Overview and Conceptual Framework

I.1 History

I.1 What are the institution’s historical context, mission, and unique characteristics (e.g., HBCU, religious)?

ECU has a proud heritage with a mission of teaching, research, and service. Its commitment to the region is an expression of its motto, “Servire,” or To Serve. Chartered in 1907as East Carolina Teachers Training School (ECTTS), ECU has continually served the region with quality and commitment. In 1972, ECU joined the UNC System, becoming the third largest university in the system, and the College of Education (COE) is its founding college. The UNC System requires constituent institutions who prepare educators to be nationally accredited.

The Mission Statement was revised in 2014 to reflect ECU’s goal “To be a national model for student success, public service and regional transformation.” ECU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. ECU’s conceptual framework for preparing education professionals focuses on empowering all learners in all educational endeavors and achieving excellence through partnership.

The EPP unit at ECU consistently produces the most educational professionals in the state annually. Many graduates teach and lead in the eastern part of NC within The Walter and Daisy Carson Latham Clinical Schools Network (LCSN) and continue to be valued partners with the EPP and ECU Pirate Nation. In 2009, the COE was awarded an $8.9 million Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant from the US Department of Education to reform teacher preparation and impact school reform. Several TQP reforms are innovations in the EPP’s Pirate CODE, Transformation Initiative. In 2010, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) awarded the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education to the editorial team of the Journal of Curriculum and Instruction (JoCI), a COE-supported online journal. More recently, the teacher preparation programs at ECU were studied as part of a Spencer Foundation project on high data use institutions.


I.2 Describe the professional education unit at your institution and its relationship to other entities, schools or colleges with which it is affiliated to prepare professional educators.

The ECU COE manages the accreditation process for the EPP, the CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) Unit, at the Institution and is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The EPP was first accredited by NCATE in 1954. At ECU, educator preparation programs reside in five colleges united by the CTE and the Provost’s Council on Teacher Education. The EPP programs are located in the College of Education, College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Fine Arts and Communication,College of Human Ecology, College of Health and Human Performance, and the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

The CTE is the representative body of the EPP. CTE membership includes faculty from all EPP departments, student and public school partner representatives. CTE by-laws govern the body. CTE meets monthly and addresses EPP issues related to admissions and retention, curriculum, evaluation and planning, as well as policy. The most recent update to the CTE by-laws and appendices was approved in March 2014.

The Provost’s Council on Teacher Education includes the Provost, the deans of the colleges which house EPP programs, the dean of the ECU Graduate School, and key faculty and administrators in the COE, including the Executive Director of Teacher Education and Director of Assessment and Accreditation. The Provost’s Council meets quarterly to address EPP issues related to accreditation, enrollment, funding, and planning.

The EPP is supported by the Office of Teacher Education (OTE) and Office of Assessment and Accreditation(OAA), both of which are housed in the College of Education. The constituent offices of OTE provide service and support to the EPP for licensure, field and clinical experiences, alternative licensure programs, and other key student support areas. The mission of OAA is to facilitate the collection, compilation, dissemination and analysis of candidate performance data in support of institutional accreditation from SACS, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) program approval, CAEP accreditation, other professional accreditations, faculty and program research, and overall program improvement.

OTE also provides the primary link between the EPP and P-12 public school partners in the eastern region of North Carolina. The LCSN connects the EPP with 38 public school districts for recruitment, preparation, retention, and renewal of teachers and other educational professionals. Each district liaison to the LCSN meets with EPP faculty and administrators monthly throughout the academic year to collaborate and proactively address issues of common need and concern.

Enrollments in the EPP have dropped between 2009-10 and 2013-14. The economic recession in NC, coupled with the political climate in the state, negatively impacted enrollments in undergraduate and advanced programs. Recruitment efforts across all ITP’s have been supported by UNC General Administration (UNC GA) through the ECU campus-based Teacher Recruitment Plan. Annual reports to UNC GA demonstrate coordinated and multifaceted strategies to increase ITP enrollments and a focus on continuous improvement of the plan. This plan has served as a model for the development of a Graduate Recruitment Plan in the COE which is anticipated to impact recruitment across the EPP. Candidate recruitment was also a key focus of the 2009 US Department of Education TQP grant awarded to the ECU COE. Several of the curricular reforms from the TQP grant serve as foundational innovations in the current NCATE TI.

ECU provides valuable service and support to the EPP through its centers and institutes. Examples include: Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center (IHAT); Center for STEM Education (C-STEM); and the Teaching Resources Center (TRC) located in Joyner Library.

I.3 Changes

I.3 What are the significant changes, if any, made to the conceptual framework since the last accreditation review?

ECU’s current Conceptual Framework was approved and implemented in 2005 and stands today.

In 2010-11, a subcommittee of CTE commenced a review of the ECU Conceptual Framework still in existence since the 2006 NCATE accreditation visit. The ECU Conceptual Framework was analyzed and reevaluated to determine if the content of the conceptual framework narrative, and graphic continued to accurately and adequately represent the mission, as well as the direction of the EPP Unit at ECU. After monthly meetings and faculty survey feedback; SACS Reaffirmation and ECU strategic plan development efforts underway across ECU—the subcommittee determined that the ECU Conceptual Framework was still applicable and should continue until changes at the institutional level were finalized. Potential revision to the ECU Conceptual Framework would follow. As a result, no significant changes have been made to the ECU Conceptual Framework since the last accreditation visit.

In March 2014, CTE addressed the need to review the ECU Conceptual Framework in light of the new ECU Mission Statement (approved by the UNC Board of Governors in February 2014) and UNC System Strategic Plan – Our Time, Our Future (adopted by the UNC Board of Governors in February 2013). CTE commenced the review with a faculty feedback survey administered to all professional education faculty in the EPP by the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation. The initial results of the survey were shared with CTE in May 2014 and will be explored for deeper analysis once CTE reconvenes at the beginning of 2014-2015.

I.4 Exhibits

I.4.a Conceptual Framework

ECU is conditionally accredited based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards, for a period of 7 years, from Fall 2015 to Spring 2022.

ECU  will seek accreditation based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards in Spring 2022. CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers NCATE accreditation.