Elmira College's Education Department: Aiming High with AAQEP Review

The Elmira College Education programs that provide students a teaching certification are undergoing their first accreditation review with the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a membership organization formed in 2017 to focus on quality assurance in educator preparation. AAQEP is a newer organization that EC joined due to enhanced benefits.

The voluntary review is part of Elmira College’s commitment to excellence and continual improvement of its program.

“Accreditation strengthens our program because it provides a structured review process while giving us support from AAQEP’s access to resources, like data stores and practitioner training best practices. This network includes more than 200 member organizations in 37 states and other jurisdictions,” said Alexis Rittenberger, Assistant Professor, Director of Graduate and Professional Studies, and Director of Teacher Ed.

The goal of AAQEP is to recognize and promote equitable educator preparation programs of quality that serve all students, schools, and communities.

Part of the accreditation process will include a site visit with an AAQEP-appointed site team in late February. In addition, the AAQEP Quality Review Team is soliciting public comment about the quality of EC’s educator preparation. The comments must be submitted by January 30 via the AAQEP website.

According to the AAQEP website, the quality assurance organization looks for and encourages programs to be collaborative, improvement-focused, and maintain innovation-friendly protocols. Programs should partner with other institutions, state agencies, and AAQEP while maintaining efficiency in their operations.

Rittenberger feels confident EC will receive accreditation due to the program’s focus on continual growth and collaboration with local schools and members of the community.

EC will maintain a seven-year review cycle with AAQEP, with the next site visit coming up in 2031.

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