Standard 5 Report
Professional education faculty are highly qualified and demonstrate best professional practices in teaching, service, collaboration and scholarship as they teach, advise and supervise the clinical experiences of teacher candidates or other school professionals. Faculty performance is systematically evaluated to reflect best practices and ensure that faculty engage in professional development.
Qualifications. All professional education faculty are qualified to teach in their areas. In 2014-15, 86% had a terminal degree. Over the period from 2012-2015, 86% had the terminal degree in their field or a related field. Those who do not have the terminal degree in the area are required to have at least 18 graduate credit hours in that area to meet SACSOC standards (Appendix D). Vitae from professional education faculty also demonstrate qualifications (Exhibit 5.4.a.2). Clinical faculty for undergraduate and graduate programs are qualified to supervise candidates (Exhibits 5.4.b.1, 5.4.b.2, 5.4.b.3). There are minimum and preferred qualifications for school-based clinical faculty (Exhibits 5.4.c.1, 5.4.c.1.1 and 5.4.c.2). University supervisors have valid teaching certificates/licenses in the appropriate subject area and grade level, extensive teaching and/or supervisory experience, and values that reflect the university's mission. All but one of the university supervisors are certified to teach in P-12 schools, or have been licensed to teach in various states and/or countries (Exhibit 5.4.b.3). Training in Danielson's Framework for Teaching and/or LA COMPASS was LA COMPASS was provided for both clinical and university faculty. In addition, materials and strategies for mentoring and evaluating candidates were available through workshops and electronically (Exhibit 5.4.c.3).
Scholarship. Faculty are required to demonstrate scholarship and provide examples in order to gain tenure and/or promotion (GSU Faculty handbook, p. 1, 21 Appendices C,D, E and F; COE Faculty Handbook, and Exhibits 5.4.d.1, 5.4.d.2, 5.4.d.3 and 5.4.d.4). Analysis shows 77% of the 2014-15 professional education Unit faculty have evidence of scholarship over the three year report period (Exhibit 5.4.d.5.1, Exhibit 5.4.d.5.2). Faculty have presented at such conferences as Southern Association for College and Schools, Teacher Education Division of Council for Exceptional Children, Research Association for Minority Professors, and the Hawaiian International Conference on Education. Samples of scholarship are presented in (Exhibit 5.4.d.6).
Service and Collaboration. The Unit encourages faculty to engage in collaboration with P-12 schools, in other school settings, and with the community. Over the 2014-2015 academic year, ten faculty participated in collaborative activities with schools and/or community (Exhibit 5.4.e.1), and others reported service learning activities with candidates (Exhibits 5.4.e.2.1 and 5.4.e.2.2). Professional education faculty have completed multiple service projects in P-12 schools, as well as the community. They have been invited to serve as consultants and workshop facilitators in both public and charter schools. When asked, they have offered courses at several schools both dual enrollment for secondary students, and professional development for teachers. Several have conducted tutoring projects through service learning, as well as collaborated with school based faculty to offer ACT workshops for participating schools, both on campus and at several secondary school sites. Professional education faculty have judged science fairs at the elementary and secondary levels in area schools. At the advanced level, three professional education faculty in the Educational Leaders program have worked extensively in the schools either as principals, mentors, or professional development providers. All of the faculty in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction were trained in the COMPASS teacher evaluation model, used by the state of Louisiana and based on the work of Charlotte Danielson. In addition, they are trained in, or familiar with Common Core State Standards. Professional education faculty from the areas of Educational Leadership, Kinesiology and the College of Arts and Sciences have also participated in training. Faculty are involved in community service, and have worked with a variety of projects including tutoring, and free Praxis I and Praxis II workshops. Four professional education faculty are program reviewers for specialized professional associations (SPAs), including ACEI, CEC and ELCC (Exhibit 5.4.e.1).
Teaching. Faculty continue to use a variety of diverse teaching strategies to reach candidates. They model the Universal Design for Learning that candidates will be expected to demonstrate in their classrooms. The Grasha-Riechmann survey (Exhibit 5.4.f.4), and the university developed Teaching Styles survey (Exhibit 5.4.f.5.1) were repeated with a randomly selected sample of the professional education faculty and used as a self-evaluation. Analysis of the GSU teaching survey revealed that the sample faculty used an average of 11.4 strategies in their courses out of the 15 listed (Exhibit 5.4.f.5.2). The most commonly utilized teaching strategies included reading journals articles, use of technologies, discussions, cooperative and demonstration learning. These methods allow faculty to reach diverse candidates, and allow candidates to receive the information through multiple types of exposures, thus facilitating retention and promoting deep structure understanding. Data from the Grasha-Riechmann sample showed faculty continued to see their roles as multidimensional (Exhibit 5.4.f.4).
