Accreditation and Program Review

RIT and MST Accreditation and Program Review

Middle States Commission on Higher Education of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE)

Rochester Institute of Technology is chartered by the New York State Legislature and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education of Colleges and Schools and New York State Education Department's Office of College and University Evaluation. Students wishing to review RIT's (MSCHE) accreditation information should visit: For any questions related to RIT's accreditation, contact: Academic Program and Curriculum Management at:

Council for the Education of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) became fully operational as the sole accrediting body for educator preparation providers on July 1, 2013. Its mission is to advance equity and excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen PK-12 student learning. CAEP has replaced the former Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) accreditation body, which had accredited the Master of Science (MST) Visual Arts-All Grades teacher education program in 2011.  The Accreditation Council of CAEP met on April 26, 2021, and after reviewing a self-study report and site visit report, granted Accreditation at the Initial-licensure level to the MST program.  The next review will be in the Fall of 2028.

A three by two table with data.

The MST CAEP accreditation is a seal of approval that assures quality in our educator preparation. It includes a peer review of six standards that are grounded in the benchmarks that graduate of the program are prepared to know their subjects, their students, and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively. Accreditation also provides a framework for our MST program’s continuous improvement, helping to ensure that our graduates are successful artist-teachers and have a positive impact of PK-12 learners.

Contact information for CAEP is:

1140 19th Street, NW | Suite the 400
Washington, DC 20036

For more information about CAEP visit:

The Master of Science for Teachers (MST) Program at RIT reports annually on the following revised accountability measures required by CAEP: 1.) completer impact and effectiveness; 2.) employer satisfaction and stakeholder involvement; 3.) candidate competency at the time of program completion; and 4.) ability of completers to be hired in positions for which they were prepared.

Measure 1: Completer Impact and Effectiveness

Impact on PK-12 Learning and Development (Component 4.1)

Teacher performance in New York State is measured through the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) program. The following link provides general APPR information and current statistics for New York State teacher performance: NYSED Educator Evaluation Data

To gather data regarding teacher effectiveness and impact on PK-12 learners, the MST program piloted a new method to follow completers through surveys and direct observations. The MST program director observed four completers from the AY 2106-2019 cycles. One of four completers from the AY 2016 cohort (25%), two of 10 completers from the AY 2018 cohort (20%) and one of six completers from the AY 2019 cohort (17%) were observed, averaging 20.6%, meeting CAEP recommendations of 20% follow up. The method of observation was linked to the Danielson Framework for Professional Development. The assessment tool and scoring measures were aligned with the New York State Education Department’s Approved Teacher Practice Rubric (part of its implementation of the provisions of Education Law §3012-c regarding Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR) of classroom teachers. In addition, the four completers submitted APPR data from their most recent observation and scored administrator observation. Under APPR, teachers and principals receive a number grade every year, which translates to an effectiveness rating. The APPR process is governed by NYSED and aligns with teaching standards. Each school district develops its own evaluation plan within NYSED guidelines. Districts' APPR plans are often different, so APPR scores from all districts cannot be compared in all cases.  The four selected completers’ districts use the common Danielson’s Framework for Teachers as assessment tools. Each classroom teacher receives an overall rating of Highly Effective, Effective, Developing, or Ineffective (HEDI). This rating is provided to NYSED by districts and BOCES.​

COVID-19 caused most schools to be closed to in-person instruction and schools moved to fully online instruction. Program completers contacted were reluctant or unwilling to participate in case studies while they struggled with the additional pressures of moving their traditional instruction to fully online mode. Plans are now underway to recruit additional completers from 2020-22 to participate in upcoming studies during the 2022-2023 academic year. An executive summary will be linked in Summer 2023 with new data sets.

AY 2016-19 Completer Overall Impact on Student Learning Based on Danielson Framework

1 = Ineffective 2 = Developing 3 = Effective 4 = Highly Effective

A table of data showing graduate impact.

