MSSE Accreditation and Program Review

Accreditation and Program Review (Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, birth-21)

The Masters of Science in Secondary Education (MSSE) program for educating students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing maintains Initial Program accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The program's most recent CAEP accreditation approval was spring of 2021. Reporting outcomes and student achievement data are available for review in the Office of the Coordinator of Program Assessment and Accreditation.

List of Programs Reviewed by CAEP

Educator Preparation Program Level Date Reviewed/
Next Review
Master of Science in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Initial Spring 2021/Fall 2028

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 accreditation information should visit: 

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 P-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 next CAEP site visit will be fall 2028. Further information about this visit will be posted soon.

For more information about CAEP visit:

The Master of Science in Secondary Education (MSSE) of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at RIT/NTID 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 P-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

Since the July 2022 New York State Board of Regents’ decision allowing individual programs to develop a Teacher Performance Assessment following state-provided guidance and requirements, the MSSE program measures teacher performance during clinical practice through the Deaf Education Teacher Performance Assessment (DETPA). Candidates integrate what they have learned about effective teaching throughout their program and demonstrate their skillful application of best practice in their approach to planning, implementing, and evaluating instruction for students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Indicators of Teaching Effectiveness (Component 4.2)

Deaf Education Teacher Performance Assessment (DETPA)
92% of the 2023 completers completed a DETPA Portfolio for summative program evaluation of their professional planning, teaching, assessment, and reflection practices. 8% of 2023 completers submitted a partial Portfolio, modified to fit their student teaching timeline.

81% of completer Portfolios were rated “Excellent” (Proficient or Professional) 12% of completer Portfolios were rated “On Target” (Developing) and 4% were “Acceptable” (Building Awareness, with demonstrated improvement over the course of the Portfolio). 

Professional Educator Dispositions
887% of 2023 completers demonstrated strong desired professional dispositions by the end of the program. Overall, 93% of 2023 completers exited the program with developing desired professional dispositions. Completers demonstrated the most growth in their dispositions in the areas of Value for Cultural and Academic Diversity, and Effective Collaboration with Professionals and Stakeholders. Areas of strength for this group also included Professionalism and their Positive and Enthusiastic Attitudes towards students and the work of teaching. 

Measure 2: Employers and Stakeholders

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

Satisfaction of Employers
The MSSE program gathers data biannually (every other year) from a survey completed by administrators and employers of MSSE completers (alumni) teaching in their respective P-12 schools or birth-21 service positions 1-3 years after graduation. The survey contains a Likert Scale and narrative questions which ask administrators to rate teachers' impact upon students. Survey questions are aligned with Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Standards. More information about InTASC Standards can be found at:

Employer Satisfaction
The most recent employer survey shows 82% (4.09/5.00) overall satisfaction of employers with MSSE graduate preparation. Strengths of program completers include their creativity, attention to students, and providing fresh perspectives. Areas for improvement in MSSE’s approach to teacher preparation include honing assessment practice, differentiation, and attention to social and emotional learning factors. 

Alumni Satisfaction
A low response rate to the most recent alumni survey (less than 10%) identifies areas of strength in MSSE preparation related to lesson planning and understanding curriculum goals. Areas for improvement include strategies in classroom management and motivating students. Overall alumni rated satisfaction with most aspects of preparedness in their first years of teaching at 3.00/5.00.

Stakeholder Involvement
The Stakeholders Board has been the most effective of the MSSE program’s approaches to eliciting feedback, input, and collaboration from partners in the field of Deaf Education. The Board engaged in regular meetings during the 2022-2023 academic year and contributed to the development of clinical evaluation tools and procedures including the DETPA.

Measure 3: Candidate Competency at Program Completion

Student Teaching Evaluation Results
The MSSE program works with P-12 and birth-21 partners to provide rich and meaningful experiential learning and clinical experiences. Candidates are evaluated through formative and summative evaluations, and are given regular ongoing feedback from cooperating teachers to guide their professional development in their clinical placement. All cooperating teachers complete assessment of candidate performance using rubrics aligned with InTASC teaching standards. Both cooperating teachers and MSSE college supervisors complete formal observations providing feedback and informing goals for each candidate’s continued professional growth throughout the student teaching experience. A midterm and final evaluation is completed by the Cooperating Teachers to rate summative performance at the midpoint and end of the placement. Clinical progress is reviewed regularly and shared with college supervisors, cooperating teachers, candidates, and the program director throughout the clinical experience.

Clinical Evaluations
83% of 2023 completers were evaluated as Proficient or better (an average score of 4 or higher) on their final clinical evaluation, with a cohort average of 4.4/5.0. 2023 completers as a group averaged 12% improvement across competencies between their midterm and final clinical evaluations.
Language Proficiency
96% of 2023 completers demonstrated American Sign Language proficiency at a measure of Intermediate or better, with 89% performing at Intermediate Plus or better.

