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NNU’s initial-level teacher preparation program was recognized as a recipient of the 2023 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition Award at CAEPCon (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Conference) on September 22 in Arlington, Virginia. NNU is the only Idaho institution to receive this award.

“Receiving the Murray Award validates the culmination of years of hard work from a highly dedicated group of people—our education faculty and program coordinators, our education candidates and school district partners and academic departments across the university,” said Dr. Lori Sanchez, Dean of the College of Education. “The CAEP accreditation process was a herculean team effort that resulted in a monumental team win. The Murray Award recognition demonstrates that NNU is one of the top educator preparation providers in the nation. CAEP Accreditation is the gold standard for educator preparation, and the Murray Award provides validation to our students and their families that they are investing in an education program that is second to none. Northwest Nazarene University embodies excellence in teacher education.”

The Frank Murray Leadership Recognition is awarded to providers demonstrating evidence and data trends to achieve CAEP accreditation with no stipulations or areas for improvement. Recipients are selected from providers granted accreditation by CAEP at the initial level in the previous year. Providers selected for this recognition advance equity and excellence in educator preparation through purposeful use of self-study procedures and evidence-based reporting that assure quality and support continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 learning.

The Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement is named after the founding President of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). CAEP was created by consolidating the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and TEAC. Murray was the founding President of TEAC, served as Chairman of the Board for TEAC and was also an initial member of the CAEP Board of Directors. He was a key advocate for a single set of educator preparation standards to unify the profession and was instrumental in the merger that created CAEP.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is a professional accreditor focused on accrediting teacher education programs in U.S. colleges and universities. CAEP accreditation serves the dual purposes of accountability and continuous improvement. Five hundred forty-one educator preparation providers in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have been accredited under the CAEP Standards. The CAEP accreditation process evaluates the performance of providers and focuses particularly on whether candidates will be prepared for the challenging responsibilities that educators face in our classrooms. Approximately 600 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including some previously accredited through former standards.