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standard 5: Faculty qualifications, performance, and development

Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.

5.1.a Qualified Faculty

Summarize unit’s expectations for and evaluations of its professional education faculty, school- based faculty, and university clinical faculty regarding faculty qualifications.

All professional education, clinical and school-based faculty are well qualified to prepare highly-skilled professionals with the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to effectively help all students learn. Professional education faculty members have doctorates and/or professional experience and expertise in fields in which they teach. Data provided in Exhibit 5.3.a. indicate that the majority of education faculty members possess a terminal degree in the field they teach. A quantitative summary of the highest degrees earned by education faculty is provided below:

  • Ph.D.
    • Full-Time 35
    • Adjunct 1
  • Ed.D.
    • Full-time 19
    • Adjunct 1
  • Master of Education
    • Full-time 7
    • Adjunct 11
  • Bachelor
    • Full-time 0
    • Adjunct 1

Faculty members without terminal degrees are generally hired in a non-tenure track or part-time position such as lecturer or adjunct for the rich, recent professional experience they offer. Most of these instructors possess M.Ed., M.A., or M.S. degrees in the fields in which they teach. Unit faculty have significant experience teaching, leading and serving in other professional capacities in schools and other educational organizations.

Field-based specialists and university supervisors are educators with advanced degrees and teaching experience. The university-level clinical faculty members (student teacher supervisors) are accomplished school professionals with doctoral degrees or master’s degrees. Adjunct student teacher supervisors are certified teachers and must have a master’s degree. They are limited to a maximum of two sections of twelve students per semester. Both faculty and adjunct supervisors are required to attend the student teacher’s training sessions.

The selection process for school-based faculty is a collaborative effort among the Office of Field and Clinical Experience and school district administrations. School-based clinical faculty who serve as cooperating teachers for initial candidates must hold a Texas Teaching Certificate in the content area they are teaching and be recommended by the principal. Additional qualifications for school-based faculty include:

  • Minimum of three years classroom teaching experience
  • Recognition as a masterful teacher
  • Record of positive impact on student achievement
  • Willingness to work with student teacher
  • Completion of district and UTB mentor training

Site supervisors for advanced counseling and guidance candidates must hold a master’s degree and a school counselor certification, and have a minimum of two years professional experience. School-based supervisors for advanced candidates in Special Education are certified with a minimum of two years of classroom experience. In advanced leadership programs, mentors for principal interns are practicing principals with Texas teaching and principal certification. Mentors for the superintendency hold Texas superintendent certification and are superintendents in the districts where the candidates intern. Site supervisors for advanced counseling and guidance candidates must hold a master’s degree, a school counselor certification, and have a minimum of two years professional experience. School-based supervisors for advanced candidates in Special Education are certified with a minimum of two years of classroom experience.

Exhibits 5.3a, and 5.3.b, demonstrate that unit faculty are well qualified, experienced experts in the fields and school settings in which we serve. An additional point of pride in terms of faculty qualifications and relevant experience linked with student outcomes is the degree to which unit faculty are uniquely prepared to engage with and build upon the linguistic diversity of our bicultural, transnational educational context. More than 10 percent of faculty actively participate in scholarly activities in Spanish as well as English, including publications, international conference presentations and/or teaching. Even more faculty members (including clinical and school-based faculty) are conversationally fluent Spanish speakers uniquely poised to cultivate the linguistic assets that students, families, teachers, leaders and other educational professionals bring to our learning communities. But beyond this local benefit, the bilingual capacity of our faculty allows unit faculty and the highly skilled professionals we generate to address pressing national and international educational issues related to linguistic diversity and Hispanic and Latin@ learners through our teaching, research and service.

5.1.b Modeling Best Professional Practices in Teaching

Summarize unit’s expectations for and evaluations of its professional education faculty regarding modeling best professional practices in teaching.

Pedagogical leadership through quality teaching is central to our institution’s mission, Faculty members receive strong and positive evaluations from students and peers. Teaching evaluations are central to processes of tenure and promotion, and merit-salary increases. Unit faculty have received a number of awards for their teaching excellence.

Syllabi and peer teaching evaluations indicate that faculty integrate guiding principles—outlined in the unit’s conceptual framework—technology into their teaching in the following ways: pedagogy.

Pedagogical Leadership: Unit faculty are highly skilled pedagogical leaders dedicated to helping all students learn and become active participants in our democracy. Unit faculty know their content and uses appropriate, culturally-relevant pedagogy to provide all students with the opportunity to learn. Exhibit 1.3.d shows that every initial-program proficiency is linked with pedagogical leadership. We model this in our teaching by:

  • Experimenting with teaching techniques and critically evaluating the results of their experimentation
  • Using technology to enhance instruction
  • Transforming their own practice through continuous reflection and ongoing professional development, and sharing this learning with others in the educational community
  • Advocating for all learners

Interculturalism: Faculty demonstrate a keen understanding of the specific intercultural and linguistic funds of knowledge our students bring with them, Faculty then use culturally relevant pedagogy to capitalize on these assets. UTB faculty dedicate to a great deal of their scholarly work to issues of cultural and linguistic diversity and intercultural teaching and learning practices. We also demonstrate this in the classroom by:

  • Demonstrating sensitivity toward, and appreciation of, individual and cultural differences and adapting instruction to address these differences
  • Understanding the importance of global connections, including biliteracy and multilingualism as tools for intercultural teaching, learning and communication
  • Focusing instruction on the opportunities and challenges diversity presents.

Inquiry: Unit faculty work hard to foster a model critical thinking through assignments that require candidates at all levels to formulate inquiry and develop critical thinking. Exhibit 1.3.d demonstrates all programs devote significant instructional time to proficiencies related critical thinking and inquiry. We show this in our teaching by:

  • Actively inquiring into pedagogical problems and educational dilemmas and using research to seek resolution that benefit all students
  • Thinking critically about educational issues as well as their own instruction
  • Continuously reflecting on their practice and refining practice to meet the changing needs of learners
  • Engaging in innovative scholarship of practice that advances the field and related disciplines

Interrelatedness: Unit faculty understands that teacher education and teaching must be understood as a community-oriented enterprise that is collaborative by its very nature. Faculty members are active collaborators who work with school and professional partners to enrich their teaching. Further, our curriculum draws from multiple disciplines and unit faculty weave this together through their teaching. Per Exhibit 1.3.d, proficiencies related to interrelatedness and collaboration are central to all programs. Faculty show this in their teaching by:

  • Collaborating with students, families and communities
  • Encouraging students, through example, to becoming actively involved in their communities of practice and professional organizations
  • Drawing from interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary scholarship to inform our teaching practice
  • Applying professional ethical standards

In order to prepare candidates to effectively help all students learn, unit faculty collaborate with school-based faculty to guide students through purposeful, hands-on and “minds-on” experiences applying content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and skills in real-world settings. Faculty teaching field-based courses as well as courses that include significant field or service-learning experiences spend significant time in schools and community contexts collaborating with school-based faculty to ensure the quality of these field-based experiences.

Faculty teaching advanced courses are charged with helping advanced students deepen and extend their knowledge and skill base, while providing opportunities for students to critically examine this knowledge and advocate for change. Graduate faculty are also expected to advise and mentor students. This entails helping helping candidates develop and follow programs of study and supporting their professional and scholarly pursuits. An overarching responsibility of all graduate faculty is helping candidates develop skills related to using and conducting educational research. Faculty members teaching in advanced programs provide candidates opportunities to conduct research (often action research) that contributes to the theoretical base and professional practice of teachers, leaders and other educational professionals in intercultural settings. Toward these ends, faculty at the advanced level integrate professional internships, practicum experiences, service-learning, action research and other modes of research and reflection upon these experiences into the courses they teach.

All professional education faculty model best practices of ongoing formative assessment in courses they teach and beyond. Faculty model pedagogical leadership and a spirit of critical inquiry through their engagement in rigorous course, program and unit assessment. Further, faculty are aware of the impact assessments have on the diversity of students our unit serves and working to make sure assessment practices are fair and serve equity as well as excellence.

5.1.c Modeling Best Professional Practices in Scholarship

Summarize unit’s expectations for and evaluations of its professional education faculty regarding modeling best professional practices in scholarship.

