College of Education, Human Development earns national accreditation

College of Education and Human Development faculty


The Lamar University College of Education and Human Development has a mission to inspire, innovate and impact students in the Southeast Texas region, the state and beyond. In early July, the CoEHD received news from the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) that the undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies program in the CoEHD met standards for accreditation.

“Obviously, my reaction to the news was overwhelming joy for the Department of Teacher Education and the College,” said Dr. Robert J. Spina, dean of the college. “This accomplishment was an essential building block for both the department and college to build on continuous program improvement and take our teacher education program to higher levels of quality in the future.”  I would like to recognize Associate Dean Weinbaum for her efforts in this achievement.

Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers.

According to Spina, accreditation is the process of external quality review created and used by higher

Dean Robert J. Spina
Dr. Robert J. Spina

education to evaluate colleges, universities and programs for quality assurance and quality improvement. Accreditation in the U.S. is more than 100 years old emerging from concerns to protect public health and safety, and to serve the public interest. Also, federal aid to students is based on this quality assurance,”
“Federal and state governments consider programs that are accredited by bodies which have been approved by Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), to be a reliable authority on academic quality. AAQEP is approved by CHEA, which is why this accreditation achievement is so meaningful and important, Spina said.

Preparation for accreditation begins more than a year before the scheduled site visit. During that time, the CoEHD performs a self-study reviewing curriculum and providing evidence on how the academic programs meet the academic standards for accreditation.

Dr. Freddie Titus, who formally served as interim department chair for the Department of Education, played a key role in assisting the college in earning the accreditation and said, “You want your EPP program to be accredited.  Some of the benefits are, your program is strengthened via a structured review process, share successful practices in collaboration with partners, grow professionally and broaden your support network, build stronger stakeholder relationships through data sharing, improve program effectiveness by engaging stakeholders, make credible quality claims via third-party validation.”

This news comes on the heels of the college being awarded a certificate of commendation for exemplary performance in early May from the State Board for Educator Certification of the Texas Education Agency. The college also was accepted into Cohort V of the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation teacher preparation program transformative.

Spina said his future goals for the college are simple: “The key goals in teacher education department are to start the process as member of Cohort V in US PREP. This is year 1 of a 3-year process on transforming our curriculum to the residency model and to recruit more underserved diverse students into the teaching profession.”