- 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.
The unit is committed to continuous improvement as evidenced by annual faculty retreats where data-driven decisions are made for program improvement. Unit changes are made in response to careful examination of data collected from candidate assessments, dispositions, Praxis exam pass rates, and student need/demographic. Changes have occurred and continue to occur in response to Kentucky state regulatory changes in PreK-12 education, teacher education, and the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP).
The 2006 NCATE review stated no Areas for Improvement (AFI) for Standard 1. Since this time, the unit has made ambitious efforts to continue improvement of program quality and candidate performance. A number of changes based on data have been made in relation to Standard 1 since the last NCATE initial accreditation visit, including the following:
Institution of new/redesigned programs. Since 2006, the unit has instituted three new undergraduate programs for teacher certification (Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education; P-12 Spanish; Learning Behavior Disorders, bachelor’s level) and two new undergraduate endorsements (Environmental Education, ESL). A Fall 2008 survey of students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program revealed strong interest in the IECE teacher certification option. Regional administrators of public preschool programs contacted the University to express their interest in an IECE program to meet the critical demand for additional certified preschool teachers and developmental interventionists. Also, program coordinators from regional early childhood associate degree programs affirmed student interest in attending the University if an IECE were a baccalaureate degree option. This program has now been added with approval from EPSB to offer it at three satellite sites (Elizabethtown, Louisville, Somerset). Adding the P-12 Spanish certification program was an effort to provide a critical need in this region confirmed through planning meetings with regional practitioners. The LBD bachelor’s program was added in 2012 in response to a growing interest in special education among undergraduate candidates. Continuing to meet the need to serve diverse student populations, the ESL endorsement was developed in response to school districts with a growing English Language Learner (ELL) population. The Environmental Education endorsement was created in an effort to target a need focused on the growing concern for environmental issues and developments. Physical education certification is now partnered with health education certification for P-12. It is a dual certification requirement developed in order to contribute to candidates’ “highly qualified” status for teaching two content areas as opposed to one.
Program changes at the advanced level include the redesigned TL/M.A.E and TL/MASE. The masters re-design is the result of a state-wide initiative to align professional education masters degree programs more closely with the needs of PreK-12 schools. The newly aligned program provides increased rigor and relevancy needed for today’s 21st century educators to be empowered toward moving student learning to high levels. Collaborative work with area educators resulted in a program more intentionally focused on field experiences, job-embedded learning experiences, action research, leadership professional growth plans, and a formal agreement for delivery of services. The Rank I program was designed to meet the demand of area educators. The Graduate Studies Office conducted a survey in 2006 of teachers in the region to determine interest. One hundred eleven (111) responded with 104 indicating that they would enroll in a Rank 1 program at Campbellsville University if it were offered. A majority (95) also indicated they would prefer a combination of on-campus and blended online courses. Additionally, a focus group meeting of administrators was conducted to provide a forum for establishing need and providing input on program development and meaningful assessments. Feedback from the focus group was recorded and served as evidence for program need as well as a valuable resource in the development of the Rank 1 program. New advanced level endorsements include Gifted and Talented education, ESL and Environmental Education. Increased inquiries for the Director of Special Education (DOSE) administrative certificate was due in part to the successful P-12 Learning Behavior Disorders alternative certification program and to the demand for programs available in the unit service area.
With a new facility, space is now available to continue expansion of program offerings. Based on needs of practitioners in the service area, the following programs are targeted for implementation within the next two years: Moderate to Severe Disabilities (MSD), Guidance Counselor, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Masters in Early Childhood Education, and Principalship/instructional supervisor. Plans are also underway to grow current and potential programs at satellite sites in Louisville, Somerset, and Elizabethtown.
Disposition policy and assessment instrument. Assessment of professional dispositions has undergone a gradual evolution over the past six years. Through analysis of disposition data at faculty retreats and candidate performance in field and clinical experiences, unit faculty determined appropriate changes that reflect the professional dispositions expected of professional educators that include fairness and the belief that all students can learn. Approved in 2009-2010 and implemented in fall 2010, a new disposition policy is in place to deal with any academic, dispositional, or ethical standards concerns. The recommendation form was updated and aligned to KTS in addition to the attributes found in the unit’s conceptual framework.
Diversity. Campbellsville University has initiated concerted efforts to grow in the area of diversity. Unit faculty use select “diversity proficiencies” in course syllabi and in appropriate assessments to collect data on the growing diverse experiences of candidates. The KTS diversity proficiencies have prompted the unit to incorporate more diverse experiences in foundation classes (ED 102 ESL partners, ED 300 diverse field trip, ED 325 unit planning for diverse learners), and methods courses (appropriate accommodations for special learners, cultures, ELL and gifted populations). Candidate work samples from the initial and advanced programs demonstrate candidates exposure to and implementation of meeting the needs of diverse populations. The unit will continue to implement its Unit Diversity Plan that focuses on increasing candidate experiences in diverse settings by providing field experiences in highly diverse schools and providing pre-professional development for candidates in the area of accommodating for diverse cultures, needs, and exceptionalities.
Praxis Policy. Praxis data indicated that traditional candidates’ pass rate on Praxis II examinations declined (97% in 2009 to 90% in 2010). Such decline is a concern. Unit faculty and music, arts/science faculty meet regularly via the Teacher Education Committee to discuss strategies and data concerning Praxis II content and department deans/chairs are briefed annually concerning pass rates on content exams. As a result of the 2011-2012 Program Improvement Plan, the unit developed a Praxis Policy that targets requirements/strategies that will lead to continuous improvement. PPD seminars, class imbedded assessments and activities are also required that contribute to candidate success on Praxis II examinations.
The unit has made additional efforts in moving toward the target level. These efforts include the following:
-The SOE will pilot the Paired Educators Clinical Model beginning in the 2013 spring semester. The new clinical model is in response to a new paradigm shift in Kentucky educator preparation’s approach to clinical experiences. Select faculty have been trained to instruct other faculty and local practitioners in the co-teaching approach.
-The unit continues the expansion of technology application in programs and instruction at the initial and advanced levels. All candidates receive instruction using the P-12 data base system Infinite Campus and will continue implementation of Live Text to all undergraduate programs for e-portfolios and plans are underway to implement e-portfolios in all graduate programs. The unit continues to offer online course options where needs emerge.
-In an effort to build relationships with P-12 schools and education agencies, unit faculty will continue collaborative professional development initiatives by offering professional development programs, provide technical assistance as needed and develop programs for Educational Instructional Leadership Act (EILA) credit.
-Unit faculty determined through data analysis that more KTS alignment data was needed at the graduate level. In response to this observation, graduate faculty have updated rubrics/assignments that are aligned to KTS in graduate programs on culminating assessments.