Education Department Receives Continuing Accreditation

Lissa Diaz
The Bethel College Education Department recently received accreditation for all of its programs through 2023, based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. All accreditation standards were met, with no stipulations. NCATE’s performance-based accreditation system for teacher preparation ensures that teacher candidates are prepared to make a difference in P-12 student learning.

“We are thankful for the rigorous accreditation process that helps us evaluate and reflect on our programs,” says Education Department Chair Kristie Cerling, Ed.D. “It is also affirming to receive this validation of the quality of our candidates who enter the community as excellent educators prepared to make a difference.”

The Bethel College Education Department offers 14 areas of study at the bachelor’s and master’s level, including a Transition to Teaching program with two start dates per year. This fall, the department opened a Kindergarten Lab on campus, giving teacher candidates the opportunity for hands-on learning and observation of real-world application with students right on campus.

Notable education graduates include Jerry Thacker, Ed.D., the 2012 Indiana Superintendent of the Year; Carol Draeger Thomas, the 2014 South Bend Community School Teacher of the Year; Lavon Dean-Null, the 2012 Penn-Harris-Madison Teacher of the Year; and Eric Johnson, one of just 28 teachers from around the world to be named on the first TED-Ed Innovative Educator cohort.

Recent graduate Kelly Huehn currently serves as a fourth/fifth grade teacher at a Title 1 school in an underprivileged neighborhood in New Mexico. She speaks highly of the preparation she received from the Bethel College Education Department. “I cannot tell you how many times teachers have told me that they are amazed at my ability to teach and handle the job being a first year teacher and that, from observing me on the job, the college I attended prepared me extremely well.”

Providers that are accredited based on NCATE standards, as well as those accredited based on the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles, are now served by the single specialized accreditation system for educator preparation in the United States, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). More than 840 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system.

For more information about Bethel’s education programs, visit For more information about CAEP, visit