Standard 1

Standard 1:  Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional 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.

1.1    What do candidate assessment data tell the unit about candidates’ meeting professional, state, and institutional standards and their impact on P-12 student learning? For programs not nationally/state reviewed, summarize data from key assessments and discuss these results.

1a. Content Knowledge of Teacher Candidates

The School of Education at Newman University seeks to educate and inspire students to become competent, caring, reflective practitioners who are intellectually and spiritually motivated to transform self, schools, and society.  By satisfying the local, state, and national standards of teaching, our candidates are developing in their ability to know and explain content-related principles and concepts.  The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) approval of our programs in 2012 illustrates that program completers have acquired the knowledge, skills, and dispositions recommended in national, state and local standards. [Exhibits S1.1a & S1.1b - KSDE Program Approval letter and recommendation]. Data collected and analyzed for the teacher education program review demonstrate the achievement level of our candidates. KSDE Document Warehouse for access to State program review documents.

The M.S. Ed. degree in Education Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction with Accountability emphasis is the only program that is not involved in an external agency program review as the majority of candidates are non-licensed teachers.  Candidates demonstrate competency in various ways, including completing a research project proposal (EDUC 6023 Educational Research) and developing a program review (EDUC 6223 and 6233 Application of Continuous Quality Improvement). [Exhibits S1.2a & S1.2b – course syllabi].  Data from these assessments show that program completers are at standard or above in demonstrating effective performance of program standards.  [Exhibit S1.3 - Accountability Emphasis Program Summary].

Admission requirements are outlined in the University Catalog.  [Exhibit CF.1 University Catalog].  All departments offering school support programs have established rigorous admission criteria allowing candidates to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to their field of study.

Various criteria are required for admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) [Exhibits S1.4a & S1.4b - Undergraduate Admission Requirements and Teacher Education Program Admission Checklist].  Specific criteria related to content knowledge include meeting basic skills requirements by passing the PPST or scoring at established levels for the ACT.  Candidates must also meet specific general education requirements, maintaining a grade of “C” or better in five identified courses.  Overall GPA is also examined.   At the completion of their program, secondary candidates complete the equivalent of a double major in their specialty content area. [Exhibits S1.5a Biology, S1.5b Chemistry, S1.5c English, S1.5d History, S1.5e Math - Secondary Content Requirements].

During the student internship, candidates are assessed by the Observation and Assessment Form for Teacher Interns (OAFTI) [Exhibits S1.6a & S1.6b - Guidelines for the Use of OAFTI and OAFTI form]. This assessment tool was designed as a rating form through which university supervisors, cooperating teachers, and interns formatively track the progress of the intern.  The first section evaluates content knowledge and candidates score very high in this area.  [Exhibits S1.7a, S1.7b, & S1.7c - OAFTI Content Knowledge for Campus, Outreach, and Middle and High School data]. Data has been disaggregated to examine differences between all sites and programs.  Comparisons indicate that interns are demonstrating proficiency in content knowledge.

School administrators, as well as program completers, provide feedback supporting the content strength of teacher candidates. The Graduate Survey is divided into four sections:  Professional knowledge, Professional skills, Dispositions, and Impact on Student Learning.  All four areas support that program completers feel they are well prepared for meeting the challenge of teaching subject area and pedagogy in the classroom. [Exhibit S1.8a - Graduate Survey]. Feedback from administrators further supports the high level of content preparation with which completers enter their first teaching job. [Exhibit S1.8b - Employer Survey].

The Praxis II Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Content examination results for NU completers show that candidates consistently score above the Kansas Passing score. Over the past three years, at least 88% of candidates from each content area passed their content test.  Scores have been disaggregated by site and by program. [Exhibits S1.9a, S1.9b, & S1.9c - Praxis Scores for ECU, elementary, secondary result tables].