Evaluation. The Unit engages in systematic evaluation of all Professional Education faculty. Faculty submit annual reports of their activity in the major categories of teaching, research, university service, and professional and community service (Exhibit 5.4.d.3) and the reports are evaluated by supervisors (Exhibit 5.4.d.1). These reports also can contain Peer Reviews (Exhibit 5.4.f.2). Additionally, all faculty are evaluated by students each semester through Banner (Exhibit 5.4.f.1). These data are collected by the Information Technology Center, sent to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, then to deans and department heads, and become available to faculty the following semester. Professional Education faculty teaching graduate courses must be first approved, then undergo a triennial review process in order to receive and maintain graduate faculty status (Exhibit 5.4.d.2). The evidence demonstrates that faculty are evaluated regularly through multiple methods. Those faculty with negative performance ratings receive intervention plans developed jointly with supervisors. Data from the annual reviews indicate that in the 2013 - 2014 year, faculty scored an average of 44/50 points in teaching, 13/20 scholarship, 9/10 in university service, and 18/20 points in professional and community service (Exhibit 5.4.f.6). In the last triennial graduate faculty evaluation (2012), 100% of the eligible professional education faculty were reaffirmed as graduate faculty. Four new faculty were approved after 2012. (Exhibit 5.4.f.7). Course evaluations by candidates in 2014-15 revealed that Unit faculty received average scores of 3.54 and 3.64 out of 5 points in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 (Exhibit 5.4.f.8). There are procedures outlined for faculty who seek tenure and/or promotion outlined in the GSU Faculty Handbook (2009/2013, p 25, and Appendices C, D, E, and F). Faculty are evaluated by tenured peers at or above their current ranking, department heads, deans, as well as promotion and tenure committees from departmental to university levels. All decisions are based on evaluations using prescribed rubrics (Exhibit 5.4.d.4) before the final approvals are given by University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. In the 2014-2015 year, one Unit faculty member received tenure, and two were promoted (Exhibit 5.4.f.9)
Development. The Unit expects faculty to engage in professional development (Exhibits 5.4.d.1, 5.4.d.2, GSU Faculty Handbook Appendices C, D and E, COE Faculty Handbook). Professional education faculty have sought and been afforded numerous professional development experiences. For example, professional development on campus has been offered to faculty through the following: Offices of the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Distance Learning, and Informational Technology, as well as through the College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences (Exhibit 5.4.g.3). Faculty sought professional development through webinars, and conference attendance from local to international levels, e.g., LACUE, ATE, CAEP, CEC, IRA, etc. In the 2014-2015 academic year, faculty participated in external conferences for professional development and a larger percentage selected international conferences (Exhibits 5.4.g.1, 5.4.g 2). Moreover, some faculty have enhanced the development of others by sharing notes from the conferences via email. (Exhibit 5.4.g.3). Title III funds have also been used for faculty development. The policies are disseminated to all faculty, and funds have been used for conference attendance, accreditation purposes, and support for advanced degree attainment (Exhibit 5.4.g.3). Faculty (91%) report memberships in professional organizations related to their fields (Exhibit 5.4.g.4).
Summary of activities and changes based on data. There have been changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality. First, the Unit has continued to seek additional methods to improve candidate scores on Praxis I. Most recently, the Unit has introduced a new Professional Accountability course, ED 211 Professional Accountability IV that focuses solely on the writing portion of Praxis I. Candidates had complained that the course ED 208 Professional Accountability I combined Reading and Writing portions of Praxis I, and those candidates who only needed one of the two parts felt that they were not getting all of the instruction that they needed. Additionally, ED 208, 209 and 211 Professional Accountability I, II and IV respectively have been realigned to meet the new Common Core State Standards reflected in Praxis I as of Fall 2014.
Second, the Unit faculty have increased their teaching skills. More Unit faculty are using web-enhanced and web-based instruction. Nineteen of the professional education faculty are certified to teach fully online courses, with seven completing certification since 2012 through Quality Matters (Exhibit 5.4.g.3). Unit faculty in the areas of Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership and Kinesiology attended workshops on LA COMPASS, the Louisiana teacher evaluation tool based on the work of Charlotte Danielson, and have not only introduced candidates to the model, but have begun modeling parts of it in their instruction. Additionally, Unit faculty are familiar with the revised InTASC Standards, and require candidates to demonstrate their mastery of the indicators through artifacts and portfolios in student teaching (Exhibit 1.4.h).
Third, the Unit was awarded a 1.5 million dollar federal grant to train qualified teachers in areas of critical need for north Louisiana. The grant allowed the Unit to develop a new MAT integrated to merged general education/special education program for post-baccalaureate candidates. The grant also allowed the Unit to hire consultants to act as mentors for the MAT intern teacher candidates, and consultants to provide additional training for the Praxis I and II exams. Upon graduation and passage of licensure examinations, these post-baccalaureate candidates will be certified in both a general education elementary or secondary area, and in special education in the area of Mild to Moderate disabilities (Exhibit 6.4.f.2).
