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standard 6: Unit governance & Resources

The unit has the leadership, authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources, including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

6.1.a Unit Leadership and Authority

Summarize unit’s leadership and authority in the design, delivery, operations of all programs at the

institution for the preparation of educators and other school professionals.

Our institution and unit is governed by and follows policies and procedures established by the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System. Additionally, UTB has its own set of operating procedures outlined in the Handbook of Operating Policies.

The unit policies, procedure and practices that govern unit operations are aligned with both sets of regulations and are detailed in the COE Faculty Policies and Procedures Manual.

The CoE is one of UTB’s nine academic colleges and schools. Our institution recognizes that the preparation of well educated, high-quality teachers, leaders and other educational professionals is an interdisciplinary pursuit central to its broader mission. Faculty from colleges outside the CoE (as well as faculty from our own Department of Health and Human Performance) provide courses in the general education core required of all undergraduate students. Students are required to take courses in communications, government, health, history, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, social and/or behavioral sciences, and visual or performing arts. This core introduces students to a multiplicity of academic perspectives and helps prepare well rounded future educators able to teach and learn across disciplines. Our content colleagues from other colleges also offer upper level courses that support specialized content knowledge for programs in English language arts, mathematics, music, science, social studies, Spanish and STEM. Led by our unit, programs across the institution collaborate to provide a cohesive curricular framework, a set of solid student services, and the resources necessary to prepare highly skilled educational professionals to excel in P-12 schools and other learning communities.

The CoE is the primary unit responsible for the preparation of teachers and other educational professionals at UTB. The dean of the unit has been designated by the university president as having primary authority and responsibility for all programs under the unit’s supervision. The associate dean serves as the institution’s chief certification officer. CoE infrastructure is composed of one administrative unit, the Office of the Dean; one research center, the Center for Educational Development and Innovation and four academic departments: Teaching, Learning and Innovation (TLI); Language, Literacy and Intercultural Studies (LLIS); Health and Human Performance (HPP); and Educational, Psychology and Leadership Studies (EPLS). Each department is led by a department chair. The CoE also includes other academic and administrative units assigned to it. This includes the Office of Teacher Preparation and Accountability, led by the associate dean; the newly restructured Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice, led by a director; the CoE Office of Graduate Studies, led by a coordinator; and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Development, which includes the Office of Research and Grants.

This administrative structure also includes the Administrative Team Council, the CoE Personnel Committee, the Student Advisory Committee and the Community Advisory Committee. These committees serve in an advisory capacity to the dean and assist in unit evaluation and participatory decision making. Details about the composition and responsibilities of offices and committees as well as other aspects of CoE infrastructure can be found in Exhibits 6.3.a and 6.3.b and in the CoE Faculty Policies and Procedures Manual posted on the CoE website.

The unit is also responsible for recruiting and retaining students and coordinating services that ensure their success. The unit's student-recruitment efforts revolve around partnerships with local districts. Staff from the OIED and the Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice reach out to prospective students through presentations at a host of school and community events and involvement in future-educator programs at local high schools. Our student advisory panel provides valuable input in this process. The Office of Graduate Programs and graduate program faculty take the lead in recruiting students for advanced programs. Faculty conduct information sessions on campus and at local schools, following up with additional individual communication. In addition, programs use print and online media to advertise themselves.

Providing efficient, student-centered advising is a key part of unit efforts to recruit, retain and graduate high-quality candidates. Three CoE academic advisers provide mandatory, general guidance to all declared education students. As these declared majors progress through their general education requirements, the advisers help make sure the students are fulfilling requirements to become accepted as teacher-education candidates. These advisers meet with students to review degree-plan progress, check GPA to assess academic status, schedule courses,and streamline the graduation trajectory whenever possible. Faculty members serve as assigned advisers for candidates in their specific, advanced programs. Advisers meet with advanced candidates regularly to prepare programs of study and offer general, professional advisement. Additionally, each advanced program has a program coordinator who also advises and assists with candidate concerns. In the doctoral program, all students are assigned individual mentors. These mentors help students with their program of study and advise them throughout the program on all academic issues. The CoE Certification Office (headed by the associate dean) is responsible for verifying candidates' eligibility for all initial or master’s-level certification. In order to foster student success, unit advisers, faculty and staff provide ongoing advisement throughout a student’s COE experience. See Exhibit 6.3.C. for more detailed description of policies and practices related to student services.

