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College of Education > NCATE
NCATE

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

Standard 2. Assessment System and Unit Evaluation


The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on the applicant qualifications, the candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the unit and its programs.

 2.1 Assessment System and Unit Evaluation

How does the unit use its assessment system to improve candidate performance, program quality and unit operations?

The unit with involvement and approval from the unit's Teacher Education Council (TEC) created and implemented a well-articulated assessment system prior to the NCATE visit in 2007 and, with minor modifications, it is still being utilized. The assessment system reflects the unit's current conceptual framework (Educators for a Global Future) goals, outcomes, and professional dispositions. It includes multiple and varied measures (both internal and external) of candidate knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions at specified points in a candidate's program and provides program and unit assessment data. A complete description of each component of the assessment system is in the Assessment Handbook (Exhibit 2.4.a.1). To provide continuous meaningful feedback to assist teacher candidates, the unit established five benchmarks throughout a candidate's program when performance would be assessed (Exhibit 2.4.a.14).

These benchmarks include:

I. ED301 Foundations of Education course;

II. Admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP);

III. Approval for Internship;

IV. Program Completion; and

V. Performance of Graduates/1st year Teachers.

 

Electronic candidate portfolios will be available onsite.

Candidate Assessment
As noted, the unit's integrated assessment system consists of various internal measures. Examples of internal measures include a candidate's portfolio, professional dispositions, educational philosophy statement, writing assignments, GPA monitoring, TEP Interview, and the Educate Alabama (EA) observation. Systematic evaluations of candidate performance as measured by the Alabama State Department of Education (SDE), Alabama Quality Teaching Standards (AQTS), and SDE Content Standards are also internal components of the unit's assessment system. Standardized rubrics are utilized to ensure that evaluations are fair, accurate, reliable, and free from bias (Exhibit 2.4.c.1).

Candidates create and continue to build a professional portfolio throughout their program of study. The portfolio reflects progressive growth through faculty assessment beginning with the initial semester of classes and culminating with internship. Candidates' work includes meaningful clinical and professional content, displaying a collection of artifacts intended to display scholarship and abilities during job interviews with P-12 administrators. Candidates modify resumes and educational philosophies and document growth and achievement in content, pedagogy, and professional knowledge and skills. Candidate portfolios are assessed utilizing standardized rubrics at four benchmark points: in ED 301 when the portfolio is created, when seeking admission to the TEP, during a senior methods course and during internship (Exhibits 2.4.a (2, 3, 4, & 5). The advisor analyzes these data to identify strengths and concerns for candidate progress. If deficiencies are evident, candidates are required to revise rationales and/or artifacts and resubmit portfolios. In cases involving written communication deficiencies, candidates are referred to the university's Writing Center.

Candidates' professional dispositions are evaluated internally through a standardized rubric at the conclusion of each semester by the course instructor. Externally, professional dispositions are evaluated by clinical faculty during field experience and internship. Candidates with unsatisfactory performance at any assessment point may be referred to Professional Review Board and are subject to the disciplinary procedures of the Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures. Faculty work with candidates to shape appropriate professional dispositions. Course by course assessment procedures solidify this process (Exhibit 2.4.a.15).

Internally, a candidate's content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge is monitored by the advisor within the Banner system at regular checkpoints using determined GPA standards. When the candidate is enrolled in ED 301 Foundations of Education, the faculty advisor develops an initial plan of study within the Banner system. This plan of study is subsequently evaluated at TEP application, internship application, during internship, and at graduation. If GPA issues arise, advisors contact candidates to develop a plan for success which may include retaking specific courses, tutoring, and/or adjustments to the number of courses taken each semester.

Candidates are informed about the formal admission requirements for the TEP when they initially meet with their advisors and during the ED 301 orientation (See exhibits 2.4.b (1 & 2). The TEP interview, TEP portfolio, initial philosophy rubrics, and data are viewable in Exhibits 2.4.b.3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8.

