W&L student teachers begin 2018 as part of an officially accredited program

The Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium received the stamp of approval late last fall

Photo credit: The Columns

Photo credit: The Columns

Lily Horsley


The Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium (RTEC), a teacher program partnering between Washington and Lee University and Southern Virginia University, recently received accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP.)

CAEP is a professional accreditor that reviews education preparation in colleges and schools. It is the only nationally-recognized accrediting body for education preparation.

Washington and Lee’s Director of Teacher Education Haley Sigler said she is grateful for the recognition from CAEP.

“As a founding member of RTEC, we had the opportunity to work with colleagues from our neighboring institution, SVU, and our local K-12 schools to envision an ideal teacher education model,” Sigler said. “This recognition from CAEP tells us we got things right.”

Photo credit: The Columns

Any educator preparation program seeking accreditation has to pass a peer review on five standards. The five standards are based on two principles: solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators and solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” CAEP President Christopher Koch said in a recent press release. “Seeking CAEP accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”

A number of students, like Caroline Holliday, ‘18, work in the local school system to complete their major or minor.

Holliday worked at Maury River Middle School twice a week for two years. She helped teach an eighth grade algebra class, fulfilling her practicum requirement for the university’s education policy minor.

“Although I am not pursuing education as a career, student teaching gave me a valuable perspective of what it looks like to be a teacher,” Holliday said. “The experience also gave me a much more realistic understanding of how education policy plays out in a school setting.”

Jenny Borman, ‘17, started teaching at Harrington Waddell Elementary School after graduation. She said the recognition from CAEP meant a lot to her.

“I am proud to be part of a program that has met CAEP’s rigorous standards and feel confident that my experience as an elementary education minor has given me a solid foundation for my career as an educator,” Borman said.

Sigler said the Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium encourages cooperation between educators in Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista public schools.

“It’s a community effort to create the next generation of teachers, and that’s an exciting concept,” Sigler said.

The Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium is one of 42 other programs to receive CAEP Accreditation this past fall. The program joins 101 other educator preparation programs in receiving CAEP accreditation.