Students have access to counseling and other health-related services provided by Student Health Services. As part of student affairs, the mission of Student Health Services is to provide students an integrated, student-centered approach that addresses the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, physical, spiritual, social, environmental and occupational. These services are designed to help students with challenges they might face while pursuing their academic goals.

6.1.b Unit Budget

Summarize budget allocation and its sufficiency in supporting both campus and clinical work that are essential to the preparation of educators and other school professionals.

Budgetary allocation is sufficient to support faculty teaching, scholarship and service. The unit also has other three other sources of direct support candidate outcomes:

  • Teacher Education Fee helps provide tutoring and other materials that help support student success on state exams
  • Student Teaching Field-Based Course Fee helps reimburse clinical faculty for mileage associated with multiple school visits across our service areas
  • Education Major Fee ($10) extracted from all declared teacher education majors and used to support a variety of initiatives, linked to our conceptual framework, that directly impacts candidate outcomes and the sustainability of our teacher preparation unit
  • HHP testing and lab fees used to support specialized equipment necessary for the preparation of Health and Human Performance professionals
  • Special Education Assessment Fee funds assessment materials used to provide special education candidates the opportunity to conduct cognitive and other assessments through hands-on experience assessing learning challenges of children and youth in our local communities.

The CoE Center for Educational Development and Innovation provides additional revenue that allows our unit to supplement these resources and extend the scope of our work beyond our unit to add value to local communities of P–12 practice. The cost of administrative support at the unit and departmental level was removed from the CoE budget and centralized into an academic-service center. Exhibit 6.3.g provides a unit budget for FY 2012-2013 and indicates that it is comparative with other colleges.

The contemporarily bleak climate of higher education funding has forced our unit to be more resource prudent and innovative than ever. Yet our budget for unit operations, administration, professional education and clinical faculty, teaching and collaborative work with schools remains adequate to support our unit aim of recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty, preparing highly skilled educational professionals, and collaborating with our community to meet critical educational needs.

6.1.c Personnel

Summarize policies, procedures, and practices of faculty workload; unit’s use of faculty and personnel in ensuring coherency and integrity of programs and operations; and resources and opportunities for professional development.

Faculty are subject to the UT Regents Rules and Regulations concerning minimum teaching requirements for general academic institutions as well as institutional and unit expectations. Established workload polices, including class size and online course delivery, allow faculty members to be effectively engaged in teaching, scholarship assessment, advisement, collaborative work in P-12 schools and service. The workloads for teaching on campus and online generally do not exceed twelve hours for undergraduate teaching and nine hours for graduate teaching per semester or the equivalent. A faculty member working with four doctoral students as chair of the doctoral dissertation committee in a semester is given one course-release time for one semester.

Below is a summary of workload expectations from the UTB Handbook of Operating Procedures:

1. Teaching. Normal teaching load (per semester) for faculty is 12 Lecture Hour Equivalents (LHE's) (8 undergraduate courses or 6 graduate courses per academic year, not including the summers).

2. Office Hours. A minimum of eight (8) office hours per week, three (3) of which may be by appointment.

3. Academic Advising. Faculty normally carries an assigned share of advisees.

4. Scholarship/Professional Development.

5. Inquiry/Research.

6. Departmental/College/University Services.

7. Professionally Related Service to the Profession and the Discipline.

8. Professional Service to the Community.

For each faculty member, the mix of responsibilities between teaching, advising, scholarship/professional development, inquiry/research and various forms of service is negotiated in an annual conference between the faculty member, the department chair and the dean. Many combinations are possible within the bounds of departmental, college and university needs, and individual strengths and interests. After the joint conference and agreement by the faculty member, the chair and the dean, the plan is approved by the vice president for Academic Affairs. During the course of the year, a plan may be revised at the initiation of the faculty member and upon approval by the chair and the dean.

