Accreditation and Assessment

NCATE: The Standard of Excellence in Teacher Education


2013 NCATE Self-Study Exhibit Room


The School of Education's programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE) and nationally accredited by National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Approval by MDESE benefits students who complete our licensure programs in the following ways:

  • Our Office of Licensure & Field Placement (OLFP) will endorse these students and forward the necessary materials to the state
  • Qualification for an initial or professional license that will allow you to work in a Massachusetts public school
  • Most states have reciprocal agreements with Massachusetts, meaning your Salem State program will be accepted as good preparation for licensure in the field

Salem State is one of only seven teacher preparation institutions in Massachusetts that is nationally recognized by NCATE. In fact, our programs have been fully accredited since NCATE's inception in the 1950s. Graduating from a nationally-accredited program ensures your qualifications are aligned with national and state standards of excellence.

Our programs are nationally recognized by NCATE’s specialty professional organizations, which are the major education societies in their fields. These include the International Reading Association; National Association for the Education of Young Children; Association for Childhood Education International; National Council of Teachers of English; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; National Council for the Social Studies; National Science Teachers Association; Educational Leadership Constituency Council; American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; American Association for Health Education; American Library Association; the Council for Exceptional Children; and the International Society for Technology in Education.

We evaluate the effectiveness of our programs based on the standards of these national organizations, as well as our own standards. Our expectations for our program graduates are reflected in a set of Initial Teaching Proficiencies for all teaching programs and Advanced Proficiencies for graduate programs for experienced educators. We use key assessments to look for evidence that our graduates have achieved the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to do the work of education. Our students complete portfolio assignments, case studies, and lesson and unit plans. We use MDESE’s Pre-Service Performance Assessment and other instruments that measure their knowledge of subject matter, their skill in helping all children learn, their positive interaction with children and colleagues, and their professionalism. Our graduates perform at or above standard on their final student teaching practicum assessment [PDF]. Our endorsement results in their state licensure and prepares them for employment [PDF] in the schools and childhood education centers of Massachusetts.