Teacher Education

Crushing CAEP Accreditation Standard 4

Crushing CAEP Accreditation Standard 4

Updated December 2023

If you asked a group of educators about CAEP accreditation Standard 4, chances are you’d hear a few groans. And for good reason: proving a program’s impact is no small feat.

While the first three CAEP accreditation standards address preparation, the fourth focuses on results. Standard 4 is full of challenging aspects, and many schools struggle to satisfy the demands. But that doesn’t have to be you. In fact, we’re about to reveal exactly how you can pass Standard 4 with flying colors.

Interested in learning more about CAEP accreditation standards? Download our free PDF on how video supports official CAEP standards.

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The Challenge of Standard 4

To pass Standard 4, applicants must prove that their program fosters student growth. Several measures are required to demonstrate the program’s impact: growth evaluations, indicators of teaching effectiveness, employer satisfaction, and graduate satisfaction with preparation.

Each component must be met for full CAEP accreditation. Failure to meet even one component of a standard can result in stipulation. That’s what happened at the University of Utah. In an interview with Education Week, Mary Burbank, an Assistant Dean for teacher education, expressed her dissatisfaction: “I’ll be honest with you, to miss the entire standard when we have provided data that shows we meet multiple benchmarks, it’s frustrating.”

The standards must be met with exactness, and CAEP doesn’t give much elbow room. Programs need to prove that their results matter. How? With data.

Obtaining Data

Applicants bend over backwards to obtain the data to become accredited. Gathering the data for Standard 4 requires the cooperation of districts, schools, the university, FERPA compliance, program completers, and an institutional review board clearance.

There are differences across states and school districts in what is measured and how. And some states are forbidden to provide data due to privacy laws.

Possible Solutions

When states don’t give any or enough data, EPPs have a few options to collect the data needed for CAEP accreditation.

Elliott’s Ideas

In a presentation all about Standard 4 at a CAEP Spring Conference, Emerson J. Elliott suggested alternative methods to obtain data:


EPPs can conduct their own employer and completer surveys.


Local school districts may have data from value-added measures, structured teacher observations, or student surveys. Collaboration with other EPPs may also be helpful.

Case studies

Plan to document the impact candidates have on P-12 students through a case study.


LCAS is a web-based application designed to provide Educator Preparation Programs with direct-from-the-classroom data to demonstrate program impact. The software helps implement communication solutions that allow providers to share program impact data and trends with school administrators, cooperating teachers, and accrediting bodies. LCAS helps collect important data, making Standard 4 slightly less daunting.

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GoReact is a video + feedback tool that makes it easier to measure impact, especially with program completers. With GoReact you’ll be able to compare scores and the number of markers on videos to measure certain indicators like percentiles.

See how GoReact can help teacher ed programs achieve CAEP accreditation.

Achieving Excellence

According to CAEP, “The intent of Standard 4 is to judge programs by examining how well P-12 students learn and develop from the completers of the preparation program. This is a complex and evolving effort that will take creativity, courage, and hard work on the part of all—the EPPs, the states, and CAEP.”

While Standard 4 is tough, gathering the necessary data can be done with the help of various tools. It is possible to meet CAEP accreditation Standard 4 and prepare your students for great careers. Scaling this feat is sure to have a lasting impact on teacher education.

If you’re interested in learning more about CAEP accreditation, check out The Beginners Guide to CAEP Accreditation.