Saint Martin's College education department reaccredited

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Lacey, Wash. - Saint Martin’s College has been notified that accreditation of its teacher preparation program and school counselor preparation program by the Washington State Board of Education has been reaffirmed.

The reaffirmation grants five-year approval for the college’s teacher preparation and school counselor preparation programs. It was based on a self-evaluation completed by the college’s education division this fall and on an extensive site visit by a team of evaluators from Washington’s Board of Education. The team interviewed faculty, staff, students and administrators; reviewed program curricula; examined facilities and resources to ensure that the programs met state standards.

Among the items applauded by evaluators in its report were the high level of preparation given to students entering the teaching profession; commitment to meeting the needs of a diverse population; faculty who modeled compassion as educators; the degree of commitment to students among faculty and support staff; and the role Professional Education Advisory Boards play in maintaining the quality of the college’s education programs.

In January, the college’s education division also was praised by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in its college accreditation report. The commission singled out the substantial use of students’ field experiences in public school classrooms and the cooperation between the college and local schools for their roles in building strong partnerships to the benefit of both.

The commission report also noted that the division supported competence in educational philosophy, knowledge and skills, saying: “Values are not easily captured as documents or performance outcomes. Caring, nurturing, compassion, sensitivity and confidence are all terms the faculty in the division articulate to students as values worth embracing and adopting. Faculty model these values … Through persistent attention and support, students become transformed. As educational professionals they are recognized in the educational community as ‘special.’ It is this blend of academic, professional and character that elevates the education graduate and that captures the spirit and aim of what a Saint Martin’s graduate should be.”

Saint Martin’s offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate programs through its education division. The division has the highest job placement rate in the state for institutions certifying more than 50 students as teachers per year, and the third highest rate in the state overall. Last year, some 95 percent of Saint Martin’s education students were hired within a year of completing their education program.

Saint Martin’s is a Roman Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts and professions at its main campus near Olympia as well as through its extension campuses at Fort Lewis Army Post and McChord Air Force Base.

For more information:
Joyce Westgard
Dean of education
360-438-4509 or westgard@stmartin.edu

Deanna Partlow, media relations
Saint Martin’s Office of Communication
360-438-4541 or dpartlow@stmartin.edu