Standard 1: Candidate knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions
1.1.a Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates Summarize processes for development and outcomes from key assessments based on candidates’ demonstration of the content knowledge delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards.
Our teacher candidates know the content they plan to teach as described in professional, state and institutional standards. Candidates have demonstrated solid content knowledge in relation to national and professional standards.
EC-6 Students are required to take 54 courses aimed at the broad spectrum of content knowledge elementary teachers need to help all students learn. Additionally, these students also take specialized content courses aimed at preparing them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions elementary teachers need to meet the needs of diverse learners and meet critical local as well as national areas of need.in critical need impact areas of specialty content in Bilingual Education, ESL or Special Education as well.
Secondary students are required to take 54 hours of coursework devoted to preparing them with the content knowledge then need for the subjects they are planning to teach. Students in our newly integrated Science and Math program UTEACH require 55 credits of content course work, with several courses being presented using an integrated STEM model. Exhibit 1.3.d Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies and Key Assessments provides the mean percentage of candidates who met expectations on assessments measuring content knowledge. This assessment data was extracted from SPA report assessment 2 which measures content knowledge. Our unit mean for our initial teacher program candidates was 88%. This score does not include the State TExES examination scores for which our pass rate is a much higher 95%. This suggests that unit faculty develop rigorous assessments of content knowledge in line with professional standards specific to their content. All but two of these assessments were part of recognized (with conditions) assessment plans and demonstrate such rigor. We continue to collaborate with content colleagues to make program changes that will boost these outcomes and ensure teachers have the content knowledge they need for effective instruction.
In relation to professional standards, our 4 undergraduate music programs are nationally accredited by NASM which has rigorous content standards. All but two of our eleven programs for teacher preparation have been recognized with conditions by their SPAs. Of these 9 all are resubmitting for full recognition with no conditions related to content knowledge. Only the Bachelor of Arts in History (History 8th – 12th Grades) and Bachelor of Arts in History/Social Studies (Social Studies 8th – 12th Grades) programs remain unrecognized. In order to improve teacher candidate outcomes in these programs the CoE has hired a Social Studies Specialist to modify the curriculum with a concentration on Social Studies content and pedagogical content knowledge at both EC-6 and secondary levels. Exhibit I.5.2 provides a listing of these results.
Additionally, our pass rate on state content test certification exams has risen to 95%. This demonstrates that candidates have mastered the content they need to help all students learn. This also reveals the rising expectations our unit has concerning content knowledge. In addition to requiring candidates pass state content and pedagogy exams before student teaching, we have raised the standards for grades in content area by requiring no grade less than a C in all coursework. Prior to this change, the grade requirement relied on overall GPA which allowed students to ameliorate a weakness in one content area through strengths in others. Our unit's rising expectations complement our institutions change from an open admissions institution to one with admission requirements that will rise each year until they are comparable with peer institutions. For detailed information on individual program content assessments please see assessments one and two in SPA reports available in AIMS. Aggregate data regarding teacher candidate content knowledge is provided in Exhibit 1.3.d Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies Chart.
1.1.b Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates
Summarize processes for development and outcomes from key assessments based on candidates’ demonstration of the pedagogical content knowledge delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards.
Teacher candidates demonstrate Pedagogical Content Knowledge at several junctures in their field-based courses an in clinical teaching. For three years, unit faculty have been redesigning our PPR sequence to ensure that elementary program candidates have the pedagogical content knowledge needed to effectively teach in all content areas and that secondary teachers have an in-depth knowledge of research-based, content-specific teaching methods related to the subjects they plan to teach. In fall 2013 we rolled out new courses designed to meet this need: 3355 (STEM Knowing and Learning); EDCI 4327(Elementary Social Studies and English Language Arts); EDSC 4328(secondary content pedagogy sectioned off by content area). In this way we are better aligning our curriculum to the P-12 content knowledge our candidates will be required to teach. These courses are also designed to arm our candidates with the research-based, content-specific methods of teaching and assessment they need in order to have the positive impact on student learning they need to demonstrate in their TWS as well as in their future classrooms.
Proficiencies related to Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills are evaluated through the following:
- Abbreviated Teacher Work Sample completed in redesigned PPR courses devoted to pedagogical content knowledge: EDCI 3355 (STEM Knowing and Learning); EDCI 4327-Methods in Elementary Social Studies and English Language Arts; EDSC 4328-Secondary Content Pedagogy (sectioned off by content area). These are new courses. This assessment was implemented in a general pedagogy course fall 2012 on a limited basis. We are now implementing it in content pedagogy courses in order to yield more robust data about pedagogical content knowledge in addition to solid data regarding candidates' professional and pedagogical knowledge
- Student Teaching Observation Assessment: Part I, indicator one makes the explicit link between content and pedagogical knowledge. One hundred percent of candidates meet expectation on this standard. In addition, programs have added content-specific addendums to this assessment in order to meet SPA expectations concerning Content Pedagogy. This makes these assessments more useful in assessing Pedagogical Content knowledge as well as Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge
- The Teacher Work Sample: Students must score at least "approaching target" in order to complete clinical teaching. This holistic performance assessment is primarily designed to assess candidate's impact on student learning. Section 2 (Learning Goals), Section 4(Design for Instruction) and Section 6 (Analyzing Student Learning) all require that students demonstrate a certain degree of content knowledge as they plan, implement and assess content-specific pedagogy geared toward helping all students learn Detailed data and analysis pertaining to this Assessment can be found in individual SPA reports (section 5) in AIMS.
- SPA Assessment 4 in each program demonstrates outcomes concerning professional and pedagogical responsibilities. Aggregate data on this assessment is provided in the Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies Chart in Exhibit 1.3.d
1.1.c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates Summarize processes for development and outcomes from key assessments based on candidates’ demonstration of the professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards.
Teacher candidates reflect a thorough understanding of professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills in relation to professional, state, and institutional standards. Candidates take a sequence of courses designed to build their knowledge skills and dispositions related to pedagogical and professional responsibilities. This sequence includes EDUC 1301 Introduction to the Teaching Profession and EDUC 2301 Introduction to Special Populations are the two prerequisites for admission to teacher education. These two courses require 15 clock hours each of early field experiences. Candidates are also required to take 6 courses equivalent to 18 credit hours as part of the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities requirement (PPR block). The PPR block includes both early field experiences, field-based coursework, and student teaching. EDCI 4322 Human Development and Instruction, which is one of the courses in the PPR block, requires students to complete 15 hours of early field experiences. This course is a prerequisite for EDCI 3330 Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning and either EDSC 4328 Implementing & Assessing Effective Secondary Content Pedagogy (Sectioned off by content area) for secondary candidates or EDCI 4327 Methods of Teaching Elementary Social Studies and ELA Arts and EDCI 3314 Methods of Teaching Mathematics and Science. Each requires 15 hours of field-based work in a classroom setting that is more demanding than early field experiences. Candidates are expected to develop lessons and micro-teach, teach in P-12 classroom settings, tutor, work with small groups of students, and assess student outcomes in an Abbreviated Teacher Work Sample.
Course work provides teacher candidates with the critical thinking skills they need in order to understand the complex impact Hispanic/Latino achievement gaps have on our communities of practice. Unit coursework also provides teacher candidates the pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills they need to help close that gap. Field experiences and clinical practice allow teacher candidates to put these into action to help all students learn.
Assessment 4 in each SPA report provides compelling evidence that our candidates know how to facilitate learning among a diversity of learners. The most current results demonstrate an % 97.4 percent pass rate on the State Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities One hundred percent of our EC-6 and 8-12 program candidates passed this exam. This assessment is aligned with our unit's conceptual framework's guiding principles of Pedagogical Leadership, Interrelatedness, and Interculturalism. Exhibit 1.3.d Aggregate data on Unit Proficiencies and Key assessments demonstrate thru assessments geared to measure candidates knowledge, skills and dispositions, candidate are well prepared in this area. In the area or instructional planning 91% of our candidates met expectations. In areas relate to putting pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills into action 99% of candidates met expectation.
Our pass-rate on the state Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam indicates that candidates understand key things about how students learn and their professional responsibility toward that learning. Further, opportunities to hone and demonstrate professional and pedagogical knowledge are deeply embedded throughout our curriculum as students are encouraged to learn about learning, in tandem with a careful consideration of intercultural community contexts. Then candidates are required to transform this into pedagogical action through a scaffolded set of field experiences interwoven into coursework and service-learning experiences. The following unit assessments provide evidence related to candidate' professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills
Key unit assessments that demonstrate teacher candidates; knowledge, skills and responsibilities include:
- Abbreviated Teacher Work Sample ATWS) completed in redesigned PPR courses devoted to pedagogical content knowledge: EDCI 3355 (U-Teach); EDCI 4327(Elementary Social Studies and English Language Arts); EDSC 4328(secondary content pedagogy sectioned off by content area).
- TWS: Students must score at least "approaching target" in order to complete clinical teaching. This holistic performance assessment is primarily designed to assess candidate's impact on student learning. Section 2 (Learning Goals), Section 4(Design for Instruction) and Section 6 (Analyzing Student Learning) all require that students demonstrate a certain degree of content knowledge as they plan, implement and assess content-specific pedagogy geared toward helping all students learn Detailed data and analysis pertaining to this Assessment can be found in individual SPA reports (section 5) in AIMS. D
Data from Exhibit 1.3.d The Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies Chart in Exhibit 1.3.d show strong teacher candidate performance in this area. Combine that with outcomes related to candidates' impact on student learning, and it is clear that our candidates have the pedagogical and professional knowledge to implement and assess effective instruction. More particularly-given the cultural and linguistic contexts of these field experiences- our teacher candidates demonstrate culturally relevant knowledge and skills that promote learning among Hispanic/Latino students which represent the fastest growing minority group in P-12 schools across the U.S.
1.1.d Student Learning for Teacher Candidates Summary processes for development and outcomes from key assessments based on candidates’ demonstration of the knowledge, skills, and ability to affect student learning.
Our unit adopted the TWS as performance assessment that will allow teacher candidates to demonstrate valid and reliable evidence regarding their ability to design instruction and facilitate learning. We use a Teacher Work Sample (TWS) as our primary indicator of candidates' impact on student learning. The TWS a process that enables teacher candidates to demonstrate teaching performances directly related to the implementation of a standards-based instructional unit by planning, instructing and assessing EC-6 student learning. Candidates analyze student learning and reflect on their teaching effectiveness. The TWS adopted by UTB follows The Renaissance Teacher Work Sample Model (http://edtech.wku.edu/rubric) and requires teacher candidates to plan and teach a standards-based unit consisting of seven components: Contextual Factors, Learning Goals, Assessment Plan, Design for Instruction, Instructional Decision-Making, Analysis of Student Learning, and Self-Evaluation and Reflection.
The TWS was piloted and validated by a consortium of the following universities: California State University, Fresno, Eastern Michigan University, Emporia State University, Idaho State University, Kentucky State University, Longwood University, Millersville University, Pennsylvania, Middle Tennessee State University, Southeast Missouri State University, University of Northern Iowa, and Western Kentucky University.
Our unit piloted the Abbreviated Teacher Work Sample (ATWS) in spring 2011 in a course titled Implementing Effective Instruction (replaced in our newly reconfigured PPR sequence by courses that focus on pedagogical content knowledge). We then piloted the full TWS with two cadres of student teachers (Bilingual Generalist EC-6 and Math 8-12) in fall 2011. Outside consultants from Sam Houston University led a scoring workshop focusing on the rater process and procedures for ensuring that scoring procedures and practices were fair and free from bias. Based on data from these pilots, we conducted a full pilot with all student teachers in spring 2012 and adopted it at a key unit assessment for all teacher education candidates.
Successful teacher candidates support learning by designing a Teacher Work Sample that employs a range of strategies and builds on each student's strengths, needs, and prior experiences. Through this performance assessment, teacher candidates provide credible evidence of their ability to facilitate learning by meeting the following TWS standards:
- The teacher uses information about the learning-teaching context and student individual differences to set learning goals and plan instruction and assessment.
- The teacher sets significant, challenging, varied, and appropriate learning goals.
vThe teacher uses multiple assessment modes and approaches aligned with learning goals to assess student learning before, during, and after instruction.
- The teacher designs instruction for specific learning goals, student characteristics and needs, and learning contexts.
- The teacher uses regular and systematic evaluations of student learning to make instructional decisions.
- The teacher uses assessment data to profile student learning and communicate information about student progress and achievement.
- The teacher reflects on his or her instruction and student learning in order to improve teaching practice.
Successful completion of the TWS is indicated by a passing score of 2 to 3 on a 3-point scale. As is shown in Exhibit 1.3.d, all candidates passed the TWS in fall 2012 and spring 2013. In fall 2012 the average score for the entire sample 2.29. This rose slightly in spring 2013 with an average overall score of 2.31. Unit results indicate that candidates from both semesters scored lowest in the reflection and assessment sections. Aggregate data on our teacher candidates' ability to have a positive impact on student learning is available in the Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies Chart in Exhibit 1.3.d. Detailed program-specific data regarding the TWs can be found in SPA assessment 5 in AIMS. Samples of Teacher Work Samples developed by teacher candidates in 2012 and 2013 are available in Exhibit 1.3g.
1.1.e Knowledge and Skills for Other School Professionals
Summarize processes for development and outcomes from key assessments based on other school professionals’ demonstration of the knowledge and skills delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards.
Guided by our conceptual framework, our assessment structure requires that advanced candidates demonstrate key proficiencies through a variety of formative and summative assessments at multiple junctures in all programs, as scored by program faculty, clinical faculty and school partners. Data are compiled and stored through Tk20, analyzed by faculty and assessment staff and shared with relevant stakeholders, and then used to make program innovations that prepare better teachers, leaders and other educational professionals. Data are collected at four transition points detailed in Exhibit 2.3.a.
Key unit assessments at the advanced level require that candidates demonstrate an in-depth understanding of knowledge in their fields per professional, state and institutional standards. Assessments conducted in common core courses devoted to diversity, student learning and cognition, along with the research required of all candidates, measure their capacity to reflect on their practice in diverse communities, analyze data and use research and technology to support and improve student learning and other professional outcomes, per state and professional standards and guided by the CoE conceptual framework. As indicated in Exhibit 1.3.d Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies Chart, all advanced programs assess candidates' knowledge and skills related to 1. Inquiry; 2. Content Knowledge; 3. Professional Planning; 4. Application in the Field; 5. Professional Impact. These data demonstrate that advanced candidates are critical thinkers and pedagogical leaders who can synthesize and use research to have a positive professional impact on learners and their families in intercultural, real-world settings.
Comprehensive exams at the advanced levels require students to demonstrate general proficiencies and program-specific content through prompts that demand critical analysis and synthesis. Assessments related to advanced field and clinical placements show candidates' ability to apply these proficiencies in diverse settings and bring research to bear on such work. The doctoral dissertation assesses Ed.D. candidates' breadth of knowledge concerning the field of Curriculum and Instruction, in-depth knowledge of specialization areas and proficiencies, and skills related to conducting educational research. The unit also conducts completer exit surveys and employer surveys. Programs for which SPA standards exist conduct additional assessments aligned with SPA standards.
In relation to national standards, our Master of Education-Counseling and Guidance program is accredited by CACREP. Three of our advanced programs are fully recognized. Our Master of Education-Educational Leadership District Leadership Level and our Master of Education-Educational Leadership Building Leadership Level Programs are fully recognized by ELCC. Our Master of Education-Educational Technology program is fully recognized by AECT. Our three Advanced Special Education programs are recognized with conditions by CEC and have resubmitted for full recognition.
Our M.Ed's in Bilingual Education, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction do not have SPA standards but have conducted comprehensive program reviews. The results are available in Exhibit 1.3A.
The M.Ed. in Bilingual Education with emphases on bilingual education and ESL focuses on preparing candidates in second language acquisition, current issues in bilingual/ESL education, literacy and biliteracy, models of effective practice, professionalism, linguistics, advocacy, research, and assessment. The bilingual M.Ed. emphasizes the application of knowledge and skills for bilingual teachers to meet the needs of their bilingual students. All the courses deal with our Latino population in the Rio Grande Valley and work directly to meet the educational needs of the students in the area. Graduates from the program have developed the needed competence to serve as bilingual lead teachers and bilingual supervisors. Candidates' knowledge and skills are demonstrated through seven assessments aligned with TESOL standards adapted by faculty to reflect an advanced level of expected proficiency, and to target instruction to meet critical national needs regarding bilingual educators and leaders. Program standards are aligned with professional standards and the unit's conceptual framework and are addressed through seven assessments that demonstrate candidates' knowledge, skills and dispositions (detailed in Exhibit 1.3.a).
The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction prepares master teachers and graduates with instructional and curriculum development expertise to be leaders, mentors and peer coaches, and the ability to conduct high-quality research in curriculum and pedagogy in their chosen field. The program was designed in response to South Texas school districts' need for discipline-based leaders in curriculum and instruction, particularly in math and science. M.Ed. in C&I standards are addressed through six assessments (detailed in Exhibit 1.3.a).
The Ed.D in C & I program was designed to be a model program in the different specializations it offers. Current specializations in Bilingual Education, Educational Leadership, Educational Technology, and Higher Education are designed to meet student needs as well as regional, national and international expectations. The doctoral program also connects to UTB's mission statement in that it meets the needs of the region by supporting leadership and professional training as well as curriculum development. The doctoral program engages in research looking at best practices and their application to improving curriculum in a structured fashion. The Ed.D. program standards are aligned with the unit's conceptual framework and are addressed through six assessments (detailed)
1.1.f Student Learning for Other School Professionals Summarize processes for development and outcomes from key assessments based on other school professionals’ demonstration of abilities to create and maintain positive environments, as appropriate to their professional responsibilities, which support student learning in educational settings.
A key feature of all advanced programs is their emphasis on professional praxis in which key assessments not only measure candidate's knowledge and skills, but also measure the degree to which candidates are able to apply their emerging expertise to critical educational issues and put this to use by having a positive impact on teaching and learning and/or their profession. All advanced programs assess candidates' professional impact (Please see Exhibit 1.3.d Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies Chart. For example, candidates in the Master's in Special Education program demonstrate their ability to collect information about students' cognitive, behavioral, and achievement levels of functioning through formal evaluations in which candidates are provided feedback from certified site supervisors and university faculty with certification in the field. Candidates in the Master's in Counseling and Guidance demonstrate their ability to develop a comprehensive developmental school counseling and guidance program for a school district. This project allows students the opportunity to analyze campus data to help them help others in their role as school counselor. As part of a key assessment, M.Ed. Bilingual Education candidates work with small groups of ELLs applying strategies learned in the class. They evaluate the effectiveness of the research based strategies by collecting artifacts form the student. They then analyze the effect of the strategies on student learning. This is compiled and reported in a portfolio.
At the Doctoral level, candidates demonstrate an impact on their community through service-learning projects that are part of the required sociocultural core-course. This assignment requires that candidates use data to identify a community issue related to diversity and develop a project that addresses this issue in a culturally relevant way. Doctoral students demonstrate their capacity to have a professional and scholarly impact on the field of curriculum through inquiry by developing and presenting a presentation at a national curriculum conference.
Advanced candidates demonstrate a positive impact on their professional communities of practice in a myriad of ways addressing a broad spectrum of issues and needs united by central themes of teaching, leading and learning in linguistically diverse, intercultural contexts. Inquiry plays a key role in this impact as advanced candidates across all advanced programs are required to demonstrate their ability to use and conduct research to advance education in terms of theory and practice. Aggregate Data related to advanced candidates professional impact are available in Exhibit1.3.d Aggregate Data on Unit Proficiencies Chart. Detailed data regarding advanced candidates' capacity to apply strategies for improving student learning within the context of their specific professional context is available in SPA reports in AIMS and in Exhibit 1.3.a.
1.1.g Professional Dispositions for All Candidates Summarize processes for development and outcomes from key assessments based on candidates’ demonstration of professional dispositions expected by the unit.
Professional Dispositions are evaluated by CoE faculty and professional staff such as the Director of Field Experiences, and the Associate Dean. The dispositions have been identified as essential characteristics of a highly skilled professional. The key indicators of and proficiencies related to professional dispositions are assessed at four major transition points for initial programs: (1) admission to teacher-education, (2) Coursework in PPR and Core Courses, (3) Admission to Student Teaching, and (4) Conclusion of Student Teaching.
Likewise, for advance programs there will be for transition points were graduate students will have their dispositions evaluated: (1) Admission to Graduate School, where program candidates acknowledge the dispositions, (2) Evaluation by faculty of program candidates in the three core courses, (3) Key program courses by respective faculty, and (4) Application for Comprehensive examinations. At this point, faculty will rate students and the students will rate themselves. Program areas would be free to assess additional dispositions deemed necessary for the particular field.
Note, a Dispositional Concern Report may be completed when a concern arises at points other than the key transition points by faculty and professional staff. In addition, it is recommended to conduct post-program evaluation of candidate dispositions gathered through employer surveys
The following unit dispositions are adapted (with permission) from Rinaldo V. & Foote, C aligned with guiding principles of our conceptual framework:
- Pedagogical Leadership-The candidate demonstrates a commitment to students and believes that all students can learn.
- Maintains confidentiality in all matters and student records.
- Demonstrates enthusiasm toward teaching and/or learning new and or challenging material.
- Believes that all students can learn.
- Demonstrates an understanding of, and compliance with laws and policies for teaching and learning.
- Maintains professional/appropriate appearance.
- Experiments and evaluates various techniques of professional practices.
- Demonstrates enthusiasm for innovation.
- Demonstrates academic honesty.
- Maintains high expectations for self and others, attends ongoing professional development and shares this learning with others.
- Models advocacy for all learners.
Interrelatedness-The candidate demonstrates a commitment to the profession and adheres to the legal and ethical standards in teaching and advanced programs.
- Collaborates with other professional educators, families, and/or engages the community.
- Participates in professional and scholarly organizations and networks.
- Models ethical and professional social behavior within discipline specific standards.
- Demonstrates compassion for those experiencing difficulty.
- for individual and cultural differences within discipline specific contexts.
- Uses tools for intercultural interactions.
- Prepares materials that acknowledge various challenges within discipline specific contexts.
- Demonstrates patience/flexibility with self or others.
- Demonstrates behaviors that exemplify recognition and promotion of diverse opinions and perspectives of individuals and groups.
Inquiry-The candidate demonstrates critical thinking and reflective practices.
- Demonstrates the ability to think problems through in a critical manner.
- Engages in critical thinking about educational issues.
- Participates in scholarly activities.
- Self-assesses personal progress over time.
- Uses inquiry to reflect and act on educational dilemmas and problems.
We piloted the Candidate Disposition Survey and fall 2012. We have formal processes for making sure candidate are exposed to our unit's dispositional expectations, procedures for flagging and responding to areas of concern as well as policy relating to student appeals. As of summer 2013, no candidate has yet been flagged. Data regarding dispositions can be found in Exhibit 1.3.f.
1.1.h Follow Up Studies Summarize results from follow-up studies of graduates and employers regarding your teacher education graduates' content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills, ability to help all students learn, and professional dispositions.
The CoE regularly solicits feedback from students, graduates, and employers of our graduates. We participate in ongoing research regarding the effectiveness of our programs through the following exit and follow-up studies:
- State Level Follow Up Studies:
- Principal Survey: The purpose of this state survey is to evaluate the effectiveness of Texas educator preparation program in preparing new teachers. This survey is populated by individual teacher and made available for principals in May each year. This data will not be available from the state until mid-fall 2013
- Institutional Level:
- UTB Bachelor Degree Information Survey: http://www.utb.edu/its/olt/SACS/Pages/default.asp
- UTB Graduate Information Survey http://www.utb.edu/its/olt/SACS/Pages/default.aspx
- Unit Level Exit and Follow Up Studies
- Campus Administrator Survey Of UTB College of Education Certified Teachers: At the end of each calendar year, the Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice sends surveys to administrators of schools in which our new graduates (1-3 years) work. This survey asks 17 questions focusing on the degree to which our unit prepared candidates with the knowledge, skills and dispositions teachers need to be effective in today's classrooms.
- UTB College of Education Mentor Teacher Survey: P-12 school-based faculty who serve as mentor teachers are surveyed on a semesterly basis to provide feedback on the performance of student teachers. The survey consists of 13 likert and open ended response questions dealing with mentor teachers' perception of candidate preparedness in key areas such as instructional technology, pedagogy, professional responsibility, diversity and capacity for parental involvement. In general, survey results indicate that mentor candidates were prepared in each area.
- UTB College of Education Student Teacher Survey of Program Experiences: As they exit our teacher preparation program, candidates are surveyed through 8 likert and open-ended questions regarding the degree to which they feel unit programs prepared them for teaching in today's schools. In general, data indicate that our teacher candidates feel well prepared with the knowledge skills and dispositions to help all students learn. The survey indicates they felt slightly less prepared regarding parent involvement.
- UTB College of Education Teacher Candidate Survey of Program/Practicum Experience: Upon culmination of clinical teaching, candidates are surveyed about their clinical teaching experience. The survey consists of 14 likert and open ended response questions dealing with the degree to which their program prepared them for the professional and pedagogical responsibilities of student teaching. Data indicate that, in general, candidates felt well prepared for clinical teaching. Nearly 98% of candidates responded that they were able to implement and adjust appropriate instructional strategies that resulted in student learning during their clinical teaching.
- Additional Program- Specific Follow-up and Exit Surveys: Our unit encourages individual programs to conduct their own follow-up surveys assessing program effectiveness and gathering other data that informs program decisions. Some examples include:
- Graduate Survey M.Ed. Bilingual Education: This survey was sent to all graduates in the last 4 years up to fall 2012. Six out 24 responded. Eighty three percent of respondents were teachers before entering the program. One was not working. All respondents strongly agreed that the coursework in the Master's in Bilingual education prepared them well to use appropriate strategies when teaching ELLs, advocate for ELLs and their families, and assess students' knowledge and language abilities. Most of the graduates also strongly agreed that the course work helped them develop expertise in bilingual education, shared their expertise with their peers; create a positive environment for student learning, and to be more effective in the classroom.
- Counseling and Guidance Employer Survey: The supervisors/employers of Counseling and Guidance graduates were surveyed March 2013. Forty-five questions assessed their perception and evaluation of graduates' knowledge, skills, and attributes. Knowledge and skills were assessed among the eight common core areas identified by professional standards. In summary, the results indicate counseling graduates having an above average level of knowledge and skill in the eight common core areas. Students also were rated in the above average range in their personal and professional attributes
- Principal Preparation Alumni Survey: This survey is administered to alumni from our principal preparation program. The survey consists of 19 likert style questions as well as 1 open ended question that focus on the degree to which program alumni feel prepared for their role as building-level leaders. This survey also includes specific questions about the internship aspect of the program. In general, data from this survey indicate that program graduates felt the program prepared them well to serve in their role as school leaders. One hundred percent of those surveyed responded that they felt they were well prepared to effectively engage and work with parents and to lead with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner. Likewise, 100% of candidates reported that the internship provided them significant opportunities to practice and develop skills learned through coursework.
Follow-up and exit studies concerning the degree to which we prepare teachers and other educational professionals to have a positive impact on student learning are conducted at the state, institutional, unit and program level. We survey employers, our school-based and community partners, and our graduates concerning the effectiveness of their preparation as associated with proficiencies identified in state and professional standards and research as central to effective teaching, leadership and other professional outcomes.
1.2 Continuous Improvement
1.2.b Continuous Improvement
With the exception of one subject area, all unit programs with SPA standards have been recognized or recognized with conditions. This indicates that the teachers, leaders, and other educational professionals we educate demonstrate knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to meet professional standards. Plus, our state test scores are on the rise and our expectations for candidate outcomes are also rising. In order to capitalize on this trend, we are planning to more fully integrate all student outcome data into our data management system. Doing so, will require working with the state to draw data concerning follow-up studies and other data about the impact our teachers, leaders and other educational professionals are having on learners and broader communities of practice.
Data from clinical teaching observations indicates that candidates are well prepared to have a positive impact on P-12 student learning. But TWS data indicates that, although all candidates scored high enough to pass, there is room for improvement in the areas of assessment, data analysis and reflection. Our undergraduate curriculum is considering this data and redesigning courses to improve outcomes related to these areas.
Though we have raised our pass rate considerably, we need to apply sustained attention to aligning our curriculum to the P-12 content knowledge our candidates will be required to teach. For two years, we have been redesigning our PPR sequence to ensure that elementary program candidates have the pedagogical content knowledge needed to effectively teach in all content areas and that secondary teachers have an in depth knowledge of research-based, content-specific teaching methods related to the subjects they plan to teach. In fall 2013 we rolled out new courses designed to meet this need: 3355 (STEM Knowing and Learning); EDCI 4327(Elementary Social Studies and English Language Arts); EDSC 4328 (secondary content pedagogy sectioned off by content area). We also believe that these courses will help boost candidate outcomes on TExES content examinations.