INSTITUTIONAL REPORT: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT OPTION
Standard 5: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development
Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.
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?
The professional education faculty is highly qualified, as evidenced by the summary of qualifications found in Professional Education Faculty Qualifications and Experience. The qualifications and activities of the professional education faculty (unit faculty data chart) contribute to the preparation of effective educators.
Faculty members must meet the qualifications outlined in the Faculty Handbook that describe the recruitment and hiring policies as well as the qualifications required by Campbellsville University. The Faculty Handbook describes preferred and acceptable qualifications to be hired at different tenure-track or non-tenure track ranks. For example, the preferred qualification to be ranked as full-time tenure-track faculty includes an earned doctorate appropriate to the teaching or professional field or the highest level of academic achievement attained in that field. The acceptable or minimum qualifications for assistant professor is a Master’s degree and two (2) years teaching experience; three years teaching experience is required for rank of associate professor. Instructors must have a Master’s Degree and 18 graduate hours in the teaching field; they are not eligible for tenure. Faculty must meet the minimum requirement in order to be hired at a particular rank. Faculty qualifications are measured against the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) guidelines (2008 Edition).
Part-time and adjunct faculty must also meet requirements outlined in the Faculty Handbook. Adjunct faculty are appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. They are defined in the handbook as “part-time instructors employed to teach specific courses at the need of the university” (p. 3). If employed full-time elsewhere, adjunct faculty cannot teach more than six hours per semester. The unit has a strong pool of adjunct faculty who consistently teach classes each academic year, providing continuity in the preparation of candidates.
A review of faculty qualifications and experiences reveals that most have experiences and qualifications beyond the minimum requirement for their rank and some have qualifications and experiences beyond the maximum requirements for their rank. Eleven full-time faculty in the professional education unit have terminal degrees and three are enrolled in doctoral programs. Of the faculty who do not hold doctorates, three have Master’s degrees and two hold Rank 1 – a Master’s degree plus thirty credit hours.
Consistent with university policy, faculty in the professional education unit participate in a review process to indicate their contribution to the university and the unit. In the fall semester of every academic year, all full-time faculty complete a Professional Activities and Self-Evaluation Report which is submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The report consists of a comprehensive resume of the faculty member’s work and activities during the previous academic year, instruction methods, and plans for improvement of the University. The report also requires faculty to set goals for the coming year. In the fall, all full-time faculty in the School of Education also submit a Professional Growth Plan to the Dean of the SOE. This report requires faculty to set objectives for professional growth, steps and activities to achieve the objectives and evidence indicating that objectives were met. This document is used during the annual faculty performance evaluation meeting with the dean. During the performance evaluation meeting, student evaluation of faculty’s teaching is also discussed.
The unit values the professional growth and development of both faculty and candidates. Funds are provided through the unit and university to attend and present at national, regional and local conferences. Faculty may apply for faculty development funds to support professional development and scholarly activities (Scholarly and Professional Activities of the Faculty). Participation in professional development activities allows faculty to keep their professional knowledge and skills current. Unit faculty also keep abreast of new state standards and requirements by attending specialized trainings and workshops. For example, during the 2011 fall semester, a workshop was provided for SOE faculty by state trainers on deconstructing the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS). Full-time unit and Arts and Science/Music faculty also attended an all-day training on Senate Bill 1 – Unbridled Learning to learn more about KCAS. This training was a jointly planned effort by school of education leadership teams at CU, Lindsey Wilson College and St. Catherine College.
The unit values development for faculty and candidates in the area of technology. For example, when the unit adopted Live Text as the web-based management system to house student work and portfolios, faculty were provided training in the system. Faculty (including adjuncts) teaching online courses are also required to complete Moodle 101 and Best Practices 101 training through Learning House. As faculty gain expertise with various technologies, it benefits our candidates. In order to prepare candidates for using Infinite Campus, the data base system used by Kentucky public schools, one faculty member developed an Infinite Campus Moodle course for SOE students in conjunction with Infinite Campus and Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) representatives. Advanced program faculty have opted to utilize MyEducationLab in conjunction with required action research courses. Such an addition will provide a cohesive continuum of research content experienced by all advanced candidates throughout their action research process.
