Withdraw Proposed Regulations on Teacher Preparation Programs, CCCU Tells DOE

May 02, 2016
Photo courtesy of Azusa Pacific University
Photo courtesy of Azusa Pacific University

WASHINGTON – On May 2, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities sent a letter to the Department of Education calling for a withdrawal of proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities.

In April, the Department published a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to the one first released in December 2014. (The CCCU responded to that first NPRM with a similar call to withdraw the proposed regulations.) Though the NPRMs are designed to increase accountability for teacher preparatory distance education programs, there is a “lack of clarity” and a concern that the proposed regulations “marginalize individuals committed to teaching in high-needs schools,” CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra wrote in the letter.

The CCCU “affirms discussions around improving teacher preparatory programs and believes there should be appropriate accountability. However, […] we are even more concerned about the negative impact [the NPRMs] could have on teacher preparatory programs in the years to come,” Hoogstra wrote.

The proposed regulations would base the success of teacher preparation programs largely on the success of the students in their graduates’ classrooms, using such measures as employment outcomes and student learning outcomes. Because graduates of CCCU institutions are mission-focused and service-oriented, Hoogstra wrote, they are more inclined to teach at schools where student scores are more likely to be lower and thus to reflect poorly on a graduate’s teacher preparation program.

In addition, Hoogstra noted that the most recent NPRM raises questions about the process of rating those preparation programs that are offered through online and distance learning.

Instead, Hoogstra called for the Department to withdraw the proposed regulations and “engage the higher education community regarding how to best encourage and incentivize those institutions that are engaging in the most effective practices in teacher preparation.”

Read the entire letter here.


The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 180 Christian institutions around the world. The 117 member campuses in North America are all regionally accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences and whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. In addition, 63 affiliate campuses from 20 countries are part of the CCCU. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities offers 9 off-campus study programs, collectively branded BestSemester®, which expand learning opportunities for students from CCCU campuses and are designated as culture-shaping or culture-crossing programs. Culture-shaping BestSemester programs are: American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.), Contemporary Music Center (Nashville) and Los Angeles Film Studies Center (Los Angeles). Culture-crossing BestSemester programs are: Australia Studies Centre, Latin American Studies Program, Middle East Studies Program, Oxford Summer Programme, Scholars’ Semester in Oxford and Uganda Studies Program. Visit for program details.