Indicators of Teaching Effectiveness (Component 4.2)

Alumni survey and employer survey data set to be provided later in spring 2023. 

Measure 2: Employers and Stakeholders

Satisfaction of Employers and Employment Milestones (Component 4.3/A.4.1)

The MST program gathers data annually from a survey completed by administrators of MST alumni (completers) teaching in their respective PK-12 schools one year after graduation. The survey contains a Linkert Scale and narrative questions which ask administrators to rate employer satisfaction. The MST program director reviews data with MST faculty annually and uses the information for program assessment and review at the department and institute level. Data will be updated in spring 2023.

Table Summary: Aggregated MST Employer Data

*Data collected from RIT Qualtrics Surveys administered to the completers' first-year employers

The MST program has strong collaborative partnerships with regional school districts and individual school partners, as well as other community stakeholders in order to pursue mutually beneficial and agreed upon goals for the preparation of education professionals. MST complete a teacher work sample while student teaching in the program. The MST program uses reported NYSED certification test scores annually as sources of data of candidate performance to inform program review and continuous improvement.

Measure 3: Candidate Competency at Program Completion

Student Teaching Evaluation Results, Disposition Surveys, MST Advisory Council Capstone Reviews and Grades

The MST program works with clinical partners and stakeholders to provide rich and meaningful experiential learning for candidates and assessment of competency. This includes Cooperating teachers, college supervisors, MST candidates, community partners, and an MST Advisory Council.  The MST program created and implemented formative and summative assessments for the evaluation of teacher candidates during student teaching. All cooperating teachers, from two student teaching placements, per each MST candidate, complete assessment rubrics aligned with national visual arts teaching standards, New York State visual arts teaching standards and InTASC teaching standards. Both cooperating teachers and MST college supervisors complete the evaluation at the midpoint and end of each student teaching placement. All candidates complete a formative and summative self-evaluation as well for both of their student teaching placements. 

A table showing data for student teaching results.

Candidates complete a pre-disposition survey at the start of their student teaching practice and again at exit. College supervisors also complete disposition evaluations for MST candidates at the end of their second student teaching placement.  Data is reviewed for evidence of growth and competency and used for continuous program improvement.

A table showing data for aggregated disposition at exit.

The MST program director reviews all assessments with college supervisors and candidates throughout the clinical experience and during an exit interview at Completion. Exit interview data is used for continuous program improvement annually.

A table of exit interview data.

An MST Advisory Council comprised of PK-12 Art education practitioners, RIT faculty and PK-12 administration review all candidate capstone materials and interview all MST candidates at exit. 

A table with advisory council data.

Our Program goals include all candidates to receive an average rating of a 4.0 or higher on Student Teaching Assessments, and MST Advisory Council Reviews on a Linkert scale rating of 1-5. In addition, all MST candidates must have a grade point average of a 3.0 or higher to successfully complete the program.

A table evaluating the success of alumni in RIT's MST program.
*Based on assessment evaluations aggregated, portfolios and capstone materials

GPA Information

A table with GPA data.*Information provided by Institutional Research, Data & Analytics Finance & Administration, Rochester Institute of Technology

Aggregated Completer (Alumni) Survey Data will be updated spring of 2023.

*AY 2017 and AY 2018, based on inTASC Standards (AY 2019 to be reported in spring 2020)
Ratings scale: 5 - Excellent; 4 - Very Good; 3 - Good; 2 - Satisfactory; 1 - Unsatisfactory
Data collected from annual completer (alumni) surveys after the first year of teaching is completed

A table displaying alumni survey data.Selected Testimonials:

Dr. Michele Agosto ’94

Role: Supervisor of Art Education, Director of Fine Arts, Buffalo Public Schools

MST’s role in success: “Most instrumental were the discussions we had in our seminars. They were reflective and often eye-opening.”