According the CoE Faculty Policy and Procedures Manual, although the standard minimum teaching load is 12 lecture hour equivalents (LHEs) each semester (HOP policy), faculty at all levels are expected to achieve relevant scholarly work. Graduate faculty typically teach fewer than 12 LHEs per semester, with the expectation that they will establish and maintain a research agenda beyond the minimum for all faculty and will conduct scholarly activities such as research, publishing scholarly works, graduate-student mentoring, and presenting their work at professional conferences.

Newly appointed faculty are usually granted one course release for the first two semesters teaching for the purpose of developing instructional materials and solidifying a research agenda. The unit’s workload policies and practices permit and encourage faculty not only to be engaged in a wide range of professional activities (including teaching, scholarship, assessment, advisement, work in schools and services), but also to professionally contribute on a community, state, regional or national basis. Formal policies and procedures have also been established to include online course delivery in determining work load. Online course development counts as a discrete, weighted source of evidence in workload rubrics. Adjuncts, part-time student workers and graduate teaching assistants provide a diversity of professional engagement that enriches our unit’s work.

6.1.d Unit Facilities

Summarize campus and school facilities to support candidates in meeting standards, including support for use of technology in teaching and learning.

The unit provides faculty and students with access to physical classrooms, smart rooms, computer labs, degree/curriculum advising, disability services and library resources that enhance teaching and learning. Access to ninety-three physical classrooms is scheduled through the University’s Office of Space Management (see related procedures at https://www.utb.edu/provost/osm/Pages/default.aspx) and maintained by the university’s Office of Facilities and Planning (see related processes at http://www.utb.edu/provost/ofp/physicalplant/Pages/default.aspx).

Faculty and students have access to computer labs and mobile labs. Access to these resources is provided through the Information Technology Services (ITS) Division whose chief information officer reports to the university’s provost (Please see the Computer lab polices, open labs and other software-training support for the candidates). In addition to mandatory advising, the university-wide Academic Advising Center plays a pivotal role in nurturing student success. The unit also allocates resources to assist in student teaching and field experience as well as pre-service teacher curriculum advising

The Disability Services Office provides assistive technology lab and testing services for those with special needs. See http://www.utb.edu/em/veterans/Pages/DisabilityServices.aspx for related processes. The university libraries (including Oliveira Library and University Boulevard Library) contain more than 700 specialized volumes. Targeted electronic resources include sixteen databases, 2,400 eBooks and 127 online periodicals. A space at the University Boulevard Library is re-purposed to combine various services in an effort to create a more patron-friendly atmosphere. The circulation and reference staff are cross trained in each other’s fields so as to be better prepared to help uncover patron needs, recommend materials and secure study resources. See http://www.utb.edu/library/Pages/default.aspx for services and policies pertaining to the libraries and exhibit 6.3.i for a support letter written by the libraries.

6.1.e Unit Resources including Technology

Summarize resource allocations to support candidates in meeting standards, with provisions for assessment, technology, professional development, and support for off-campus, distance learning, and alternative route programs when applicable

Summarize resource allocations to support candidates in meeting standards, with provisions for assessment, technology, professional development, and support for off-campus, distance learning, and alternative route programs when applicable

Our institution uses Blackboard for course management and Blackboard Outcomes for collecting assessment data on student performance and faculty productivity. The system portal is located at http://myutb.blackboard.com In order to provide a one-stop shopping experience, the university added to the portal direct access to libraries and faculty and student online support services through various tabs on the top of the portal. The CoE also invested in its own data-management system, Tk20, tailored to the specific assessment need of units that prepare teachers and other professionals..

In addition to supporting the integration of technology into course management, UTB offers over 600 online courses a year to 8,878 students for a total of 34,543 semester credit hours. We also offer seventeen online programs, seven master’s degrees, six bachelor’s degrees and four graduate certificates. In fact, we offer more online courses and programs than any institution in the UT system. One of those programs, the CoE’s Master of Education in Educational Technology, was rated 39th in the country by U.S. News World Report’s ranking of 2013 Best Online Programs. Moreover, this stellar program ranked fourth in the category of student service and technology. UTB online students receive high-quality student services including online student orientation, online tutoring 24/7, test proctoring, help desk, and admission and registration information for online courses and programs.

