Chester, Pa.– Widener University recently received accreditation through 2023 for teacher preparation programs at both the initial certification and the advanced levels based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. NCATE’s performance-based accreditation system for teacher preparation ensures that teacher candidates are prepared to make a difference in P-12 student learning.

With this renewal of accreditation, Widener University remains among a select group of only four other private institutions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to meet NCATE standards. Of these private institutions, Widener is the only one located in the greater Philadelphia region.

“The NCATE review process is rigorous, and so the confirmation and continuation of our accreditation confirms that Widener’s Center for Education has best practices in place to prepare today’s educators,” said Dr. Shawn Fitzgerald, dean of the Widener University School of Education, Hospitality, and Continuing Studies. “The process also gives us an opportunity to reflect on and continuously work toward improving our programming to ensure that we maintain the highest quality teacher preparation programs.”

Widener’s Center for Education also opted to submit extensive reports for its individual certificate programs to be reviewed through Specialized Professional Associations (SPA) standards with the goal of receiving national recognition by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and SPAs. The preK-8 special education program has already earned national recognition through 2024, and the other programs, which include grades 4-8 and 7-12, remain under review.

The Selected Improvement Commission of CAEP granted the NCATE accreditation to the teacher preparation programs in Widener’s Center for Education. Providers accredited based on NCATE standards, as well as those accredited based on the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles, are now served by the single specialized accreditation system for educator preparation in the United States, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. More than 840 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system. Learn more at