The unit works closely with collaboration partners including P-12 teachers who serve as cooperating teachers for field experiences and student teachers. The qualifications of the teachers who serve in these roles are assured of their licensure by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB). Unit faculty and qualified professionals serve as university supervisors for student teachers each semester. In this role, faculty members collaborate with cooperating teachers in preparing candidates for teaching. Faculty members also collaborate with P-12 partners through their involvement in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) serving as teacher educators to first year teachers. One faculty member currently serves on the Kentucky Advisory Council for Internships with the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). In addition, unit faculty prepare workshops that are presented to P-12 teachers upon request. A list of these workshops is available to principals in area schools. Involvement in these activities keep faculty abreast of state requirements and changes that aid program improvement. Many adjunct professors are currently employed in P-12 schools (e.g. teachers, counselors, administrators); these instructors bring a wealth of expertise on current practice that also enhances the preparation of candidates.
The unit conceptual framework, with its theme “empowerment for learning,” provides an infrastructure for the unit’s faculty across programs that ensure the quality and consistency in our preparation of effective educators and servant leaders. Select unit faculty serve as instructors/mentors for the freshman requirement OR 100 and OR 110. During this experience, freshmen interested in the teaching profession are grouped into course sections where they plan, organize and implement a servant leadership project related to P-12 students. Some examples of servant leadership projects include remodeling the local homeless shelter with a children’s library and play area and planning activities for elementary students whose parents are incarcerated in the county detention center. Faculty serving in this capacity are provided the opportunity to identify and recruit outstanding freshmen into the educator preparation program while modeling the true meaning of servant leadership.
Syllabi across the unit include the conceptual framework graphic, represented as five puzzle pieces within an inner and outer framework, showing how each piece of the puzzle works within the two frameworks to achieve the unit’s goal --“to advance scholars who are competent, caring and qualified, who can positively impact student learning, and who are committed to life-long learning in a global society” (p. 5). The puzzle pieces also link to the Kentucky Teacher Standards (KTS) and IECE KTS, showing how the unit’s vision for preparing effective teachers fits state requirements. The central puzzle piece represents student learning, which is the ultimate goal of the unit. It emphasizes the unit’s belief that the preparation of effective educators must result in impacting student learning. In addition to alignment with KTS, all professional education faculty syllabi show alignment among course objectives and national, state and professional standards.
The qualifications and experiences of the professional education faculty contribute to the preparation of effective educators in a number of ways. First, faculty use data from sources such as course evaluations, evaluations of student teaching seminars and of New Teacher Surveys to engage in continuous self-assessment of the program and its effectiveness. Faculty engage in such ongoing self-assessment at monthly faculty meetings and annual retreats to identify program strengths and improvements. By engaging in continuous self-assessment, faculty model the reflection process for students.
Unit programs are designed to engage students in the continuous assessment process. Beginning with the first course for candidates seeking initial certification (ED 102), syllabi submitted by faculty include specific tasks that students are required to complete in each course. These tasks are part of the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) process which is modeled after the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program model. These tasks include developing unit and lesson plans, implementing lessons and units in P-12 classrooms, and creating Pre-Professional Growth Plans (PPGP). Tasks such as the PPGP begin in the Introduction to Education course and are refined in each course throughout the program. The tasks foster reflection and professionalism. The unit also has a continuous assessments plan, a system by which the candidates at both initial and advanced levels are evaluated. The continuous assessment plan consists of candidate assessment points (CAP) that are formal data collection points for monitoring student progress throughout the program. Candidates in all programs must complete TPA tasks related to each course and must successfully complete each assessment point to move forward in the program. Unit faculty provide feedback on all tasks to ensure understanding and high levels of performance on KTS.
Each course has field experience and professional development requirements that candidates must submit with written reflections. Early field experiences focus on observation in P-12 classrooms. These experiences empower candidates to be confident that teaching is their true “calling” before being admitted to the educator preparation program. Field experience requirements in subsequent courses are more specific to the course content and may involve students in teaching and analysis of their teaching. Each semester candidates are required to complete three or more pre-professional development (PPD) hours for each course they are enrolled. These professional development opportunities are provided by professional education faculty and invited guests. Candidates may also attend relevant university programs or professional development offered by school districts. By maintaining their professional knowledge and skills through collaboration with P-12 educators and other partners, the professional education faculty model best professional practices in scholarship, service and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance.