Valley City State University (VCSU) has been known for teacher education preparation since the institution began in 1890. VCSU has been nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954. VCSU most recently had its graduate and undergraduate programs approved at the national level by NCATE and by the state of North Dakota through the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) in October of 2015.


CAEP Annual Report Information: The EPP's current CAEP accreditation status with an accurate listing of the EPP's CAEP (NCATE) reviewed programs


CAEP Annual Report Information: The EPPs data attachments below display the CAEP Accountability Measures for Academic Year 2021-2022.  


  • Bush Grant initiatives: VCSU has worked collaboratively with 14 institutions in the Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT), as part of a Teacher Effectiveness Initiative, (, supported by the Bush Foundation. The goal is to improve teacher education preparation in ways that enhance student learning in K-12 classrooms.

Data-informed decisions: Unit data are used to help inform decisions for program improvement. Examples of continuous improvement efforts and data-informed decisions are available in the 2022 Changes and Data-Informed Decision document.


4.1 EPP’s current CAEP (NCATE) Accreditation Status and Reviewed Programs


The programs that were reviewed and approved during the state/NCATE process in 2015 at the initial level included: Art Education, Biology Education, Business Education, Chemistry Education, Elementary Education, English Education, Health Education, History Education, and Social Science Education, Mathematics Education, Music Education (NASM approved), Physical Education, Technology Education. 


The programs that were reviewed and approved during the state/NCATE process in 2015 at the advanced level included: Teaching and Technology, Technology Education, Library and Information Technologies, English Language Learners, Elementary, and English. 


VCSU’s next national accreditation visit will be under the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards in October 2022. As part of the accreditation process through CAEP, VCSU publishes data from the School of Education & Graduate Studies.


Under the CAEP process, only the programs leading to initial licensure are reviewed. The VCSU Master of Arts programs were approved by the state in the Spring of 2021 and will be part of the CAEP visit in 2022.


The programs that were reviewed and approved during the state process in the Spring of 2021 included the following programs at the initial level: Art Education, Biology Education, Business Education, Chemistry Education, Elementary Education, English Education, Health Education, History Education, and Social Science Education, Mathematics Education, Music Education (NASM approved), Physical Education, Technology Education. 


4.2 CAEP Accountability Measures 

This website is organized to follow the headings provided in CAEP AIMS for annual reports and to provide a direct link for CAEP Accountability Measures.

Measure 1 (Initial): Completer effectiveness – Completer impact contributing to P-12 student-learning growth and completer effectiveness in applying professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions


VCSU secured grant funding to conduct research related to CAEP standard 4.1. The NExT Final Report document attached to this webpage displays the type of work VCSU has completed with three cycles of focus groups. Each cycle included written responses and interviews from three groups of completers with 2-6 years of teaching experience. Each cycle included a focus group of elementary teachers, secondary teachers, and MAT teachers. VCSU will continue working with three focus groups of completers each June. VCSU displayed samples of learner growth and principal observation evaluations in the CAEP Self-Study Report that relate to teacher effectiveness and impact on student learning.  

The first cycle of focus group interviews included 29 teachers who fit into four categories: elementary (11), secondary (8), Master of Arts in Teaching (5), and Master of Education (5). The elementary and secondary teachers involved had between 2-5 years of classroom experience. MAT teachers’ experience ranged between 1-3 years. M.Ed. degrees were earned in either 2018 or 2019. Between 4 and 14 years had elapsed since these teachers had earned their Bachelor of Science degrees, so there was a wide variety of years of teaching experience among this group. A variety of content areas were represented by the teachers involved, including library media specialists, science, language arts, social studies, health, family and consumer science, math, STEM, technology. The teachers were selected to provide a mixture of rural, mid-sized, and urban communities.


The EPP believes the focus group interviews with alumni are a great choice for learning about teacher effectiveness. A fourth cycle of interviews were conducted in June of 2022. The teachers’ impact on student learning extends far beyond their learners’ state assessment scores. The focus group interview process enables the EPP to learn about the strategies being used by completers for teaching and learning as well as the types of assessments and student feedback utilized in their schools. The EPP is gaining insights into how schools and our completers are engaged in decisions about formative and summative assessments, how the completers determine if their assessments are authentic, and how our completers are teaching for learning. The EPP is learning about the various ways our completers are being observed by principals and coaches, as well as the types of evaluations and feedback the completers are receiving.

Measure 2 (Initial): Satisfaction of employers and stakeholder involvement. (R4.2|R5.3| RA4.1)

The employer survey data reveal many positive aspects about the readiness of the EPP's completers to enter the profession. Leading examples of positive employer ratings include effectively teaching subject matter, upholding laws related to student rights and teacher responsibility, and planning lessons with clear learning objectives/goals in mind. Areas for growth include designing long-range instructional plans that meet curricular goals, differentiating assessments, and engaging students in self-assessment strategies. The survey instrument is specific enough for the EPP to learn that employers believe the first-year teachers are designing and modifying assessments to match learning objectives well and that completers are using formative and summative assessments to inform instructional practice - yet the first-year teachers have more room for growth in differentiating assessments and engaging students in self-assessment. 


Data from employer surveys can be viewed through 4.2.1 Evidence 74 Employer Survey Instrument and Analyses, the document is posted as an attachment to this website.


