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Standard 1 Report

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 1.1  Evidence of candidates’ ability to meet professional, state, and institutional standards and impact on P-12 student learning.

Professional association standards ensure initial and advanced program candidates have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to serve successfully in P-12 schools. Edinboro University (EU) currently provides 49 initial certification programs and 12 advanced programs. EU is nationally recognized by 11 Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs) and four other accrediting bodies: the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the National Art Education Association (NAEA), and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).  In an effort to continually improve, two advanced programs not seeking  national recognition, Masters in Middle and Secondary and Masters in Special Education, have now officially adopted standards from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) advanced standards respectively and developed assessments to meet those standards. Data collection began summer 2012.

Programs recognized with conditions, including Science, English, and Math, have all implemented changes to assessments and programs to address the comments of reviewers, and have since submitted Response to Condition reports. Health & Physical Education (HPE), currently unrecognized due to continuing conditions, has developed a new assessment plan with all assessments to be implemented beginning Spring 2013. HPE will submit again for recognition in September 2013.

1a. Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates

Data from the SPA reports demonstrate that EU programs meet or exceed the 80% pass rate for completers on all required licensure exams. Though these data demonstrated that candidates possess appropriate levels of content knowledge, changes to programs came as an impetus from the PA Department of Education through the Chapter 49-2 legislation.  For example, all initial certification programs now embed 270 hours of special education instruction and 90 hours of ELL instruction.

Further evidence of content knowledge stems from the candidacy and admission requirements.  All initial certification candidates must attain candidacy to continue with professional education courses.  Candidacy requires an earned GPA of 2.8 or above and passing of the required state exam.  All candidates must have a 3.0 GPA at the time of graduation in order to be certified (student teaching handbook). Candidates in advanced programs must meet all admission requirements of the Graduate School as well as any additional program requirements. Special Education Option II candidates, Masters only candidates in Early Childhood, and Masters only candidates in Middle & Secondary must hold a degree and/or a teaching certificate in a related area.

Additional evidence for content knowledge can be found by reviewing programs of study and the general education requirements (undergraduate catalog).

1b. Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates

State program review ensures that all initial and advanced certification programs maintain a high standard with regard to content knowledge and pedagogy. The last state review was conducted in 2004 and resulted in approval of all initial and advanced programs leading to certification (Review Summary). New initial programs resulting from the PA Chapter 49-2 legislation were developed and approved by the state in 2009. Advanced programs mirroring these programs were approved through the Assurance process in the Fall of 2011. The next state review is tentatively scheduled for 2014-2015 (1.3.a).

Title II reports were submitted for all academic years from 2008 to 2011. The Institutional Summary Reports can be found at the EU NCATE site under the title of Praxis. All programs far exceed the 80% minimum set forth by NCATE, as does the aggregate pass rate for the Unit as a whole. Further, the median score was above the cutoff score in all but two Praxis exams. The Praxis data for Spanish – World Language and Chemistry Content Knowledge show median scores below the cut off score, particularly in the past two years. The low number of candidates taking these exams may skew the results per year, however the results are still of some concern. For reasons not related to test scores, the Spanish Education program has been placed on moratorium.  Over the past three years, the number of candidates taking the Chemistry exam has decreased significantly, however, the SOE will work with the Chemistry department to determine how to increase scores particularly in the area of Solutions, Solubility, & Acid/Base chemistry. It should be noted that in Pennsylvania one cannot be certified in a program without passing the required Praxis/PAPA assessment. Workshops, peer tutoring, and on-line courses are available to those candidates having difficulty passing the required exams.

Key assessments, scoring guides, data, and summaries for the School of Education (SOE) programs related to pedagogical content knowledge are found in the individual SPA reports and are included in major projects, field experiences, student teaching, and internships.

Faculty supervisors use the PDE 430 form, a statewide assessment, to evaluate student teachers in four categories of performance and provide evidence to support the evaluations. Category I: Planning and Preparation – relates directly to pedagogical content knowledge.  Individual performances rate from Unsatisfactory to Exemplary. Means and standard deviations are provided by program and by semester for all students in initial programs.