Fourth, the Unit faculty have used professional service to improve program quality. In 2010, only one of the Unit faculty was a program reviewer for the specialized professional associations (SPAs). Now, four Unit faculty are regular program reviewers and two are lead reviewers for three different SPAs: ACEI, CEC and ELCC. Over the 2014-2015 school year, all four reviewed programs for these SPAs. In addition, one faculty member received training this year to become program review for a second SPA. Faculty have strengthened collaborations with the College of Arts and Sciences faculty, and have regularly worked on program reviews for SPAs together. They have been able to use the knowledge and skill of program reviewing to improve program quality at GSU (Exhibit 5.4.e.1).
Fifth, the Unit and faculty used data to improve the area of evaluation. Course evaluations, which previously took a year to be distributed, were now available at the end of the following semester. Still, faculty noticed that few students were completing the online course evaluations each semester despite reminders through Banner and university emails. Consequently, faculty in the College of Education used a two pronged approach. Several returned to anonymous hardcopy evaluations, but in fall semester of 2014, others piloted the use of student smart phones and tablets to access the online course evaluations during class periods with the faculty member out of the room in order to increase the number of evaluations. This idea has been disseminated to other faculty across the Unit. Noting that the average scores for faculty appeared lower than expected, a more detailed analysis prompted dialogues with multiple areas across campus in order to improve the accuracy of the Course Evaluation data analyses (Exhibit 5.4.f.8.1). From the 2013-14 annual Performance Review data, faculty appeared weakest in the area of scholarship. From increased focus on scholarship, the preliminary data from 2014-15 indicate that Unit faculty slightly increased scholarship efforts (Exhibits 5.4.d.5.1, and 5.4.d.6).
Sixth, the Unit has increased its collaborations with outside agencies, other institutions, and P-12 schools to increase candidate performance. The Unit has partnered with the state of Louisiana for LA GEAR UP, focusing first on Science and Math for middle and high school students, then partnered again with the state in 2014 for a LA GEAR UP Summer Bridge program to bring high school graduates to campus for six weeks to experience higher education and earn college credits in the areas of English and Math. Faculty have collaborated with NASA, and NASA/NICE, and through LA GEAR UP (Exhibit 1.4.h) to enhance the science teaching skills of teacher candidates. Faculty judged science fairs at partner schools, and have collaborated with schools to offer ACT preparation sessions both on and off campus 2013-15. Faculty have continued to provide professional development sessions for schools, and have offered on-site courses to school-based faculty.
Seventh, faculty have continued to engage in professional development. Faculty continued to attend professional conferences. Samples of conferences attended included Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 CAEP conferences in partnership with AACTE, Hawaiian International Conference on Education, AXI Promethean Conference, and Teacher Education Division of Council for Exceptional Children. Faculty commonly shared notes from conferences with other faculty via email (Exhibit 5.4.g.3) The university administration also offered a series of professional development sessions. Samples from various areas included Offices of the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, College of Education, and Distance Learning offices (Exhibit 5.4.g.3).
Plans for sustaining and enhancing performance. There are several plans for continuous improvement. First, the Unit will continue to use the electronic databases at the university for continuous data collection. These include use of Moodle, which can be linked to Taskstream, TracDat, which is used for collecting data pertaining to SACSOC, and Banner, for course evaluations by students. Second, the Unit has continued to work with faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in sustaining and enhancing performance on PRAXIS Examinations, especially for the Specialty Area Examinations. Some departments have created departmental tests to promote the capability of the teacher candidates (i.e. Kinesiology, History). Third, faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are members of both the Dual Advisement Committee and the PRAXIS Oversight Committee. These committees meet to analyze data, and implement strategies imputing the results for continued program improvement. Faculty members from the Colleges of Education and Arts and Sciences participated in Google Docs training, allowing greater ease in sharing pertinent information and editing documents and forms. Forms from both colleges are shared with teacher candidates, and appear on the www.gram.edu website, such as the Applications for Admission to the college(s) and departments, Academic Contracts, Course Substitution Forms, etc. Dual advisement of teacher candidates occurs for all majors, but especially secondary and all-level majors. Data are reviewed in the Dual Advisement Committee meetings. Future improvements will be to more seamlessly share advisement and matriculation data electronically across levels and colleges. Fourth, faculty continue to enhance electronic teaching skills, and provide more instruction through a variety of methods. Fifth, the tenure and promotion rubric (Exhibit 5.4.d.4) was under review, and the first discussions of a new rubric took place in 2014-15 to better assess faculty performance. Finally sixth, as noted before, administration and faculty from multiple areas are meeting to improve the process and analyses of the student course evaluations.