Scholarly work is integral to faculty’s professional development and teaching. The UTB mission statement (2012) reveals this emphasis when it states that UTB “embraces teaching excellence, active inquiry, lifelong learning, rigorous scholarship, and research in service to the common good.” The mission is transformed into practice through the university’s Handbook of Operating Policies (HOOP 7.3.1 Faculty Responsibilities and Workload), which requires faculty to maintain active scholarship. Furthermore, the unit’s mission, conceptual framework and vision statement emphasizes the research requirement. Thus, scholarly work is an integral part of the university’s and the unit’s mission, policies and practice. Further, faculty vitae reveal an array of engaged scholarship that generates knowledge about teaching and learning in intercultural, high-poverty settings; evaluates teaching effectiveness; promotes best practice among teachers, leaders and other educational professionals in our local, linguistically diverse transnational communities; and uncovers new, promising practices—particularly those aimed at promoting achievement among Hispanic and Latin@ learners.

Unit faculty members demonstrate intellectual vitality through their active engagement in a wide range of scholarly activity related to teaching and learning and their fields of specialization. Per the unit’s tenure and promotion requirements, scholarship related to teaching and learning is strongly encouraged. Among full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty,91 percent are actively engaged in scholarship that includes books, chapters, refereed journal articles, refereed presentations, invited presentations and grants.

Scholarly activity that focuses on issues of interculturalism and equity is a major thrust of faculty research, as are issues related to Hispanic and Latin@ teacher education, particularly in the areas of bilingual education, math and science. Over the course of the last three years unit faculty have published 14 books, 46 chapters, 131 refereed journal articles, 369 refereed presentations, 165 invited presentations, and applied for 77 external grants. An important mission of unit faculty is to engage in formal and informal networking with local, state, national and global colleagues to promote and share inquiry. Unitfaculty present their research at local, state, national and international professional conferences. In addition to faculty-development funds at the institutional and departmental level, the CoE dean’s Competitive Travel Fund helps promote and support faculty presentations at national and international conferences. The following chart summarizes the scholarly units scholarly output for the last three years.

Seeking external funding for collaborative research that generates knowledge about teaching and learning, evaluates teaching effectiveness, promotes best practice among teachers, leaders and other educational professionals in our local communities, and uncovers new, promising practices—particularly those aimed at promoting achievement among Hispanic and Latin@ learners—is also an expectation of unit faculty. The CoE’s Center for Educational Development and Innovation works with faculty and community partners to develop sustainable, innovative, grant-funded initiatives aimed at improving teaching and learning at all levels. Such collaborative efforts reveal a consistent emphasis on bilingual and intercultural initiatives as well as those that explore and address the critical, national shortage of high-quality teachers in STEM fields. The center works with faculty, school and community to develop funded initiatives that integrate basic research, applied research and inquiry aimed at best practices in order to address local educational issues nested within larger national and international contexts of educational inquiry. Below is a summary of these projects:

Center for Educational Development & Innovation Grant Activity Summary


  • Submitted:16
  • Funded: 6
  • Pending Award: 5


  • Submitted: 16
  • Funded: 5
  • Pending Award: 1


  • Submitted: 23
  • Funded: 11
  • Pending: 0

Initiatives represented in the above table range from long-term research projects aimed at improving teacher effectiveness in math and science teaching; increasing the number of Hispanic and Latin@ teachers in STEM fields; and engaging high-poverty families in digital and traditional literacy activities to new, innovative projects such as studying how computer gaming and other cutting-edge uses of technology can improve educational outcomes among Hispanic and Latin@ students.

The engaged scholarship of unit faculty reveals a consistent emphasis on a critical nexus of issues related to teaching, learning and intercultural contexts that directly addresses the needs of our local communities of practice while exploring the challenges and possibilities related to linguistic and cultural diversity; disparities in student achievement; recruitment of minority teachers, leaders and other educational professionals; teacher effectiveness and educational equity that are central to the larger, transnational landscape of educational theory and practice.

5.1.d Modeling Best Professional Practices in Service

Summarize unit’s expectations for and evaluations of its professional education faculty regarding modeling best professional practices in service. 