The items on the PDE 430 are closely aligned with items on the EU designed Teacher Candidate Performance Profile (TCPP) assessment. EU faculty collaborated with P-12 teachers to develop, pilot, and refine this instrument. Since the categories on the two instruments are similar, the Unit is able to compare the two assessments, provide a more detailed analysis of candidate content knowledge, and use the results to improve programs. Questions range in focus, but there are specific questions directed toward pedagogical content knowledge.

All advanced programs for teachers have key assessments demonstrating pedagogical content knowledge that programs use for continuous improvement.  These assessments include the following: Master of Education Early Childhood Education – The Math & Science Kit and the Literacy Project; Master in Education Special Education (Option II) –  Best Practice Project and the 695 Grad Project; Master of Education Middle & Secondary Education -  Unit Plan and Action Research Project .

1C. Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates

Candidate assessment data indicate that initial and advanced candidates in education who receive degrees from EU are well prepared to assume professional roles in the educational community. The Unit relies upon multiple measures from an array of courses to ascertain the effectiveness of its programs including course grades, cumulative grade point averages (GPA), instructor observations, portfolio assessments, state certification examinations, and field experience and clinical experience assessments. Evidence of candidates’ professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills also stems from information gathered from surveys given to clinical faculty, as well as through employer and alumni surveys.

Use of the TCPP provides a full picture of teacher candidates' knowledge, skills, and dispositions across all initial programs (TCPP). The TCPP is a 53-item assessment based on INTASC standards and PDE 430 form. Each item in the Profile is rated as target, acceptable, developing, or unacceptable. The four categories, as with the PDE 430, include planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professionalism. The correlation of these two assessments provides a richer and more detailed analysis on the teacher candidate's abilities in these four areas.  The TCPP is used by programs to assess candidates in capstone experiences and there are items on the Profile that are directly related to impact on student learning. Teacher Candidates consistently rated well above the acceptable rating on these questions.

The Instructional Assessment Plan (IAP) is a Unit assessment completed by all initial certification candidates. This unit plan ensures that candidates are able to choose appropriate instructional strategies based on content knowledge, state and national standards, and student needs. Further, this unit plan requires the selection of effective instructional technologies and strategies to promote student learning.

Advanced programs for teachers all have key assessments documenting pedagogical knowledge and skills that programs use for continuous improvement.  These assessments include the following: Master of Education Early Childhood Education – Curriculum Action Plan and Advocacy Plan; Master in Education Special Education (Option II)  –  Best Practice Project; Master of Education Middle & Secondary Education -  Unit Plan and reflection and research papers.

1d. Student Learning for Teacher Candidates

Evidence for candidates’ impact on student learning in specific programs is documented in individual SPA reports, as well as the IAP and TCPP. The IAP is a major source of evidence for which teacher candidates can apply professional and pedagogical knowledge in order to positively impact student learning. In student teaching assignments, candidates are required to design a sophisticated unit plan that incorporates at least five lessons. In addition, candidates must employ a pre- / post- test design to gather data on student learning. These data must be analyzed and reflected upon for insights for future teaching (IAP). The TCPP is directly aligned with the state required PDE 430 form. The PDE 430 categories of Classroom Environment and Instructional Delivery are directly related to impact on student learning.

Advanced programs for teaching professionals incorporate key assessments to demonstrate a thorough understanding of assessment and data-driven decision making.  Case Studies, Action Research projects, Response to Intervention projects and other course-based Research Projects are used by these programs as evidence of candidates' knowledge and skills in the use of research based strategies to impact student learning. (Exhibit 1.3.c)

1e. Knowledge and Skills of Other School Professionals

All advanced programs for Other School Professionals are nationally recognized and meet the National and State standards for their fields. Evidence of content knowledge and skills can be found in the SPA reports for each of these programs.  Additionally, the advanced program in Counseling is nationally recognized by CACREP, therefore demonstrating sufficient evidence of knowledge and skills in the counseling field.