Candidates are evaluated on a regular basis by SDE performance indicators. SDE Content Standards and AQTS are assessed within the Banner system by course faculty at the end of each semester, and are assessed at the conclusion of internship by the intern supervisor. As a measure of quality control, department chairs review assessment data in Banner. An example from the Early Childhood Program is provided in Exhibit 2.4.a.11.

 

External measures of candidate performance are administered at various points throughout the program and include standardized tests such as the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program (AECTP) Basic Skills Test, and Praxis Content Knowledge Tests. At the entry level, candidate content knowledge is evaluated by the AECTP Basic Skills Test which must be passed prior to admission to TEP. Advisors review these data and recommend remediation when applicable, which could include referral to university resources such as the Math Lab and/or Writing Center. At the internship checkpoint, candidates are required to demonstrate mastery of content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge by meeting the minimum scores determined by the SDE on all required Praxis tests. To enhance candidates' performance on Praxis tests, study sessions are conducted by faculty throughout the academic year.

 

Program Assessment
Program assessment is driven by aggregated candidate data (Exhibit 2.4.a.6). The assessment system has continued to improve candidate performance since the NCATE visit in 2007. Methods used to evaluate and improve programs include candidate portfolios (at established benchmarks), EA observations, and Praxis II content scores. These assessments convey candidate growth and performance related to content knowledge and pedagogy and provide faculty with vital feedback used to strengthen course and program content.

The majority of data used to monitor candidate performance are entered, stored and analyzed through LiveText to create a data collection which is analyzed to determine candidate performance and drives program improvements.

EA observations (Exhibit 2.4.a.10) assess program candidates during field experiences and during internship. Faculty use this online formative assessment to score candidates on 20 standards. Data from this assessment instrument are analyzed and used to guide program review and revision.

Specific Praxis content tests are required of candidates seeking certification. See Exhibit 2.4.a.9 for Praxis requirements by major. The unit requires that candidates pass all Praxis exams before internship. When the Praxis Institutional Summary Report is available each fall, it is disseminated to the dean, faculty, and to the appropriate College of Arts and Sciences faculty. Program faculty analyze results and make recommendations to improve candidate performance.

Unit Assessment
The university utilizes an outcomes assessment system through the ongoing assessment of student learning and support services. This provides the foundation of continuous improvement to sustain and enhance academic quality and the student's educational experience. This process involves the development of three documents: An annual assessment plan (AAP), an annual assessment report (AAR), and an Action Plan. Upon completion of the assessment cycle for the academic year, all documents are consolidated into one to present a complete view of outcomes assessment activities and actions taken to affect continuous improvement. The unit process involves assessment of the nine outcomes found in the current conceptual framework (Exhibits 2.4.d 8, 9, & 10).

For unit assessment, candidate performance data are aggregated for all measures for each of the five benchmarks. Data results are generated from sources which are delineated in Exhibit 2.4.a.7. Data are compiled annually into an assessment manual for the unit and an assessment retreat is held to review, analyze, and evaluate the data to determine trends and to develop action plans to address weaknesses. Critical discussions are held during unit, department, and program meetings regarding the performance of candidates and the measures by which these results were obtained. (Exhibits 2.4.d 1,2,3,4,5,6 &7).

Data are also gathered through intern TEP satisfaction surveys (Exhibit 2.4.a.13) and intern comments (Exhibit 2.4.d.4) to assess unit effectiveness, to secure data vital to future planning and development, and to offer special assistance to beginning teachers.

 

First year teachers and principals complete surveys during the spring of each year. The unit analyzes and uses these data to address any concerns (Exhibits 2.4.a 17 & 18).

 

The unit provides a mechanism for addressing candidate complaints. (Exhibit 2.4.f.1) There is a section in all syllabi which addresses the process for student complaints (Exhibit 2.4.e.1). If a complaint cannot be resolved using the unit's specified process, candidates can utilize the University Student Grievance Procedure (Exhibit 2.4.e.2).

