College of Education Institutional Report

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 Interim Dean of the School of Education (6.4.a.1), Dr. Miriam Wagner, has leadership authority (6.4.a.4) and is administratively responsible for the preparation of all 21st Century Professional Educators in the Professional Education Program. Dr. Wagner also serves as chair of the University Teacher Education Council (6.4.a.3), the governing body of the professional education unit. The unit also has a Director of Teacher Education and Licensure Officer (6.4.a.4) who is responsible for overseeing formal admission to teacher education and licensure. The Director of Teacher Education works closely with department heads and program coordinators of the various departments to ensure a streamlined and effective process from entry to teacher education through matriculation and licensure.

 All academic programs are managed and coordinated under the Office of Academic Affairs (6.4.b.1), managed by the Provost. The Dean has assigned specific management (6.4.b.2) and coordination tasks to an associate dean and assistant dean. The associate dean oversees undergraduate programs and all professional education licensure programs (undergraduate and graduate). The assistant dean manages the Office of Student Services which includes field-based and clinical experiences, recruitment and retention. The Dean's Office also includes an Interim Director for planning, assessment and digital learning.

The CEd Dean, Dr. Miriam Wagner, ensures stakeholders are involved in program design, implementation, and evaluation. This is evidenced by the inclusion of various constituencies on various school, departmental and/or program advisory boards and as members of the Teacher Education Council (6.4.d.2). Members of the professional community evaluated aspects of programs in some capacity, whether through participating in the Teacher Education Council or advisory councils (6.4.d.4); evaluating candidates, student teachers, or other program interns in the field or clinical settings; or completing surveys/participating in focus groups related to our recent graduates.

The College of Education Dean's Office has the following administrative staff:  a Dean, two (2) associate deans (one who also serves as the Director of Teacher Education and one who oversees assessment) and one (1) Assistant Dean for Student Services. Additional personnel in the Dean's Office include: (1) Interim Director of Digital Learning, Planning and Assessment, (2) Data management specialist, (3) Executive Assistant to the dean, (4) Administrative support associate, (4) Budget/personnel manager, and (7) graduate students and student workers. A computer technician and media specialist also support the unit's website, classrooms, labs, and faculty, staff, and student technology needs. Faculty within departments has access to one or more office associates based on the number of faculty and students.  Additionally, funds are available to hire graduate assistants and student workers to assist faculty and office associates.

The Dean's Cabinet (6.4.c.1) meets to assess and discuss program needs, budgetary matters, personnel and candidate matters, operational processes and procedures to maintain the integrity of the unit. The unit receives budgetary allocations that are proportional to other units on campus requiring a clinical element (6.4.f). The budget is sufficient to support both on campus and off campus educational activities for effective candidate preparation. Each academic department within the unit has a separate operational budget. Funds from these budgets are used to support instruction. The CEd budget was increased from $7,022,896 in 2011-12 to $7,288,320 in 2012-13 and 2013 -14 yielded another increase of $7,791,498.

Faculty members have various sources of financial support available for professional development to include: departmental support, faculty grants, Dean's office, and The Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL). The ATL is a campus-wide resource for faculty members, departments, and schools/colleges at NCA&T interested in promoting teaching excellence, improving student learning outcomes, and encouraging ongoing professional development and scholarly engagement. In addition to faculty travel to participate in professional development, the University and the unit have continuing professional development for faculty, which addresses technology, teaching and learning methodology, and contemporary issues impacting candidates in the global community. During the 2013- 2014 academic year, the unit spent $69,000 for faculty professional development (6.4.f).

Resources

Academic calendars (6.4.e.1), catalogs (6.4.e.2), publications, and advertising material are examined and updated on a routine or as needed basis. Information about student services is readily available on the university and college website and via frequent flyers and handouts. Information is also shared directly through word of mouth via presentations in individual schools by faculty and staff members. Additionally, the Director of Teacher Education publishes newsletters (6.4.e.3) and requires initial preparation candidates to attend an orientation session (6.4.e) in order to guide them through the admission process. All undergraduate and graduate program faculty members are assigned as advisors of candidates in their respective program areas. This information is easily tracked using our campus Banner (6.4.c.1) system.

The unit has a recruiter who also serves as the Director of Teaching Fellows. This person works in concert with our undergraduate admissions office and works to host specific education recruitment (6.4.d.3) initiatives. They are clearly and consistently described in academic calendars (6.4.e.1), catalogs (6.4.e.2), publications, and advertising, which are accessible, accurate, and current. The unit also has a Retention/Praxis I Coordinator. Unit retention policies stipulate that in order to remain in the Teacher Education Program, candidates must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.80.

The University's F.D. Bluford Library collections consist of over 742,000 volumes of print monographs/serials; 460 current print serial titles; over 152,000 electronic serial title subscriptions; 273,000 electronic books; and 1,326.400 units of microforms and government documents. NCA&T Libraries' holdings of print reference sources in the field of education are among the largest in North Carolina. Expanded access to NCA&T student newspapers, yearbooks, catalogs and bulletins, graduation programs, master's theses, and Ph.D. dissertations is also available through the Institutional Repository (6.4.i.1).

