NCATE Standard 6 Report


Standard  6. Unit Governance and Resources

6a. Unit Leadership and Authority

6a.1. How does the unit manage or coordinate the planning, delivery, and operation of all programs at the institution for the preparation of educators?

The Unit has the leadership and authority to plan and implement all initial and advanced programs for education and educational leaders, as evidenced by clearly established policies that govern programs, student admission/retention, and faculty selection/ development.  Personnel, facilities, and budget allocations support program quality and facilitate the development of professionals who meet the requirements of Grambling State University (GSU), the State of Louisiana (Office of Teacher Certification), and standards for Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs).

There is a well-defined hierarchy of governance for professional education in the Unit which clarifies roles in the management and coordination of planning processes and facilitates smooth operations for program and service delivery in the initial and advanced programs. The Unit is under the direct supervision of the Office of Academic Affairs, headed by the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Exhibit 6a.1.1 GSU Org Chart. The Unit’s governance structure consists of the dean, heads of the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I), Educational Leadership (EDL), and Kinesiology, Sport and Leisure Studies (KSLS) and two councils Exhibits 6a.1.2 Unit Org Chart, 6a.1.3 Councils.

During the fall 2009 semester, a review of the memberships and the function of the three councils showed an overlap of functions and membership of the Professional Education Council (PEC) with the College of Education Administrative Council (COEAC) and the PK-16+ Council. The resulting action was to merge the PEC with the PK-16+ Council.  Thus, there are two active councils. (Exhibit 2a3-6 Minutes of COE AC)  Decisions in the Unit are made through an inclusive model (Exhibit 6a1-4 Decision Flowchart) that moves issues/problems through a system of multiple levels of review/recommendations within the Unit and a means of fostering approval to appropriate entities external to the Unit.

Auxiliary service units facilitate operations for the preparation of educators through research, program development, consultation, technical assistance, and professional service. These units include the Grambling State University Laboratory Schools (K-5, 6-8, 9-12), CARE, ERC, OPLE, and PRAXIS Lab.

Unit is closely tied to the general operations of GSU and various education entities in Louisiana. Dean  represents Unit in the administrative governance of GSU and serves as liaison between the Unit and the Louisiana State Department of Education. The Council of Academic Deans (CADs) meets monthly and dean shares pertinent information with the COEAC regarding scheduling, faculty professional development, departmental/staff needs, GSU and Unit policies and procedures, university operations and budget. The Graduate Council (GC) is made up of department heads who have graduate programs in their units, deans, and a student representative. CAD and the GC address GSU mandates and student/candidate issues. GSU and Unit committees meet regularly to assist in Unit responsibilities such as accreditation, curriculum, promotion and tenure, candidate appeals, state mandates and SPA requirements. Unit committees: curriculum, textbook adoption, technology committee, student appeals, promotion/tenure, faculty professional development, admissions, recruitment/retention, and assessment The relationship between councils and committees is in Exhibit 6a.1.5 Coun-Comm Relationship.  

6a.2. What are the unit’s recruiting and admissions policies? How does the unit ensure that they are clearly and consistently described in publications and catalogues?

Unit adheres to policies of GSU regarding recruitment/admissions.  Primary recruitment rests with the Office of Admissions, the Center for International Affairs & Programs, and the Office of Graduate Studies. Faculty recruit at professional conferences; partners in school/ districts, candidates, and alumni also recruit. GSU students declare a major in education programs for initial certification but are not considered “candidates” until admission criteria for Unit are met (2.0 cumulative GPA and a completed application for review; transfer students must have 24 or more acceptable credit hours with a grade of “C” /higher or “P” and a completed application). Admission to advanced programs requires candidates be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies & Research (completed a Bachelor’s/ Masters degree from accredited institution, cumulative 3.0 (4.0 scale) undergraduate GPA and a cumulative 3.0 (4.0 scale) graduate GPA, taken the GRE and 3 letters of recommendation. Admission requirements for Teach GSU include: bachelor’s degree from accredited institution; minimum 2.5 (4.0) grade point average; pass PRAXIS I (or 22 ACT composite score or 1030 combined SAT); and pass PRAXIS content specific exam.  Master of Educational Leadership requires evidence of current teacher certification, and minimum 3 years of successful teaching experience.  The LEC program requires evidence of current certification as teacher or administrator, 3 letters of recommendation, etc. (Exhibit 2a.2.1 Table 6 Unit Assessment System). Faculty  serve on  standing committees in the Unit and GSU and monitor the content of publications/catalogues, which is the unit’s means of ensuring clear and consistent information. Unit faculty also serve on the GC, which is responsible for reviewing the text for admissions in publications and catalogues for advanced candidates. Documents are sent to faculty and other essential personnel for review and comment prior to publication and public dissemination.

