College of Education Institutional Report

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. The unit's conceptual framework provides the foundation for candidates to develop requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for effective educators who positively impact P-12 student learning. Candidates are evaluated at specific points during their matriculation. 

Initial Programs

The unit assesses candidate content knowledge, pedagogical skills, impact on P-12 student learning, and dispositions through four Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Key assessments are aligned with professional, state, and institutional standards.

PLC Transition Points 1 and 2: Students are admitted into the teacher education program at the end of PLC 2. Upon admission, candidates had a mean cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.30 (N=115, st. dev. 0.11) (1.4.d.1). The mean cumulative score on the Praxis I, a state-mandated assessment of math, reading and writing with a qualifying score of 522, was 528.56 (N=91, st. dev. 3.38) (1.4.d.2). Mean interview admission scores during the 2013-14 academic year was 3.43 (2.4.b).

The Unit collects self-assessment disposition survey data. One hundred percent of education majors (N=83) "strongly agree" or "agree" teachers should value and respect all students, and 97.6% (N=82) believe teachers should provide equitable learning opportunities for P-12 students (1.4.f.1).

PLC Transition Point 3: Candidates show content knowledge and pedagogical skills on Praxis II tests in their respective discipline. Elementary and Special Education candidates must achieve mandated qualifying scores. The state does not require candidates in other programs to pass the Praxis, but the Unit requires candidates to take subject-specific tests to monitor content knowledge (1.4.d.3) and pedagogical knowledge and skills (1.4.d.4).

Disposition data: The Unit collects data on professional dispositions by examining perceptions on student learning and fairness in a written Philosophy of Education. Candidates perform at "Proficient" (i.e., 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) on this assessment (1.4.f.2), scoring an average 3.69 (N=90, st. dev. 0.47).

PLC Transition Point 4: P-12 cooperating teachers and university supervisors use the Clinical Practice Performance Form (CPPF) during clinical practice to assess candidate pedagogical knowledge and skills. The CPPF has content pedagogical knowledge and skills indicators that provide insight into candidate content pedagogy. Aggregate data show candidates perform at "Proficient" (i.e., 3.0 on a 4.0 scale), scoring an average 3.62 (N=129, st. dev 0.12) (1.4.d.5). Candidates complete Electronic Evidence 5 Impact on Student Learning during clinical practice. Aggregate data demonstrate candidates perform at "Proficient" (i.e., 3.0 on a 4.0 scale), scoring an average 3.66 (N=84, st. dev 0.38) (1.4.d.6).

Candidates exhibit their ability to meet standards via electronic evidences (EEs). EEs are evaluated using rubrics aligned with North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards:

  1. EE 1–Breadth of Content Knowledge: Praxis II scores or a minimum of 24 credit hours in the discipline with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in major courses (1.4.d.3).
  2. EE 2–Depth of Content Knowledge: Content Area Research Project (1.4.d.7).
  3. EE 3–Content Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills: Age and developmentally appropriate thematic unit plan. Aggregate data demonstrates candidates perform at "Accomplished" (i.e., 18-20 points on a 20.0 scale), scoring an average of 18.13 (N=89, st. dev 1.76) (1.4.d.8).
  4. EE 4–Certificate of Teaching Capacity: Summative evaluation of the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards. One hundred percent of candidates (N=123) achieved "Met" status required for licensure recommendation (1.4.d.9).
  5. EE 5–Impact on Student Learning: Differentiated Instruction Teacher Work Sample. Aggregate data demonstrate candidates perform at "Accomplished", scoring an average 65.07 (N=83, st. dev 6.06) (1.4.d.10).
  6. EE 6–Leadership and Collaboration: Subject-area project related to a P-12 school's improvement plan. Aggregate data demonstrate candidates perform at "Proficient", scoring an average 3.67 (N=99, st. dev 0.34) (1.4.d.11).

The Unit uses EE 5 (1.4.d.10) and student teaching to assess the impact candidates have on P-12 student learning. The CPPF has indicators focused on the candidate's ability to use instruction and assessment that impact P-12 learning. Aggregate data demonstrate candidates perform at "Proficient" (i.e., 3.0 rating on a 4.0 scale), scoring on average a 3.66 (N=129, st. dev 0.10) (1.4.d.12). The Unit uses program review documents commissioned by University of North Carolina General Administration (UNCGA) (1.4.k.1) and Title II reports (1.4.b.1) to assess its progress. The Unit uses data from employer (1.4.j.1), employee (1.4.i.1), and alumni surveys (1.4.i.2) as well as focus groups with alumni and employers and the National Council of Teacher Quality (NCTQ) (1.4.k.2) to assess program productivity and quality.