1b.  Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates

Our programs are built upon a Conceptual Framework that addresses pedagogical content knowledge and skills.  [Exhibit CF.2a & CF.2b Overview of the Conceptual Framework and Conceptual Framework].  A framework of six specific categories assesses knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are taught and assessed throughout our program.  The framework is divided into six categories:  Knowledgeable Educators, Caring Educators, Reflective Educators, Visionary Educators, Collaborative Educators, and Ethical Educators.  In particular, Knowledgeable Educators are knowledgeable about the content they will be teaching and the best practices represented in the pedagogy of teaching. All undergraduate coursework addresses pedagogical knowledge, including a number of courses on teaching methods, teaching to diverse populations, and strategies for inclusive settings, including EDUC 3003 The Exceptional Child and EDUC 3323 Methods of Differentiation and Multicultural Education.  [Exhibits S1.10a & S1.10b - EDUC 3003 & 3323 Syllabi].

Scores attained by teacher candidates on the Observation and Assessment Form for Teacher Interns demonstrate their high level of preparation in pedagogical content knowledge and instructional strategies. Data has been disaggregated to more specifically identify the benchmarks/indicators representing our candidates’ knowledge and performance across programs and sites. [Exhibits S1.11a, S1.11b, & S1.11c - OAFTI Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills for campus, outreach, M.S. & H.S.].

Candidates apply to the advanced program and must have a GPA of 3.0 or above on all coursework.  Beginning in the spring of 2013, candidates are emailed an online survey where they self-assess according to the SOE Conceptual Framework. They also provide a minimum of two references, one of which must be a supervisor. Candidates submit a writing sample in this survey of 300 words. References are then emailed an online survey where they assess the candidate on the Conceptual Framework and must give examples to support their recommendation. They also are asked for their recommendation of the candidate for advanced degree acceptance. Once items are received along with two positive recommendations, candidates are notified of their acceptance into the program.

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

Teacher candidates’ ability to apply professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills is assessed through two assessments:  the Principles of Teaching and Learning (PLT) exam and the Newman University Teacher Performance Portfolio (NUTPP). Scores from the PLT show a high level of competence in professional and pedagogical knowledge and skill for program completers. [Exhibits S1.9a, S1.9b, & S1.9c - Praxis Scores for ECU, elementary, secondary result tables].  The required NUTPP, completed during the student internship, provides a comprehensive assessment of candidates' ability to analyze student learning and reflect upon the effectiveness of the unit. The NUTPP requires the candidates to complete an in-depth study of the school and the community. Information gathered from their research and observations is then used to plan and present meaningful learning experiences.  Candidates are expected to utilize ‘best practices’ when designing lesson plans, assessments, and presentation strategies to create instructional opportunities that are equitable for all learners. After completing the unit, the teacher candidate prepares a reflection upon the strengths and challenges encountered in the unit and identifies areas of improvement for future teaching. Such reflection encourages each candidate to become a reflective practitioner committed to continuous improvement of teaching and learning.  Data indicate that elementary and secondary candidates are able to facilitate learning for all students by presenting content in a clear, meaningful manner and integrating technology. Range for the NUTPP is 31- 54 with 36 being the cut score which was set in 2010.  The mean is 48.46.  [Exhibit S1.12a NUTPP Scoring Rubric, Exhibit S1.12b NUTPP Data Table, and Exhibit S1.12c Exemplary NUTPP example].

1d. Student Learning for Teacher Candidates

Task # 2 and Task # 3 of the NUTPP are designed to help the candidate plan, design and implement forms of assessment to ensure student learning.  Candidates are encouraged to provide pre-assessment, formative and summative assessments.  The NUTPP rubric measures the content alignment of the assessments and calls for adjustment strategies in response to learner feedback.  The Newman lesson plan also addresses areas for re-teaching and extensions.  These two tasks show the greatest score range from a 14 – 24 for candidates. [Exhibit S1.12d - NUTPP Task #2 and #3 Data].  The EDUC 3123 Instructional Planning course [Exhibit S1.13 – EDUC 3123 syllabus] is designed to share exemplary models of assessment to help candidates improve in the area of student assessment and plan for adjustments to ensure student learning.

