FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Some Indiana Tech students are about to hit a detour in their college experience, as the College of Education has lost its accreditation, meaning graduates of the program will not be eligible to be a licensed teacher in Indiana starting next year.
The school says this is not the same thing that happened with its law school. The law school was accredited when it closed. The reason it was shut down was because of a steep drop in applications to the program.
Indiana Tech's College of Education lost its accreditation because it applied for special accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP, and was denied. As a result, the Indiana Department of Education, or DOE, can no longer allow Indiana Tech's education graduates to get licenses to teach in Indiana.
Indiana Tech said it plans to help the individual students who are affected determine what's best for them in the immediate future.
"Now what does that mean for current students?" said Brian Engelhart, Indiana Tech's Vice President of Marketing and Communication. "Our seniors can graduate as planned, and go on and be licensed and teach in Indiana. So this does not go into affect in this current year. It's after this year. For our juniors, sophomores and freshmen, we're currently working with them individually on what their options are."
Junior Education major Alex Coan said Indiana Tech gave students three options to either change majors, transfer, or wait.
Coan said he will transfer.
"I'd rather bet on myself," Coan said.
Coan does not yet know where he will transfer to, but he said Indiana Tech has made good on its word to help its education students.
"Indiana Tech's a great place," Coan said. "By any means, don't let this deter anyone else from coming here. It's your future. The future is bright here."
Engelhart said Indiana Tech will re-apply for accreditation with the DOE in the fall to allow education graduates to get their Indiana teaching licenses, but Tech would have to wait a couple of years before it could get back to the status it is now to apply for accreditation through CAEP.
"It's a process of giving reports to the DOE before ultimately applying again through CAEP, but in the rejection, CAEP gave us specific, tangible things to work on that we plan to address before applying to the DOE again in the fall," Englehart said.