Advanced Programs

Candidate content knowledge, content pedagogy, and dispositions are evaluated through four transition points: (1) admission, (2) conclusion of 12 credit hours, (3) program completion, and (4) post-graduation. These points are evaluated against the Conceptual Framework.

Transition Point 1: The Unit requires a minimum GPA of 2.60 and satisfactory GRE scores for admission. Candidates admitted between 2011 and 2014 had a mean cumulative GPA of 3.60 (N=307, st. dev 0.20) (2.4.b.1), an average GRE verbal and quantitative score of 288.25 (2.4.b.2). Mean interview admission scores during the 2013-14 academic year was 3.53 (2.4.b.5). Admission disposition data show 100% of candidates (N=119) "strongly agree" or "agree" all students can learn and teachers should value, respect, and utilize student differences in planning, instruction, and assessment (1.4.f.3).

Transition Point 2: At 12 credit hours, the Unit uses cumulative GPAs to infer candidate foundational knowledge. From 2011-2014, the mean cumulative GPA was 3.65 (N=336, st. dev 0.19) (1.4.d.13). Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts in Education (MAEd), and Master of School Administration (MSA) candidates exhibit content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and pedagogical skills on program-specific comprehensive exams aligned with the conceptual framework. Since fall 2011, 98% (N=124, st. dev 2.89) of candidates passed their respective comprehensive exams (1.4.d.14).

Transition Point 3: Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) candidates must achieve a qualifying score on a subject-specific Praxis test to demonstrate content knowledge. An analysis of Praxis II data show varied performance (1.4.d.15). Prior to fall 2012, MAEd Reading candidates had to achieve a 570 on the Reading Specialist Praxis. Candidates must now achieve a score of 164 on the revised Reading Specialist Praxis test. Since 2011, 100% of candidates (N=27) passed the exam (1.4.d.16), scoring an average 613.33 (old test) and 175.87 (new test). MSA candidates must achieve a qualifying score of 163 on the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SSLA). Since fall 2011, 91% of candidates passed this assessment (1.4.d.17) scoring a 170.22. The MS Instructional Technology program requires candidates who seek the Instructional Technology Computers license (077) to complete degree requirements including a Taskstream electronic portfolio. Candidates seeking the Media Coordinator (076) license must pass the state-mandated Praxis exam, complete degree requirements, and submit a Taskstream electronic portfolio (1.4.d.18). MS and MAEd candidates demonstrate content knowledge on research projects assessed by a 4- point rubric. Aggregate data show candidates perform at "Proficient" (i.e., 3.0 rating on a 4.0 scale), scoring an average of 3.15 (N=94, st. dev 0.31) (1.4.d.19).

MAT candidates demonstrate content pedagogical knowledge and skills on subject area Praxis exams. An analysis of Praxis data indicates candidate performance varies across disciplines (1.4.d.20). Candidates demonstrate content pedagogical knowledge and skills during clinical experiences. Cooperating teachers and University supervisors supervise MAT candidates during a 10-week clinical practice experience using the CPPF. Nine indicators on this form focus on content pedagogical knowledge and skills. Supervisors rate candidates using a 4-point scale rubric. Aggregate data across programs demonstrate candidates perform at "Proficient" (i.e., 3.0 rating on a 4.0 scale), scoring on average a 3.66 (N=133, st. dev 0.06) (1.4.d.21). Candidates in MAEd and MS degree programs illustrate content pedagogical knowledge and skills during their P-12 practicum. Each program uses a 4-point scale observation rubric to assess candidates' abilities to use appropriate content pedagogical skills with P-12 learners. Candidates performed at "Proficient" (i.e., 3.0 rating on a 4.0 scale) during their respective practicum experience (1.4.d.22). MSA faculty use the Administrative Internship Evaluation instrument to observe and assess candidate professional knowledge and skills during its practicum. One hundred percent of MSA candidates (N=43) performed at "Standard" (1.4.d.23). A research project in the MS Instructional Tech area demonstrates content pedagogical knowledge and skills (1.4.d.24).

