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College of Education > NCATE
NCATE

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Standard 1 | Standard 2 | Standard 3 | Standard 4 | Standard 5 | Standard 6

Standard 6. Unit Governance and 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 Unit Governance and Resources

How do the unit's governance system and resources contribute to adequately preparing candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards?

The unit coordinates all programs preparing educators to work in P-12 schools with the dean as its leader and chief administrator. The dean's authority provides leadership for collaborations with university administrators (Exhibit 6.4.b.1), state department and P-12 representatives, curriculum and program development, personnel employment, faculty development, and evaluation of faculty and staff. The dean is responsible to the provost and serves on the university's administrative council. The dean oversees the unit's two departments of Curriculum & Instruction and Philosophical Foundations & Technology, each managed by a faculty chairperson. The dean also oversees Teacher Education Services (TES), created in summer 2013. Field placement, internship, and certification were centralized into the TES and placed under the direction of the assistant to the dean for TES (Exhibit 6.4.b.2).

 

The dean monitors the secondary education programs and dually appointed, full-time faculty members housed in the College of Arts & Sciences (COAS). Secondary education majors earn degrees in content areas through the COAS while obtaining secondary teacher licensure. These faculty instruct in content areas and take active roles in developing and improving programs and courses for secondary candidates through ongoing collaborations with unit faculty and TES to ensure appropriate pedagogical practices are used and required state standards are satisfied. Course scheduling, revising syllabi to comply with state standards, changes in course requirements, and connections between content and pedagogical knowledge are regularly revised to assure program validity. For continuity among the colleges, the unit follows the university grading policy, academic calendar, and catalog (Exhibits 6.4.e.1, 2, 3).

 

The unit has agreements with area community colleges to deliver teacher education coursework on their sites. A list of these sites is available in Exhibit 6.4.i.1. These serve as recruiting and advising facilities along with onsite and distance learning classes. Candidates enrolled through any of these locations are eligible for scholarships and financial aid under the same terms and conditions as other university candidates.

 

The unit collaborates with area schools to implement programs designed to integrate the education of school-age children with the preparation of teacher candidates through practices based on the unit's current conceptual framework (Exhibit 6.4.a.2). The unit has agreements with approximately 66 school systems statewide to support field experiences and internships. Unit faculty provide workshops, consultations, and other assistance to area schools.

 

The unit has established several Professional Development School (PDS) partnerships, as noted in Standard 3, and offers three summer enrichment programs for school-age students. Unit faculty and teacher candidates staff these programs providing authentic experiences for the candidates. The unit is the only college at the university providing a clinical component in this format.

 

Candidate recruitment is aligned with university recruiting practices. In addition to campus tours and media advertisements, prospective candidates are introduced to university programs and services through distributed materials such as recruitment brochures and view books (Exhibits 6.4.d.1 & 2). Following the university Student Enrollment & Development Policy (Exhibit 6.4.c.1) the university's Student Support Office (Exhibit 6.4.c.2) collaborates with the unit to provide services related to admissions, retention, and financial aid. The university Transfer Student Success Center (Exhibit 6.4.c.3) ensures that candidates coming from other institutions have an efficient transfer. The Center has three admissions counselors, representing the three colleges. The Career Development Center provides services for teacher candidates representing areas such as military veterans, international regions, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and those with disabilities. Additionally, counseling services (Exhibit 6.4.c.4) are available for students needing support in areas conducive to having a positive college experience.

 

The unit follows university budget procedures (Exhibits 6.4.f.1 & 2) with allocations supporting teaching, scholarship, clinical work, and service (Exhibit 6.4.f.3). Those include but are not limited to P­12 initiatives and various programs within the institution. State legislative allocations provide a primary source of funds for university operations. The unit is comparably funded with the College of Business and College of Arts & Sciences (Exhibit 6.4.f.4).