Additionally, school administrators evaluate teachers according to their level of expertise in meeting the needs of their students. Survey results have been disaggregated to demonstrate proficiencyAll assessments provide rich evidence that teacher candidates and graduates possess the knowledge, skills and dispositions to structure a learning environment that is conducive to learning by all students.

In advanced programs, school administrators are asked to rate Newman candidates who are employed in their building. The new survey, beginning in Spring 2013, will be aligned to the SOE Conceptual Framework. Data from previous employer surveys indicate candidates are performing at a high level of proficiency.  The new assessment will provide richer evidence that teacher candidates and graduates possess the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed for effective teaching in our schools. These programs include the M.S. Ed. degrees: a) Building Leadership, b) Curriculum & Instruction with Emphasis in ESOL, and c) Curriculum & Instruction with Emphasis in Reading SpecialistCandidates in these programs must pass the appropriate Praxis II exam for their area.

 

1e.  Knowledge and Skills for Other School Professionals

Additional programs in the Other School Professionals include M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Building Leadership, M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in Accountability, M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in ESL, and M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in Reading Specialist.  Candidates in these programs must pass the appropriate Praxis II exam as necessary for their area.

1f.  Student Learning for Other School Professionals

The M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in Accountability has the same focus on student learning as the programs for licensed teachers. Specific program assessments and rubrics for the Accountability program demonstrate their understanding of student learning.

1g.  Professional Dispositions for All Candidates

NU teacher candidates are familiar with the professional dispositions identified in professional, state, and institutional standards and demonstrate behaviors that reflect the belief that all students can learn.  Upon admission into the NU Teacher Education Program, candidates must complete a successful interview with unit faculty.  [Exhibit S1.14 - Admission Interview].  Data have been collected and extrapolated into the six program goals of the Conceptual Framework. [Exhibit S1.15 - Candidate Interview Profile Scores].  The score range is 0-7 with the mean score for the past three years indicating that candidates begin the program with a high level of professional beliefs and attitudes.  During the student internship, university supervisors and cooperating teachers indicate that candidates possess the necessary dispositions. [Exhibits S1.16a, S1.16b, & S1.16c OAFTI Professional Dispositions for Campus, Outreach, MS & HS]. Data have been disaggregated at all sites and within programs indicating that candidate scores are comparable and candidates exhibit professional dispositions.

1.2.b    Continuous Improvement

  • Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality.
  • Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement as articulated in unit Standard 1.

 

As a result of data analysis, program revisions related to Standard 1 have been conducted to ensure that candidates know and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to facilitate learning for all students.  These changes help to sustain and enhance performance and include the implementation of a new undergraduate course, the introduction of the NUTPP, implementation of an Early Childhood Unified program, and at the graduate level, the implementation of a mandatory course on diversity and other program revisions.

Data indicate NU candidates are meeting professional, state, and institutional standards. However, one area of change concerns the introduction of our new focus of study at Newman University.  The University has adopted “the Newman Studies Program” to enhance global perspectives of all Newman graduates.  This provided us the opportunity to examine our methods courses and seek a more integrated approach to allow candidates to experience the Newman Studies Program.  We have effectively combined content areas and formed a new course entitled ‘Methods of Teaching Content in the Elementary School.’

The Newman University Teacher Performance Portfolio (NUTPP) was introduced to align with the Kansas Performance Teacher Portfolio (KPTP), which is a state assessment for beginning teachers. Each NU candidate completes a NUTPP as an assessment during the student internship.   The focus of the NUTPP is designed to help candidates reflect on their students’ performances and identify areas for differentiation.  Current data suggests that candidates are able to plan and adapt instruction to meet the needs of all students.  Candidates are also showing the understanding that focus group instruction has value.  Task #1 of the NUTPP helps candidates match instruction to the context within the classroom.  Task #2 defines the planning and implementation of identified adaptations.  Task #3 is designed to reflect deeply on instruction and assessment for enhancement and realignment.  Task #4 develops candidate communication with community and family units and provides goals for professional growth.  This constitutes active involvement in continuous professional improvement.  Overall, results are relatively strong in all areas. 