The unit uses the CPPF to assess the impact on student learning MAT candidates have on P-12 students. The mean score on the "Impact on Student Learning" indicators was 3.64 out of 4.00 (1.4.d.25). Faculty use clinical experience rubrics to observe advanced candidates in MS, MSA, and MAEd programs to gauge their impact on P-12 on student learning (1.4.d.26).

Transition Point 4: The unit uses findings from program review documents commissioned by UNCGA (1.4.k.1) and Title II reports (1.4.b.1) to assess its progress. The unit uses employer surveys (1.4.j.1), employee surveys (1.4.i.1), alumni surveys (1.4.i.2), focus groups with alumni and employers, and data from NCTQ (1.4.k.2) to assess program quality.

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.

Using data collected from key assessments and through transition points in initial and advanced programs, administrators and faculty within the unit engage in efforts to continuously improve education programs. The North Carolina Board of Education required Educator Preparation Programs to revision their school executive (principals), pre-service teacher preparation, and in- service and specialty programs between 2007 and 2009. Faculty revisioned curricula, key assessments, clinical and practicum experiences, assessment scoring plans, and other activities.

At the initial and advanced program levels, significant changes occurred based on data analysis and discussion:

  1. The Praxis I Enhancement Plan: Findings from data analysis indicated a "bottleneck" phenomenon occurred at the teacher education admission point (i.e., 199 students not admitted in 2011-12) (1.4.d.2). A disaggregated analysis illustrated many students were not passing the state-mandated Praxis I examination. Administrators enacted a plan with the intended outcome of increasing the number of students who pass the Praxis I (1.4.D.30).
  2. Admission criteria: An analysis of teacher education admission requirements for initial programs suggested that 10 admissions criteria were problematic for faculty advisors and initial candidates. During the revisioning process, faculty increased the number of admissions criteria, but this change may have inadvertently contributed to the "bottleneck" phenomenon. Many students and faculty had difficulty monitoring the numerous admission requirements. Based on data-driven discussions, the Teacher Education Council (TEC) voted in April 2014 (1.4.d.31) to reduce the number of criteria needed for entry into the teacher education program to six requirements to minimize barriers for program admission.
  3. Candidate retention rates across teacher education programs: The unit implemented two changes to address candidate retention rates particularly as it relates to candidate admission to teacher education. University data on first-year retention rates (i.e., freshman to sophomore retention) of teacher education students in initial programs for the 2011-12 academic year was 73.6%. Given these data, the Dean restructured the unit by creating a Student Support Services area with an Assistant Dean and support staff (i.e., Praxis Coordinator, Retention Coordinator). The unit also implemented the Dream Keepers Living and Learning Community (LLC) with the goal to retain students in the education major. The LLC has served 28 students in its two years of existence, and it has a first-to-second year retention rate of 86% (1.4.d.28).
  4. Implementation of mandatory orientation sessions. Retention, Praxis, and admission to teacher education data (3.3.d.4) led the unit to implement mandatory initial and advanced program orientation sessions. Effective 2011-12, initial and advanced programs hosted orientation sessions to ensure all candidates across degree programs were provided explicit information about the unit's policies, expectations, and requirements (3.3.d.4).
  5. Full integration of TaskStream into initial and advanced programs: Faculty were introduced to TaskStream during the 2010-11 academic year, and the unit implemented the software system in 2011-12. The unit has implemented the data management system incrementally, but plans for greater integration of the software are in progress. The Dean appointed a faculty member to serve as a full-time Director of Digital Learning, Planning, and Assessment. This person organizes and "right fits" the data management system to the key assessments in initial and advanced programs, assists with data analysis and reporting, and conducts professional development with university faculty, staff, P-12 teachers, and education candidates. In the future, the Director of Digital Learning, Planning, and Assessment will work with faculty to align Taskstream data to the university BANNER system so there is seamless communication between the data management systems. The intended outcome is to assist faculty, staff, and administrators with longitudinal data collection and enhance academic advising.
  6. Relationship between the unit's data management software and University's data management system: In summer 2014, the SOE Dean and Director of Digital Learning, Planning, and Assessment person met with the Vice Chancellor of Information Technology to explore ways to streamline TaskStream data collection efforts by connecting the University's data management system, BANNER, with the unit's data management systems. The interconnectedness between systems will limit data inconsistencies between software programs (2.4.d).
