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Standard 6 Report

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  • Standard 6 Report

 6.1 How do the unit’s governance system and resources contribute to adequately preparing candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards?

Unit Leadership and Authority
The Edinboro University NCATE Unit includes the programs and program faculty in Art Education, Music Education, and Speech-Language Pathology as well as all four departments in the School of Education (SOE): Early Childhood and Special Education (ECED/SPED), Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education(EMSE), Health & Physical Education (HPE), and Professional Studies (PROS). The Dean of Education is the head of the NCATE Unit (Unit Structure).

The leadership and structure of the Unit are quite different from the time of the last NCATE site visit in the fall of 2006. The Unit has created a mechanism to function as a coherent entity (CI Governance Structure). The faculty in the SOE and College of Arts & Sciences participate in Unit meetings, leadership committees, and curriculum development. Along with the traditional departmental structure, the concerns of the SOE are supported by the Graduate Council which consists of Unit faculty members who serve in the capacity of program head for their respective advanced programs. The Graduate Council is led by the Dean of Graduate Studies & Research. Participating in this advisory board allows faculty from the SOE the opportunity to work with faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences on issues involving all advanced programs.

Due to the changes necessitated by the PDE Chapter 49-2 legislation and to better position the Unit to deliver quality programs, a reorganization of the SOE was proposed. The Dean of Education presented issues concerning this reorganization in several venues (i.e., NCATE Unit Retreat, SOE Council meetings, Department Chair meetings, Department Faculty meetings, and meetings with individual faculty members). On November 4, 2008 the University President approved the reorganization of the SOE (SOE Reorganization Memo). A task force is currently meeting to discuss another possible reorganization based on the financial and academic needs of the Unit.

Biannual Unit meetings continue (Unit Meeting Agendas and Minutes), which are attended by SOE and College Arts & Sciences faculty, as well as administration. A new Unit governance structure was also created by the Dean of Education and this structure is discussed further in section 6.2.b of this report. Major changes in policies or procedures that may affect the entire Unit as opposed to an individual program (e.g., changes in admission requirements) are appropriately moved through this new governance structure for discussion and action. Procedural or curriculum changes that require approval of the University Wide Curriculum Committee, Provost, or President are submitted by the Dean of Education.

EU continues its collaboration with the established Professional Development Schools partnerships and through other less formal partnerships with P-12 schools. Memoranda of Understanding between the EU and partnering school districts, clinical sites, and other organizations are in place. Additionally, the Dean of Education and a faculty member from the SOE serve on the Erie School District's Academic Advisory Council (Erie Advisory emails) This advisory council consists of four higher education institutions working together to increase the opportunities for student achievement of the P-12 students within the region's high poverty, diverse district. Further higher education collaboration exists as evidenced by the PRAXIS preparation on-line credit course offered by Butler County Community College. In addition, articulation agreements also exist between Butler County Community College and Jamestown Community College to allow more students the opportunity to successfully complete teacher education programs offered through the SOE.

Unit Budget
The Unit receives allocations that are proportional to other units on campus. The SOE received increased allocations of the University's Education and General budget resources for instruction for the three years described in the budget analysis.  In 2008-09, the School had received $6.7 million of the $42.6 million in total instructional expense (15.6%) compared to $9.4 million of the $48.9 million in instructional expense (19.2%) in 2010-11.  Each year provided additional funding to the unit in accordance with the University's funding priorities.  At the same time, the School had an average of 28.8% of the University's total enrollment (Fact Book data of 09-19-2011) which suggests it operated very efficiently within its allocation.  It should be noted that the School of Education was reorganized in 2009, thus accounting for the changes in personnel and operating fund allocations from the former Department of Elementary Education to the Departments of Secondary Education, Professional Studies and Early Childhood/Special Education (Departmental Budget Analysis).

The APSCUF/PASSHE collective bargaining agreement (CBA) defines workload policies for all faculty. The standard workload is 12 semester hours for undergraduate courses, 9 semester hours for graduate courses, and 12 semester hours for mixed loads of graduate and undergraduate courses (CBA Article 23 pp. 73-74). The workload for student teacher supervision is 0.6 load hours per student teacher, which equals 20 student teachers per FTE faculty (CBA Article 23 pp. 74-75). Online courses and face-to-face courses have equivalent value in the calculation of faculty load. However, faculty receive additional compensation for teaching online courses (CBA Article 42 pp. 115-117).

The CBA provides support for faculty development in the form of sabbaticals and educational leaves (CBA Article 18 pp. 44-46). All faculty with at least 7 years of service may apply for a sabbatical of 18 weeks at full pay or 36 weeks at half pay for restoration of health, study, travel or other appropriate purposes. Faculty members may apply for sabbatical leave every 7 years, and the University may fund up to 7% of its faculty in any one year. Sabbatical proposals are competitive and are reviewed by a University committee that makes prioritized recommendations to the President. In addition, the Dean provides funding to support travel to conferences and other professional venues (Travel Spreadsheet).