Community engagement and service is central to the mission of UTB. Our institution earned the Carnegie classification for Community Engagement in 2011 and continues to deepen our efforts to put the knowledge, skills and ingenuity of faculty and students (along with that of our community partners in service) of meeting the critical needs of our transnational community. Education is one of these critical needs. Unit faculty, often alongside our students, play a central role in collaborating with schools, parents and youth-serving organizations to strengthen formal and informal systems of educational opportunity. Examples of such service include:

  • Providing family literacy and afterschool programing at local colonias
  • Establishing a counseling program for the Harmony Science Academy
  • Developing and implementing “Sorpresa,” an elementary school-based project helping teachers integrate gardening and outdoor classrooms into key curricular areas
  • Serving on community task forces such as UTB Task Force to Address Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Issues
  • Collaborating with regional grocery store chain (HEB) and local schools to coordinate “Read By 3” a literacy program offered to young children and their parents
  • Developing and implementing an adapted aquatics and rehabilitation class for students to work with physically challenged children
  • Collaborating with schools to enhance science and math teacher effectiveness through the Texas Regional Collaborative grant for science and math teachers
  • Designing and implementing fitness and adventure fitness camps for children
  • Lending educational expertise through service to local civic organizations that serve children and families such as United Way, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Faculty engage in active dialogue about education through a host of venues including the aforementioned community-based service, as well as through service to the profession. As Exhibit 5.3.e indicates, unit faculty provide service to the field of education through active participation and leadership in state, national and international professional/scholarly organizations and through collaboration with colleagues from other institutions. Faculty serve in an advisory capacity on local, state, national and international boards related to education and health as well as serving professional organizations as program and manuscript reviewers.

Faculty provide service to the institution through participation and leadership in university-wide committees and collaboration on interdisciplinary initiatives. CoE faculty members are often utilized for their pedagogical leadership and expertise in areas of teaching, learning and assessment. Service to the CoE is an expectation of all faculty. Standing CoE committees include:

  • Administrative Team Council, charged with strategic planning and composed of the dean, associate dean and department chairs.
  • CoE Personnel Committee, charged with recommending and implementing guidelines for appropriate annual faculty evaluation appraisals and tenure and promotion decisions. Composed of tenured faculty elected by secret ballot.
  • CoE Assessment Committee, charged with reviewing and analyzing unit, program and candidate assessments, monitoring data quality, and strategizing ways to improve CoE assessment policies and practices. Composed of departmental assessment committee chairs and relevant resource people.
  • Graduate Curriculum Committee, charged with reviewing and recommending policies related to graduate programs, curriculum and students, and establishing interdisciplinary relationships with graduate programs across colleges. Composed of one graduate faculty member from each department.
  • CoE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, charged with reviewing and recommending policies related to initial teacher preparation and other undergraduate programs, curriculum and students. Composed of one member from each department.
  • Student Advisory Committee, charged with advising the dean on all matters affecting students, advocating for student concerns and furthering CoE goals. Composed of student representatives from initial and advanced levels, the director of the Office of Institutional Advancement, the associate dean and the dean.
  • Community Advisory Committee, charged with providing input on the design, delivery and renewal of the unit’s conceptual framework and teacher education and professional programs, as well as supporting unit research, service, outreach and development. Composed of alumni and non-alumni representatives from corporate, non-profit and educational sectors, from our service area, the director of institutional effectiveness, the associate dean and the dean of the CoE as well as alumni.

The CoE also has ad hoc committees according to its academic and administrative needs. Faculty and staff serve on them as part of their service to the college and the university. Examples of such committees include the College Technology Advisory Committee and the Teacher Education Committee. Additionally, each faculty member serves in some capacity on committees related to our unit self-study guided by NCATE standards. The process is led by the NCATE Executive Council (NEC) composed of teacher-education faculty representatives and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, CoE department chairs and the CoE associate dean.

Exhibit 5.3.e shows a unit faculty actively engaged in a wide range of collaborative service that meets the interrelated educational needs and builds upon the assets of our institution, P-12 schools and other educational organizations. Further, our service-learning activities demonstrate the ways in which such service is integrated into our curriculum so that civic engagement and collaboration become shared expectations of all highly skilled educational professionals in our learning communities.

