College of Education Institutional Report

I. Overview and Conceptual Framework

I.1 Summarize the institution's mission, historical context, and unique characteristics (e.g., land grant, HBCU or religious).

In 1890, Congress enacted the Second Morrill Act that mandated "a separate college for the colored race." The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race was established as that school in North Carolina by an act of the General Assembly on March 9, 1891. In 1915, state legislators changed the college's name to the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina; and in 1967, they elevated it to university status. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCATSU) became a constituent university of the University of North Carolina in 1972. In 2010, the Carnegie Foundation classified NCATSU as a doctoral research institution (I.5.a.11). For 123 years, NCATSU has provided students with a broad range of experiences that foster transformation and leadership for a dynamic, inclusive society.

Mission: NCATSU "is dedicated to learning, discovery, and community engagement. The University provides a wide range of educational opportunities from bachelor's to doctoral degrees in both traditional and online environments. With an emphasis on preeminence in STEM and a commitment to excellence in all its educational, research, and outreach programs, NCA&TSU fosters a climate of economic competitiveness that prepares students for the global society" (I.5.a.1, I.5.a.2, I.5.a.4).

The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In addition, programs in seven out of nine Colleges are accredited by more than 15 different program- specific accrediting agencies (I.5.e.1).NCATSU graduates the nation's largest number of African-American psychology undergraduates, engineer undergraduates, and master's and doctoral level engineers. The College of Business and Economics traditionally produces the largest number of African-American certified public accountants, and the agricultural school is the nation's second largest producer of minority agricultural candidates (I.5.a.12). The counseling program was the first HBCU to receive Council for the Accreditation of Counselor and Related Education Program (CACREP) accreditation (I.5.a.13).

The institution is guided by NCATSU Preeminence 2020: Embracing our Past, Creating Our Future (I.5.a.9). The core values of learning, excellence, integrity, creativity, engagement and service form the cornerstone of the following six goals of the strategic plan (I.5.a.8, I.5.a.9).

Goal 1: Create an intellectual climate that encourages the creative exchange of ideas and increases the quality of the professional environment (7% increase in doctoral student enrollment in 2012, and approval of three new online programs).

Goal 2: Commit to excellence in teaching, research, public service and engagement (offered two professional state conferences and a regional summit; faculty produced 453 refereed journal articles, 42 non-refereed articles, 631 conference proceedings, 22 books and 62 book chapters; ranked third in UNC system in extramural funding; and recipient of a NSF grant with a K-12 STEM educational outreach component).

Goal 3: Position the university to be a national, premier research-intensive, doctoral, science and technology-focused learning institution (established three new Centers –Active Learning; Aging and Community Health; and Behavioral Health and Wellness).

Goal 4: Embrace an entrepreneurial spirit that intentionally engages university and community partners to expand economic development and civic engagement (four patents in the last three years; signed agreement to commercialize hypoallergenic peanut).

Goal 5: Foster a more diverse and inclusive campus community by promoting cultural awareness and collegiality, and by cultivating respect for diverse people and cultures (first student Fulbright Scholar).

Goal 6: Achieve excellence in academic and operational effectiveness and efficiency (initiated faculty comprehensive salary equity analysis).

I.2 Summarize the professional education unit at your institution, its mission, and its relationship to other units at the institution that are involved in the preparation of professional educators.

The College of Education (SOE) at NCATSU is the professional education unit, and its mission is "to prepare exemplary educators and human service professionals to lead and engage in the local community and on the global stage.”

The Dean of the CEd is the head of the unit, which offers licensure programs through the Schools of (1) Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, (2) Business and Economics, (3) Education, (4) Technology; and (5) the College of Arts and Sciences. The Dean of the CEd is also the state designated authority for university-wide licensure programs for teachers, school administrators, school counselors, and other school personnel (6.4.a.4).

The Teacher Education Council (TEC) is the governance body for all professional education licensure programs. The Chancellor appoints representatives to the TEC from all licensure areas. Coordinators from each program ensure dissemination of information from TEC to the respective programs (I.5.a.6, I.5.a.10).

The roles and responsibilities of TEC include approval of curriculum, development of policies aligned with state and national standards, matriculation success of candidates, and execution of TEC policies and procedures to enhance student retention

I.3 Summarize programs offered at initial and advanced preparation levels (including off-campus, distance learning, and alternate route programs), status of state approval, national recognition, and if applicable, findings of other national accreditation associations related to the preparation of education professionals.

NCATSU licenses candidates through 13 state-approved bachelor's programs and seven graduate programs. One of the seven graduate programs is a Master’s in Teaching MAT). This latter program spans 12 different content areas and offers both the initial and advanced license. Other teaching licensure graduate programs include MS in Agricultural Education, MAEd in Elementary Education, and MAEd in Reading Education. Non-teaching licensure programs include School Administration, Instructional Technology and the Joint Masters in Social Work (JMSW). The JMSW is a joint program with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and will have gone through UNCG's accreditation process fall 2014 (I.5.d.2). In addition, the unit offers a graduate degree in School Counseling which is accredited through CACREP (I.5.d.1).