The CBA prohibits the use of teaching assistants at EUP (CBA Article 7 pp. 11-13) so all courses and clinical experiences are assigned to faculty. Part-time faculty members are hired with the approval of the relevant academic department and academic dean and must have credentials appropriate to the teaching or supervisory assignment. The recent budgetary constraints experienced by EUP has necessitated the use of increased numbers of part-time faculty within the Unit (NEED exhibit with #s of temps). However, the Dean of Education has advocated for tenure track position for each department and has received five faculty lines for 2013-2014.The Unit makes no distinction between supervising faculty and teaching faculty. Almost all full-time faculty can be expected to supervise as well as teach (Faculty Work Load Chart). The Unit has adequate support personnel, and the Dean of Education’s office has added a full-time Associate Dean position as well as an additional clerical support member.

Unit Facilities
There are several buildings on campus which house Unit faculty, administrative offices, classrooms, clinics, science laboratories, and areas for computer and technology utilization.

From 2006 to 2012, Butterfield Hall housed the Office of the Dean of Education, the Accreditation Office and the Department of Professional Studies. Following renovations in 2006, Butterfield Hall became a wireless environment with 18 smart classrooms, new furniture, an Interactive Television (ITV) distance learning classroom, and a clinical facility with audio, video, individual counseling/assessment rooms, a classroom, and a conference room. Butterfield Hall is currently undergoing a complete transformation which will include the addition of new and innovative instructional spaces, state-of-the-art technology, and faculty offices, as welll as an observation lab to support the Counseling and Education/School Psychology programs (Butterfield Hall plans). Butterfield Hall will open again in Fall 2013 and will house most of the Unit faculty and programming.

Other examples of appropriate structural resources include:

  • The Music Education program has a new home on campus. In 2008, the William P. Alexander Music Building was dedicated. This $5 million state of the art structure houses 17 soundproofed music studios, 14 piano studios, classroom space, a listening laboratory and library, and a 104 seat recital hall.
  • The Speech-Language Pathology program also has a new home. In 2011, the Jeremy D. Brown Human Services Building was dedicated. This $6 million modern edifice houses the Nursing Department and the Speech, Language and Hearing Department. The new building enhances the program delivery for these two highly specialized fields of study. The clinical facilities will permit expansion of community-based services and technological advancements to improve client care and clinical education of candidates.
  • Crawford Center, renovated in 2003, houses the Department of Health & Physical Education. Crawford facilities include: a 15-station lab, gymnasium, three smart classrooms, a fitness center with 20 strength and 10 aerobic stations, and a human performance lab with computerized motion analysis, VO2 Max. cardio-respiratory testing, and hydrostatic body composition analysis.

Unit Resources Including Technology

Candidates have access to a wide variety of student services including: advising, counseling, test preparation (Praxis/PAPA tutoring), and remediation as they progress toward graduation and certification. The requirements for certification are increasingly complex, and it is the responsibility of the Unit to advise about candidacy, program, and certification requirements through one-to-one faculty-candidate advising (Advising Checklist, 40/80 reviews), and regular electronic communication to candidates.

Other resources include the Baron-Forness Library, the Academic Success Center, Technology & Communication Help Desk, and more. Links to the resources and services they provide can be found in 6.3.i

6.2.b Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and quality. Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement as articulated in unit Standard 6.

Many substantial changes have occurred in Edinboro University’s School of Education since 2009.  Changes that have been in response to state mandates as well as changes in governance structure due to new leadership have supported a renewed commitment to Continuous Improvement.

It is important to note that programs have been significantly modified to reflect the 2008 Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Chapter 49-2 revisions. Two key changes of PDE Chapter 49-2 for all future teachers to instruct diverse learners are: 1.) 3 credits or 90 hours of teaching English language learners, and 2.) 9 credits or 270 hours of teaching students with disabilities. In addition, the following grades level changes were implemented: change from grades k-6 and grades 7-12 to grades PreK-4, grades 4-8, and grades 7-12. The following grade level changes specific to Special Education were also implemented: change from grades PreK-12 to grades PreK-8 and grades 7-12. Reasons for grade level changes were identified as the following: 1.) enhanced expertise in literacy and reading, 2.) enhanced disciplinary expertise in science, math, language arts, and social studies, and 3.) acknowledgement of early childhood and middle level as distinct areas of expertise. A final requirement that affected all initial programs was the need for four stages of field to be integrated into all programs (Stages of Field) to provide more opportunities for candidates to apply theory to practice. Partly as a result of these expectations, the SOE reorganized several departments to reflect the new certifications, and all programs were revised to include the ELL & Diverse Learner requirements. In addition, a Middle Level program that offers all 9 options for certification was added.  Thus, this program, as well as the new Early Childhood and Special Education programs, will have completers beginning in 2013. Since all programs have been revised and candidates are just now completing the programs and gaining employment, data is just now being gathered to demonstrate the effectiveness of the programs.  The renewed focus on clinical experiences and the feedback we received from our school partners has resulted in the creation of a full-time Director of Field Experiences and Student Teaching.  This position was previously assigned to a faculty member who received a three credit release as an alternative workload assignment.

