College of Education Institutional Report

Standard 5: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development

Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.

5.1 Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development

How does the unit ensure that its professional education faculty contributes to the preparation of effective educators through scholarship, service, teaching, collaboration and assessment of their performance?

5a: Qualified Faculty: All full time tenured/tenure-track professional education faculty at NCA&T have earned doctorates in a teaching discipline or in a closely related discipline. Tenured/tenure track positions require a terminal degree, a commitment to relevant scholarship and service, and collaboration with P-12 schools. The unit values wisdom garnered from working in P-12. The 36 full time education faculty account for 209 years of P-12 experience (5.4.a).

Non-tenure track faculty and faculty employed part time with the unit have earned doctorates in their area of specialty and/or exceptional experience in schools or related agencies. Moreover, clinical faculty are licensed in the fields they teach/supervise and were chosen because of their demonstrated teaching acumen (5.4.a). They actively participate in program meetings, professional development, and the Teacher Education Council (TEC) to ensure continuous growth and clear understanding of standards and policies (I.5.a). The minimum standards required for employment as clinical faculty are three years of teaching experience in P-12 and a North Carolina license and/or appropriate certification.

5b. Modeling Professional Practices in Teaching: Professional educators at NCA&T have an understanding of the content they teach as evidenced by their degrees, professional development activities, service, and other scholarly activities. Faculty within the unit helped to establish state guiding principles and thereafter directed candidates in developing Evidences that exemplified knowledge and skills current to the field (I.5.c.6). The result of these efforts was an increase in action research among candidates and better reflection on problem solving throughout the unit. The unit recently designated a 21st century classroom that faculty may use to demonstrate best practices in teaching at the elementary level. In addition, the unit has an established office at a local elementary school that affords ready access to planned classroom demonstrations and immediate feedback to candidates on their pedagogical astuteness.

Currently the unit utilizes the North Carolina Department of Public Instructions (NCDPI) approved standards for evaluating teacher effectiveness in the delivery of professional, state, and institutional standards.  To this end, the unit adopted student learning outcomes and program learning outcomes that assess critical thinking, problem solving and professional dispositions. Faculty syllabi reflect the application of varied instructional methods, multiple assessment strategies, utilization of technology, and strong candidate engagement practices within the instructional environment (I.5.b). To ensure contemporary theoretical and philosophical foundations in the instructional program, faculty regularly participate in professional development activities relevant to their specialty content and pedagogy (5.4.a). Student evaluations of faculty, chair evaluations and peer reviews help faculty glean more understanding and consequently allow them to be more reflective practitioners (5.4.f.3).

5c. Modeling Best Practices in Scholarship: NCA&T believes the scholarly research of faculty and collaborative efforts that engage undergraduate and graduate students will produce a stronger culture of discovery-driven learning. Goal three of the university's strategic plan is to be "a national, premier research-intensive, doctoral, science and technology-focused learning institution." The unit continues to strategically contribute to this effort as evidenced in faculty members' research productivity. Faculty are engaged in grant ventures, publications, conference presentations, and professional and university awards for their scholarly prowess. Over the last three years, faculty have published 93 articles in scholarly journals, 63 conference proceedings, 11 books, 33 book chapters,33 other scholarly and creative activities, and received $12,449,581 in grants (5.4.d.1).

5d. Modeling Best Practices in Service: All full-time tenured/tenure-track unit faculty meet service expectations via one or more of the following: state and national professional organizations, departmental assignments, college/school committee service, university services, volunteerism at community agencies, LEA boards/assignments, and other partner collaborations. The faculty handbook recognizes faculty service as an integral part of the tenure, promotion, and performance evaluation system (5.4.d.2). Faculty members are expected to hold current membership in one or more professional organizations aligned with the teaching field; provide professional development for the university community; provide in-service training for teachers; hold leadership in a professional organization or on a committee; facilitate/sponsor workshops and seminars, facilitate programs/conferences within their discipline; and/or serve as a professional reviewer (5.4.d.1).

5e. Unit Evaluation of Professional Education Faculty Performance: University and General Administration require an annual review of all tenure track faculty by their department, their dean, the unit's tenure committee and the university's committee. Tenured faculty engage in a post-tenure review on a five year cycle.

