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Standard 5 Report

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  • Standard 5 Report

5.1 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

Unit faculty at Edinboro University (EU) have earned doctorates or exceptional expertise. All tenured and tenure track faculty hold terminal degrees in their field. All faculty employed as full or part-time temporary instructors have terminal degrees or extensive expertise in their field. All faculty have expertise in the content area in which they supervise. Clinical faculty are licensed in the fields that they teach or supervise and are “highly qualified” according to the state (PDE HQT definition) or recognized for their competence in their field. In addition, university supervisors and P-12 clinical faculty are assigned according to content area. Faculty qualifications can be seen in (Exhibit 5.3.a).

5b. Modeling Best Professional Practices in Teaching

All SOE faculty have an in-depth understanding of their fields and are teacher scholars who integrate what is known about their content fields, teaching, and learning in their own instructional practice. Teaching by the SOE faculty reflects the proficiencies outlined in professional, state, and institutional standards. All SOE faculty align their syllabi using the NCATE syllabus template (Syllabus Template) to the INTASC/SPA standards, PDE guidelines, and the CF belief statements. The syllabi provide evidence of best practices in all facets of teaching. Integrated into all programs are 90 hours of ELL instruction and 270 hours of Special Education, meeting state expectations and enhancing candidate knowledge of diverse students.  Required courses for all initial candidates such as Multiculturalism in American Schools (SEDU 271), Technology for Teaching and Learning (SEDU 183), and Introduction to Exceptionalities (SPED 210), all indicate a commitment to integrating diversity and technology throughout coursework. Use of Smart technology, iPad carts, Laptop carts, and designated computer labs are all used as teaching tools throughout the SOE. Faculty teaching on-line incorporate the latest technology recently transitioning from Wimba to Bb Collaborate. Further, SOE faculty value candidates’ learning and adjust instruction appropriately to enhance candidate learning. As can be seen in the SPA reports , they understand the use of multiple forms of assessments to determine effectiveness, and data driven decision making. Additionally, some initial and advanced programs have adopted the Understanding By Design model which maximizes candidate learning. Many faculty members have been recognized as outstanding teachers by candidates and peers across campus and in schools, receiving such awards as the Keystone Technology Integrator, the Technology Pioneer, and the EU Educator of the Year award (Exhibit 5.3.a).

Teaching effectiveness is highly valued at EU.  The Statement of Promotion Policies and Procedures (Faculty Promotion Policy), Statement of Tenure Policies and Procedures (Faculty Tenure Policy), and peer evaluation process document and clearly define the standards for measuring effective teaching and define evidentiary pieces that faculty must include in their promotion and/or tenure materials to document teaching effectiveness.  Both tenure and promotion to all ranks are contingent upon significant evidence that a faculty member is effective as a teacher.

5c. Modeling Best Professional Practice in Scholarship

A majority of Edinboro University professional education faculty, both tenured and temporary, demonstrates scholarly work in their fields of specialization, with this work supporting the mission of the University and the CF of the Unit.  Faculty present at the annual conferences of respected, national organizations such as NASPE, IRA, NAPDS, and NSMA (Faculty Presentations). Faculty publications support the value EU places on scholarship and include peer-reviewed manuscripts in various professional journals, textbooks, and book chapters (Faculty Publications). Also, faculty members engage in scholarship with Edinboro graduate and undergraduate students as well as P-12 educators, and share their scholarly works on campus and in the community.  For example, over the past five years, faculty presented with P-12 faculty and/or candidates at annual conferences such as the Pennsylvania Supervision and Curriculum Development (PSACD) Annual Conference . Additional scholarship activities include serving on editorial boards; reviewing books, book chapters, program evaluating, presentations for regional organizations such as PAC-TE and KSRA, proposals, and grant applications; and conducting evaluations for various projects or curriculums. A more detailed examination of the professional education faculty’s scholarly endeavors may be found in exhibits 5.3.a and  5.3.d.

