Education programs receive national accreditation

March 18, 2024
Student teaching at McKay reading to two female students

The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) has awarded full seven-year accreditation to the initial licensure programs in the Fitchburg State University School of Education.

After reviewing the evidence collected through a process of self-study and peer review, the AAQEP Accreditation Commission issued the decision at its February 23 meeting along with the following rationale:

The Commission evaluated the program’s evidence for each AAQEP standard and determined that all four standards are met. The program recruits and prepares candidates to work effectively as professional educators who can adapt to different contexts and continue to grow professionally. Fitchburg State University maintains program quality by analyzing evidence of its effectiveness and making revisions to benefit candidates. It works with stakeholders and partners to strengthen the P-20 education system by addressing local needs as part of preparation.

“Congratulations to Fitchburg State and to all of the faculty, staff, and stakeholders who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said AAQEP President and CEO Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “The School of Education works closely with its partners to anticipate schools’ needs and to develop and diversify the teacher pipeline.”

“We are proud of this acknowledgement of the rigorous standards to which we hold ourselves in service to all of our students, including those in the School of Education,” Fitchburg State President Richard S. Lapidus said. “Fitchburg State was founded in 1894 as a teacher-training institution, and this accreditation is another demonstration that we continue to evolve to respond to the changing needs of our students and the communities they will serve as educators.”

“On behalf of the faculty and administrators in the School of Education, I am proud of this acknowledgement of our efforts, and the continued investment of time and resources into the highest standards for our students and future teachers,” said Dean of Education Nancy Murray. “This accreditation recognizes our efforts in our ability to work proactively with partners to address local needs, with a focus on early exposure by prospective candidates to support increasing accessibility and diversity in the teacher pipeline.”

National accreditation assures the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. This standards- and evidence-based process serves two broad aims: accountability and continuous improvement. The AAQEP model is also designed to honor local context and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions. AAQEP currently has members in 38 states and other jurisdictions with over 190 educator preparation providers participating in the accreditation system.

About Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University, a public institution located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, is dedicated to integrating high-quality professional programs with strong liberal arts and sciences studies.

Founded in 1894, the university has more than 30 undergraduate programs and 22 master's degree programs, and 6,000 full and part-time students.


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. The organization promotes excellent, effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement in a collaborative professional environment. AAQEP is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Visit for more information