NCA&T has outlined policies and procedures that dictate the faculty evaluation process and requirements (5.4.f.2).  Unit faculty are evaluated yearly by program chairs to ensure continuous improvement in teaching. These evaluations include student course evaluations, professional service, and scholarly research (5.4.f.1). Scholarly productivity is measured by conference presentations, publications, grants, professional service, P-12 practice related activities, and other evidence of professional productivity. In addition, tenured/tenure track faculty are reviewed annually by at least one peer.  This affords an opportunity for candid reviews without fear of reprisal. Within this context, faculty members are free to their successes and opportunities for growth.

Clinical faculty, while not required conducting scholarly research, engaging in the same annual review process as tenure-track faculty. The faculty senate recently established policies and procedures for the review of non-tenure track faculty.

5f. Unit Facilitation of Professional Development. The maintenance of a professional faculty is a high priority for the unit and the university. Therefore the unit and the university systematically invest human and fiscal resources in professional development for (6.4.f). The School of Education receives recurring operating funds that may be used to attend local and state professional development and/or to support participation in national conferences. In addition, the Unit offers its own professional development activities based upon results garnered from faculty needs assessments (5.4.g.4). Endowments and grant sponsorships are other means by which faculty receive funding for professional development (5.4.g.3).

During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the unit allotted $69,670 for faculty travel and registration fees (6.4.f). During the same academic year, a total of $14,111 of Title III funds was spent on professional development (6.4.f). In addition, the Office of Academic Affairs recently began providing funding to support teaching effectiveness through its Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL). This initiative is intended to promote teaching excellence, improve student learning outcomes and encourage ongoing professional development and scholarship. Faculty members may apply for funding to attend professional development activities with the stipulation that they must share newly acquired knowledge with their peers at the university (5.4.g).

5.2.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.

Qualified Faculty: Currently all fulltime unit faculty have doctoral degrees and 78% of part-time faculty have doctorate degrees. The unit increased in the number of full-time university-based clinical faculty. This resulted in a reduction in the number of part time clinical adjunct faculty while maintaining the core classroom faculty.

Opportunities for professional development have been seriously impacted by reductions in the university's budget.  However, the SOE implements several initiatives each year. During fall 2013, faculty received training in the use of i-Clicker Student Response System. In fall 2011, the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) changed its focus from funding professional development for senior-most faculty to an emphasis on developing junior faculty. Despite budgetary cuts, the SOE increased its professional development allocations by 10% in 2014. In addition, the unit expanded its partnership with Hampton Elementary School to include a training component for both university faculty and public school partner. At the university's level, several professional development workshops were provided on the use of technology in the classroom. For example, training sessions are regularly conducted on the use of the Banner (enterprise resource planning software used for storing and reporting student data), and grant submission/management.

Initiated in 2013, Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence (CLOE) developed a catalog of professional development training opportunities. Examples include training on organizational cultural, customer service excellence, emotional intelligence, and transitioning to a research- intensive university (Goal 6 of Preeminence).

Research continues to be an integral part of the University's mission. NCATSU is ranked third in external research in the UNC System. In 2012, the Office of Sponsored Programs implemented new guidelines that resulted in every school/college receiving a grants officer designated to work with their unit. This year the dean has begun a initiative to acquire a researcher to work with faculty to ensure continued quality in research. In addition, the Dean's office has a new position designated for assessment/evaluation. This person will be working closely with chairs as well as individual faculty.

Faculty members collaborate with students to conduct workshops, present at state/national conferences, and publish articles.  In addition, faculty serve on dissertation committees at the University and at surrounding universities as one means of sharing their expertise. Faculty and students have traveled to Belize, Africa, Germany, Paris, and Jamaica to engage in research and intercultural experiences. Recently, the school counselors in Belize organized to form a professional organization and contributed their success, in part, to the efforts of NCATSU faculty involvement in their efforts.

While the unit has been very active in the community by providing workshops for school partners as well as our respective organizations, the unit has developed a renewed focus on honing our partnership with Hampton Elementary and other community partners. For example, the Triad Teaching Intercollegiate Conference (5.4.e) is a professional development initiative offered in collaboration with Elon University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Faculty has renewed interest in developing research in emerging theories and practices. For example, faculty has facilitated three initiatives on working with African American males that resulted in presentations at conferences.  Faculty has been recognized in the local media and professional organizations as experts in their area of specialty.

Lastly, the SOE and candidates evaluate the quality of faculty teaching, scholarly research and service. Students evaluate instruction in each class and chairs conduct annual evaluations of faculty on each of these domains.

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