Scholarly activity includes the successful development of grant proposals.  Over the past five years, faculty have written successful proposals to support areas as Professional Development Schools, integrating technology into the curriculum, integrating Arts across the curriculum, and Environmental Education.  Funding agencies have included the U.S. Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  For a more comprehensive examination of external grants secured by School of Education faculty, please refer to the Grants Summary Document .  SOE faculty members have also been increasingly successful in receiving support through the Edinboro University Senate Grants Committee for their scholarly efforts.

5d. Modeling Best Professional Practices in Service.

Faculty model service, collaboration and leadership (Exhibit 5.3.a).  They collaborate regularly with P-12 practitioners and with faculty in other university units. Service to the profession is highly valued at EU and faculty members are expected to engage in service that contributes to the betterment of society and Edinboro’s position as a leader in teacher education.  Service is emphasized through both the annual faculty reviews within the School of Education and the promotion and tenure guidelines of Edinboro University (Faculty Promotion Policy & Faculty Tenure Policy)   Professional education faculty serve on the majority of important University-wide committees. Faculty also serve the education profession at the local, state, regional, and national levels through organizational membership and leadership as well as through participation in full range of professional organizations (Faculty Memberships).

Service to the profession is also extensive at the local level as faculty work with P-12 committees, Professional Development Schools, Advisory Councils, local conferences, the Middle School Network, as well as activities at the Community Outreach Center and other local organizations (Faculty Survey Results).

Notably, professional education faculty develop relationships, programs, and projects with colleagues in P-12 schools and faculty in other units of Edinboro University to refine knowledge bases, conduct research, make presentations, publish materials, and improve the quality of education for all students . Professional education faculty are actively involved in P-12 schools through the supervision of interns, committee work, consultation, research, and service. Faculty provide courses at various sites for P-12 partnering personnel and develop programs and activities for low performing schools such as those provided to Strong Vincent High School, Roosevelt Middle School, Peiffer Burleigh Elementary, and Cambridge Springs Elementary schools through PDS initiatives and to Perseus House Charter School Faculty through a school improvement grant (Service Collaboration Samples) .

5e. Unit Evaluation of Professional Education Faculty Performance

At EU, systematic and comprehensive evaluation of faculty is conducted.  The evaluation system includes regular and comprehensive reviews of the faculty member's teaching, scholarship, service, collaboration with the professional community, and leadership in the institution and profession.  In the SOE, the intent of this review is not only for evaluation but also to identify areas for professional development. For a comprehensive, detailed description of the faculty performance evaluation criteria and procedures, please refer to Article 12 in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Additionally, faculty content knowledge is evidenced by (a) the large number of faculty holding the terminal degree (Appendix D), (b) faculty-developed course syllabi (Course Syllabi), (c) university requirements for promotion and tenure (Faculty Promotion Policy & Faculty Tenure Policy), and (d) scholarly activity.

5f. Unit Facilitation of Professional Development

Based on the identified areas for improvement mentioned in faculty evaluations, the Unit provides opportunities for faculty to develop new knowledge and skills, especially as they relate to the Conceptual Framework, performance assessment, diversity, technology, and other emerging practices.

Multiple opportunities for professional development are provided for faculty at EU. For example, the Technology and Communications (T&C) Department provides training sessions each semester to enable faculty members to learn about new technology, software, and programming for the improvement of their teaching (Technology Training ). In addition, training is provided by the Unit Accreditation Coordinator and the Management Technician assists faculty with skill development related to Livetext, an on-line platform used for data collection and analysis (Livetext training). Further, the University supports faculty research and funding from external sources through the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs (GSP) which provides support to faculty for grant writing and securing other sources of external funding.

Professional development is supported at Edinboro University through a sabbatical leave program for faculty professional development and research (CBA Sabbatical).  All faculty members with at least seven years of service may apply for a sabbatical.  Sabbaticals are granted with full salary for one semester or half salary for the academic year.  Sabbatical proposals are competitive and are reviewed by a University committee that makes recommendations to the President. 

Edinboro University encourages professional development beyond those provided on campus.  For example, the Dean of Education’s office allocates funds to individual faculty members for reimbursement of travel funds related to attending and presenting at professional conferences (Travel expenses). Often reimbursement for professional development is tied to scholarly needs and interests identified as part of the faculty evaluation process. Funding for transportation to professional conferences may also be attained through individual departments in the School of Education at Edinboro University.

