Knowledge, Skills and 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.
The seven initial and advanced credential programs meet all State program standards and have continued to be approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing based on the submission and acceptance of Program Assessment Documents and Biennial Reports. All credential and degree programs are reviewed at the Unit level on a regular basis. The goal of the professional education unit at Sonoma State University School of Education (SOE) is to advance excellence in the education profession through university-based preparation of teachers, school professionals, and leaders; to inform that preparation through engagement in and dissemination of exemplary teaching and relevant scholarship and research; and to evaluate and continuously improve that preparation using candidate and program assessment data to assure us that our teacher candidates and leaders meet professional, state and institutional standards. We work collectively to frame these expectations, incorporating not only our own perspectives and knowledge base, but foundational, research-based views, state and national standards, and the perspectives and knowledge base of teachers, principals, county office educators, SSU faculty in the arts and sciences and the broader community as well. These outcomes or proficiencies include content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills, dispositions, and the ability to impact PreK-12 student learning (i.e., conceptual framework). Moreover, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) has adopted standards for all programs except the masters in education. Key assessment data collected throughout our programs demonstrate that our candidates meet professional and state standards. These proficiencies and standards become the targets or focus for the assessment data we collect on our candidates. Overall, candidate assessment data, as well as, state assessment and accreditation documents indicate that candidates meet and often exceed the appropriate educational standards. Assessment data tell the unit that candidates in initial and advanced Education and Counseling programs at Sonoma State University meet professional, state, and institutional standards and understand their impact on PreK-12 student learning. The data also indicate areas for potential growth and/or additional assessment.
Candidates preparing to serve as teachers and other professional school personnel must know and demonstrate a depth of knowledge and skill necessary to educate and effectively support all students in meeting the state-adopted academic standards before completing their programs and obtaining state-approved licensure. In order to regularly monitor candidates with respect to these expectations, all programs within the unit follow an assessment system that we refer to as PEARL (Pursuing Excellence through Assessment, Reflection and Learning). The PEARL system incorporates Key assessments around specific transition points (Table 1.3.c). Transition point assessments typically involve assessment and criteria for admission to programs, assessment prior to clinical experience, assessment during clinical experiences, assessment at program completion, and post-certification follow-up. Programs vary in the number of transition points and assessments; however, all programs assess candidate performance as candidates work to gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to become effective, engaging and dynamic teachers or other professional school personnel. The School views assessment as an important leg of program validation, development, and improvement. Toward that end, a systematic iterative loop (assessment loop) consisting of assessment of candidate performance, analysis of data with a focus on continuous program improvement is maintained.
The seven initial and advanced credential programs meet all State program standards and have continued to be approved by the CTC based on the submission and acceptance of Program Assessment Reports and Biennial Reports. All credential and degree programs are reviewed at the Unit level on a regular basis. This cyclical review allows for both program reflection and revision and Unit improvements (Table 1.3.a). The Reading and Literacy Added Authorization and the Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential, the Preliminary Education Specialist programs and the Adaptive Physical Education are in the process of transitioning to new standards. These programs have submitted their new standard transition plans and continue to matriculate students.
We note that our joint Doctoral program (CANDEL) run with the University of California is not part of this review since the majority of the doctoral students are not part of the PreK-12 system and this School of Education is not solely in control of the curriculum and assessment systems (i.e., students matriculate through UC Davis). We also note that a newer Professional (Clear) Education Specialist credential is currently in abeyance with the CTC.
Initial Credential Programs
Unit assessment data systematically confirm that our initial credential candidates meet state and institutional standards for admission into the programs. In each professional preparation program, applicants are admitted on the basis of well-defined admission criteria and procedures, including all CTC-adopted requirements (Table 1.3.b). CTC has approved these procedures and criteria in the Unit’s Precondition’s Report as well as in the program individual program assessment reports (Table 1.3.a). Moreover, the unit determines that admitted candidates have the appropriate pre-professional experiences and personal characteristics, including sensitivity to California's diverse population, effective communication skills, basic academic skills, and prior experiences that suggest a strong potential for professional effectiveness. Entry-level requirements and procedures across the eight programs (three preliminary, four advanced, and one master program) are rigorous and linked to our conceptual framework (Table1.3.c).