 

   

2.2 Moving Toward Target or Continuous Improvement

Please respond to 2.2.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 2.2.b.

 2.2.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.

 

 2.2.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 implemented a number of changes based on data related to candidate performance measures. A brief description of these changes is provided here.

 

State Changes
Beginning in fall 2012, candidates were required to take the Basic Skills Test as part of the Alabama Educators Certification Testing Program (AECTP). The previous basic skills test (Alabama Prospective Teacher Test) was discontinued by the state.

 

Alabama's Professional Education Personnel Evaluation Program (PEPE) was also discontinued and was replaced with the Educate Alabama (EA) system which is based on the Alabama Quality Teacher Standards (AQTS) and accompanying continuum (Exhibit 2.4.g.4). An EA self-assessment is completed by all first year teachers (Exhibit 2.4.a.12).

 

When the state adopted the EA framework, the unit created a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) lesson plan format, the lesson plan assessment, and the observation assessment based on this framework. Candidates are assessed in field experience and internship. A common lesson plan format is utilized in all methods courses (Exhibit 2.4.g.5).

 

The Alabama State Department of Education (SDE) now requires that all candidates seeking certification (except Technical Education) must pass a Praxis content knowledge test. Beginning fall 2013, a Praxis pedagogy test was implemented. These test requirements are program specific (Exhibit 2.4.a.9).

Course and Program
Changes Course and program changes are data driven. Data used to make changes are obtained from a variety of sources. See Exhibits 2.4.g. (8 & 9).

After the initial results of the Praxis Teaching Reading test were available in fall 2012, faculty created a Teaching Reading Team. This team developed study materials and met with several P-12 reading coaches from local school systems to discuss test results, implications for study session materials, and content for the reading courses (ER 323 Teaching Reading in the Primary Grades, and EL 413 Teaching Reading in the Intermediate Grades). This team is currently conducting a complete course redesign for ER323 in an effort to strengthen candidates' skills and performance. In addition, study sessions have been recorded and archived to provide candidates unlimited on-demand access. An electronic student resource was developed and is available to all unit candidates through Blackboard and includes video review materials for some Praxis exams including video-taped study sessions, printed review material, and live links for additional resources. Two of the reading courses (ER 323 and EL 413) have been moved earlier in a candidate's program which allows candidates to take the Teaching Reading Praxis test earlier.

New majors were created in Art Education (P-12) and in Elementary/Collaborative K-6 Education. The Elementary/Collaborative program allows candidates to seek dual certification in elementary education and special education (collaborative K-6) which makes them more marketable. Many principals have endorsed this new program. New minors were developed in Educational Technology, Instructional Design, and English Language Learners.

During spring 2013, all programs in the unit were revised to provide students with flexibility to pursue minors and increase their marketability while maintaining rigor and meeting all state standards. The unit is awaiting approval of these revised programs by the SDE.

Training is provided to all candidates in the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) (Exhibit 2.4.g.3). Appropriate majors also receive training in Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative (AMSTI) Exhibits 2.4.g. (1& 2) through the Regional In-Service Center.

Conceptual Framework With the goal to be responsive to the evolving nature of teacher education, unit faculty saw the need to revisit the conceptual framework to ensure it met the needs of tomorrow's educators. The theme and the goals of the framework were carefully examined and, over a period of twelve months, faculty researched and updated the theoretical basis. The new framework will be implemented beginning with fall 2014.

Building Success through Writing Initiative
The university has embarked on an initiative to improve students' college-level writing skills entitled Building Success through Writing. This initiative has been embedded into the unit in a number of ways. Most notably through a philosophy of education statement that students create in ED 302 Foundations of Education II and revisit during internship (Exhibits 2.4.a.8 & 16). These writing assignments at the beginning and end of a candidate's program allow for growth to be demonstrated in college-level writing skills and in reflections on pedagogical influences for a philosophy of education.

Student Advising

Student advising has been improved through the implementation of the online Student Advising Module

(SAM). Candidates and faculty advisors can carefully monitor progress in coursework, TEP

requirements, internship requirements, and grade point averages.