1f. Student Learning for Other School Professionals (OSP)

Candidates for OSP roles apply their knowledge, skills, and dispositions to promote growth and development among students enrolled in diverse settings. These candidates create positive learning environments through reflection and effective use of data analyses, research, and standards-based practice. Data from key assessments indicate that candidates are able to apply this knowledge of best practices for diverse learners and have a positive impact on student learning. Each of the advanced programs that are classified as OSP is unique in the manner in which it facilitates student learning. The description from the School Counseling program is one example of how an advanced program meets this element of Standard 1. Other examples can be seen in the Educational Leadership Intern Focus Project examples.

1g. Professional Dispositions for All Candidates

Candidates are evaluated throughout their undergraduate and graduate experiences on professional dispositions.  Students are informed of these expectations through a number of venues including course syllabi, Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs, Candidacy/Graduate Record In Progress (GRIP) Applications, course assessments, and guidelines for clinical experiences.

Professional dispositions are reflected in the Conceptual Framework (CF).  Evidence that candidates demonstrate these dispositions is revealed in the results of the CF reflection assessment. University supervisors also assess dispositions of teacher candidates at the conclusion of the student teaching experience through the PDE 430 instrument, which is directly linked to criteria specified in the Pennsylvania Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators. Likewise, as discussed in other sections, the TCPP also contains items directly related to the PDE 430 and addresses dispositions, specifically related to professionalism.

Disposition policies and procedures are appropriate for candidates at both the initial and advanced levels.  Program policy became the foundation for program procedures for addressing professional dispositions and providing remediation when candidate dispositions are in need of improvement. Recently, a School of Education Disposition Policy was developed and approved by the Disposition Continuous Improvement Team to support program and department disposition policies. These policies aim to identify issues related to dispositions in the early stages of the candidate’s program of study. Policies include a procedure for documenting and remediating issues of concern.

The process for assessment varies across programs and includes checklists, reflection on the Unit’s Conceptual Framework, and observations that are specific to each disposition. The process of evaluation and remediation is dependent on and follows both the SOE and appropriate Departmental Policies.

1.2.b Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement.

(1) In response to the Chapter 49-2 regulations, department changes occurred to the organization of the School of Education. The SOE currently consists of the Departments of Early Childhood and Special Education; Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education; Health and Physical Education; and Professional Studies (Educational Leadership, Reading, Education/School Psychology, and Counseling).  This change reflects EU's commitment to meeting the needs of candidates as well as the expectations of the state.

The new PA certificates issued by EU as of January 1, 2013, are:

          a. Early Childhood (PK through grade 4).

          b. Elementary/Middle (grades 4 through 8).

          c. Secondary (grades 7 through 12).

          d. Specialized areas (PK through grade 12).

e. Special Education PK-8 (PK through grade 8) with a dual certificate in Early Childhood.

EU is currently developing a program in Special Education 7-12 (Grades 7 through 12) with a dual certificate Secondary Education.

The Middle Level program was designed using the AMLE standards as well as the PDE regulations. The Framework for Grades 4-8 Program Guidelines established recommendations for the development of courses for Middle Level concentration. The two options provided include the following: Option #1: One concentration and three generalists (Focus) academic content areas and Option#2: Concentration in two content areas, and two generalists (Focus) academic content areas. In response, EU now offers a Middle Level certification with nine different options (Initial and Advanced Programs Chart).

In an effort to more effectively focus on issues of diversity in the classroom as well as to meet state requirements, EU initial certification programs now include credits/hours in Special Education and English Language Learner (ELL) content. As of January 2011, any candidate, applying for teaching certification, regardless of entry date or major, must complete 270 hours of Special Education and 90 hours of ELL instruction prior to certification or satisfy competency requirements in these areas.

In further response to these changes, as well as at the request of local school partners, EU is in the process of developing a Special Education 7-12 program.  This collaborative effort between the Secondary and Special Education program, based on the input from P-12 partners, will result in a 140 credit hour program ending in certification for candidates in both a secondary content area as well as special education (PDE 7-12 Program Guidelines).