6a.3. How does the unit ensure that its academic calendars, catalogues, publications, grading policies, and advertising are accurate and current?

Maintenance of the accuracy in academic calendars, catalogues, publications, grading policies and advertising exceeds the purview of the Unit; it is a university-wide function. The faculty, staff and administrators in the Unit continuously monitor the academic calendar, catalogues, publications, grading policies, and advertising for accuracy of items that are germane to the unit.  Inaccuracies are reported to the provost, who is the highest ranking academic representative in senior administration and can make essential changes. Copies of course syllabi are submitted to the department heads each semester to ensure that standards and policies are consistent with GSU's current mission and guidelines.  Catalogue changes, publications, and other advertising materials are scrutinized at the faculty level first and then proceed through the system and ultimately rest with the provost who is held accountable by the university's governing board. 

6a.4. How does the unit ensure that candidates have access to student services such as advising and counseling?

The Unit triangulates advising among a faculty advisor, the director of the CARE Center and the candidate in initial programs. This model allows for as much personalized advising as is needed by each candidate.  All candidates in initial programs must complete academic advising contracts (regarding their plans of study) at the beginning of each semester. The CARE Center provides professional development sessions for faculty regarding program requirements so that information is consistently provided to candidates.  Candidates must enroll in ED 201-Advisee Report three times during their matriculation, which is an additional means for the unit to engage in intrusive advising. Candidates are also informed of the advisement policies and procedures during First Year Experience courses, during university and departmental orientations and in conferences with respective advisors.  Advanced candidates have faculty advisors and a graduate committee who share oversight for the academic integrity of advanced candidates’ work. Advanced candidates’ contact with advisors increases as they progress through their program.   

GSU provides extensive counseling services through the University Counseling Center.  Candidates are made aware of these services through orientation programs and the First Year Experience classes.  Candidates can engage the Center’s services on their own or through referral from Unit personnel.

6a.5. Which members of the professional community participate in program design, implementation, and evaluation? In what ways do they participate?

The internal professional community (faculty in various specialty areas and support staff with specialized functions), is very much involved with the design, implementation and evaluation of the unit’s initial and advanced programs. This involvement includes, but is not limited to: monitoring strategies for teacher candidates through their research, participation in professional organizations, collaboration with peers at other institutions, and collegial involvement with content faculty. The external professional community includes teachers and educational leaders in surrounding parishes, educational leaders in various entities in the State of Louisiana (i.e. the Department of Education, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the University of Louisiana System and the Board of Regents) and professional organizations. The most meaningful and frequent interaction with the external professional community is through the creative exchange of ideas with the PK-16+ Council. This council consists of in-service teachers and educational leaders at the local level, along with other community leaders, former educators and candidate representatives (Exhibit 2a.3.2 Table of Stakeholder Committee Members). Members of the PK16+ Council critique portfolio presentations and are actively engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating candidates’ service-learning activities. Content faculty in the Unit review key assessments, participate in the development of data –driven program improvement plans, the redesign of programs and the preparation of SPA/NACTE documents.  Feedback from officials in parishes where candidates are engaged in professional laboratory experiences is instrumental in strengthening program design and determining what curriculum changes should be implemented.

6a.6. How does the unit facilitate collaboration with other academic units involved in the preparation of educators?