Stakeholders from EPP's P-12 partner schools have made significant co-construction contributions to the validity, reliability, and quality of the EPP's assessment instruments 5.3.1 Evidence 31. P-12 partners have provided subject matter expert advice on assessment items through surveys and Lawshe Method analyses. P-12 partners have utilized rubrics during field experience and provided feedback for improvement before the EPP's official implementation of the multiple assessments. The voice of cooperating teachers who provide opportunities for teacher candidates to gain experience in their P-12 classrooms is an important voice for the EPP to respect and hear. Evidence of partner school collaboration and stakeholder input are displayed in 5.3.4 Evidence 30 of the VCSU SSR Liaison and Partner School Collaboration

Data are shared annually with P-12 stakeholders and faculty 5.3.2 Evidence 6 Annual Data Sharing Sessions. This annual event is important for building positive relationships with P-12 stakeholders who are engaged in communication with the EPP faculty. Data gathered from exit surveys, student teaching final evaluations, completers, and employers are shared to provide feedback from student teachers, cooperating teachers, completers in their first year of teaching, and their employers. Feedback comments are gathered and compiled in a document to be shared with EPP faculty during Welcome Week each August. 

Measure 3 (Initial): Candidate competency at completion. (R3.3)

Knowledge: Teacher candidates take exams for teacher licensure as they near completion of the program.

Praxis II subject matter exams to assess content knowledge:

Total for Praxis II Content Exams
Count for 5/9/18
% Passing for 5/9/18
Count for 5/9/19
% Passing for 5/9/19
Count for 5/7/20
% Passing for 5/7/20
Count for 5/25/21
% Passing for 5/25/21
Count for 5/23/22
% Passing for 5/23/22
Total for all Praxis II Content Exams

The overall passing rates of 95.5% each year are favorable. The passing rates for the secondary majors went down slightly to 91.9% in 2020 and to 90.8% in 2021. The passing rates climbed back up to 91.9% in by May of 2022. There are teacher candidates who do not pass the exam who pursue additional attempts to achieve a higher score. There were some limitations on additional re-takes in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19 complications with testing centers. It is difficult to be certain if COVID-19 complications have had an impact on the teacher candidates and the results, but the pandemic may have played a role in the passing rates for 2020 and 2021.

Praxis II pedagogy exams for the principles of learning and teaching (PLT) 5624 for secondary and K-12 majors:

% Passing

The data indicate overall favorable passing percentages and a positive upward trend since 2016. The Elementary Education PLT passing rates are at 97% and have been consistently in the 96-97% range, so the table above is focused on the secondary PLT results over time. The VCSU goals for improvement have called for continued success on the Praxis II exams and increases in the secondary Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) pedagogy exam. The spring 2015 decision was to have faculty review the Praxis test content and identify areas in which content could be emphasized or practiced. Praxis II data are shared twice annually with teacher education and secondary methods faculty members. Each program makes decisions for its content and considers way to improve its scores. The secondary PLT 5624 pass rate has increased over 6% between May of 2016 and May of 2022. 

 Historic totals for Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) pedagogy exams

Totals for Praxis II Pedagogy Exams


Passing %

Secondary PLT 7-12 (both 0524 and 5624 versions)


Elementary PLT K-6 (both 0522 and 5622 versions)

Total for all PLT exams

Skills: At the time of graduation, teacher candidates are ready to teach units and lessons and impact student learning in the classroom. The Teacher for Learning Capstone (TLC) unit completed by student teachers near the end of their experience provides an opportunity for teacher candidates to demonstrate their skill as student teachers demonstrate their performance on InTASC skills in K-12 classrooms and earn favorable ratings from cooperating teachers.

Dispositions: Teacher candidate dispositions develop and are strengthened by the time of completion. Cooperating teacher ratings of student teachers’ disposition are much stronger than the ratings of teacher candidates who are in their early courses and field experiences. A document titled Dispositions at the time of completion display student teaching disposition data compared to disposition ratings earlier in the teacher candidates’ experiences in the program.

Measure 4 (Initial): Ability of completers to be hired (in positions for which they have prepared.)

Not every teacher candidate who enrolls in an introductory course continues to completion. Many variables exist from personal to financial reasons or a candidate’s own decision about whether the profession is the right fit or if a candidate’s performance meets the program’s expectations. The graduation rate for VCSU teacher candidates who take an introductory education course and apply for program admittance is 65%. 


A list of the number of completers and admitted teacher candidates is available below. A document related to percentages of teacher candidates who complete an EDUC 250 introductory course and continue to complete the full program is also available below.


Employment after Program Completion


Approximately 70% of completers are employed as full-time teachers in the field in which they are prepared while an additional 20% are employed in other education-related positions. Approximately 10% accept employment in a non-teaching area during their first year after completion. Almost all the MAT and Advanced candidates are employed as full-time teachers while they are completing their MAT or M.Ed. degree.

Third-Party Comments

The School of Education and Graduate Studies at Valley City State University is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on October 16th-18th, 2022. Interested parties are invited to submit third-party comments to the evaluation team. Please note that comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered and should specify the party's relationship to the provider (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates).

We invite you to submit written testimony to:

 1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400
 Washington, DC 20036
Or by email to:

Such comments must be within the specified period and based on the core tenets of CAEP accreditation standards of excellence, which recognize that:

  • In CAEP's performance-based system, accreditation is based on evidence that demonstrates that teacher candidates know the subject matter and can teach it effectively so that students learn. In the CAEP system, EPPs must prove that candidates can connect theory to practice and be effective in an actual P-12 classroom.
  • A professional education provider that is accredited by CAEP is expected to be involved in ongoing planning and evaluation; engaged in continuous assessment and development; ensure that faculty and programs reflect new knowledge, practice, and technologies; and be involved in continuous development in response to the evolving world of education and educational reform.
  • Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered and should specify the respondent's relationship, if any, to the institution (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates). Copies of all correspondence received will be sent to the university for comment prior to the review.