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Educator Preparation Providers and Subject Area Programs in the District of Columbia

All Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) and the Subject Area Programs they offer must be approved by the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). EPPs must be approved by OSSE in order to train educators to be licensed in the District of Columbia. Eligible entities seeking approval as an EPP shall submit an application to OSSE on the forms and timelines provided by OSSE.

OSSE determines state approval for two types of EPPs in the District of Columbia: those in Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) and those in Alternate Route Organizations or Institutions (AROI).

Definitions

Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) means the college, university, post-secondary institution, non-profit organization, or corporation authorized to operate in the District of Columbia that provides training leading towards eligibility for educator licensure or certification. EPPs encompass both Institutions of Higher Education and Alternate Route Organizations or Institutions.

Subject Area Program means the sequence of courses and experiences required by an EPP for the preparation of candidates to become educators in a specific area, subject, or category.

Institution of Higher Education (IHE) means a college, university or other postsecondary institution authorized to confer degrees and approved by the Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC) to operate in the District of Columbia. In these EPPs, candidates often complete a full preparation program prior to serving as a teacher, school service provider, and/or administrator of record, and/or earn an undergraduate or graduate degree upon program completion.

Educator means a person licensed and certified by OSSE to engage in the practice of instruction, administration, or other related professional support services in DC public schools.

Alternate Route Organization or Institution (AROI) means an entity that seeks to prepare teacher, school service provider, and/or administrator candidates for roles in District of Columbia schools. It is expected that prior to being admitted into a program under this pathway, candidates will already possess a baccalaureate degree.

OSSE Approval of EPPs in DC Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)

In order to be approved by OSSE, EPPs in DC IHEs must receive and maintain accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

  • The CAEP accreditation cycle is seven years. EPPs are expected to maintain and renew their accreditation status with CAEP.
  • CAEP standards require clinical experiences for candidates, selective criteria for candidate admission, and other rigorous components.
  • In order to be approved by OSSE, EPPs in DC IHEs must also receive and maintain approval for their individual subject area programs (e.g., early childhood education, secondary biology, special education) from the program’s relevant Specialized Professional Association (SPA).
  • The national SPA recognition cycle is seven years. EPPs are expected to maintain and renew their recognition status with the program’s relevant SPA.
  • In the instance that an EPP in a DC IHE receives accreditation revocation from CAEP, the EPP may request the opportunity to apply for probationary approval from OSSE for a period of three years.  Upon receipt of probationary approval from OSSE, the IHE must agree to corrective action and annual monitoring by OSSE for the three-year period under probationary approval. If the EPP is not making sufficient progress toward improvement at the annual check point, its probationary approval may be revoked. At the end of the three-year provisional approval, EPPs in IHEs must receive and maintain accreditation from CAEP. If the EPP does not receive CAEP accreditation, it may not reapply for probationary approval from OSSE.

OSSE Approval of EPPs in Alternate Route Organizations or Institutions (AROI)

  • In order to be approved by OSSE, an EPP in an AROI must meet OSSE standards for AROI providers, as outlined in the District of Columbia Standards for Education Preparation Providers.
  • OSSE standards require clinical experiences for candidates, selective criteria for candidate admission, and other rigorous components.
  • The state approval cycle of EPPs in AROIs in DC is three years. AROIs are expected to maintain and renew their approval status with OSSE.
  • In order to be approved by OSSE, the individual subject area programs (e.g., early childhood education, secondary biology, special education) of an AROI must comply with OSSE’s specialty area standards, as outlined in “OSSE Approval of Subject Area Programs.”
  • The state approval cycle of subject area programs is three years. AROIs are expected to maintain and renew their approval status with OSSE.

OSSE Approval of Subject Area Programs

OSSE approval of subject area programs applies to AROIs and DC IHEs operating under special circumstances.

Educator preparation providers seeking OSSE approval for programs that prepare and recommend candidates for educator credentials must demonstrate that they meet the District of Columbia Standards for Subject Area Program Approval.

Eligible entities seeking state approval of subject area programs shall submit an application to OSSE on the forms and timelines provided by OSSE.

Special circumstances for DC IHEs

  • EPPs in DC IHEs seeking program approval for new individual subject area programs can apply for initial approval under OSSE’s specialty area standards, as outlined in “OSSE Approval of Subject Area Programs”, for a period of three years. At the end of the three-year initial approval, EPPs in DC IHEs must receive and maintain approval for their individual subject area programs (e.g., early childhood education, secondary biology, special education) from the program’s relevant Specialized Professional Association (SPA).
  • EPPs in DC IHEs seeking program approval for individual subject area programs with low (i.e., less than 10 candidates) or no enrollment can apply for initial approval under OSSE’s specialty area standards, as outlined in “OSSE Approval of Subject Area Programs,” for a period of three years. If the program grows to 10 or more candidates at the end of the three-year initial approval, the EPP must receive and maintain approval for their individual subject area programs (e.g., early childhood education, secondary biology, special education) from the program’s relevant SPA. If the program has less than 10 candidates at the end of the three-year initial approval, the EPP may apply for renewal of state approval under OSSE’s specialty area standards.

Information about DC Educator Preparation Providers

Resources

Contact Information

For more information about DC State EPP and Program Approval, please contact:

Joelle R. Lastica
State Accreditation Administrator
Division of Teaching and Learning
1050 First St. NE, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20002
Office: (202) 741-1888
Email: [email protected]

Contact TTY: 
711