Gretchen Ettlie ’04

Role: Intro to 2D design adjunct professor at RIT after serving 11 years as Fine Arts Director and Art Teacher at School of the Nations in Macau, China.

MST’s role in success: “The Methods and Materials class was great because we created actual lessons. We presented them to our classmates and got feedback. We also got to see and hear all of their ideas!”

Rhiannon Tobeck ’13

Role: Director and Elementary Art Teacher, Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts in Greece, N.Y.

MST’s role in success: “The professors emphasized teaching art through making interdisciplinary connections — a skill that I utilize every day.” 

Mandi Antonucci ’04

Role: Art Teacher, Batavia High School, Lead Art Teacher and Chair of Visual Arts

MST’s role in success: “I most appreciated the way in which the MST program focused on us as artists, not just teachers. This enabled me to concentrate on becoming an artist that is good at teaching, not just a teacher who likes art.

Heather Leck-Leonard Potwin ’11

Role: Art Teacher (2014-18), Hong Kong called Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School

Currently: The Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel

MST’s role in success: “I am so thankful I was able to student-teach across literally all grades (while enrolled in MST) because my classroom management and academic strategies are now more fluid and I feel better able to handle situations as they come up. I gained a remarkable amount of experience and knowledge from talented professors who encouraged us to push past what we perceived to be our limits. I cannot imagine completing my master’s degree anywhere else.”

Victoria Maria Savka ’18

Role: Art Teacher, Diocese of Rochester - St. Agnes School, Avon and St. Louis School, Pittsford

MST’s role in success: "I learned through the program to maintain enthusiasm for my students, especially those who seem to have none. I have been told by my colleagues that some students have told them that they actually enjoy going to art class now. I learned through the MST program to lead my students with firm enthusiasm and respectful optimism. I believe as teachers we are constantly assessing, but through the MST program my assessments have grown — especially during my student teaching I found new ways of approaching student assessment (and self-assessment!). During my time in the program there was a great emphasis of introduction to new ideas for our students. In my classes I create projects that allow my students to compare and consider the newly presented information to their own lives.”

Jordyn Wolcott ’18

Role: Art Teacher, Letchworth Elementary School, Letchworth, N.Y.

MST’s role in success: “The program director met with both my mother and I in the very early stages of applying to the MST program. It was during that meeting that I knew I had to be a part of this program. The program director talked so highly of her previous students and talked about their success getting jobs after the program. I left the first 'meeting' feeling very confident in that I would be offered a job in art education. Fast forward a year through the program, I received a job in May right before graduation. The program director and the whole MST staff are dedicated and so passionate about teaching and guiding their students in obtaining their goals in becoming artist-teachers. I can honestly say I would not be the art teacher I am today without this program and the beautiful MST journey.” 

Kelly Ryan '18

Role: Art Teacher, Aurora, Colorado

MST's role in success: 

“I think this program is amazing and I always will recommend aspiring educators to head to RIT for their MST. I feel that the cooperating teachers were so knowledgeable and that the professors were always eager to help you in any way. The assignments had a purpose and they were beneficial in my professional practice. I really am appreciative for the help and understanding the professors gave even after graduation. I only wish I lived and worked locally so I could be a future cooperating teacher to pay it forward. Lauren Ramich was the first person I spoke to and her warm demeanor and honest regard for the program sold me. I knew it was going to be a challenge but she helped so much along the way! I even went in during the summer and she helped me plan for my summer teaching job at Sidwell Friends School. I continue to work here and she absolutely made it easier and feel more prepared for my first job. I found that when I was applying for positions that the portfolio gave me the impression I was looking for and helped me in the interview process. The activity when the other teachers came in and offered their time to interview us was very critical in the interview process. I found many schools wanted an example video and/or website portfolio to look at as well. Overall the RIT staff has been amazing to work with and I am very proud to be alumni of this amazing program!”