Measure 4: Ability of Completers to be Hired

State Licensure Examinations
RIT reports the number of teacher candidates who complete New York State Department of Education (NYSED) required certification tests for NYSED Initial/Professional Deaf and Hard of Hearing certification. Data and test scores are reported by NYSED. The MSSE Program chairperson collects self-reported data from completers who are certified out of state. Our program completers consistently meet or exceed the required 80% pass rate on the New York State Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE) Certification Exams include:

85% of 2023 completers have initiated the NYS licensure process. 63% have completed all NYS licensure requirements for D/HH initial teaching license.

Ability to be Hired
89% of 2023 completers are hired in positions for which they have been prepared by the program.

The Master of Science in Secondary Education (MSSE) of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing program is in the process of completing a self-study report in conjunction with the RIT’s Master of Science in Teaching (MST) Visual Arts program. The self-study report will be submitted in preparation for a fall 2020 CAEP Site Team visit. The self-study report gathers evidence that each program meets the five CAEP standards listed below. The evidence and corresponding analysis is used for continuous program improvement. Three MSSE assessment cycles (academic years 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019) will be included in the self-study report. The self-study report will also include two cross-cutting themes of diversity and technology. Links to cross-cutting theme statements will be published in fall 2019. 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/NTID, 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 MSSE program aligns goals, best practices and commitment to inclusive practices and diversity in teacher education preparation with the four domains of RIT/NTID’s model for Inclusive Excellence. The MSSE 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. MSSE candidates are well-prepared for teaching all P-12 and birth-21 learners, and to become leaders in classrooms and through itinerant and outreach educational services for deaf and hard of hearing students and their families. 

The MSSE candidate dispositions data, 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 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 residential deaf education programs demonstrates the MSSE program’s commitment to preparing candidates to meet the needs of all learners while having a positive impact and partnership with under-serviced, diverse and culturally rich populations. MSSE curricula ensures the infusion of diversity through the study of inclusion, social justice and cultural differences. MSSE candidates also participate in community and educational outreach programs that are directly designed to meet the needs of under-serviced children who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families. MSSE candidates are exposed to a diverse cross-section of practitioners through required observations and practicum activities. Employer and alumni surveys (including those sub categories specifically related to diversity) data are also evidence of MSSE completers’ ability to meet the needs of all students, how the program prepares candidates to be proficient in their ability to differentiate, develop and teach culturally responsive curriculum, and engage in development of their own professional dispositions.

Cross-cutting Theme of Technology

RIT/NTID 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 MSSE program draws upon the university’s resources to provide 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 MSSE program promotes 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 students to understand, choose and use digital content, social media and technology platforms in appropriate ways as tools for engagement in learning. The MSSE program also prepares candidates to incorporate technology to enhance instruction and manage student and assessment data while engaging students in the applications of technology connecting to learning experiences. 

The MSSE program uses:

  • coursework opportunities to measure 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 student learning and development, and the satisfaction of completers and employers in terms of the effectiveness of their preparation; and 
  • data from recruitment and admissions through exit to analyze patterns and identify needs for improvement and growth within the program.

The MSSE curricula embeds training and the development of candidates’ proficiency integrating technology in their teaching through assigned research review, 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 Issues in Mainstream Education and Educational Audiology candidates learn about assistive technology tools. In Educational and Cultural Diversity Candidates design their own website to resource, educate, direct, and connect educational community members including students, parents, mainstream teachers, and other professionals working with students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Candidates demonstrate theory to practice using technology as they complete practicum experiences in diverse deaf education environments. Candidates have the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art computer labs developing their content knowledge and abilities to integrate technology in their teaching.

The MSSE program also utilizes and provides faculty and candidates’ access to Taskstream, MyCourses, RIT’s Talent Roadmap (online tutorials and professional development classes), webinars, Qualtrics Surveys and library info guides to integrate technology in a diverse cross-section of learning and instructional platforms. After summer 2023, the MSSE program will also utilize and provide faculty, staff, and student access to Watermark Student Learning and Licensure.

The Master of Science of Secondary Education (MSSE) for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the Master of Science in Teaching (MST) Visual Arts program at RIT are hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in the fall of 2020. Interested parties are invited to submit third-party comments to the CAEP site team. Please note that comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered, and should specify the party's relationship to the provider (i.e. graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates). 

We invite you to submit written testimony either through email or postal to:


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

Such comments must be within the specified period and based on the core tenets of CAEP accreditation standards of excellence, which recognize that:

  • In CAEP's performance-based system, accreditation is based on evidence that demonstrates that teacher candidates know the subject matter and can teach it effectively so that students learn. In the CAEP system, EPPs must prove that candidates can connect theory to practice and be effective in an actual P-12 classroom.
  • A professional education provider that is accredited by CAEP is expected to be involved in ongoing planning and evaluation; engaged in continuous assessment and development; ensure that faculty and programs reflect new knowledge, practice, and technologies; and be involved in continuous development in response to the evolving world of education and educational reform.
  • Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered, and should specify the respondent's relationship, if any, to the institution (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates). Copies of all correspondence received will be sent to the university for comment prior to the review. No anonymous testimony will be considered.