Dr. John Farris, Lawrence and Marion Harris Chair of Education at OBU, recently was named to both state and national roles in teacher education. At OBU, Farris also serves as director of teacher education and associate professor of education.
Farris was elected vice president for the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education for the 2011-12 academic year. The Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE) is an affiliate of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. The mission of OACTE is to prepare quality teachers for the future. Its membership consists of deans and directors of teacher education in the 22 teacher preparation programs in Oklahoma.
"To be elected as vice-president of the organization means Dr. Farris has earned the trust and respect of the other 21 teacher preparation programs (both private and public institutions) across the state," said Dr. Pam Robinson, dean of OBU's College of Arts and Sciences. "As a former president of OACTE, I see this as a position of advocacy and support for each other and for the field of teacher education. Leadership in OACTE must stay apprised of current activities and legislation affecting teacher preparation. Dr. Farris will do well in this role. He is committed to ensuring OBU's teacher preparation program remains an exemplary program."
The OACTE vice president serves as program chairperson to plan the annual meeting for the year. The vice president then serves as president-elect. The vice president also serves as a member of the board of directors for OACTE.
Farris also has been nominated to the Board of Examiners (BOE) for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education. He will be one of only 39 professionals representing policy makers on the Board.
"Dr. Farris' selection to serve on the Board of Examiners for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education is an honor," Robinson said. "Board of Examiners members are selected, based on specific qualifications, by a given Specialized Professional Organization (SPA). BOE members must know and understand the accreditation process.
"Dr. Farris played a large role in OBU's recent accreditation visit, and he recently completed training which will allow him to serve on state accreditation teams. It is to OBU's advantage to have Dr. Farris serve on the Board. Not only will he stay current with accreditation processes and procedures, but as a member of the BOE, he will visit one to two out-of-state institutions per year which will allow him to see other effective programs."
The U. S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges and departments of education. NCATE is composed of more than 30 professional and policymaker organizations representing millions of Americans committed to quality teaching. It was founded in 1954 by the teaching profession and the states. NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public.