Misti Roe ’18

Role: Adjunct Professor, NTID/RIT and Nazareth College

MST Role in success: "It was while I prepared for my initial semester of teaching art students that I realized how confident and knowledgeable I had become. As a recent graduate of the MST program and a proud RIT alumna, I had my close-knitted program experience led by engaged and knowledgeable instructors to thank for the level of preparedness I felt as a new art teacher. The comprehensive experience-based curriculum prepared me to enter the classroom with abilities to enthusiastically teach art and connect with my students in meaningful ways."

Brittany Arnold ’19

Role: Art Teacher, Fairport Central School District

MST Role in success: "The MST program has prepared me for a career as an artist-educator by placing me with carefully selected cooperating teachers for my student-teaching experiences. These successful and established teachers have pushed me to be a better educator."

Theresa Dunlavey ’19

Role: Elementary Art Teacher, Rochester City School District

MST Role in success: “The MST curriculum is constantly evolving; it teaches us relevant topics, issues and standards in education. It’s able to do this because the instructors are either still working in, or are involved in some fashion in the public school system. In addition, the instructors fully support the MST students by cultivating an environment of deep respect. They have extremely high standards, hold us accountable and push us to do the very best work possible.”

Becky Miller ’22

Role: Greece Central School District Middle School Artist Teacher

MST Role in success: "The MST program guides and prepares you for all of the successes and challenges of being an artist teacher. Through real-world experiences, thorough investigation, and thoughtful reflection, the MST program gave me all the knowledge and insight needed to become a culturally-responsive and artistically versatile teacher."

Adam Spector ’22

Role: Victor School District Senior High School Artist Teacher

MST Role in success: “The MST program helped me feel prepared to step into the classroom. I learned to develop high quality lessons that engage students and to deliver them with confidence. It was an amazing learning experience that I will never forget.”

Measure 4: Ability of Completers to be Hired

Ability of Completers to be Hired in Education Positions for Which They Have Been Prepared

NYSED Initial /Professional Certification Tests
RIT reports the number of teacher candidates who complete New York State Department of Education (NYSED) required certification tests for NYSED Initial/Professional Visual Arts-All Grades certification. Data and test scores are reported by NYSED. The MST Program Director collects self-reported data from completers who are certified out of state. Our program completers annually exceed the required our CAEP requirements of an 80% pass rate on the New York State Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE).

NYSED certification requirements changed annually for the last three years due to Emergency Covid Certification Measures put in place by NYSED. MST completers from the AY 2019-20220 and AY 2020-2021 cohorts took the following NYSED proprietary exams for Initial/Provisional Licensure: Educating All Students (EAS) test, Visual Arts Content Specialty Test (CST) and Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills—Written (ATS–W) or Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills—Written (ATS–W).  The AY 2021-2022 Cohort was required only to take Educating All Students (EAS) test and the Visual Arts Content Specialty Test (CST).  The MST program is piloting a Teacher Work Sample (TWS) and Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) to be assessed locally. Starting in the AY 2023 – 2024 cycle, NYSED will require MST candidates to pass the locally assessed TPA in addition to the EAS and Visual Content proprietary exams administered through Pearson.

More information about these exams and NYSED Initial/Professional certification can be found at:

  • 2021-2022 Pass Rate: 94% (17 Test Takers)
  • 2020-21 Pass Rate: 100% (9 test takers)
  • 2019-20 Pass Rate: 100% (9 test takers)

A table with data.*Scores collected and aggregated from NYSED and Completer Surveys for out-of-state certification

Employment Outcomes
RIT and the MST Program Director collect data from completers regarding their employment. Results from completer surveys and Career and Co-op report indicate that:

Three-year average employment outcome rate is 94%.

Table for outcome rates.
*Data collected through annual completer (alumni) surveys and RIT's Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education (first destination within six months of graduation report).

