Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates
Assessment data indicate that credential candidates have the appropriate content and pedagogical knowledge prior to entering their final field practicum (Table 1.3.def). Candidates who do not meet the appropriate standards are not allowed to continue into their final clinical practice. Since all candidates must meet the criteria prior to entering into full time student teaching in the final field practicum, 100 percent of the credential candidates entering the final field practicum have met the standards.
Assessment data indicate that credential candidates have met the appropriate standards during their final field practicums, including the completion of a teacher performance assessment Performance Assessment for California Teachers, (PACT). Program Completion (Table 1.3.b). Assessment data also provide evidence that credential candidates meet and frequently exceed the Commission-adopted competency requirements, as specified in the appropriate program standards, as well as the dispositions and performance expectations of the unit as outlined in the Conceptual Framework.
We attend to student learning. Candidates from our basic credential and advanced programs are expected to demonstrate skill and knowledge at a level that would ensure all students can and will learn. We assess student learning from our candidates as part of our assessment system via field supervision and the PACT. In PACT elementary and secondary candidates identify and evaluate their effect on PreK-12 student learning. Our Education Specialist program has begun a new version of the performance assessment embedded in a course EDSP 460, the Teaching Event Seminar. For the elementary and secondary credential programs, data indicate that our students are able to identify and evaluate their impacts on PreK-12 learning (Table 1.3.b). Due to the transition of the Education Specialist credential to new CTC preparations standards, a data report on the success rate and impact of student teaching will not be available until fall 2011 and spring 2012.
One Year-Out Evaluation
As part of the California University System (CSU), the Center for Teacher Quality, surveys our candidates and their supervisors/employers after the credential candidates have completed their first year of teaching. This CSU Survey captures the reflections and judgments of CSU graduates and their supervisors, generally principals, on the quality, value and effectiveness of their preparation. The survey is distributed to all candidates with response rates of approximately 20%. While the low level of response rate continues to be a problem in most programs across the CSU system, our beginning candidates and their supervisors (principals) survey data suggest that our candidates have comparable scores with the other universities in the system with both areas of excellence and areas of needed improvement (Table 1.3.ijk).
Advanced Programs (Reading and Masters’ Program)
The School of Education maintains an assessment system following PEARL for our advanced programs in order to determine the ways in which the programs meet state standards and follow the dispositions and performance expectations as set out in the School’s Conceptual Framework (i.e., Reading Certificate and Reading and Literacy Specialists credential) as well as those that are not under state review (i.e. Master programs). Most importantly, the systematic and iterative assessment cycle is used to provide feedback for program improvement.
The reading program prepares CTC program assessment reports as well as biennial reports. In 2010, new standards were created for the reading program and it is currently in transition to the new program. Data from both the reading programs and the Masters is collected at key transitions points similar to the initial preparation programs: data collected for admission, through the program and from program completion and from follow up surveys. These data indicate that standards have been met by advanced program graduates at all transition points in their programs (Table 1.3.def). All students in the reading certificate program—Reading and Literacy Added Authorization and the Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential programs have existing teaching credentials and therefore have met the content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge of beginning teachers. During the course of the program they become experts in the pedagogical content knowledge of teaching as evidenced by the program biennial reports and program transition documents. Students in the masters’ program become experts in their field of study as evidenced by the advancement to candidacy program review where faculty review candidates coursework, writing skills, competency in the area of emphasis (i.e., midpoint portfolio review) and final review of their selected culminating activity by their committee (i.e., thesis, cognate project, or individualized exam) (Table 1.3.def).
Knowledge and Skills for Other School Professionals
Program documents submitted for the review process demonstrate that our Other School Professional candidates (Pupil Personnel and Educational Leadership) have an in-depth understanding of knowledge in their fields as delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards and demonstrated through inquiry, critical analysis, and synthesis (Table 1.3.a). Candidate work (Table 1.3.h) from a sampling of these programs also demonstrates that our candidates proficiently collect and analyze data related to their work, reflect on their practice, and use research and technology to support and improve student learning.
Data support that other school professionals reflect on their work within the context of student learning. Data from Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) school counseling practicum, as well as the PPS Supervisors’ review of the candidates with respect to personal and social development using technology and data for decision making indicate adequate to excellent performance. Findings indicate that candidates work with the context of student learning (Table 1.3.def). Student learning is a key component in multiple courses across Educational Leadership (PASC) program. In EDEL 587A and B candidates’ portfolio must show evidence of assessment, analysis, and interventions regarding student learning, candidate competency with regard to promoting learning and professional growth and organizational management for student learning. The “What is” paper rubric captures this focus. In EDEL 588, the candidates’ final course project, an evaluation of curriculum or curricular feature engages candidates in the process of utilizing criteria from learning and assessment literature to evaluate a school program.
The School of Education has a partnership with the University of California, Davis. The Capital Area North Doctorate in Educational Leadership (CANDEL) program is a partnership between the University of California, Davis, and Sonoma State University. CANDEL is designed to produce exemplary educational leaders in schools, community colleges, and related areas within education. Graduates of this program will be prepared to lead for change in educational environments that promote learning, equity, and achievement for all students. Formulated in 2005, CANDEL is fully accredited by WASC and aims to cultivate educational leaders from public schools, community colleges, state and local educational agencies. Although the School of Education is extremely proud of the CANDEL program, we are not including it in our review for the following reasons:
- The program is administered by UC Davis. We provide some of the instruction, but the students enroll at UCD, not at SSU.
- Candidates are admitted to UCD, not SSU.
- Most of the classes are taught at UCD.
- The management of candidates, their grades, and data is handled by UCD
- UCD grants the degree.
- Finally, less than half of the candidates who attend the program come from preK-12 programs.
The SSU School of Education's role is to jointly deliver the program under the administration of UC Davis. Although, we would like all of our programs to be NCATE approved, it does not seem that that the CANDEL program is a good 'fit' for NCATE accreditation.
Each of our programs assesses the professional dispositions of candidates (Table 1.3.def). Assessment data across the programs tell us that candidates complete programs with the necessary dispositions and beliefs that all students can learn (Table 1.3.def) and Conceptual Framework Alignment).
Moving to Target
The School of Education is united in its pursuit of excellence in our initial and advanced candidates’ preparation as we move toward Target Level in Standard One. The unit as a collective learning community including the Dean, the faculty, our public school partners, and the units’ administrative and credential staff know the dimensions of skillful teaching and purposeful learning as exemplified in our Conceptual Framework. We prepare teachers and other professional school personnel using the Conceptual Framework as our guide.
Candidates at the initial and advanced levels demonstrate content knowledge in a variety of ways throughout their program. The pre-entry level assessments for initial candidates, CBEST and CSET, for the Multiple Subject Program and CBEST at entry and Subject Matter Waiver Programs or CSET completion prior to student teaching for Single Subject and the Education Specialist credentials in order to ensure that our candidates arrive and teach with foundational knowledge in the liberal arts and/or each candidate’s chosen discipline. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires that institutions of higher education admit only those applicants who have passed these pre-entry exams with the exception of a small percentage of students who are enroll in the first part of the program (Petition for Special Admission). All program completers have passed the content examinations required by the state.
Furthermore, key assessments in the initial preparation programs are used to measure content knowledge including candidates’ performance assessments, mentor teacher evaluations, follow-up studies, and employer surveys. A review of content knowledge trend data (Table 1.3.b) at the unit level indicates strong, consistent performance over time. In our advance programs students cannot complete their program without showing the necessary expertise.