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Department of Education Accreditation

6e.1. How does the unit allocate resources across programs to ensure candidates meet standards in their field of study?

Operating budget allocations, based on enrollment and program requirements, are determined collaboratively between the university provost and deans for approval by the university’s Leadership Council. Further allocation proposals are then brought to the dean via department chairs from recommendations made by program directors and faculty. Budgetary and resource allocations are sufficient to 1) enable all candidates to meet the standards in their fields of study and 2) to meet the needs of faculty to support quality teaching, scholarship, and service to the university and community. The Five Year Plan (titled Plan to Plan) developed by the unit’s leadership team has assessed future needs and made specific recommendations on personnel and resources, which include expanded instructional technology and a curriculum resource laboratory.

6e.2. What information technology resources support faculty and candidates?  What evidence shows that candidates and faculty use these resources?

Since 2007, the university has made major investments in technology to support instructional effectiveness.  Classrooms throughout campus are equipped with state-of-the art audio-video hardware and computers with Internet access and projection systems.  Installation of a one-card system, Access TV, wireless access, and on-line advising and registration provide technological support to meet faculty and candidate needs.  To further meet learning needs, all university courses have BlackBoard sites including those which are web-based and web-assisted.  University Technology Services (UTS) provides computer training for students, faculty, and staff and maintains centralized databases for academic information storage and retrieval.

Moreover, the university supports operational efficiency by providing and routinely updating office computers for full and part-time faculty and staff.  Adjunct faculty are issued university email accounts and may access computers in the SOPS office complex.  University Technology Services (UTS) has the capability to monitor site use.

The use of technology by faculty is substantiated through the use of BlackBoard, Cougar Connection, and TaskStream. Also, video / phone conferencing equipment, I-Tunes University, and USF Facebook are available for instructional purposes.  Since 2007, the unit has moved from paper to electronic portfolios. Blackboard and TaskStream enable faculty to monitor candidates’ access of course materials. TaskStream runs reports for faculty to monitor candidate progress in meeting learning and dispositional goals. These resources facilitate candidate learning and also support development of national, international, and /or local collegial communities.  All resources enable faculty and candidates to analyze instructional videos for content depth and complexity. The unit’s signature assignments are posted and evaluated on TaskStream.

6e.3. What resources are available for the development and implementation of the unit’s assessment system?

Resources to support the UAS include assessment technology, technology assistance, system maintenance and training, and access to qualified personnel. Assessment technology includes hardware and software to support Blackboard, TaskStream and the in-house developed Candidate Tracking System (CTS). The University Technology Services (UTS) provides technical assistance, maintenance and training of faculty, staff and candidates for Blackboard. Workshops include training for Blackboard, I-Tunes University, podcasting and vodcasting, and ethics and confidentiality required for data management. 

Personnel supporting the unit’s assessment system include the UTS staff, the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE), the unit’s UAS Coordinator and the UAS Manager, as well as the SOPS Administrative Assistant.  The UTS staff provide support for the Candidate Tracking System.  The OIRE staff provide survey data on candidates and faculty, and work with the unit on the development and implementation of the Blackboard Outcome System.   The UAS Manager and UAS Coordinator train faculty and candidates in the use of TaskStream.  In addition, the SOPS Administrative Assistant monitors candidate transition point requirements.  A complete description of UAS components is found in Standard 2.

6e.4. What library and curricular resources exist at the institution. How does the unit ensure they are sufficient and current? 

Library and curricular resources are ample for faculty and for candidates. In addition to a robust collection of professional and content print and non-print materials, the Lee and Jim Vann Library houses a collection of text books and related curricular materials. When the Vann Library relocated in 2006 to its current home in the Pope John Paul II Center, the Educational Curriculum Collection was integrated and located on the second floor, adjacent to the collection that includes education related titles. The Educational Curriculum Collection contains textbooks and support materials covering all disciplines for grades P through 12. Annually, the Department of Education faculty request content-specific textbooks and support materials from area school districts. The entire collection is refreshed on a three-year content rotation cycle. These materials are available for check-out, but not included in the volume count as they are not a part of the on-line library catalog.

Other library resources that support the Education Department’s curriculum include print monographs (7,487), DVD’s and VHS tapes (36) 87 active journal subscriptions and electronic books (109). The library’s 42 databases ensure that students have access to the most current information, both on-campus and off.  The library’s history for expenditures on materials that support the education curriculum has increased over the past five years, thus ensuring that new resources are added to the collection on a regular basis.

Additionally, the unit maintains a collection of curricular support materials. Candidates are encouraged to utilize these materials for field experiences or related endeavors.  Moreover, Cougar Connection maintains an electronic collection of resources listed by topic and subject area for use by both faculty and students.

6e.5. How does the unit ensure the accessibility of resources to candidates, including candidates in off-campus, distance learning, and alternate route programs, through electronic means?

The unit ensures accessibility of resources to candidates through Blackboard, TaskStream and Cougar Connection,  Candidates and faculty have resource and technical support directly through Blackboard tutorials, Task Stream, Cougar Connection, I-Tunes University, webinars, pod-casts and vod-casts and by UTS personnel.  

The Vann Library offers optimal accessibility to its resources to faculty and candidates. Many print resources are located on the on-line catalog via the library’s website. The catalog allows users to limit searches using such criteria as year, format, and location, in addition to traditional search functionality. 

In fall 2009, the Library introduced a new metasearch engine called “Power Search,” through the Library’s website. This tool allows users to search all library resources from one interface. As such, users can locate books, journal articles, web references and holdings at other institutions with a single search. Also, the Library has invested in electronic books, which can be accessed directly via the on-line catalog.

If there are materials the Library does not own, it provides the option of Interlibrary Loan free of charge to both students and faculty. The Library’s consortium agreements within Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) and Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI) help guarantee quick turnaround time from 72 institutions in the State of Indiana. Most journal article requests are met completely on-line, which allows for quicker turnaround time and delivery directly to the user via his or her email account. The library provides an on-line form for interlibrary loan requests and maintains built-in links within the WorldCat international library catalog. The built-in link feature allows users to request materials as they locate them in search results.

Vann Library users may access the Testing & Education Reference Center through INSPIRE. This resource offers an on-line version of the PRAXIS and other PRAXIS practice tests to augment the print copies held in the Library. As of the fall of 2009, the Vann Library expanded its Ask A Librarian services to include a Text A Librarian option in addition to email, phone, and in-person consultations.