Professional education faculty support the mentoring of new faculty by experienced faculty.  The Professional Studies Department has a formal mentoring policy while other departments are more informal in their approach. Mentoring is highly valued is a routine practice among professional education faculty. The SOE also supports new faculty with a Unit level mentoring program.

5.2.b Continuous Improvement: Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality.

Each program has criteria for clinical faculty, however, these programs are still quite dependent on the P-12 administration to provide the Unit with clinical faculty who are appropriate mentors for our candidates. In order to gain more information on clinical faculty qualifications, a survey was developed and delivered electronically to all those acting as cooperating teachers or supervisors of candidates (Clinical Faculty Survey & Results).  In addition, a process is being developed to allow candidates to provide feedback on their mentoring experience as it relates to the Conceptual Framework. This reflection will be implemented beginning Spring 2013.

Due to a change in leadership and culture, a new governance structure was put in place beginning in Fall 2011.  Continuous Improvement Committees (CIC) comprised of Unit faculty and administrators as well as other University faculty now discuss the issues of the Unit.  These committees are based on, but not limited to, the NCATE standards and include the Conceptual Framework, Dispositions, Assessment, Clinical Experiences, Diversity, Faculty Vitality, and Governance.  The Faculty Vitality CIC monitors and enhances professional development. The committee meets regularly and has started developing plans and policies to enhance professional development for professional education faculty (Faculty Vitality - Minutes). The Continuous Improvement Team (CIT), comprised of the Chairs of the CICs convenes at least once a semester to discuss issues that may overlap and to gain perspective for future work of the CIC. As an example of this, the Faculty Vitality chair gained ideas for professional development and these suggestions then led the work of the committee for future professional development opportunities (e.g., Diversity workshops).  The committee has also gleaned ideas for professional development opportunities by surveying the faculty at the Unit meeting and asking Chairs to distribute surveys at department meetings. The Faculty Vitality CIC is examining how funds are allocated for professional development opportunities and will continue to solicit feedback from faculty regarding future professional development opportunities.

As a part of this new governance structure, the Dean of Education sought additional resources to allow for a full-time Unit Accreditation Coordinator.  This position was created to facilitate all accreditation related activities for the Unit, including Middles States, NCATE, SPA, and PDE activities. One responsibility assigned to this position is communication with and training of Unit faculty in aligning course syllabi with standards, assessment development, and collection of data using Livetext.  Regular communication through e-mail, CIC meetings, and departmental meetings provides opportunity for faculty to receive timely feedback to questions and to become more informed about the accreditation process. Training on data collection through Livetext is provided each semester in both the group and individual setting.  In addition, the UAC provides an NCATE overview workshop for new and temporary faculty at the Fall Unit meeting.

As indicated above, the SOE faculty meets once a semester, providing professional development on Unit related issues. These meetings provide critical opportunities for CICs to share information regarding professional education policies and practices. Topics addressed during Unit meetings include reviewing and updating policies and practices related to dispositions, clinical experiences, diversity of faculty, professional development, and the Conceptual Framework. The use of D2L enhanced these meetings allowing faculty to provide information on-line to the unit in an efficient manner. There is time during each fall meeting to review and discuss Unit data; while at the Spring meeting, program data are the focus.  In addition, each meeting has time set aside for discussion of a topic of interest such as Student Affairs or Tips for Advising. (Unit Meetings)

In 2011 the SOE Dean provided each department chair with  the book The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Reconsidered encouraging each department to develop a culture of  inquiry and scholarly growth.  Each department has instituted initiatives in this regard, for example the Department of  EMSE holds monthly Brown Bag Lunches with presentations by faculty on a topic pertinent to the field of education. Faculty in the HPE department were instrumental in beginning "open sessions for budding scholars" to assist them in developing their scholarship agenda and the publication process, and the Professional Studies Department has a committee that guides and supports the development of scholarship by faculty in the department.

