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Department of Education Accreditation

1d.1 What data from key assessments indicate that candidates in initial teacher preparation programs can assess and analyze student learning, make appropriate adjustments to instruction, monitor student learning, and develop and implement meaningful learning experiences to help all students learn?

Four signature assignments are the key assessments used to collect data that measure baccalaureate initial licensure candidates’ competencies to help all students learn.  The signature assignments are:  (1) the Post Observation Lesson Analysis Narrative (POLAN); (2) the Formal Observation Evaluation; (3) the Case Review, and the IEP Project. Table 1d.1.1 provides details of candidate performance.

The POLAN is used in Practicum, EDUC 201, Advanced Practicum, EDUC 301, and in two student teaching placements, EDUC 480 and EDUC 483.  The POLAN focuses on pre and post lesson analysis, pedagogical effectiveness, responsive implementation of the lesson, analysis of content learning and implications for re-teaching the lesson.  Mean score data reveal that candidates in Practicum EDUC 201 perform on target in their content discipline placements.  During Advanced Practicum EDUC 301 placements the POLAN is used to assess P-12 student learning in mild intervention settings.  Data reveal a marked increase in mean scores from the first practicum experience to the culminating experience.  Student Teaching scores are well above the targeted level of 3.0 in both content discipline and mild intervention placements for candidates in elementary and secondary programs.

The Formal Observation Evaluation targets the analysis and assessment of student learning, the delivery of meaningful instruction including requisite modifications to facilitate the learning process.   University supervisors and cooperating teachers conduct separate evaluations of candidates. Scores from both the university supervisor and cooperating teacher are above target level.

Candidate competencies with P-12 student learning are assessed in mild intervention classes.  Mild Disabilities, SPED 237, is required of elementary/mild intervention candidates while Advanced Methods for Middle and High School Youth, SPED 328 is required of secondary/mild intervention candidates.   Elementary/mild Intervention mean scores on the Case Review signature assignment are 3.21/4.0 and 3.48/4.0 on the secondary/mild intervention IEP Project. Candidates in both programs demonstrate on target competencies.

Candidate competencies at the post-baccalaureate, initial Mild and Intense Intervention Programs are assessed through eight course-based signature assignments.  Mean scores on these assignments range from 3.67 to 4.00 on a scale of 4.00.  Field-based signature assignments POLAN and the School Community Profile in Practicum, SPED 513 range from 3.00 to 4.00 on a scale of 4.00 Candidates in the post-baccalaureate Mild Intervention Program are assessed with the five-point scale Practicum Evaluation, in Practicum, SPED 513.  Their mean scores are 4.44/5.00 intense intervention candidates score 4.80/5.00.  Rising scores over time suggest that the sequence of courses benefits candidates. Table 1d1.3 provides details of candidate performance.

In the three non-reviewed programs, eleven criteria from several signature assignments are used to measure candidates’ ability to help all children learn.  The overall mean for this group is above target level.  Table 1d1.2 details performance of candidates in non-reviewed programs.

1d.2. What data from key assessments indicate that advanced teacher candidates demonstrate a thorough understanding of the major concepts and theories related to assessing student learning; regularly apply them in their practice; analyze student, classroom, and school performance data; make data driven decisions about strategies for teaching and learning; and are aware of and utilize school and community resources that support student learning?

Key assessments are course-based signature assignments that measure mild intervention candidates’ understanding of major concepts and theories related to assessing student learning and applying them in their practice.  These assignments include:  Planning with Technology, Case Study, INCLUDE Plan, Planning to Include, and Assessments Strategies Notebook.  The field-based signature assignment from the Case Review is entitled Assessments.  Item scores are on target and above.

Key assessments demonstrating advanced candidates ability to analyze student, classroom and school performance data are demonstrated through the Case Review, the Post Observation Lesson Analysis (POLAN) and the School Community Profile.  Scores for advanced licensure mild intervention candidates range from 3.00 to 5.00, while the range for intense intervention candidates is 2.25 to 5.00.

Candidate’s ability to make data driven decisions about strategies for teaching and learning are demonstrated through the signature assignments of Planning with Technology, Case Study, Planning to Include, and the Colvin Method reflection on student analysis as well as the field-based signature assignment of the POLAN.  The utilization of school and community resources that support student learning is determined from the course-based signature assignment, Reflection on the Family and School Partnership, Classroom Management Portfolio, and the academic programs sited in the School Community Profile.  Course and field-based signature assignments yield a total combined score of 3.74/4.00 with 97.3% of candidates’ scores in the 3.00 (on target) and 4.00 (exemplary) ranges.

Awareness of school and community resources to support student learning is generated from candidate research compiled in the Classroom Management Portfolio and the School Community Profile.  Also, the Family and School Partnership project as well as field and clinical experience evaluations verify candidate acquisition of proficiencies in the “support student learning” performance outcome.

Data analysis from signature assignments confirms that performance of advanced level candidates in the Intense Intervention Program mirrors results in the Mild Intervention Program. Evidence reveals candidates’ understanding of the following:  assessment of student learning, systematic utilization of assessment practices, impact of data-driven instructional practices, and the importance of utilizing resources effectively to enhance student learning.  Table 1d2  provides details.

1d.3. What do follow-up studies of graduates and employers indicate about graduates' ability to help all students learn?

A link to survey response rates is located on each summary table.

Data from follow-up studies of graduates and employers confirm graduates’ ability to help all students learn. Data were collected and analyzed from four sources: 1) Alumni Survey; 2) Employer Survey; 3) Field-based Faculty (cooperating teacher) Survey; and, 4) the Undergraduate Exit Survey.  (Table 1d3)   

Alumni Survey data related to alumni’s perception of their ability to help all students learn are consistently above 3.0 on a five-point Likert scale, indicating satisfaction with their preparation for meeting the needs of P-12 students.  This group indicates that preparation in working with gifted and talented students could have been stronger.  In the summer of 2009, the unit responded by introducing the Lesson Planning Guide for initial and advanced level candidates.  The guide is utilized in practica courses and student teaching to focus on differentiating instruction for students including high ability P-12 students.  As well, for baccalaureate initial licensing candidates, Educational Psychology EDUC 250 provides a theoretical foundation for addressing needs of high ability students. 

Results from the Employer Survey surpass those from the Alumni Survey, indicating positive perceptions of alumni’s ability to meet students’ learning needs. Scores range from 4.0 to 5.0 with few exceptions. An item designed to measure positive impact on student learning was revised for clarity on the 2009 Employer Survey.

Field-based faculty (cooperating teachers) completed surveys in 2009.  Aggregated data reveal a range of scores from 3.57 to 4.43 on a five-point scale.  The highest levels of satisfaction include: candidates’ work with exceptionalities, including gifted and talented students, and in the area of collaboration with school personnel.

Completing the Undergraduate Exit Survey is a program requirement for baccalaureate candidates.   Data show a range of responses that indicate overall satisfaction with program preparation.