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College of Education > NCATE

Welcome | Overview & Conceptual Framework | Master Exhibit List
Standard 1 | Standard 2 | Standard 3 | Standard 4 | Standard 5 | Standard 6

Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions

Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other school professionals know and demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

 1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions

What do candidate assessment data tell the unit about candidates' meeting professional, state, and institutional standards and their impact on P-12 student learning? For programs not nationally/state reviewed, summarize data from key assessments and discuss these results.


All unit programs that lead to state licensure and certification are approved by the Alabama State Department of Education (Exhibit 1.4.a.1). Assessment data of candidates' content knowledge, including those that indicate the impact of candidate work on P-12 student learning, are documented by candidate pass rates on state and national examinations as well as target level performance in professional, state, and institutional professional standards. Candidates' attainment of content knowledge is documented through the analysis of Title II data, specifically the Praxis II examinations required by the state for initial licensure (Exhibit 1.4.b.1-3). Unit policy requires that all candidates pass program specific content examinations prior to student teaching.


Candidates exhibit a thorough understanding of the inherent relationship between subject matter content and specific pedagogical/instructional strategies to facilitate learning in the classroom. The unit must provide evidence of candidates' knowledge and ability to meet all state standards (Exhibit 1.4.c.10). Candidate attainment of pedagogical content knowledge is guided and assessed in coursework and field experiences through a variety of standards. These standards include the Alabama State Department of Education (SDE) standards (program specific content knowledge and ability standards) (Exhibit 1.4.c.1). Also included are Alabama Quality Teaching Standards (AQTS) for pre-service candidates (Exhibit 1.4.c.2) as well as AQTS standards for in-service teachers are assessed through the EDUCATEAlabama (EA) framework (Exhibit 1.4.c.3). In addition, the unit's current conceptual framework outcomes are assessed through candidate portfolios (Exhibit 1.4.c. 4-7). Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards and content specific pedagogical standards identified by national educatororganizations are aligned with these standards. For example, the collaborative (special education) program addresses the Council for Exceptional Children professional standards through course syllabi (Exhibit 1.4.c.8).


Building Success through Writing Initiative

Data from the college-level writing rubric (Exhibit 1.4.c.9) are used for a variety of assessment purposes including content knowledge and the ability to communicate effectively in writing. Candidates write a philosophy of education in ED 302 Foundations of Education II and revisit this document during internship. This allows them to reflect, analyze and synthesize their growth in both content knowledge and pedagogical skills. Aggregate data show significant growth in all categories of the rubric. The percentage of scores at the Target level ranged from a five percent increase (93% to 98%) for Target Audience/Point of View/Originality to an increase of 38 percent (58% to 96%) for Documentation of Resources (Exhibit 1.4.d.1). In addition, all course anchors have incorporated more writing assignments into their courses with a writing assignment being required in all capstone courses.


Candidate Portfolios

Candidates develop and maintain an electronic portfolio throughout their program of study. The current conceptual framework drives program and course development and provides structure to the portfolio and allows candidates to collect, analyze and reflect on their work. As depicted in Exhibit 1.4.d.2, candidate growth is illustrated across all four portfolio benchmarks. Exhibit 1.4.d.3 provides, by benchmark, disaggregated portfolio data by program and for the unit. Exhibit 1.4.d.4 highlights candidate performance at Target level disaggregated by program. As candidates advance through their programs they become more discerning in their artifact selection and the written rationales for each artifact become more thoughtful and reflective. Examples of candidate portfolios will be available on site (Exhibit 1.4.h.1).



EA data are also used for unit improvement and are gathered through observations during field

experiences (Exhibit 1.4.d.5) and internship (Exhibit 1.4.d.6). Over 85 percent of the candidates during field experience and 90-95 percent of the candidates during internship scored at the Target level (Exhibit 1.4.d.7). Nearly 100 percent of candidates in both observations scored at the Target or Acceptable levels on most indicators (Exhibit 1.4.d.8).


During candidates' first year of teaching, they complete a self-assessment for all EA indicators. Nearly 50 percent of the unit's first year teachers self-assessed their level of teaching practice as moving beyond the "Preservice/Beginning" and "Emerging" levels to the "Applying" and "Integrating" levels of practice for several indicators under content knowledge, organization and management of learning environments, and professionalism (Exhibit 1.4.d.9). This reflects candidates' strong grasp of professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills.