Our unit offers distance education courses via teleconference to bilingual education students in Houston and San Antonio. This is coordinated by program faculty and the Division of Information Technology Services, which coordinates and provides services and resources regarding distance learning. Real-time technical assistance ensures reliability, ease of connectivity and speed at all sites. Additionally, the college pays proctors at the actual sites and pays for faculty to travel to our remote sites several times each semester. An explicitly written university policy on distance education is published at http://gemini.utb.edu/ode/bb/onlinecoursequality/2.pdf.

The Technology and Renovation Fund is additional funding used to support the purchase of computers, software, media equipment and renovations. A large portion of this fund was used to remodel space for our community counseling clinic this past year. In Assessment initiatives, approximately, 72K was allocated this past year to support the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Development and Tk20 support. This allocation has been vital to support NCATE initiatives. Approximately, 20k was allocated for professional development such as faculty travel, conference registration fees, professional memberships and trainings. This funding has assisted many of the faculty travel to their professional organizations. The CoE has several off campus teaching facilities to support. This funding supports off campus proctors to assist students in their classrooms and maintenance of equipment. For Distance Learning, the majority of support is provided by the Office of Technology Services under the direction of the Chief Information Officer.

In order to keep up with the fast-paced innovations in technology-supported teaching, learning and assessment, the CoE consistently encourages faculty development in these areas. Each tenured and tenure-track faculty member is allocated annual monies (based on availability of funds) to participate in conferences and other professional development experiences. Unit faculty also have access to a range of professional development opportunities offered by the UTB Center for Teacher and 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 pedagogical practices. Many of the center’s offerings focus on technology and assessment. The UTB Center of Teaching and Learning ensures that faculty have access to best practices of college teaching and the assistance they need to improve assessment practices and conduct research that can be applied to sculpting an evolving scholarship of practice that benefits both the theory and practice of teaching and learning on our campus as well as in P-12 schools

6.2 Moving Toward Target or Continuous Improvement


6.2.b Continuous Improvement

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


In order to enhance our unit assessment system, it is critical that our unit operation data be more fully integrated into Tk20. This would help us more easily access trend data on unit allocations and outcomes in order to make better, more resource-prudent decisions thus allowing the unit to better leverage existing resources and seek additional resources more efficiently.

Our Educational Technology Programs are truly examples of cutting-edge technology’s enormous potential to transform pedagogical practice and improve outcomes. In 2012, the Unit Technology Committee gathered and analyzed data concerning faculty knowledge, skills and dispositions related to technology. This study identified the need for a more unified unit approach to technology, particularly in regard to clinical faculty’s capacity to teach candidates strategies for teaching their own students how to use technology to improve learning. The technology committee recommended that a good first step would be adopting a unified set of technology standards for the unit, and scaling up expectations and practice in relation to these standards. As a result of this important work, the technology committee has become a standing CoE committee.

In response to unit operation data, and in order to enhance unit performance and candidate outcomes related to field experiences and clinical practice, we have restructured our field experience office. The former charge of the Office of Student Teaching and Field Experiences included coordinating field experiences and clinical practice and implementing and monitoring teacher education admission and advising processes as well as receiving, reviewing and validating certification eligibility, including that of advanced candidates. This office has also been responsible for reporting duties such as Title II, TEA and Texas Legislative Budget Board Reporting. Current best practices relevant to the preparation of teachers, leaders and other education professionals clearly demonstrate the centrality that well-coordinated, purposeful and plentiful field experience and clinical practice play in educator effectiveness. Through our self-study process, analysis of unit operations data indicated that this office was already too disproportionally engaged in processes central to teacher preparation and certification to effectively expand and enhance the depth of existing practice related to field and clinical experiences to the degree the unit is striving for. As a result, in summer 2013 faculty from the NCATE Executive Council (NEC) made the recommendation that the Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice be restructured as a stand-alone office. This proposed restructuring was accepted by the institution. The new office dedicated to enhancing field and clinical practice across programs at the initial and advance levels is being established fall 2013.

Standard 6 Committee:  Unit Governance and Resources
Council Member: Mr. Hector Castillo
Chair:  Dr. Karin Ann Lewis
Dr. Sam Pan
Dr. Bobbette Morgan
Dr. Terry Overton
Dr. Ignacio Rodriguez
Dr. Juan Garcia
Ms. Norma Infante-Garcia


Minutes

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