Faculty development and scholarship is supported in multiple ways. The unit follows university policy (Exhibit 6.4.a.1) in providing financial support for professional activities (e.g. reimbursement for fees; travel for conferences and professional presentations). Unit faculty participate in university-wide professional development such as the university's Building Success through Writing initiative (Exhibit 6.4.a.5) and the annual Alabama Community College System eLearning Symposium.

Faculty workload policies and practices support involvement in teaching, scholarship, service, and collaborations with P-12 schools. Online and blended course content is equivalent to traditional courses with the unit following the university's Distance Learning Policy (Exhibit 6.4.j.1). Full-time faculty generally teach 12 semester hours/term and supervise student interns. Faculty are on campus for weekly office hours to provide advising and support for candidates. Unit faculty participate in unit and university meetings, field experience supervision, and service to P-12 schools. Each faculty member is required to spend a minimum of two days per semester working in P-12 classrooms (Exhibit 6.4.h.1).

The unit also employs adjunct faculty, who are part-time, non-tenured faculty who teach one to two classes per semester. They are required to have a master's degree and 18 graduate hours in the teaching field. The respective full-time faculty course anchor provides individual orientation sessions and mentoring throughout the semester for adjunct faculty.

Renovations were made to McCain Hall, the building housing most of the education faculty/staff, to create better facilities to serve candidates and facilitate on-campus candidate collaboration and support. The building now provides updated offices, a conference room, a classroom/computer lab, and an elevator to make the facilities more accessible (Exhibit 6.4.e.4).

In fall 2012, the university art department moved into a new state-of-the art facility. The Alabama Center for the Arts was the result of collaboration between the university, the city of Decatur, and Calhoun Community College, in response to the growing needs of the community. The 44,000 square foot facility provides instructional space and student and community access to academic programs and cultural events. The center includes fine art and studio art classrooms, computer graphic art computer labs, and a gallery. The unit's P-12 art education program is taught at this facility. This comprehensive facility allows teacher candidates to be exposed to and use up-to-date art resources.

Faculty and staff offices are equipped with computers with access to the Internet, scanners, printers, Blackboard, Tegrity, LiveText, Wimba, and a host of other technology tools. Curricular materials are provided as requested. A computer lab is available in McCain Hall and Waters Hall for candidate use during and outside of class instruction, as are interactive boards in McCain Hall. Computers, LCD projectors, and document projectors are available for instruction in classrooms across campus. The Classroom Building has an interactive classroom for distance conferencing and teaching. Collaborating community colleges have technology comparable to the main campus with consistent technological upgrades to serve the teacher candidates through their coursework. University computers are supported through Instructional Technology Services. The university also provides instructional design support through the Academic Technologies Department that supports Blackboard and LiveText and works with faculty on innovative ways of using technology to improve teaching and learning. These resources

provide technological assistance for the smooth delivery of distance-learning and blended programs.

 

The university library collection supports the unit's curriculum with electronic accessibility to over 38,000 titles through electronic databases providing full-text articles in thousands of periodical titles (e.g., ERIC, Academic Abstracts, e-books). The library also has almost 100,000 electronic books and over 126,000 print volumes. Available reference librarians answer questions about selecting and using appropriate indexes and help candidates obtain items housed in the library. A Library Guide (Exhibit 6.4.i.2) with 24/7 accessibility for unit candidates and faculty provides a description of helpful resources.

 

The 2012-13 annual library summary data reflect that the juvenile collection was the most popular. This collection has over 10,000 titles including Newberry, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King award winners as well as most honor books. The library holds more than 3,000 state-adopted textbooks and curricular materials for candidates to access as needed and faculty to utilize in courses. In 2013, the Library implemented a Learning Commons with a study/collaboration area, mobile seating and study areas, laptops for candidate use, portable charging stations, whiteboards, and onsite technology assistance.

 

6.2 Moving Toward Target or Continuous Improvement

Please respond to 6.2.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 6.2.b.