(2) The Conceptual Framework (CF) reflection assessment was used to provide evidence of candidates’ ability to connect the course content to the CF.  Based on analysis of the CF reflection data by the CF committee, the CF assignment was revised to provide more precise evidence of a candidate's ability to reflect on all statements of the CF providing evidence of how well programs are producing completers with the desired knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Beginning with the spring 2012 semester, candidates are now required to write a thorough reflection on each belief statement and discuss where the components of the belief statements were met within their program.  Each assessment has a defined rubric (Conceptual Framework Exhibit ).  

(3) Several sources of survey data are now available for review and analysis by programs, graduates, and faculty.  The Clinical Faculty survey was developed in the Spring of 2012. Results demonstrate that our Clinical Faculty believe our candidates are well prepared to be Effective Facilitators of Learning. When asked about our candidates' knowledge, skills, and dispositions with regard to each CF Belief statement, clinical faculty consistently rated 90% or more of our candidates at the target or acceptable level.  Alumni satisfaction and Employer satisfaction surveys were developed and administered beginning in Summer 2012. These surveys asked questions pertaining to the preparation of graduates in all initial and advanced programs.  Questions reflected both the CF and INTASC standards (initial) or program specific standards (advanced). These surveys are an example of continuous improvement efforts by the SOE, adding to past efforts of programs to collect data from candidates (e.g., Student Teacher Survey) and employers  (e.g., Ed Leadership Focus Group Summary). 

(4) Beginning in the Spring of 2012 and continuing for all future spring semesters, programs use the Program Analysis Report (PAR) template for the inspection and analysis of program data.  This analysis then leads to decisions about programmatic changes and requires deadlines for implementation.  This process was initiated as a part of continuous improvement efforts in the area of data driven decision making, and is integral to both the NCATE and the Middle States processes.

(5) Upon entering the position, the current Dean of Education made changes to the Unit governance structure to reflect a culture of continuous improvement. This initiative created the Accreditation Coordinating Council (ACC) to support the Accreditation Coordinator in the ongoing process of accreditation. (ACC Agendas and Minutes). This was an impetus for a change in culture and the renaming of the Standard Committees as the Continuous Improvement Committees (CIC). The CICs no longer solely focus on meeting NCATE standards, but instead are charged with the broader issues surrounding those standards including Dispositions, Assessment, Clinical Experiences, Diversity, Faculty Vitality, and Governance. The Chairs of these committees now form the Continuous Improvement Team (CIT) which meets at least once a semester to discuss overlapping issues, facilitate collaboration, and allow for the distribution of information across the Unit. CIC chairs also conduct presentations at the Unit meetings held each semester (Structure chart).

(6) In the Fall of 2012, the Unit adopted a Disposition Policy for the School of Education. Though departmental policies were already in place and utilized, this policy was meant to be more broadly encompassing and provide support to the departmental processes (Disposition policies).

(7) In the Spring of 2012, two non-SPA related programs, Special Education Option II and Masters in Middle & Secondary, adopted advanced standards. The Special Education program chose the Advanced CEC standards and developed five new assessments aligned to these standards. These assessments were implemented beginning Summer 2012. The Masters in Middle & Secondary adopted the National Board Standards for Teaching and developed a portfolio assessment to ensure alignment with these standards.  The portfolio incorporates many already utilized assessments but adds a reflective piece on the connection to the CF and the standards. The portfolio assessment was implemented in Spring 2012 reflecting changes based on the needs of the program.

(8) The use of the on-line platform of D2L for the dissemination of data to programs has increased faculty access and exposure to evidence of knowledge, skills, and dispositions.  These data are now available to any member of the Unit on the Accreditation Site and are kept up to date by the Accreditation Office so that data-informed-decision making is efficiently facilitated. Data are collected and analyzed through the use of Livetext.

(9) In order to comply with PDE requirements to enhance the general knowledge base of each teacher candidate, the School of Education designated specific courses from the general education curriculum that would support a broad knowledge base essential for effective teaching. These prescribed courses were approved through the university curriculum process, are listed on the plan of study for each program, must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher, and are required for graduation.

The School of Education is committed to ensuring that all program completers are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn by engaging in processes that support ongoing assessment, analysis of data, reflection, and implementation of systemic policies and procedures which support this goal.