One identified area of need with regard to professional development is new faculty mentoring.  Programs within the Unit implement this in a variety of ways and with varying success. The Associate Dean of the School of Education has developed policies and recommendations for the mentoring of new and adjunct faculty and conducted orientations each year for new faculty (Mentoring Plan). The Dean has instituted an informal mentoring initiative, spearheaded by the Associate Dean.  Formal orientation of SOE new faculty is held every semester or as needed, (Advising ppt.) and the Associate Dean schedules mentoring lunch sessions to help faculty meet tenure and promotion requirements and to help junior faculty establish professional development and scholarship goals.

Dialogue about the design and delivery of instructional programs with P-12 schools has been enhanced by the creation of the Educational Partners Advisory Council (EPAC).  EPAC consists of many superintendents, assistant superintendents, IU directors, etc. from a three county area, and serves to give feedback to EU’s SOE on programmatic changes and other issues that surround collaboration between higher ed.and P-12 schools including diversity and clinical experiences. These regular meetings of key P-12 stakeholders have provided insight into several SOE initiatives. Most recently, this council provided essential feedback regarding the developing of a Special Education 7-12 program (Minutes of 11/29 meeting). Conversations with PDS and other school partners have led to collaboration on many professional development opportunities as well as changes to both Unit and P-12 programs (e.g., year-long field with Titusville Middle School, Perseus House Charter School). PDS continue to be an area of focus as well as the development of other types of partnerships with area school districts.

Further feedback on Unit programs is obtained through the use of the Employer Satisfaction survey which was sent to all known employers of graduates of any initial or advanced program. Implemented in the Fall of 2012, the survey was developed by members of the Assessment CIC who continue to discuss possibilities for increasing the response rate from our P-12 partners.

Recent improvements have been made with regard to how student evaluations of faculty are completed for on-line teaching. EU now uses an on-line instrument to complete student evaluations of faculty teaching online. All off campus faculty evaluations (e.g., off site courses and field and student teaching supervision courses, and online courses) are also conducted electronically. In the process of updating this system, the questions for the student evaluations of faculty were revised and the new instrument was implemented in Spring 2011. The new delivery method of the instrument should prove to increase the response rate and provide a more complete picture of faculty instructional quality.

Currently the School of Education utilizes a database known as CEIS (College of Education Information System) which contains the population of students unique to the SOE. It has been used for the past six years to perform numerous analyses and reports. Building on the success of CEIS, and using the same design approach, another system was built for retention reporting purposes, and was named RBASE. The main difference between the two systems is in the populations contained. While CEIS contains only SOE students, RBASE contains the entire university population. Both contain populations back to 1998, the year Banner was installed at Edinboro (CEIS Overview and Explanation).

It has been proposed that these two databases be combined under one umbrella. RBASE is currently used primarily for retention research, and includes such information as demographics, grades, addresses, coursework, test scores, GPAs, and hundreds of other elements, simplified and unified for easier reporting. CEIS contains similar data, as well as elements such as candidacy information, clearance data, course requirements, and other SOE-specific information, as well as certain LiveText data and data from other sources. By incorporating the two systems into one, and utilizing a method for drilling down to the SOE population, the SOE would have the means to continue to produce a wide variety of reports and analyses, but more importantly could also perform comparative studies in relation to the aggregated university population. Such a resource would encourage collaboration among Units on campus with the possibility of research across schools as well as between academics and administration. Encouraging such research and collaboration is in direct support of our University promotion process and would spur a research culture (RBAM proposal). It is hoped that this same functionality will be available when the University implements a comprehensive data warehouse in 2013-2014.

Major renovations to the structure of Butterfield Hall are underway. Butterfield Hall will be the primary location for all professional education instruction. Renovations will include state of the art technology upgrades as well as facility upgrades. The office for the Dean of the School of Education will be constructed and added onto the first floor of Butterfield Hall. Additionally a state of the art lecture hall will be added. This renovation will allow most School of Education faculty members to be housed in Butterfield Hall. As is discussed in Standard 6, these major renovations will enhance the professional education faculty members’ abilities to model the conceptual framework, Effective Facilitators of Learning. (Butterfield Hall Renovations) and implement best practice with resources and facilities reflective of their disciplines. Further, the close proximity of program faculty will allow for enhanced communication across programs and encourage new teaching methods including co-teaching and integrated curriculum models.