Our continuous program improvement includes the implementation of our Early Childhood Unified program.  This program provides candidates with the educational background necessary to implement developmentally appropriate practices in a high quality inclusive early childhood settings, birth to grade 3.  Students can earn a dual degree in both ECU and Elementary Education and become licensed to teach birth through 6th grade. While still in its infancy, this program continues to increase in popularity.  Evaluation procedures in accordance with state standards have been put in place to ensure program effectiveness in preparing qualified early childhood teachers. 

School administrators are surveyed to provide feedback regarding the content strength of teacher candidates.  At this time, one year of data have been collected and the continuation of this process has become a program goal. 

In the graduate education program, there have been many continual improvement efforts. We are in the second year of a new degree program, the Master of Science in Education Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction with Reading Specialist Emphasis. We also offer the Reading Specialist licensure endorsement program.  Another Curriculum and Instruction masters concentration is offered with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Emphasis, as well as the ESOL Licensure Endorsement program. This program has seen the most revisions with the 2012 KSDE program evaluation. The program assessments were revised and more closely aligned with the KSDE program standards for ESOL. The assessments were also spread throughout four of the five endorsement courses, with two of the assessments being in the capstone practicum course (see ESOL Assessment Chart).  Along with this change, training has been developed for the many adjunct instructors who work in this program in our embedded sites, and will be implemented in January of 2013 when the new assessments will begin to be used and data collected.  The ESOL Practicum has also been revamped to begin in spring 2013 with an Eastern Kansas NU Practicum Supervisor as well as a Western Kansas NU Supervisor have been hired to make visits to the students classrooms and assure consistency of program assessment fidelity. A highly qualified ESOL adjunct instructor has been hired to assure consistent high standards grading of all ESOL practicum portfolios for both the Eastern and Western Kansas students enrolled in this capstone course.

All advanced candidates are required to take our EDUC6003 Cultural Diversity course. This course requires candidates to examine the issues of culture and cultural diversity with a focus on the differences and similarities of the major ethnic groups to the dominant American culture. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of communication patterns, written and spoken, of all groups. Students analyze and research the elements of surface and deep culture. In addition, students evaluate and develop effective curricular materials and instructional techniques to enhance classroom learning.

Changes were made in all three of the Curriculum and Instruction concentration degrees (ESOL, Reading Specialist, and Accountability emphasis) that were approved by Graduate council in the fall of 2012. The main change we saw based on student feedback was to require that all candidates in the Curriculum and Instruction degree programs take EDUC6065 Advanced Curriculum Methods and EDUC6063 Advanced Instructional Methods, rather than the previously required two research courses. Only one research course is now required called EDUC6023 Educational Research I. There were also some changes including course name revisions and some course description modifications.

The Building Leadership graduate program also underwent assessment revisions more closely aligned to the KSDE program standards during the state program review in 2012. The assessments were spread to five courses, rather than the previous four. The assessments will begin implementation in the spring of 2013 with data collection. A new School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SLLA) practice session based on the ETS study guide is also going to be held periodically throughout the year for students who choose to attend. Twenty students are signed up for the first free test simulation on January 14, 2013. The Newman Advanced Program has all programs successfully approved by KSDE, with stipulations for the data that will be collected with the new program assessments.

Newman University Approved Education Programs (N = 11)

 

Elementary Education

Early Childhood Unified

Secondary Education:  English

M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Building Leadership

 

Secondary Education:  Chemistry

M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in Accountability

Secondary Education:  Biology

M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in ESL

Secondary Education:  History

M.S. Ed. degree with concentration in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in Reading Specialist

Secondary Education: Math