5.1.e Unit Evaluation of Professional Education Faculty Performance

Summarize unit’s expectations for and evaluations of its professional education faculty regarding

faculty performance.

The unit conducts systematic, comprehensive reviews of faculty in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. Expectations regarding faculty performance in these three areas are articulated in rubric-like guidelines developed by unit faculty and the CoE Administrative Team Council. These guidelines represent consistent criteria for evaluating faculty performance and making decisions regarding workload, tenure, promotion and merit-based awards. These charts are available in the Faculty Policies and Procedures Manual section 3-1.

Ongoing dialogue concerning faculty performance, as evidenced by performance criteria shown in the performance guideline rubrics, occurs through annual workload conferences for all faculty, with additional annual performance evaluations for tenure-track faculty, or five-year, post-tenure performance evaluations for tenured faculty.

The Annual Workload Conference provides faculty and supervisors a structured opportunity to review and reflect on faculty performance from the preceding year in order to inform the workload for the subsequent academic year. Faculty prepare a workload portfolio that documents performance in teaching, scholarship and service and contains a faculty-development plan indicating two- and five-year goals. Workload plans represent an individualized mix of responsibilities among teaching, scholarship and service. Annual workload conferences are a venue for open dialogue about the degree to which the individual strengths and interests of faculty are being put to purposeful use sustaining and enhancing unit aims in ways that are mutually beneficial.

Each tenure-track faculty member also submits a tenure and promotion portfolio for annual review. This results in an annual joint meeting in which tenure-track faculty meet with their department chair and the CoE dean to discuss progress toward tenure. Faculty generally seek academic tenure between year five and year seven. The decision to award tenure is the result of a collegial and administrative evaluation of the candidate's performance in relation to criteria detailed in the guideline rubrics. This review is conducted by the personnel committee, the department chair, the dean, the vice president for Academic Affairs and the president.

For post-tenure review, faculty submit a portfolio every five years after the last personnel action. If a faculty member applies and receives faculty merit, then they have five years from that time to the next review. Portfolios should include material from each of the five previous years since tenure was granted. The procedures for post-tenure review are similar to those of obtaining tenure status. Evaluation results can also be used by faculty to seek exceptional merit or promotion. The policies pertaining to tenure, promotion and exceptional merit are clearly outlined in the Faculty Policies and Procedures Manual. A summary of faculty renewal, tenure, post-tenure review, promotion and exceptional merit results for the last three years can be found in Exhibit 5.3.f.

Regular comprehensive evaluation through rigorous annual review of multiple forms of evidence regarding faculty performance in the areas teaching, scholarship and service enhances the overall competence and intellectual vitality of professional education faculty.

5.1.f Unit Facilitation of Professional Development

Summarize resources, opportunities, processes, and outcomes regarding unit facilitation of professional development.

Professional education faculty participates in a breadth of opportunities aimed at enhancing unit performance in teaching, scholarship and service. Through peer mentoring, unit faculty engage in ongoing, in-depth professional development aimed at cultivating an interconnected learning community whose growth is guided by our conceptual framework. Faculty professional development is addressed in university and unit policies regarding performance evaluation. Faculty provide evidence of active engagement in ongoing professional development in workload, tenure, promotion and exceptional-merit portfolios.

The CoE is committed to supporting the professional development of its faculty. To promote inquiry, dissemination of research, the scholarship of teaching and activities associated with nationally visible service, each tenured and tenure-track faculty member is allocated annual monies (based on availability of funds) to present papers and/or serve as officers of a nationally or internationally recognized scholarly association. In addition, all tenured and tenure-track faculty are encouraged to apply for the dean’s annual travel fund. This money is awarded competitively based on peer review of proposals to be presented at national conferences.

The unit also encourages faculty to engage with colleagues across the institution in professional development opportunities offered by the UTBCenter for Teaching & Learning. The center’s mission is to promote student learning by encouraging and supporting faculty efforts to explore the teaching and learning process within a framework of student-centered instructional practices. In 2012-13, the Center for Teaching & Learning provided over 50 professional-development activities directly aimed at improving teaching and learning, and thus building faculty capacity for pedagogical leadership. In 2012, unit faculty attended 125 professional development conferences and presented at 99. Exhibit 5.3.g provides a summary of the policies, procedures and practices for professional development and summaries of the results.

