At the Georgia campus of Walden University, a for-profit college based in Minneapolis, more than 2,500 students are working on master’s degrees or doctorates in education programs, said Bonnie Copeland, vice president for education policy and regulation. Walden is a candidate for NCATE accreditation, which should be in place by early next year, Copeland said.
“We had pursued NCATE accreditation before this rule was even proposed,” Copeland said. “We felt our programs warranted this kind of national recognition. We thought it was wise for us to pursue NCATE because it’s the gold standard.”
At Argosy University, a private, for-profit institution owned by the Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corporation, administrators are working to meet the commission’s standards. The university also has applied for NCATE accreditation, spokeswoman Anne Dean said.
“We are currently engaged in a process of examining our programs and adapting them where necessary to ensure that they are in harmony with the new requirements,” Dean said.
Tougher rules in the state of Georgia are making it more challenging for teachers to increase their salaries by expanding their education. The rules require higher levels of accreditation for Universities providing “certification upgrades” to the teachers. Additionally, teachers must pursue education that is relevant to their position and teaching field.
Private online univerisities like Walden and Argosy are embracing the changes and updating their programs to receive the upgraded accreditation. That’s good news for Georgia’s teachers and their students.