 6.2.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.

 

 6.2.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.

In October 2012, the governance of Athens State University transitioned from under the authority of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) to being an autonomous university managed by a Board of Trustees. As a result of this transition the administration and faculty collaboratively revisited university policies and guidelines. Unit faculty actively participated in the review and revision of university policies. An online Policy Library was created to establish and maintain organization and to promote clarity and coherence among the administration, faculty, and candidates (Exhibit 6.4.i.3). This library is available to the public through the university's website.

In a focused effort to improve and expand the preparation of teacher candidates to equitably and fully meet the evolving and diverse needs of future students, the unit examined and restructured the current conceptual framework. The revised conceptual framework is designed to reflect teacher education revolving around the theme "Preparation of the Reflective Practitioner" (Exhibit 6.4.a.7) and the four goals of student-centered learning, disciplinary knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and socially responsible citizenship. The impetus was the development of teacher candidates into educators equipped with the ability to continuously self-reflect, develop personal multi-faceted best practices around the areas of the four goals and become socially responsible citizens of their communities.

Unit faculty collaborated to review all courses in the areas of children's literature, diversity, English language learners, technology and early childhood learning to ensure teacher candidates are capable of integrating a curriculum suitable for a diverse population of learners. The goal was to contribute ideas and suggestions related to each area across all courses so that candidates receive ample instruction in integrating these areas in teaching to a diverse population of students while simultaneously receiving instruction in those areas themselves.

The unit has made a concerted effort to improve its webpage (Exhibit 6.4.a.6), redesigning it to make it more user-friendly and essential information more accessible. The renovated site addresses the following areas:  

  • Frequently asked questions related to Teacher Education Services
  • Enrollment application and process
  • Financial aid & advising
  • Program options and course rotation schedules 
  • Praxis exam information

 

Restructuring the responsibilities and physical locations of unit members has succeeded in making the facilities and services more convenient and less confusing for candidates needing assistance. Physically, offices have been relocated so that services most relevant to candidates (i.e. Field Experience, Teacher Certification, Internship, and PRAXIS) are located together in one wing of the first floor of McCain under the designation of Teacher Education Services (TES). Similarly, services most relevant to faculty are located in the opposite wing, with the majority of faculty members' offices located on the second floor. The position of assistant to the dean for TES was created to work with relevant personnel to unify all related services in order to lessen confusion and facilitate organization and efficiency for candidates, staff and faculty members. Additionally, the assistant to the dean for TES collaborates with the State Department of Education (SDE) to monitor adherence to state standards, clear candidates for admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP), internship, and graduation, and manage applications for state license and certification of teacher candidates. TES includes the director of field experience & internship who places and monitors field experience and internship of teacher candidates. The unit dean is supported by the secretary to the dean/assessment support specialist who maintains records of all policy changes, as well as NCATE and SDE information, and components of assessment and data compilation. This team of administrators, faculty, and staff work collaboratively to provide comprehensive and robust preparation for teacher candidates. The structure of this team is reflected in the 2013-14 COE Organizational Chart (Exhibit 6.4b.2).

Since becoming autonomous, the university has established a Board of Visitors (BoV) for each college, consisting of individuals outside the university to provide objective review, assistance, and feedback in maintaining the quality of the education provided by the university (Exhibits 6.4.a.3). Previously, the unit worked with a Teacher Education Council (Exhibit 6.4.a.4) for similar purposes. 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.

 

In order to prepare candidates to teach and integrate subjects, on-site training in the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) is required for all Early Childhood and Elementary majors. Training in the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) is also a requirement for all Elementary, Early Childhood and Secondary majors. Collaborative K-6 and 6-12 majors participate in the Math AMSTI training and all Collaborative majors complete the ARI training. The university's Regional In-service Center supports these activities. The center serves as one of 11 regional In-Service Centers across the state whose mission is to provide professional development activities for K-12 educators.