Additional university-level graduation, retention and consumer information can be found at:

Other consumer information about the university can be found at:

The Master of Science for Teachers (MST) in Visual Arts-All Grades program completed a self-study report in conjunction with the National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s Master of Science in Secondary Education (MSSE) program. The self-study report was submitted for a fall 2020 CAEP Site Team visit. The self-study report gathered evidence that each program met the five CAEP standards listed below. The evidence and corresponding analysis was also used for continuous program improvement. Three MST assessment cycles (academic years 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019) was included in the self-study report. The self-study report also included two cross-cutting themes of diversity and technology. A glossary of CAEP terms and acronyms used can be found at

STANDARD 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge

The provider ensures that candidates develop a deep understanding of the critical concepts and principles of their discipline and, by completion, are able to use discipline-specific practices flexibly to advance the learning of all students toward attainment of college- and career- readiness standards.

STANDARD 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice

The provider ensures that effective partnerships and high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to demonstrate positive impact on all P-12 students’ learning and development.

STANDARD 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment and Selectivity

The provider demonstrates that the quality of candidates is a continuing and purposeful part of its responsibility from recruitment, at admission, through the progression of courses and clinical experiences, and to decisions that completers are prepared to teach effectively and are recommended for certification. The provider demonstrates that development of candidate quality is the goal of educator preparation in all phases of the program. This process is ultimately determined by a program’s meeting of Standard 4.

STANDARD 4: Program Impact  

The provider demonstrates the impact of its completers on P-12 student learning and development, classroom instruction and schools, and the satisfaction of its completers with the relevance and effectiveness of their preparation.

STANDARD 5: Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

The provider maintains a quality assurance system comprised of valid data from multiple measures, including evidence of candidates’ and completers’ positive impact on P- 12 student learning and development. The provider supports continuous improvement that is sustained and evidence-based, and that evaluates the effectiveness of its completers. The provider uses the results of inquiry and data collection to establish priorities, enhance program elements and capacity, and test innovations to improve completers' impact on P-12 student learning and development.

Detailed information about CAEP standards and components for each standard can be found at:

Cross-cutting Theme of Diversity

RIT, through its policies and practices, is responsible for building an inclusive environment where membership in the community allows for faculty, staff and students to reach their fullest potential, both professionally and personally. RIT is committed to the development, administration and interpretation of policies and procedures in a way that is consistent with our commitment to diversity and is in compliance with federal, state and local laws. RIT’s policies and procedures are administered in a way that supports fair treatment for all faculty, staff, students and the RIT community at large: The model for Inclusive Excellence at RIT has four dimensions: 1.) Access and Success; 2.) Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations; 3.) Education and Scholarship; 4.) Institutional Infrastructure. The dimensions create a framework that helps the institution monitor the progress of diversity and inclusion efforts: The MST program aligns goals, best practices and commitment to inclusive practices and diversity in teacher education preparation with the four domains of RIT’s model for Inclusive Excellence. The MST program’s commitment to diversity and inclusion begins at recruitment and continues through candidate selection, coursework and curriculum, community outreach, fieldwork, clinical experiences and partnerships with key stakeholders. MST candidates are well-prepared for teaching all P-12 learners, leadership in all of America’s P-12 classrooms and are positioned have a positive impact on all P-12 student learning. 