Over 70 percent of the unit's first-year teachers self-assessed their level of teaching practice at the "Preservice/Beginning" and "Emerging" levels for the indicators related to diversity and to professional practice (Exhibit 1.4.d.10). Diversity indicators will show growth as teachers have more experience teaching diverse student populations. The area of professional practice will show improvement as teachers have more professional involvement with their school communities and participate in professional development activities.

Assessment of Teacher Education Program

Another example of assessment data used for unit improvement is the candidate evaluation of the TEP at completion (Exhibit 1.4.d.11). In addition to answering specific questions, candidates are encouraged to provide comments about the program (Exhibit 1.4.d.12). Although the comments are overwhelmingly positive, some candidates expressed three areas that could be strengthened: a common lesson plan format, classroom management strategies for today's classrooms, and exposure to additional instructional technology. These concerns are being addressed by faculty in appropriate courses.

Professional Dispositions

Candidates are introduced to the professional dispositions (as outlined in the conceptual framework) and the rating system employed for their assessment (Exhibit 1.4.e.1) in the ED301 Foundations of Education I course. Candidates are rated at three different intervals: by faculty during courses (Exhibit 1.4.f.1), cooperating teachers during field experience (Exhibit 1.4.f.2), and intern supervisors during internship (Exhibit 1.4.f.3). The triangulation of rating systems, frequency of rating, and variation of assessors validates the effectiveness of the assessment process of candidate's professional dispositions. Data regarding diversity dispositions were collected during internship in 2012-13 and exemplify that within the unit:

  • 97 percent demonstrated competency in exhibiting stewardship of diversity; and
  • 97 percent demonstrated competency in exhibiting fairness and the belief that all students can learn (Exhibit 1.4.f.3).

Candidate Impact on P-12 Student Learning

Candidates demonstrate the ability to positively affect student learning in a variety of ways. During field experiences, coursework, and internship, candidates have the opportunity to evaluate student learning through the use of pre/post assessments. These activities allow candidates to focus on student learning and monitor the effects of their work. Coursework examples include:

  • SC 362 Assessment & Evaluation in Secondary Education-candidates use a pre-test to assess students prior to individual tutoring which guides their tutoring lesson; a post-test is then used to evaluate what was learned from the tutoring (Exhibit 1.4.g.1-4);
  •  EL 424 Teaching Math in Intermediate Grades-candidates compare the data of the pre/post tests administered to students during field experience (1.4.g.5-7);
  •  SE 355 Alternative Instructional Strategies-candidates give a pre-test, determine and apply an intervention strategy based on results, then give a post-test (Exhibit 1.4.g.8).


During internship, candidates again utilize a pre/post assessment to plan, facilitate, and assess student learning. Pre/post-test data illustrate interns in every major have a substantial impact on student learning (Exhibit 1.4.g.10). Further, candidates teaching lessons in field experience and internship are assessed by the EA Standards (Exhibit 1.4.c.3). Several of these standards specifically address P-12 student learning such as "Designs Lessons Integrating Variety of Appropriate Instructional Strategies" and "Uses Formative Assessments to Provide Timely Feedback," and provide observational data from faculty and cooperating teachers in addition to the data from pre/post test assessments. Data from EA assessments show most candidates, both during field experience and internship, scored at Target or Acceptable level on these two indicators (Exhibit 1.4.d.5-6).


Graduate Follow-up and Principal Surveys

First-year teachers and principals are routinely surveyed by the unit. Analysis of the 2012-13 Graduate Follow-up Survey (N=116 out of 348 program completers) show 97 percent of candidates, both employed and unemployed, were Satisfied or Very Satisfied with their overall preparation and skills gained during their specific program (Exhibit 1.4.i.1). The Principal Survey for 2012-13 revealed 100 percent of principals (N=92) were Satisfied or Very Satisfied with the quality and preparation of the teacher candidates (Exhibit 1.4.j.1).


1.2 Moving Toward Target or Continuous Improvement

Please respond to 1.2.a if this is the standard on which the unit is moving to the target level. If it is not the standard on which you are moving to the target level, respond to 1.2.b.

 1.2.a Standard on which the unit is moving to the target level

  • Describe areas of the standard at which the unit is currently performing at the target level for each element of the standard.
  • Summarize activities and their impact on candidate performance and program quality that have led to target level performance.
  • Discuss plans and timelines for attaining and/or sustaining target level performance as articulated in this standard.


 1.2.b Continuous Improvement

  • Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality.
  • Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement as articulated in this standard.