The Unit also offers two add-on licensure tracks at the bachelor level and two add-on licensure tracks at the graduate level. Special Education-General Curriculum, and Trade and Industrial Education are the two add-on areas at the bachelor level; School Administrator (MSA) and Elementary Mathematics are offered at the graduate level (MAED).

In an effort to remain current in teaching 21st century learners, the unit went through a state mandated re-visioning process in 2010 to address course content, delivery, teaching philosophy, and best practices (1.4.c, I.5.b, I.5.a.7).

NCATSU offers online programs leading to licensure at the bachelor level (Business Education and Agricultural Education) and at the advanced level (Agricultural Education and Instructional Technology). The institution has offered distance-learning programs for more than 10 years (I.5.e.2, I.5.e.3).

In summer 2014, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) ranked the university's teacher preparation programs among the top in the state. The graduate secondary teacher prep program ranked third and the undergraduate elementary program ranked ninth (I.5.d.3).

I.4 Summarize the basic tenets of the conceptual framework, institutional standards, and candidate proficiencies related to expected knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions.

The overarching theme of the Conceptual Framework (I.5.c) for all educator programs is "21st Century Professional Educators: Catalysts for Learning". All unit programs focus on the development of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to ensure that all candidates are well prepared to meet all institutional, state, and professional standards at the completion of their program. The Conceptual Framework describes the shared vision of teaching, learning, and the preparation of teachers and school leaders. It is a continuous response to the current climate of teacher education, and is captured in the symbol of a wheel (https://vimeo.com/78751087). The password is 'dart'.

Our Conceptual Framework provides the theoretical and philosophical undergirding for the preparation of candidates, the development of assessment system, and the unit's commitment to excellence in preparing its candidates to teach all students. Relying on an inquiry approach to teaching and learning,

NCATSU candidates use critical thinking skills to work collaboratively with stakeholders, the Professional Education Program emphasizes the merging of theoretical and practical knowledge to develop educators who engage, inspire, and encourage learners to explore, discover, and become advocates for lifelong learning and service to humankind.

The curriculum, field experiences, clinical practice, and other related experiences are all anchored in the four core values (Diversity, Assessment, Reflection, and Technology –DART) of the Professional Education Programs (I.5.c.4), and the seven key principles (content mastery, pedagogical knowledge, professionalism, leadership, equity, global awareness, and inquiry) necessary for the growth and development of an effective 21st Century Professional Educator.

By the time our candidates graduate, they demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and dispositions:

  • Diversity: NCATSU candidates have competence in the nine central tenets of human diversity: (1) race, (2) ethnicity, (3) gender, (4) socioeconomic status, (5) age, (6) sexual preference, (7) religion, (8) exceptionalities, and (9) geographic region (Diller & Moule, 2005). Our candidates are culturally responsive and committed to the ideals of collaboration, trust, equity, advocacy, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.
  • Assessment: know the importance of systematically collecting, evaluating, and using assessment data to drive their decision making process (McMillan, 2007).
  • Reflection: engages in continuous "deliberate thinking" (Hatton & Smith, 1995) to improve future actions and decision making. These educators utilize an explicit reflective model to engage in a metacognitive process that involves thinking critically, exploring various solutions to problems, and making sound, evidence-based inferences when appropriate data are available.
  • Technology: use technology to gather, manage, and reach logical conclusions about data in the context of the subject area (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007) as a means to bridge the social, cultural, economic, and cognitive gaps between learners.  Such an educator knows when and how to use technology to help the learner examine content more critically, solve problems, and establish reliability.
  • Content Mastery: understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he/she teaches, supports and/or leads.
  • Pedagogical Knowledge: understands how learners develop and differ in their approaches to teaching and learning, striving to create equitable instructional opportunities that encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.
  • Professionalism: practices ethical and caring behavior within and outside the classroom and engages in continuous professional development to accomplish self-directed growth.
  • Leadership: responds to diverse populations by constructing and articulating a shared vision within the classroom that aligns with and expands the goals of the school, community, and professional organizations served.
  • Equity: seeks to learn more about each learner as a means to create fair learning environments that present various perspectives and counteract stereotypes.
  • Global Awareness: seeks opportunities to learn about various cultures, beliefs, and ways of learning and deliberately integrates this information into planning, instruction, and assessment.
  • Inquiry: designs investigations to collect and analyze data to test hypotheses and beliefs that will transform future practice and decision making through reflective dialogue with students, colleagues, and community partners.

The four core values and seven principles resonate and coincide with the institution's Strategic Plan A&T Preeminence 2020: Embracing our Past, Creating Our Future, and the student learning outcomes of the General Education curriculum (I.5.a.3, I.5.a.8).

Special Note: The unit's conceptual framework translates to concrete candidate competencies through a layered heat map. This map provides a graphical representation of candidate data using color codes for the core values embedded in the institutional, state, and national standards. For instance, diversity competencies, indicators, and scores are coded in tan, assessment in red, reflection in blue, and technology in green. In addition, leadership is coded in cream, content knowledge in purple, pedagogical knowledge in sea-green, and disposition in orange. This color code is then applied to each indicator of every instrument/rubric, that is used to evaluate candidate proficiencies, and the scores (individual and aggregate) to assess key assessments. The color code is used throughout this report's exhibits related to aggregate and program data (2.4.a.2).

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