The MST candidate dispositions data, the clinical performance outcomes data (including those sub categories specifically related to diversity) and exit interview surveys, at multiple points in program progression produce empirical evidence of candidates’ ability to teach all P-12 students with cultural responsiveness and cultural respect leading to a positive impact on learning. The partnerships established, specifically with fieldwork, practicums and student teaching placements in Title I and high needs schools, urban and rural districts and special education programs such as Gem in the Rochester City School District, demonstrates the MST program’s commitment to preparing candidates to meet the needs of all P-12 learners while having a positive impact and partnership with under-serviced, diverse and culturally rich populations. MST curricula ensures the infusion of diversity through the study of inclusion, social justice and cultural differences. Candidates' coursework grades in Inclusion, Multicultural Issues in Art Education, Child Development, Professional Practices and Student Teaching indicates candidate competency. MST candidates also participate in community outreach programs that are directly designed to meet the needs of under-serviced students and their families from the City of Rochester, the Seneca people and Compeer of Rochester clients and their mentors. MST candidates are also exposed to a diverse cross-section of practitioners who participate in the monthly MST Distinguished Guest Speaker Series. Topics  for these lectures include but are not limited to Restorative Teaching Practices, Trauma Informed Teaching, Youth Mental Health First Aide: Suicide Prevention, Teaching Art internationally, LGBTQ + Identities and Teaching Students with Multiple Disabilities. Employer and alumni surveys (including those sub categories specifically related to diversity) data are also evidence of MST completers’ ability to meet the needs of all P-12 students, how the program prepares candidates to be proficient in their ability to differentiate, teach culturally responsive and responsibly and develop professional dispositions.

Cross-cutting Theme of Technology

RIT provides a state-of-the-art infrastructure and multiple information and technology services (ITS), training and support for all students, including EPP candidates, faculty and staff: ITS service supports candidates’ admissions, enrollment, registration, orientation, financial aid, student accounts, collections, advising and career through the Student Information System which is an Oracle PeopleSoft application:

The MST program draws upon the university’s vast resources to provide multiple experiences integrating technology and support and tools for candidates to become proficient in applications of digital media and technological capabilities. Through online use of databases, training embedded in curricula, online platforms, technology-based applications with clinical partners and research-based practices using technology, the MST program ensures candidates’ development and abilities to positively impact their students’ learning outcomes and overall engagement. Experiences throughout the academic year allow candidates to develop and demonstrate their skills in guiding their P-12 students to understand, choose and use digital content, social media and technology platforms in appropriate ways as tools for engagement in learning. The MST program also prepares candidates to incorporate technology to improve the effectiveness of school and district functions, enhance instruction and manage student and assessment data, while engaging students in the applications of technology connecting to learning experiences. 

The MST program uses:

  • technology-based collaborations with PK-12 partners and stakeholders to provide candidates with pragmatic experience, and to assess student performance outcomes during clinical experiences at multiple key points, specifically related to candidates’ development of technology knowledge, instructional delivery and assessment practices.  
  • multiple measures to monitor and evaluate candidates’ developing content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, pedagogical skills and the integration of technology in all of these domains. 
  • technology-based tools to collect and analyze program and completers' impact on PK-12 student learning and development, and the satisfaction of completers and employers in terms of the effectiveness of their preparation. 
  • from recruitment and admissions through exit to collect, organize and analyze data. 

The MST curricula embeds training and the development of candidates’ proficiency integrating technology in their teaching through assigned research, coursework and the use of digital media, tools and electronic platforms. Candidates in Methods coursework create lesson plans, which address the integration of technology into planning, differentiation, instruction and assessment. In Inclusive Issues, candidates learn about assistive technology tools. Candidates demonstrate theory to practice, using technology, as they complete practicum experiences in early childhood and special education settings. In Seminar, MST candidates work with faculty, active and highly qualified practitioners with extensive technology experience, focusing on developing their ability to integrate technology into their clinical placements and teach their own students how to use technology, digital media and tools with thoughtful and appropriate methodology. Candidates work in state-of-the-art computer labs developing their content knowledge and abilities to integrate technology in their teaching and develop capstone materials using Adobe Suite. Starting in Spring 2020, as part of continuous program improvement, MST candidates also developed their own teaching website in Seminar.   

The MST program also utilizes and provides faculty and candidates’ access to Taskstream, MyCourses, LinkedIn Learning, Myshares, RIT’s Talent Roadmap (online tutorials and professional development classes), webinars, TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Qualtrics Surveys and library info guides to integrate technology in a diverse cross-section of learning and instructional platforms. 

President's Report