B.1. What is the professional education unit at your institution and what is its relationship to other units at the institution that are involved in the preparation of professional educators?
At USF the School of Professional Studies (SOPS) is the unit. Members include the Departments of Psychology and Counseling, Education, and Social Work (Unit Organizational Chart). The School Counseling Program and Department of Education programs are responsible for the preparation of candidates for both baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees, at both initial and advanced licensure levels. Teacher education and school counseling programs have been NCATE approved since 1972.
The unit’s baccalaureate initial licensing programs of study prepare candidates in content disciplines that are merged with mild intervention exceptional needs. The merged programs of study are known as dual licensure programs, since candidates may operationalize teaching licenses in both content areas, mild intervention and a selected subject discipline. Also, candidates may opt to license in mild intervention or a selected subject discipline. The baccalaureate initial licensing level also offers a visual arts program of study that prepares candidates to teach at all student developmental levels, K through 12, without preparation in mild intervention.
Post-baccalaureate programs include initial licensure in exceptional needs, both mild intervention and intense intervention. Advanced licensure programs include both mild and intense intervention, and school counseling.
Post-baccalaureate exceptional needs candidates may seek licensure in preschool, elementary, and/or middle/high school settings. Faculty from the Departments of Education, Psychology, and Nursing collaborate in teaching post-baccalaureate programs.
B.2. How many professional education faculty members support the professional education unit?
Table 1 indicates the number of professional education faculty across the university who are involved in the preparation of teacher and counselor candidates.
B.3. What programs are offered at your institution to prepare candidates for their first license to teach?
B.4. What programs are offered at your institution to prepare advanced teacher candidates and other school professionals?
It is to be noted that in February, 2008, nine of eleven initial and advanced teacher education programs, with the exception of health and physical education, were fully approved through the State of Indiana’s Program Review Process. Also, all post-baccalaureate Exceptional Needs Programs were approved. At that time, baccalaureate health and physical education were conditionally approved. Subsequently, in October 2009, both programs were awarded full state approval. During the program review time frame, there were no program completers in the areas of business, life science, and chemistry education. Although candidates in these three programs met transition point requirements, the unit has assessed their performance to substantiate demonstration of required knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
B.5. Which of the above initial teacher preparation and advanced programs are offered off-campus or via distance learning technologies? What alternate route programs are offered?
The unit does not offer off-campus or distance learning programs. It should be noted, however, that several courses are web assisted. Web-assisted refers to traditional courses which utilize the university’s course management system (Blackboard) to supplement the classroom experience. When a faculty member uses instructional activities such as podcasts, electronic bulletin boards, threaded discussions, or any other form of digital instruction as part of the course requirements and as a means of enhancing the classroom, the course will be considered web-assisted. The sole alternate route program is the Secondary Visual Art Transition to Teaching Program which is an 18 credit hour program for candidates with a prior art bachelor’s degree who would like to become licensed art teachers.
B.6. What substantive changes have taken place in the unit since the last visit?
The following changes have occurred:
- Pre-school exceptional needs license option initiated with state approval
- Exceptional Needs/intense intervention master’s degree state approved
- The University of Saint Francis creates five schools and first provost appointed.
- Intense Intervention Licensure Program initiated
- Educator’s Academy initiated for educators’ license renewal
- Mathematics/ Mild Intervention Middle/Secondary Education Program approved
- School counseling field work (Practicum and Internship) expectations revised
- Dual advising (education and content) required for secondary education majors
- Graduate Council initiated
- Master of Science in Education Leadership Studies approved
- Student teaching time extended to meet dual licensure requirements
- School Counseling Program Advisory Council established
- School Counseling Field Evaluation form reviewed and revised
- Jane M. Swiss, Ed.D., appointed Interim Dean of the School of Professional Studies
- Daniel J. Torlone, Ed.D., appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Education
- All education programs revised for compatibility with new General Education program
- EDUC 425/Student Teaching Seminar and SPED 295/Collaboration and Communication became inactive and replaced with SPED 405/Effective Collaboration and Community Resources as a co-requisite to Student Teaching
- Department of Education received grant from the Council of Independent Colleges to begin work on 21st Century skills program.
- Candidate Field Assessment Process (CFAP) implemented to address candidates’ impact on P-12 student learning
- Jane M. Swiss, Ed.D. appointed Dean of the School of Professional Studies
- Daniel J. Torlone, Ed.D. appointed Chair of the Department of Education
- The Mild and Intense Intervention Masters’ Programs were modified to a hybrid delivery model.
- Response to Intervention (RTI) certificate offered via distance learning
- Service engagement and professional development requirements implemented
- Political science concentration approved as a part of the social studies major
- Major revision of graduate courses in exceptional needs
- Student teaching expanded from 15 to 16 weeks, with corresponding increase in credit hours from 9 to 10.
- Secondary physical science major discontinued
- School Counseling Program portfolio process revised to mirror the IMAP process
A complete listing of changes is found in the History of Change.