  7. Revisions to Internship and Clinical Practice Experiences: Prior to the 2013-14 academic year, initial and advanced candidates completed paper applications for clinical experiences, and university supervisors and P-12 cooperating teachers completed paper observation rubrics. With a commitment to technological integration, the unit has transitioned to software and hardware that makes these processes more efficient. Old versions of paper forms such as initial and advanced candidate observation rubrics have been converted to electronic forms housed in TaskStream, which allows cooperating P-12 teachers and university supervisors to provide immediate feedback to candidates and allows faculty access to data to drive their instruction. P-12 teachers, faculty, and candidates have around-the-clock access to orientation videos that acclimate them to program and unit expectations, and they can download short Taskstream tutorial clips to assist with navigating the system.
  8. Curricula and programmatic changes: Programs have implemented changes in response to findings from data analysis, including the following:
  • Data on Electronic Evidence 5-The Differentiated Instruction Teacher Work Sample indicated revisions to this key assessment were necessary (1.4.c.4). The evidence was too similar in design to Electronic Evidence 3-The Thematic unit Plan and the rubric was too laborious to achieve its intended outcome (1.4.c.1.k). Based on feedback, TEC voted in April 2014 to change this electronic evidence to a new key assessment that requires candidates to use P-12 student pre- assessment data to plan and implement instruction then conduct post-assessment analyses to gauge candidate rate of growth (1.4.d.29).
  • UNCGA requested select teacher education math faculty to attend a meeting on October 21, 2008 to discuss increasing the number of math content courses taken by initial candidates. Consequently, the elementary education program added two elementary-focused math courses—ELED 120 Shape/Space in Our World and ELED 121 Mathematical Reasoning—to provide candidates a stronger foundation in math from a conceptual perspective (1.4.d.27).
  • In fall 2012, the Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education program added ELED 620 Teaching through Multiple Intelligences and ELED 619 Action Research to strengthen advanced candidates use of inquiry in their classrooms. These decisions responded to data from the employer survey regarding alumni use of assessment data to differentiate instruction (1.4.j.1) and candidate performance outcomes on the Praxis II examinations (Test 011 and Test 012).
  • The Master of School Administration program revised its internship experience based on feedback from principals. Prior to fall 2013, MSA candidates completed a 300-hour internship experience. Beginning fall 2013, faculty reorganized the 300-hour experience to a competency- based experience where candidates must identify six different field-based experiences for each of the seven North Carolina School Executive Standards.
  • Given the various improvements to its initial and advanced programs, it is important for the Unit to enact strategic plans that sustain and enhance the quality of its programs and the knowledge, skills, and disposition of its candidates. To meet these goals, the Unit will engage in the following plan:
  • Professional development for administrators, faculty, staff, and candidates: With a commitment to the full integration of new technological tools, the Unit's personnel will need ongoing professional development focused on digital learning, planning, and assessment. The Unit's Director of Digital Learning, Planning, and Assessment will work collaboratively with University instructional technology and distance learning personnel as well as with partner school district personnel to construct professional development sessions that respond to faculty, staff, and candidate needs.
  • Inclusion of P-12 service providers in TaskStream database: The Unit's Director of Digital Learning, Planning, and Assessment has worked collaboratively with the Assistant Dean of Student Support Services and the Field Placement Coordinator to add a large number of P-12 cooperating teachers to the TaskStream database. Transitioning larger numbers of P-12 teachers to the TaskStream data management system will propel the Unit forward in its digitalization efforts.
  • Augment Dean's budget to provide complimentary TaskStream accounts for initial and advanced candidates: Because of the emphasis on the Unit's electronic data management system, the Dean's Office will examine the annual budget to allocate funding that supports a number of complimentary two- and four-year TaskStream accounts for students who demonstrate extreme financial need. This effort will ensure the program's cost is not a barrier that creates a technological divide between the Unit's initial and advanced candidates.
  • Sustain Praxis examination funding support for initial and advanced candidates: The Dean's Office currently provides funding that assists initial and advanced candidates with financial needs to register for the Praxis I and Praxis II examinations. The Dean's Office will remain committed to this practice.
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