The dean of the Unit has a good working relationship with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and with the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Content faculty from other academic units serve on the standard committees and are considered to be part of the unit since they also instruct teacher candidates. Content faculty are involved in collaborative work on curriculum development, report preparation and conducting research. They also participate in assessment retreats where data are used to make program improvements, as well as other professional activities in the unit. The Unit collaborates with area school districts for field experiences/clinical practice in the preparation of initial and advanced candidates. An example of collaboration at the advance level is the LEC, a consortium between colleges of education at GSU, Louisiana Tech, and the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The unit collaboration with the Professional Development Schools is mutually beneficial; partners work with candidates in real-world contexts and the Unit works with district personnel in professional development.

6a.7. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to unit leadership and authority may be attached here (0-3).

6b. Unit Budget

6b.1. What is the budget available to support programs preparing candidates to meet standards?  How does the budget compare to the budgets of other units with clinical components on campus or similar units at other universities?

The budget for the Unit is lean but adequate to deliver programs (Exhibit 6b.1.1 Budget) The budget has declined over the last three years for two reasons.  One impact was the final dispensation of desegregation funds.  Another impact was the general condition of the national and state economies, which lead to budget reductions. The unit’s budget had a 13% increase between the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years and then had a 20% decrease between the 2007-08 and the 2008-09 academic years. The fluctuation in the budget over the last three fiscal years is admittedly rather large, compared to the fairly small budget decline of comparable programs at GSU.  Nonetheless, the unit still has a budget of $4.6M, (which does not include budget allocations of content faculty who are housed in the College of Arts and Sciences) and is adequate for the delivery of initial and advanced programs.

The budget for the Unit exceeds the budgets for other clinical components on campus.  In the 2005-07 academic year, the unit’s budget was nearly three times that of the School of Nursing and it was nearly seven times that of the School of Social Work.  A similar trend continues over each of the reporting years.  The budgetary gap between the Unit and other clinical programs at GSU is narrowing but is still many times larger than other clinical programs. The budget per pupil varied across clinical programs between 2006-07 and 2009-10.  2006-07 data indicate the  per pupil allocation for candidates was substantially less than nursing ($8,865) but considerably higher than social work ($1,127). This trend holds for 2007-08, 2008-09 academic years and for the current year as well (2009-10 $6,053 Unit; $9,119 nursing; $1,172 social work) Exhibit 6b.1.2 Comparative Budget Analysis.

6b2.2. How adequately does the budget support all programs for the preparation of educators? What changes to the budget over the past few years have affected the quality of the programs offered?

The budget is adequate for initial and advanced programs in the Unit and is comparable to the fiscal realities in the state and the country.  There is little funding for institutionally sponsored grants for faculty research and travel to disseminate research. However, faculty continue to engage in research (sometimes at personal expense)  and continue to publish scholarly documents so that candidates will have a quality learning experience.

The loss of travel funds is a deterrent to the ability of faculty to engage in collaborative efforts with peers at other institutions and it deters scholarly participation in professional activities. These budgetary changes only have affected the means by which faculty remain current in their field. Faculty engage much more frequently in research and other scholarly activities through the use of technology (email, electronic publications, webinars, teleconferences, etc.), a trend that will likely grow in the near future. The overall quality of the program, at this point, has not yet been affected.  Classes that candidates need continue to be offered, support services continue to be readily available to candidates, and faculty continue to work with professionals who are external to the unit. This year there was a $1.4M mid-year budget reduction (Exhibit 6b.2.1 Mid Year Cut Memo) mandated by the State of Louisiana, a freeze on establishing new positions, and it is anticipated that additional cuts to the budget will occur prior to the end of the fiscal and academic years.  The future impact of the budget on the quality of the programs offered is undetermined. Title III funding softens the impact of reduced funding since it provides funds for faculty to travel to workshops and other professional meetings. The return of faculty to campus to share information is a way of attaining the effect of increasing returns of fiscal capital during a time of economic strain.

