Sonoma State University’s School of Education began as the Department of Education in the School of Social Sciences. In 1984-85 it was approved by the President and the Academic Senate to be a free-standing School. From its inception until 2000-01, the School of Education was organized as one department and school. In 2000-01 it reorganized into four departments, and in 2001-02 consolidated two departments into one, leaving the current organization of three departments: Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education (CSEE), Educational Leadership and Special Education (ELSE), and Literacy, Elementary, and Early Elementary Education (LEEE). Each department houses one basic credential program and at least one Education M.A. program concentration. (School of Education Organizational Chart)
The Organization of the School of Education
The School of Education is comprised of seven credential or professional programs and one graduate masters in education program: four preliminary credentials and three advanced credentials—two Master of Arts degrees—one in Education (with six distinct areas of concentration) and one in Counseling (Pupil Personnel Services). These programs include a Multiple Subject, a Single Subject, and an Education Specialist (Preliminary and Professional/ Level II) credentials, the Educational Leadership credential programs (Preliminary and Professional Administrative Services – PASC I & II) and the Graduate Reading programs (Reading and Literacy Added Authorization and the Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential). The Unit also includes the Pupil Personnel Services Credential, the Adapted Physical Education credential and the Master of Education degree.
- The Multiple Subject Credential program prepares approximately 150 post baccalaureate candidates annually. Applicants are admitted in both fall and spring semesters. The Multiple Subject credential entitles bearers to teach all subjects in self-contained classrooms grades PreK-12.
- The Single Subject Credential program prepares approximately 80 post baccalaureate candidates annually. Applicants are admitted in both fall and spring semesters The Single Subject credential authorizes the holder to teach a particular subject (e.g., history, science, English) to students in any grade PreK-12.
- The Education Specialist Credential programs (Mild/Moderate & Moderate/Severe) prepares approximately 45 post baccalaureate candidates annually. Applicants are admitted in both fall and spring semesters.
- The Adapted Physical Education Credential program is housed in the School of Science and Technology and prepares approximately 5-10 candidates per year. Applicants are admitted in both fall and spring semesters.
- The Administrative Services Credential (PASC I & II) prepares approximately 25 post baccalaureate candidates annually. Applicants are admitted in the fall semester only.
- The Reading Certificate and Credential programs prepares approximately 12 post baccalaureate candidates annually. Applicants are admitted in both fall and spring semesters.
- The Pupil Personnel Services Credential is housed in the School of Social Sciences and prepares approximately 10-15 post baccalaureate candidates annually. Applicants are admitted in the fall semester only.
- The Master of Arts Degree in Education with concentrations in six areas: Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Reading and Language, Special Education, and TESOL prepares approximately 50 post baccalaureate candidates annually. Applicants are admitted in both fall and spring semesters.
Programs meet within departments, twice a semester in School-wide meetings, at the biennial Assessment Colloquium and in integrated program meetings. The Council of Chairs (CoC) oversees the interactions of programs for example the coordination of courses, faculty, resources, assessment review, program and unit evaluation, and faculty oversight eminent from and are coordinated by the CoC.
The School of Education’s relation to other Schools at SSU is one of equal standing. The University through the Division of Academic Affairs apportions funds to the School of Education in a fashion that is equal to the other schools. The school is allotted monies to cover the salaries of permanent staff and tenure track faculty. The school is allotted an enrollment target set as a number of Full Time Equivalent Students (FTES). Using the enrollment target, a targeted Student Faculty Ratio (SFR; usually the CSU average for Schools of Education) and the number of full time permanent faculty, the University estimates the amount of money needed to fund any courses with part-time faculty that cannot be covered by permanent faculty. Moreover, the University supports the school’s larger operating expenses due to our admissions, and credentialing tasks that our school has that others do not and our school has a line item budget that is dedicated to accreditation covering the cost of the assessment system especially covering the cost of maintaining the TPA. While the funds for supporting the school are apportioned in an equitable fashion to the schools, the current financial crisis has led to severe cuts in additional monies for advising, higher SFR and large class sizes.
The Significant Changes Since the Last Review
Over the past several years, faculty have secured numerous grants to better equip the School of Education to meet the needs of preservice and inservice teachers. For example, a NSF grant explores the effects on professional development on the scaling up of research; a NSF grant (NOYCE) and CSU grant that provides monies for future Science and Mathematics Teacher, a NSF grant providing professional development to Chemistry teaches with an online formative assessment system; the EnACT grant that provides the skills, support and training necessary to ensure that university students with disabilities are provided a high quality education through faculty awareness and universal access training and numerous ongoing grants in the area of mathematics support development and implementation of mathematics curricula.
With the help of these grants, faculty in the School of Education have become well-versed in the use of technology and have taken steps to apply what they have learned to their work with credential candidates. Implementation of Moodle as both an online learning environment and information repository and as an organizing device for program assessment and accreditation, digital portfolios in the Multiple Subject credential program, online student participation requirements, and assignments requiring the use of technology comprise just a few of our recent curricular innovations.
With all the curricular and programmatic changes of the past few years, faculty in the School of Education have developed various ongoing assessment protocols to evaluate their success and to chart a course for further modification and transformation. We now collect assessment data from current and exiting candidates, conduct periodic field studies of recent graduates, and elicit feedback from one another, SSU colleagues across campus, and professionals in the schools.
Concurrent with the evolution of our curriculum and programs, we have steadily increased our connection, collaboration, and outreach with teachers, schools, and districts in our service area. Through the Educator-in-Residence program, experienced classroom teachers join the SSU faculty for one or two years, teaching credential courses, supervising student teachers, and co-teaching with faculty, unfortunately this program was one that cut during our budgetary setbacks. In addition, faculty in every credential program meets twice yearly for advice and counsel with their respective Community Advisory Boards. Local schoolteachers and leaders as well as SOE faculty sit on the Community Advisory Boards. We also have instituted ways to honor the service of our colleagues in the schools: every year we host two awards ceremonies: The Circle of Excellence Awards acknowledge the schools and individual teachers who have provided outstanding support for teacher candidates; our Jack London Award honors outstanding teachers and exemplary educational programs; and scholarships such as the Patricia Nourot Memorial Scholarship for Early Childhood Education and the F. George Elliott Scholarships support continued professional development of educators.
The ongoing development of the Assessment System’s Iterative Loop of Unit and program evaluation is a focus of our growth and change. More than ever our initiatives, renewals, and revisions are driven by data analyses from our key assessments. The advent of the Assessment and Accreditation Committee (AA) in 2005, the ongoing development of the Unit’s Moodle Repository of School and program assessment data and records launched in Fall 201, and AA Committee’s development of the SOE Assessment Handbook begun in Spring 2011 mark our most significant changes to SOE and the way we conduct and review our programs and ourselves (Table 1.3.ijk).