 

Candidate Employment Assistance

The unit takes its role of preparing future educators very seriously and considers each candidate a direct reflection of program quality. After receiving feedback from school and system administrators related to candidate interview skills, the unit began collaborating with the university's Career Development Center to implement graduation employment workshops. These workshops involve mock interviews, resume writing, professional appearance etiquette, and professional communication techniques.

 

Professional Community

The unit strives to develop and maintain a strong relationship with the professional community. One

vehicle is the Teacher Education Council (TEC). The TEC provides oversight to the Teacher Education Program at Athens State University (Exhibit 2.4.g.6). Its charge is to develop and achieve goals, evaluate effectiveness of the unit's curriculum, recommend policies and criteria with respect to admission and retention of candidates, recommend policies for successful completion of TEP, and serve as liaison between the unit and schools. Over the last several years, TEC members have been invited to the annual assessment retreats, but attendance has been limited. With the change in governance, the oversight function of the TEC will now be assumed by the College of Education Board of Visitors (BOV) which was appointed during the fall of 2013 (Exhibit 2.4.g.7 and 10). The new BOV will continue to examine and work with the unit faculty. It serves to bring an awareness of current practices and research relating to teacher education in higher education and merge these with ideas and practices of university faculty and candidates in order to continuously advance the unit as well as the university and its mission.

 

Sustaining Continuous Improvement

The unit understands that sustaining and enhancing performance is critical for the continuous

improvement of candidate, program, and unit effectiveness. Sustained assessment oversight includes the curriculum process, ongoing course development, unit goals, objectives and the new conceptual framework.

 

Data driven benchmarks will continue to be updated to reflect newly adopted objectives for the

candidate portfolio, philosophies, and professional dispositions. Assessment meetings will continue to be a regular activity and will include written analysis and interpretation for course improvement, course development, and methodology.

 

Student Advising Student advising has been improved through the implementation of the online Student Advising Module (SAM). Candidates and faculty advisors can carefully monitor progress in coursework, TEP requirements, internship requirements, and grade point averages.

Candidate Employment Assistance The unit takes its role of preparing future educators very seriously and considers each candidate a direct reflection of program quality. After receiving feedback from school and system administrators related to candidate interview skills, the unit began collaborating with the university's Career Development Center to implement graduation employment workshops. These workshops involve mock interviews, resume writing, professional appearance etiquette, and professional communication techniques.

Professional Community The unit strives to develop and maintain a strong relationship with the professional community. One vehicle is the Teacher Education Council (TEC). The TEC provides oversight to the Teacher Education Program at Athens State University (Exhibit 2.4.g.6). Its charge is to develop and achieve goals, evaluate effectiveness of the unit's curriculum, recommend policies and criteria with respect to admission and retention of candidates, recommend policies for successful completion of TEP, and serve as liaison between the unit and schools. Over the last several years, TEC members have been invited to the annual assessment retreats, but attendance has been limited. With the change in governance, the oversight function of the TEC will now be assumed by the College of Education Board of Visitors (BOV) which was appointed during the fall of 2013 (Exhibit 2.4.g.7 and 10). The new BOV will continue to examine and work with the unit faculty. It serves to bring an awareness of current practices and research relating to teacher education in higher education and merge these with ideas and practices of university faculty and candidates in order to continuously advance the unit as well as the university and its mission.

Sustaining Continuous Improvement The unit understands that sustaining and enhancing performance is critical for the continuous improvement of candidate, program, and unit effectiveness. Sustained assessment oversight includes the curriculum process, ongoing course development, unit goals, objectives and the new conceptual framework.

Data driven benchmarks will continue to be updated to reflect newly adopted objectives for the candidate portfolio, philosophies, and professional dispositions. Assessment meetings will continue to be a regular activity and will include written analysis and interpretation for course improvement, course development, and methodology.

 

 

2.3 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 2 in the 2007 NCATE Accreditation Review.

