The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced the University of Saint Mary (USM) is one of 42 providers from 23 states and the District of Columbia to receive accreditation for their educator preparation programs. The honor assures programs meet the rigorous “Teacher Preparation Standards,” which are nationally recognized standards developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs. With campuses in Leavenworth and Overland Park, Kan., USM is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and has a long tradition of educating educators.

“What an honor and a testament to how dedicated our faculty and staff are to fostering student success,” said Dr. Michelle Metzinger, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “This achievement not only speaks to the high standards to which we hold our education programs, but also to the critical intangibles instilled in our students from day one, like teaching with compassion and embracing the diversity within a classroom.”

Currently, CAEP stands as the only nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation—functioning as a nongovernmental peer-review council focused on raising the performance of all institutions’ educator preparation programs. Programs seeking accreditation must pass review on five standards, based on two principles:
• Solid evidence showing graduates are competent and caring educators, and
• Solid evidence showing educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.

“Our students and faculty should be very proud of all the work they are doing,” explained Dr. Cheryl Reding, division chair for education. “We’ve set the bar high for our educator prep programs and CAEP accreditation validates the work we are doing daily.”

The University of Saint Mary offers traditional undergraduate programs (elementary education and secondary education), along with evening programs at both the undergraduate- and graduate-level, including:
• Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
• Master’s in Education (with three specializations)
• Master’s in Elementary Education (with licensure)
• Master’s in Secondary Education (with licensure)
The Master’s in Elementary and in Secondary Education stand as the only face-to-face master’s degree program in the Kansas City area leading to initial teaching licensure in Kansas.

For more on the education programs at Saint Mary, visit