Since the last accreditation visit in 2007, the unit has continually maintained a high level of candidate performance and program quality through systematic review and improvement. Currently, the unit is in the midst of several data driven continuous improvement initiatives in the forms of:

  • Professional development
  • Program revisions (awaiting state approval)
  • New programs
  • Process and procedural changes related to the university's new autonomy


Continuous improvement efforts are based on both quantitative and qualitative data as well as job market trends, state initiatives, and certification requirements. The following narrative includes a summary of many of the unit's continuous improvement efforts.

Conceptual Framework Revision: In response to the university's new vision, mission and goals statements and desires of unit faculty to have a more theoretically-based conceptual framework with a stronger social justice focus, a new framework was developed. The revised conceptual framework consists of a new theme, goals, and outcomes. Full implementation will take place in fall 2014. While the conceptual framework is not drastically different from the previous one, significant improvements include:

  • Stronger theoretical foundation;
  • Social justice program goal; and
  • Program outcomes in accordance with the new vision, mission and goals of the university. Professional Development: In response to unit data, employer and alumni feedback, EA data, the revised conceptual framework, and state requirements (new Praxis requirements and College and Career Readiness Standards [Common Core]) the unit developed a plan for focused faculty professional development that will promote more in-depth understanding and integration of key concepts, strategies, and theorists into program curriculum. Key topics for professional development training include:
  • English language learners (ELL) education;
  • Reading integration;
  • New program goals (student-centered learning; disciplinary knowledge; professional and pedagogical knowledge and; socially responsible citizens); and
  • Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards.

Program Revisions: As a result of feedback from local education agencies, principals, graduates, and current candidates, and in conjunction with the national economy and job market, the unit submitted proposals for program improvements to the state department. Program improvements address the needs expressed by current and former candidates and will improve the preparation of candidates. Key changes made throughout all programs include:

  •  Electives added to each program in an effort to allow candidates to concentrate in particular areas of interest and/or need related to future job expectations; and
  • 124 semester hours required for completion of all programs (previous program hours varied).

Course Revisions: Program revisions and the university's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Building Success through Writing, have resulted in the need for course revisions. Unit faculty continuously strive to improve courses. Recently, focused course revisions were made for the purposes of:

  • ensuring the components, and supporting theorists of the conceptual framework are integrated throughout the unit curriculum;
  • providing candidates with initial exposure to College and Career Readiness Standards;
  • improving candidates college-level writing skills; and
  • improving candidate scores on Praxis tests.


Candidate Impact on P-12 Student Learning

Recently, candidates in the Physical Education program were invited to a Huntsville City Schools Summer Workshop for P-12 P.E. teachers. They were asked to demonstrate individual skills to classroom teachers during the workshop. Their activities were well-received by the P-12 teachers who then incorporated the strategies into their classroom plans. Exhibit 1.4.g.9 reflects the positive reception and feedback related to unit candidates' contribution and impact on future student learning.


New Programs: The unit strives to meet the needs expressed through data and feedback from local education agencies (LEA) and candidates. In response, three new minor programs have been implemented in an effort to better prepare candidates for future job demands. New minors include:

  • Educational Technology;
  • Instructional Design; and
  • English Language Learners.


Field Experience Program Revisions: While the current field experience program has served the candidates well, focused discussions with LEAs and candidates, as well as field experience data, resulted in revisions to the program. Providing the best field experiences for candidates is a goal of the unit. The Field Experience and Internship (FEI) Office is currently heading many areas of improvement to field experiences. These efforts include:

  • More intensive unit faculty involvement through increased candidate/faculty interaction and collaboration during collaboration during field experiences; and
  • More opportunities for peer teaching, evaluation and reflection.


Preparing Graduates for Employment: As a result of feedback from ongoing conversations with

graduates and LEAs the unit felt a more focused effort was needed to ensure candidates were soundly

prepared to successfully enter the workforce. These efforts include strategies for:

  • Improving candidate resume and employment application writing skills;
  • Improving candidate interview skills; and
  • Better understanding of the job market and possible venues for employment.


As described, there are currently several continuous improvement efforts in motion. To ensure maximum effectiveness and to sustain and enhance performance, it is important that new processes, programs, and plans be reviewed and reflected upon regularly. The unit has developed an effective plan for doing so. Assessment data, both in qualitative and quantitative formats, are continually collected within the unit and the university. The unit meets annually for the purposes of:

  • Reviewing data findings;
  • Reflecting on strengths and weaknesses in current programs, procedures, etc.; and
  • Planning for continuous improvement.


1.3 Areas for Improvement Cited in the Action Report from the Previous Accreditation Review

Summarize activities, processes, and outcomes in addressing each of the AFIs cited for the initial and/or advanced program levels under this standard.

