College of Education & Accreditations

College of Education

APSU has a rich history as an educational institution. In fact, an educational institution has existed on College Street in Clarksville since 1806, when a private academy was established. The community has supported a college or university on the present campus since 1848, and the current institution is named after Gov. Austin Peay, a Clarksville native who served as Tennessee’s chief executive from 1923 – 1927.

The state chartered Austin Peay as a normal school in 1927. From this date forward, the preparation of quality teachers for Tennessee schools has been a visible priority on the campus. Philander Claxton, in whose honor the present education building is named, served as Austin Peay Normal School’s president from 1930 – 1946. Claxton, who served as U.S. Commissioner of Education under Woodrow Wilson (1911 – 1921), was an able advocate for quality teacher preparation and quality public schools in the state.

Toward the end of Claxton’s tenure as president, the institution became Austin Peay State College, a four-year institution with a more comprehensive higher education mission. Still, the 1952 – 1953 bulletin noted that “… the chief purpose of APSC is the education of teachers for the schools of the state.” APSU’s long-term commitment to teacher preparation is evidenced by our continuous national accreditation by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954.

University status was conferred on Austin Peay in 1967, and the school’s posture as a regional institution has grown steadily ever since. In recent years, expansion of professional programs has complemented teacher education and liberal arts strengths in the institutional curriculum.

On April 30, 2013, the College of Education was renamed the Martha Dickerson Eriksson College of Education to honor Mrs. Eriksson, a 1962 graduate of Austin Peay and a public school teacher for over 30 years.


Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The Teacher Education Unit at Austin Peay State University has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The next accreditation visit will be in 2021.

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