 

 

2.4.a Description of the unit's assessment system including the requirements and key assessments used at transition points

2.4.b Admission criteria and data from key assessments used for entry to programs

2.4.c Policies, procedures, and practices for ensuring that key assessments of candidate performance and evaluations of program quality and unit operations are fair, accurate, consistent, and free of bias

2.4.d Policies, procedures, and practices for ensuring that data are regularly collected, compiled, aggregated, summarized, analyzed, and used for continuous improvement

2.4.e Policies, procedures and practices for managing candidate complaints

2.4.f File of candidate complaints and the unit's responses and resolutions (This information should be available during the onsite visit)

2.4.g Examples of significant changes made to courses, programs, and the unit in response to data gathered from the assessment system

2.4.a.1 Assessment Handbook

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

2.4.a.3 TEP Portfolio Rubric (1.4.c.5)

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

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

2.4.a.6 Program Assessment Table

2.4.a.7 Unit Assessment Table

2.4.a.8 Internship College-level Writing Rubric (1.4.c.9, 2.4.a.16 and 5.4.e.8)

2.4.a.9 PRAXIS II Required Tests by Major

2.4.a.10 EducateAlabama Observation Rubric (1.4.c.3)

2.4.a.11 Early Childhood Performance Assessment Template

2.4.a.12 EducateAlabama Self-Assessment 2012-13

2.4.a.13 Intern TEP Survey (3.4.f.14)

2.4.a.14 Tables for Benchmarks 1-5

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

2.4.a.16 Initial Philosophy College-level Writing Rubric (1.4.c.9, 2.4.a.8, 2.4.b.5, 5.4.e.8)

2.4.a.17 2012-13 Principals’ Survey (1.4.j.1)

2.4.a.18 2012-13 Graduate Follow-up Survey (1.4.i.1)

2.4.b.1 Benchmark 2 – Admission to TEP

2.4.b.2 Admission Requirements for TEP

2.4.b.3 TEP Interview Rubric

2.4.b.4 TEP Interview Data

2.4.b.5 Initial Philosophy College-level Writing Rubric ((1.4.c.9, 2.4.a.8, 2.4.a.16, 2.4.b.5, 5.4.e.8)

2.4.b.6 Initial Philosophy Data

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

2.4.b.8 TEP Portfolio Data

2.4.c.1 Fairness, Accuracy, Consistency, and Elimination of Bias statement

2.4.d.1 Fall 2011 Assessment Manual

2.4.d.2 Fall 2012 Assessment Manual TOC (More than 2MG –doc.in entirety available onsite)

2.4.d.3 Fall 2013 Assessment Manual TOC (More than 2MG- doc. in entirety available onsite)

2.4.d.4 Intern Assessment Comments of TEP (1.4.d.12)

2.4.d.5 Assessment Review Fall 2012

2.4.d.6 2011 Annual Assessment Retreat Minutes

2.4.d.7 2010 Annual Assessment Retreat Minutes

2.4.d.8 CAAP COE 2010-2011

2.4.d.9 CAAP COE 2011-2012

2.4.d.10 CAAP COE 2012-2013

2.4.e.1 Student complaint procedure

2.4.e.2 Student grievance procedure

File of candidate complaints and the unit’s responses and resolutions (This information should be available during the onsite visit)

2.4.g.1 AMSTI Overview

2.4.g.2 AMSTI National recognition

2.4.g.3 Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) webpage

2.4.g.4 EducateAlabama Continuum For Teacher Development(AQTS)

2.4.g.5 Scaffolded ASU UDL Lesson Plan format (4.4.c.2)

2.4.g.6 Teacher Education Council (TEC) Charge and Members for 2012-2013 (6.4.a.4)

2.4.g.7 Charter-Board of Visitors (6.4.a.4)

2.4.g.8 Data Driven Changes to the Unit

2.4.g.9 Continuous Improvement of Assessment Measures Fall 2013

2.4.g.10 Board of Visitors Flowchart (6.4.a.8)

 

 



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