The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has replaced its predecessors, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) as the new sole accreditor for educator preparation in the United States. As the new accreditor, CAEP has established a new set of accreditation standards and cross-cutting themes by which it intends to measure educator preparation programs (EPPs) worthiness to received accredited status. These new standards and cross-cutting themes are untested and need to be researched in order to determine the degree to which they constitute valid and reliable measures of an EPP's potential to produce quality teachers. To evaluate one aspect of CAEP's new standards and cross-cutting themes (i.e., diversity), this study used hierarchical liner modeling to regress elementary candidates' student teaching performance assessment scores on school- and classroom-level diversity variables to evaluate the impact that being placed in a diverse field experience might have had on candidates' performance during student teaching. The analysis found that the levels of diversity in the student teaching placements had little to no impact on the elementary candidates' performance on diversity items on their teacher performance assessments completed by university supervisors and mentor teachers during student teaching. A confirmatory factor analysis also determined that the diversity related contextual factors of the schools used in the study could not be reduced to a single diversity score. Diversity is clearly a complex multidimensional construct comprised of a variety of interdependent yet distinct constructs. Developing competency in diversity and multiculturalism clearly requires more than simply being placed in a diverse student teaching placement. This does not discredit the practice of providing candidates a variety of field experiences; however the findings from this study call into question CAEP's assumptions regarding diversity and multicultural education embedded in its standards and cross-cutting themes.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





accreditation, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), diversity, student performance assessments, clinical experiences, hierarchical linear modeling (HLM)