 

Due to the challenges of finding quality summer placements for field experiences and the desire to move toward a clinical model for field experience, the unit added three Summer Camp placements for teacher candidates to apply teaching strategies in authentic settings. These camps are managed by unit faculty and staffed by teacher candidates (Standard 3).

 

A unit Teaching Reading Team, comprised of elementary and secondary education faculty, has been collaborating to identify and address areas of need to help candidates prepare for the Teaching Reading Praxis assessment. After the first results for the Praxis Teaching Reading test were available (Fall 2012), faculty met with several P-12 reading coaches from local school systems to discuss weaknesses based on the test results, implications for study session materials, and content revisions for the reading courses (ER 323 Teaching Reading in the Primary Grades, and EL 413 Teaching Reading in the Intermediate Grades). Course content is currently being redesigned to better prepare candidates for the assessment. Additionally, study sessions have been recorded and archived to provide candidates unlimited ondemand access. A verbal recording of the study guide is available to benefit auditory learners and allows

candidates to listen while commuting. An electronic candidate resource was developed in Blackboard. This online resource includes video review materials for all Praxis exams including video-taped study sessions, printed review material, and live links for additional resources.

 

6.3 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 6 in the 2007 NCATE Accreditation Review.

 

6.4 Exhibits for Standard 6

6.4.a Policies, procedures, and practices for governance and operations of the unit

6.4.b Organizational chart and/or description of the unit governance structure and its relationship to institutional governance structure

6.4.c Policies, procedures, and practices for candidate services such as counseling and advising

6.4.d Policies, procedures, and practices for candidate recruitment and admission, and accessibility to candidates and the education community

6.4.e Academic calendars, catalogs, unit publications, grading policies, and unit advertising

6.4.f Unit budget, with provisions for assessment, technology, professional development, and support for offcampus, distance learning, and alternative route programs when applicable

6.4.g Budgets of comparable units with clinical components on campus or similar units at other campuses

6.4.h Policies, procedures, and practices for faculty workload and summary of faculty workload

6.4.i Policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that all candidates have access to physical and/or virtual classrooms, computer labs, curriculum resources, and library resources that support teaching and learning

6.4.j Policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that all candidates access have to distance learning including support services and resources, if applicable

6.4.a.1 Travel for University Business Policy

6.4.a.2 COE Conceptual Framework (also 1.5.c.1 and 4.4.i.14)

6.4.a.3 Charter, Board of Visitors (also 2.4.g.7)

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

6.4.a.5 Building Success through Writing Project

6.4.a.6 College of Education Webpage

6.4.a.7 New COE Conceptual Framework (also 1.5.c.2)

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

6.4.b.1 Athens State University Organizational Chart

6.4.b.2 Athens State COE 2013-14 Organizational Chart

6.4.c.1 Student Enrollment & Development Policy

6.4.c.2 Student Support Office Webpage

6.4.c.3 Transfer Student Success Center Webpage

6.4.c.4 Counseling Services Webpage

6.4.d.1 Recruitment Brochure

6.4.d.2 Viewbook

6.4.e.1 Athens State Grading Policy

6.4.e.2 Athens State University 2013-14 Academic Calendar

6.4.e.3 Athens State University 2012-13 Course Catalog Webpage

6.4.e.4 Article: McCain Hall Rededicated and Open for Business

6.4.f.1 Fiscal Budget Procedures

6.4.f.2 Budget-Budgetary Control Policy

6.4.f.3 COE Budget FY 2012-13

6.4.f.4 University Budget FY 2012-13

6.4.h.1 Athens State P-12 Recency Verification Form

6.4.i.1 Sites Collaborating with Athens State to Deliver On-Campus Coursework

6.4.i.2 Online Library Guide Webpage

6.4.i.3 University Policy Library Webpage

6.4.j.1 Athens State Distance Learning Policy (4.4.i.11 and 5.4.a.2)

 

 



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