With National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) approval granted to the School Psychology Program in its Graduate Studies Division, all programs in The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s College of Health, Education and Professional Studies (CHEPS) that can be nationally approved have achieved that status.
“The advantage of having all programs nationally accredited goes beyond the pride and prestige of accomplishing this goal. It also says to the community and the state that UTC has a wide array of programs in the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies and they are all of the highest quality,” said Dr. John Freeman, Associate Professor and Department Head, Graduate Studies Division.
Freeman said the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) shepherds the process of accreditation for NASP. NASP approval benefits students in the School Psychology Program in two significant ways.
“The program has long had a solid reputation in the state as one of the finest school psychology programs,” Freeman said. “This takes that reputation to the national level now. It also provides our students with the ability to gain national certification which will make them marketable outside the state of Tennessee. By advertising this fact, UTC will now be able to expand its recruitment to the Southeast Region, making our program more attractive and viable to a wider range of students.”
To gain NASP approval, a faculty team chaired by Dr. George Helton worked tirelessly for two years writing the application, reviewing and revising in some areas of the program. Dr. Pam Guess, Dr. Ted Miller and Dr. Jim Tucker worked with Helton to document student and faculty assessments and outcomes in this specialist degree program.
“Gaining NASP accreditation was no easy task, and we are required to continue to monitor and improve our program in order to maintain this accreditation, which will be reviewed in 2009,” Freeman said. “Gaining accreditation is only half the battle,” Freeman said. “Keeping the accreditation requires vigilance. We will have to continue to review and revise our program to maintain the NASP standards in the future. Overall, that is good for the program, because it keeps us fresh, up-to-date, and relevant in the profession as a whole,” he said.
Freeman said UTC College of Health, Education and Professional Studies Dean Mary Tanner is the driving force behind the college effort to seek national accreditation for all programs. Tanner said she is thrilled for the faculty team who achieved recognition for the School Psychology Program. “We always remind each other that we seek this type of review and attainment because our students deserve it,” Tanner said.
See the entire list of nationally accredited CHEPS programs.