June 01, 2020
The Teacher Education Program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has been awarded national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This accreditation recognizes that our educator programs prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students, and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively. SIUC’s Teacher Education Program is one of only nine nationally accredited programs in the state of Illinois.
Additionally, our music education program has been independently accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Founded in 1924, NASM is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 639 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for music and music-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other music-related endeavors.
The ongoing work to assure program quality and continuous improvement of the Teacher Education Program to align with CAEP goals is led by Dr. Nancy Mundschenk, SIU's Director of Teacher Education and Licensure Officer, Dr. April Teske, Office of Teacher Education Assessment Coordinator, and the members of SIU Unit Accreditation Coordinating Council. The UACC is composed of Program Coordinators and other representative faculty from every Teacher Education major offered in four colleges: Education and Human Services, Agriculture, Liberal Arts, and Science. The UACC has designed and implemented a comprehensive assessment system and agreed upon data collection methods for CAEP accreditation and Illinois State Board of Education program compliance. The UACC has shared responsibility for the Conceptual Framework underlying Teacher Education at SIU; the values, commitments and behaviors we expect of our teacher candidates; how we plan to assess those values, commitments, and behaviors in all Teacher Education courses and in the schools; and how to monitor the effectiveness of the assessment system.
The School of Music is represented on the UACC by Dr. James Reifinger, Music Education Program Coordinator and associate professor at SIU. There, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education. He also serves as the faculty advisor for National Association for Music Education Collegiate Chapter and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He earned a Doctorate in Music Education at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, a Master of Special Education at Lehigh University, and a Master and Bachelor of Music at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. He also earned certification as a Kodály Specialist at New York University and has had additional training in Dalcroze, Orff, and Music Learning Theory. Prior to university teaching, Dr. Reifinger taught general, vocal, and instrumental music in Grades K through 12 in public and private schools in Pennsylvania for more than fifteen years.
School of Music congratulates Dr. Reifinger for his achievements and service to the thriving Music Education Program at SIU-Carbondale.