As our unit develops in relation to our conceptual framework, we are working to develop more collaborative professional development opportunities in which students, faculty and community partners teach and learn alongside one another. Toward this end, the unit began a Professional Development Institute in the summer of 2011. The sessions provide professional education faculty, students and our educational communities with a rich variety of professional development experiences focusing on diversity, technology and emerging practices. The following strands represent the emerging areas of emphasis for summer institutes:

  • Administration and Technology
  • Educational Technology
  • Collaborative Environments
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Gaming/Game-Based Learning and Simulations
  • Master Teaching in Math and Science
  • Mobile Computing
  • Online/Distance Learning
  • Virtual Worlds
  • STEM Technology
  • Technology and English Language Learners

In addition to summer institutes, the CoE offers other sorts of collaborative professional development as part of an ongoing goal of fostering interconnectedness among our learning community. Each year the CoE hosts a distinguished lecturer event focusing on intercultural educational issues of critical interest to our local community. This annual event features internationally recognized scholars who interact in focused discussions with faculty, students and community members in order to connect global expertise to local concerns. The distinguished lecturer event also includes a talk aimed at a general audience and open to the public. Further, student organizations such as our Omicron Eta Chapter of the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi provide joint opportunities for students, faculty and community alumni to develop professionally and influence the field of education through their local leadership.

As evidenced by Exhibit 5.3.g. and described above, the unit has policies and practices that encourage professional educational faculty to be life-long learners, while offering a breadth of professional develop opportunities.

As a compliment to this breadth, our unit system of peer mentoring aims to meet faculty development needs at a deeper, professional level. This system also serves to foster generative, scholarly and professional exchange among unit faculty that enriches the intellectual vitality and interrelatedness of our learning community. All new faculty members are assigned mentors through their fifth year of employment in the CoE. The mentor provides informal advice to the new faculty member on aspects of teaching, scholarship, service and university and unit operations. It is also the role of the mentor to recommend professional development per review of the mentee’s portfolios. The CoE the mentorship structure helps the mentee to establish an agenda for working toward her/his professional development goals and provides the necessary support to achieve his/her goals and gain insight into the realities of building a successful academic career.

5.2 Moving Toward Target or Continuous Improvement

5.2.b Continuous Improvement

Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement as articulated in this standard.

Recruiting, retaining and sustaining highly qualified scholars who are committed to teaching, scholarship and service that addresses the needs of our local and global learning communities is central to continuous improvement. This begins with recruitment. One way we are enhancing current recruitment outcomes is by expanding our institutional branding efforts to include unit and program level branding that clearly differentiates our teacher preparation unit and its programs from those of our near peers. National accreditation is a key part of this strategy. In order to better communicate the unique opportunities our unit offers faculty, we are exploring ways to cast a wider recruitment net via social media and direct marketing through established and emerging professional networks.

Our mentoring program helps faculty members forge a mutually beneficial relationship among their own development as a teacher and a scholar and the needs of the unit. This stands to greatly improve the retention and productivity of faculty. In order to enhance this process, the unit is exploring ways to assess the relationship between our mentoring structure and faculty retention.

Rigorous annual review of faculty performance is a firmly established part of the rhythm of professional life in our unit. However, faculty productivity and performance data are not gathered electronically and are not yet fully integrated into our data management system. Doing so will make trend data on faculty productivity more accessible and usable and thus enhance strategic planning that sustains continuous improvement.

With sights set on bringing Standard 3 to target, we are actively working to re-design existing collaborative professional development efforts into a more systematic approach that leverages the expertise as well as meets the needs of the school partners with whom we work through field and clinical experiences. Our COE technology committee is actively engaged in identifying ways in which technology can help us build a more agile network of shared professional development.

Standard 5 Committee:  Faculty Standards 
Council Member:  Dr. Zelma Mata
Chair: Dr. Irma Jones
Dr. Kathy Bussert-Webb
Dr. Eric James
Dr. Hsuying Ward
Dr. James K.
Dr. Maria Elena Corbeil


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