candidates.
Pathways to State Accreditation and Program Approval
There are two pathways for accreditation of Professional Education Units in the District of Columbia:
Accreditation Pathway I - State/National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Accreditation and Program Approval
This option applies to educator preparation programs operating within colleges/universities where candidates for educator licensure often complete a full preparation program prior to serving as a teacher or administrator of record, and/or earn an undergraduate or graduate degree upon program completion. Non-degree granting organizations may also apply for state/NCATE accreditation.
This option is intended for institutions, agencies, and organizations that solely prepare post-baccalaureate, teacher and administrator candidates for roles in District of Columbia schools. Prior to being admitted into this type of program, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the subject area for which they are seeking DC licensure.
More about DC State Accreditation and Program Approval
DC/NCATE Partnership Protocol for Colleges and Universities seeking Joint DC/NCATE Accreditation [PDF]
For more information about DC State Accreditation and Program Approval, contact:
State Accreditation Coordinator
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
810 First Street, NE – 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Office: (202) 741-5218