Faculty workload policies and procedures are clearly delineated in the NC A&T State University Faculty Handbook (6.4.h.1). Academic unit administrators follow the workload policies outlined in the Faculty Handbook to ensure that no undergraduate faculty member has more than 12 credit hours and no graduate faculty member has more than nine credit hours, per semester.  However, department chairs have some flexibility to provide faculty alternative assignments based on unit needs and/or faculty goals. Faculty goals are identified during the yearly evaluation process. Department chairs consider these goals for workload assignments. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which is the regional accreditation agency for NCA&T, requires the University to "certify that all part-time faculty meet minimum requirements for educational preparation."

NCA&T provides adequate information technology (6.4.i.2) resources to support faculty and candidates. The unit has one computer lab located in Proctor Hall available to candidates and 60 computer labs are available throughout the campus for their use. The Division of Information Technology has established policies and procedures (6.4.h.3) to support faculty and candidates.

Facilities

The CEd has benefited from a variety of changes over the last few years. These changes have led to improved facilities and additional resources for programs and faculty. Since our last accreditation visit, the CEd relocated to a newly constructed building in fall 2008. Proctor Hall is where the majority of professional education courses are taught. The new building is a $19,042,162 state-of-the-art facility and has 56,150 square feet, three floors, a wet lab, computer and multimedia classrooms, faculty and graduate assistants' office space, soft spaces for candidates to collaborate and study, and a model classroom for candidate preparation (6.4.j.1). Each classroom in the building has a multimedia lectern, LCD projector, CD/DVR and document camera and each of the three floors has at least one conference room. Two conference rooms are equipped with conferencing technologies. The unit also has two mobile smart boards.

Enhancing the educational experiences for distance learning students was necessary to ensure that distance learning students had access to teaching and learning experiences and services parallel to face-to-face teaching. Distance learning students can register for distance learning courses online or by visiting the CDL Office. Instructions on paying their bill, how to apply for an NCA&T email account, login instructions, and the Blackboard link to classes are published on the University and on the CDL websites (6.4.j.2).

During the 2010-2011 academic year, the decision was made to transition from Live Text to Taskstream. The unit began the implementation of Taskstream in the 2011- 2012 academic year. The assessment plan for initial and advanced programs is formalized and continuously revised in the platform through the Unit's Assessment Committee and Teacher Education Council. All teacher education assessment processes from admission to teacher education to applying for licensure through major content evidences, field experiences, and clinical practice are completed in Taskstream (6.4.j.3).

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.

Reorganized Governance Structure: A revised Teacher Education Council governance structure was developed to streamline and improve the unit operations. Review of TEC meeting agenda and minutes revealed the need to more effectively utilize meeting times. Historically, the TEC has met on the third Tuesday of each month during the academic year; however, starting fall 2013, the TEC membership agreed to reconfigure meetings such that full body meetings would occur every other month and use the interim month for committee work. The work of the TEC is divided into the following committees: (1) Admissions, (2) Advanced Programs, (3) Assessment, (4) Bylaws, (5) Curriculum, (6) Electronic Evidences, (7) Field-based and Clinical Experiences, and (8) MAT. The goal of reconfiguring the meeting scheduling was to make full body meetings more productive by vetting matters, issues and policies prior to the full body meetings and use the full body meeting to further draw consensus and make decisions.

Facilities: Since the last visit, we have designed, constructed, and relocated to a new building that is a state of the art facility. The new building is a $19,042,162 state of the art facility and has 56,150 square feet, three floors, wet lab, computer and multimedia classrooms, faculty and graduate assistants office space, soft spaces for candidate to collaborate and study, and two model classrooms for elementary candidate preparation. Each classroom in the building has a multimedia lectern, LCD projector, CD/DVR and document camera and each of the three floors has at least one conference room, equipped with conferencing technologies and supports the use of mobile devices.

Faculty Development: Support of faculty development is a key component to developing candidates that can teach all students. Faculty evaluation data and the unit survey (instructional strategies) allow the unit to more effectively target professional development that is aligned with program and faculty professional development needs.

Technology: Recent upgrades to technology resources include campus-wide upgrades to Windows 8. This upgrade resulted in many unit faculties receiving new state of art desktop computers, thus allowing them to be more efficient and effective.

Created Office of Student Services: In 2012, the School of Education reorganized to create an Office of Student Services which houses the Field Experiences and Clinical Practice program, Teaching Fellows Program/Scholarships, School of Education Recruiter, Praxis I/Retention Program, Praxis Enhancement Program (PEP). Program coordinators and/or directors were provided for each program and supervised by a newly established Assistant Dean position. In 2013, the Field Placement Coordinator position was created to provided additional support to the Assistant Dean that also serves as the Director of Field Experience and Clinical Practice. This change was driven in part from candidate assessment data that revealed that initial candidates desired/need a single area/office to provide program assistance and support. Additionally, this change also reflects organizational and services structure at the university across other school/colleges.

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

  • In the fall 2014, the unit's model classroom will be outfitted to include an iPad mini workstation, a student response system, trade books in a range of genres, book carts and updated storage (6.4.j.1).
  • University supervisors will be provided with portable electronic devices to assist completing on- site candidate evaluations via Taskstream.
  • University supervisors will be provided with training to facilitate effective use of portable electronic devices. These devices will be used to model best practice and for on-site evaluations.
  • The School of Education website will be updated monthly to facilitate communication across all Professional Education Programs.
  • The unit's standing School of Education/Teacher Education Assessment Committee will continue to maintain unit assessment as a key priority for the candidate performance and unit operations.
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