Upon entering the position, the current Dean of Education made changes to the Unit governance structure to reflect a culture of continuous improvement (CI Governance Structure). This initiative created the Accreditation Coordinating Council (ACC). The purpose of this newly created committee is to support the Accreditation Coordinator in the ongoing process of developing vision, goals and logistics of multiple accreditation processes. The committee composition consists of the Dean of Education, Associate Dean of Education, Accreditation Coordinator, and former NCATE Coordinator, and the SOE Management Technician. (ACC Agendas and Minutes). This change in culture transitioned the committees previously known as “Standard Committees” into the Continuous Improvement Committees (CIC). These committees will no longer solely focus on meeting NCATE standards, but instead are charged with understanding the larger issues surrounding those standards and facilitating change resulting from data analysis. 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 distribute information among committees (CIT meeting agenda and minutes).  The ACC meets regularly to discuss progress toward maintaining accreditation, issues identified by the CIT, and determine direction for the CIC (meeting agenda and minutes).  This new structure is meant to keep the pressing issues surrounding program and unit improvement in the forefront of conversation, and to provide a definite direction for progress.

In addition to the above governance structure, an advisory council made up of interested stakeholders also meets once a semester.  The Educational Partners Advisory Council (EPAC) consists of superintendents, assistant superintendents, IU directors, and others from a three county area, and serves to give feedback to EU’s SOE on programmatic changes and other issues that surround collaboration between the Unit and P-12 schools (EPAC agendas). As an example, members of the EPAC were involved in the development of our Employer Satisfaction Surveys by giving feedback on questions and directions, making suggestions for distribution and increasing return rate, and supplying contact information. In addition, EPAC discussed the need for Special Education 7-12 certified teachers in their buildings. As a response to this need, the SOE began an investigation into developing this program and received a grant from the state to support collaboration with P-12 partners and curriculum development.

Another major change initiated by new leadership, after an assessment of the adequacy of current instructional spaces, is the renovation of the physical space which embraces the SOE and reflects the CF. In order to produce Effective Facilitators of Learning, the $5 million renovation of Butterfield Hall is underway.  This project will accommodate the addition of the Office of Certification and Student Teaching (OCST), the Early Childhood and Special Education Department and the Elementary, Middle, and the Secondary Education Department into the Education building. The OCST as well as these two departments are currently housed in the Miller Research Learning Center which is scheduled for demolition upon completion of the Butterfield Hall project. Plans for this new building demonstrate a concerted effort to meet the needs of all students while embodying the conceptual framework.  In particular, state-of-the-art technology will be integrated (CF-H) into lecture halls, methods classrooms, computer labs, and other key areas.  This technology will be used to model how to teach using the resources available in the P-12 schools now and what might be available to them in the future.  Specific spaces have been set aside to model instructional techniques in particular content areas including a Science laboratory, a mathematics classroom allowing for use of manipulatives & technology, and an Integrated Arts space. Such classrooms will allow faculty and candidates to “demonstrate effective pedagogical skills, content knowledge, and knowledge of the learner” (CF – B) as well as to “creatively plan, adapt, and assess instruction” (CF – J). Spaces such as the science laboratory, the counseling areas, literacy center and others will allow the SOE to contribute to the community (CF – F) through camps, counseling support, reading clinics, math and literacy workshops, science exploration events,etc. Finally, having the majority of the SOE faculty in a single building along with the Office of the Dean will encourage communication and collaboration among faculty (CF-I).

One example of efforts to sustain the continuous improvement efforts based on data is the survey conducted by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. In order to make changes which will lead to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research administered a survey for candidates enrolled in advanced programs across the Unit. Questions were focused on candidate attitudes toward: 1.) the University and Programs; 2.) Graduate Admissions; 3.) Academic Advising; 4.) Instructor Interactions; and, 5.) Technology at the University. The results  of the survey were shared with academic Deans, Department Chairs, and Program Heads.  Each Program Head is expected to submit an improvement plan based upon the data reported for each program. Further, the data and improvement plans will be shared with program candidates. Finally, the improvement plans will be monitored by the Graduate Dean and Program Heads for re-evaluation the following academic year. (Graduate Studies Survey results)

Additionally, beginning in Fall 2011, the Provost initiated a faculty technology replacement plan to upgrade faculty computer technology on a four year cycle. Available student technology is currently funded by the University’s “technology fee”.  Other classroom, computer lab, and special discipline-specific technology needs are addressed through proposals submitted to the University's Planning for Instructional Technology Committee, where the SOE is represented along with other units across campus (T&C in 6.3.i).