There were no areas for improvement cited for Standard 1 in the 2007 NCATE Accreditation Review.


 1.4 Exhibits for Standard 1

1.4.a State program review documents and state findings (Some of these documents may be available in AIMS.)

1.4.b Title II reports submitted to the state for the previous three years

1.4.c Key assessments and scoring guides used for assessing candidate learning against professional and state standards as well as proficiencies identified in the unit's conceptual framework (Some of this information may be accessible for nationally recognized programs in AIMS. Cross reference as appropriate.)

1.4.d Aggregate data on key assessments, including proficiencies identified in the unit's conceptual framework (Data should be disaggregated by program and level regardless of location or method of delivery.)

1.4.e Key assessments and scoring guides used for assessing professional dispositions, including fairness and the belief that all students can learn belief that all students can learn

1.4.f Aggregate data on key assessments of candidates' professional dispositions (Data should be disaggregated by program and level regardless of location or method of delivery.)

1.4.g Examples of candidates' assessment and analysis of P-12 student learning

1.4.h Examples of candidates' work (e.g., portfolios at different proficiency levels) from programs across the unit

1.4.i Aggregate data on follow-up studies of graduates

1.4.j Aggregate data on employer feedback on graduates

1.4.k Data collected by state and/or national agencies on performance of educator preparation programs and the effectiveness of their graduates in classrooms and schools, including student achievement data, when available

1.4.a.1 SDE Approved Program Checklists

1.4.a.1 SDE Approved Program Checklists

1.4.a.1 SDE Approved Program Checklists

1.4.a.1 SDE Approved Program Checklists

1.4.a.1 SDE Approved Program Checklists

1.4.b.1 2011-12 Title II Report Card

1.4.b.2 2010-11 Title II Report Card

1.4.b.3 2009-10 Title II Report Card

1.4.c.1 State Standards by Course

1.4.c.2 Alabama Quality Teacher Standards for Preservice Candidates

1.4.c.3 EA Observation Assessment Rubric (2.4.a.10)

1.4.c.4 ED 301 Portfolio Assessment Rubric (2.4.a.2)

1.4.c.5 TEP Portfolio Assessment Rubric (2.4.a.3, 2.4.b.7)

1.4.c.6 Senior Methods Portfolio Assessment Rubric (2.4.a.4)

1.4.c.7 Culminating Portfolio Assessment Rubric (2.4.a.5)

1.4.c.8 Example of National Professional Standards in Course Syllabus

1.4.c.9 College-Level Writing Rubric (2.4.a.8 and 5.4.e.8)

1.4.c.10 All State Standards Assessed in Internship

1.4.d.1 Candidate Growth in Writing from ED302 to Internship

1.4.d.2 Candidate Growth Across Benchmarks

1.4.d.3 Portfolio Benchmark Data by Program

1.4.d.4 Disaggregated Benchmark Data by Program

1.4.d.5 EA Assessment Data from Field Experience (by Program) (3.4.f.29, 4.4.a.3)

1.4.d.6 EA Assessment Data from Internship (by Program) (4.4.a.5)

1.4.d.7 EA Field Experience vs Internship Performance at Target

1.4.d.8 EA Field Experience vs Internship Scoring

1.4.d.9 EA 1st Year Teachers’ Self-Reporting at 40%

1.4.d.10 EA 1st Year Teachers Self-Reporting at 70%

1.4.d.11 Candidate Assessment of TEP (2.4.a.13)

1.4.d.12 Candidate Comments about TEP (2.4.d.4)

1.4.e.1 Professional Dispositions Rubric (2.4.a.15)

1.4.f.1 Professional Dispositions at Course Level

1.4.f.2 Professional Dispositions at Field Experience

1.4.f.3 Professional Dispositions at Internship (4.4.a.6)

1.4.g.1 SC 362 Tutoring Assignment 1

1.4.g.2 SC 362 Tutoring Assignment 2

1.4.g.3 SC 362 Tutoring Assignment 3

1.4.g.4 SC 362 Tutoring Assignment 4

1.4.g.5 EL 424 Pre-Post test assignment 1

1.4.g.6 EL 424 pretest assignment 2

1.4.g.7 EL 424 pretest assignment

1.4.g.8 Pre-Post Assignment SE 355

1.4.g.9 COE students teach Huntsville City Teachers

1.4.g.10 Internship pre-post test impact on student learning

1.4.h.1 Examples of Candidates Work

1.4.i.1 Graduate Follow-up Survey Results (2.4.a.18)

1.4.j.1 Principal’s Survey of Recent ASU Graduates Hired (2.4.a.17)





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