CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2023) — The Thomas More University School of Education announces it has been approved for a full seven-year accreditation term from the Association for Advancing Quality Educator Preparation (AAQEP). The action is effective immediately, extending through Dec. 31, 2030.

“This recognition from the AAQEP reaffirms our unwavering commitment to excellence in educator preparation,” says Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. “It is a testament to the dedication of our faculty, the diligence of our students, and the collaborative spirit that defines our educational community. At Thomas More, we are working to transform education in the Commonwealth by addressing the need for more highly qualified K-12 teachers. We look forward to continuing our journey of academic distinction and innovation in preparing the next generation of transformative educators.”

The accreditation decision was based on a review of the program’s Quality Assurance Report and the AAQEP Quality Review Team Report. The report also praises the School of Education’s work in leveraging relationships with local school district partners in supporting teachers to develop culturally responsive practices. “The journey towards AAQEP accreditation has been both an enriching experience and a testament to our collective dedication to excellence,” says Alissa Ayres, assistant professor and director of Graduate Programs in the School of Education. “Through a commitment to best practices in educator preparation, we have not only met the stringent standards set by AAQEP but have surpassed them. Receiving this accreditation underscores our pursuit of quality and innovation in shaping educators who are not only competent but compassionate, reflective, and dedicated to the transformative power of education. It is a proud moment for our School of Education and a reaffirmation of our mission to prepare educators who will make a lasting impact in the lives of their students and communities.”

The School of Education launched an umbrella of expanded and upgraded initiatives in 2023 under a new model called the Education VILLA, which stands for: Visualizing educators of excellence through Innovative methods promoting Leadership and Learning in an Atmosphere of growth, critical thinking, and research. The name draws on Thomas More University’s history as a teaching college, founded to train Catholic school teachers as Villa Madonna College in 1921. VILLA initiatives are set to roll out in phases over the next several years including strategic programming targeted at increased student success, academic innovation and excellence, and responsible stewardship.   

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About Thomas More University

Founded in 1921, Thomas More University stands as a beacon of academic excellence and innovation, challenging students to Make It More. Deeply rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, this timeless foundation supports a transformative educational experience as students looking to Be More are guided in the pursuit of knowledge, ethical leadership, and the integration of faith and reason. Through the high-quality, liberal arts education provided at Thomas More, students examine the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others which leads to the ability to think critically and contribute meaningfully to the world. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More takes its place as the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, being named one of the 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal. To find out more, visit

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