115C-296.8. Educator preparation program approval process.

(a) The State Board of Education, as lead agency, in coordination and cooperation with the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, the State Board of Community Colleges, the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc., and such other public and private agencies as are necessary, shall establish standards for approval of educator preparation programs. Graduates of educator preparation programs operating in this State that have either (i) not been approved by the State Board or (ii) are not nationally accredited shall be ineligible for an initial license as a new, in-State approved program graduate.

(b) The standards for approval of educator preparation programs shall require that educator preparation program providers be either State-approved or nationally accredited. North Carolina program approval site visitors shall coordinate with educator preparation programs seeking national accreditation. State educator preparation program approval shall include the following components:

(1) Adoption of rules for granting State approval to educator preparation programs and units. These rules shall mirror national accreditation in efforts to maintain the same level of quality preparation across programs. The rules shall include all content, pedagogy, and clinical requirements required by State law.

(2) A State peer review process that includes highly qualified and trained members to adequately review programs within the State.

(3) Technical assistance to educator preparation programs in efforts to do the following:

a. Improve education quality and educator preparation program performance.

b. Inform programs about the program approval process as part of educator preparation program performance based on outcome data.

c. Assist with State and federal reporting process.

d. Help build and maintain partnerships between elementary and secondary schools and educator preparation programs.

(c) The State Board of Education may place an approved educator preparation program provider on probationary status and require a plan for improvement on any of the unmet standards for the program, or revoke educator preparation program approval, for any of the following reasons:

(1) Failing to report required information to the State Board of Education as part of the reporting requirement.

(2) Offering misleading or false information about approved programs.

(3) Accepting students into any part of an educator preparation program that is not approved by the State Board of Education.

(4) Failing to comply with the educator preparation program review process.

(5) Failing to meet standards for approval set forth by the State Board of Education. (2015-241, s. 8.41(a).)