6b3.3. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to the unit’s budget may be attached here (0-3)

6c. Personnel

6c.1. What are the institution’s and unit’s workload policies? What is included in the workloads of faculty (e.g., hours of teaching, advising of candidates, supervising student teachers, work in P-12 schools, independent study, research, and administrative duties, and dissertation advisement)?

The workload policies for the Unit are the same as GSU.  Until the 2008-09 academic year, GSU’s policy for a regular teaching load constituted twelve credit hours per semester. All full-time professional education faculty maintained this workload of teaching courses in the initial programs. Faculty who taught a combination of courses in initial and advanced programs also had a twelve semester hour workload. 9 semester hours was a full workload for faculty who only taught advanced programs. Teaching loads may vary depending upon other duties and assigned responsibilities associated with teaching, research, and service. Additionally, there are times when it may be necessary for either a faculty member or unit administrator to teach above that which is policy in order to keep teacher candidates on track for timely graduation. Although this policy is still in place, it is currently suspended. During the 2008-09 academic year the Provost announced that GSU would no longer use adjunct faculty, except in emergency circumstances due to fiscal constraints and that the 12 semester hour workload policy would be suspended due to fiscal constraints (now 15 hours). These circumstances still exist during the current academic year.  The macro areas of work for faculty include teaching, research and service.  Faculty are not alone in facilitating the learning experience of teacher candidates.  Graduate teaching assistants work in some departments, (e.g. KSLS and EDL). Cooperating teachers (including GSU Laboratory teachers and principals and other professionals in partner districts) supervise teacher candidates, work with seminar and methods courses, participate in professional development activities, and serve on numerous committees within the unit to identify areas for continuous improvement of programs.  Faculty work with other professionals, such as PK16+ council and school personnel engaged in clinical experiences and this work is part of their workload.  Faculty members work with the CARE Center to advise candidates in their respective initial programs and those who work in the advanced programs serve the advising function through one-on-one contact with the candidate and through work on graduate committees (ex. doctoral committees). The Unit strives to keep administrative duties to a minimum.

6c.2. What are the faculty workloads for teaching and the supervision of clinical practice?

The faculty workloads for teaching and the supervision of clinical practice vary based on the number of candidates who meet the requirements for clinical practice.  There is a full-time staff person who is primarily responsible for coordinating the field/clincical experience for candidates and is very involved in the assessment of the experiences. Faculty generally have fewer than 10 candidates to supervise in the clinical experience for initial programs.  A cohort model is used for some of the advanced programs (last two years) and will soon have more than 10 candidates in clinical experiences. All will not be assigned to one faculty person.  This should keep the workload both equitable and manageable. 

6c.3. To what extent do workloads and class size allow faculty to be engaged effectively in teaching, scholarship, and service (including time for such responsibilities as advisement, developing assessments, and online courses)?

The combination of the number of classes taught and the number of candidates in each class is such that the contact hours for each professor are fairly consistent in the Unit for initial programs.  The contact hours for advanced faculty is much more varied since one of the advanced programs is part of a consortium and faculty have instructional responsibilities for some who are not “GSU” candidates. Nonetheless, all faculty in the Unit engage in the production of knowledge (teaching, research) and in service (both internal and external to Unit and GSU).

6c.4. How does the unit ensure that the use of part-time faculty contributes to the integrity, coherence, and quality of the unit and its programs?

Current economic conditions are such that there are no external (to GSU) part-time faculty in the unit. Part-time faculty have other duties at GSU; usually in full-time administrative or service positions. However, part-time faculty have the same instructional expectations as do full-time faculty. They are expected to meet their classes as posted in the schedule, to accurately and fairly assess candidates’ achievement, to have office hours to meet with candidates and to structure the learning experience in a manner that aligns with the conceptual framework. The department head in the area of work that the part-time faculty is placed has the first line of responsibility for ensuring that the integrity, coherence and quality of the unit and its programs are attained with all faculty, including those who are part-time. Part-time faculty are included in all essential meetings, workshops and retreats so that they can remain current with policies and procedure in the department, the unit and GSU.

6c.5. What personnel provide support for the unit? How does the unit ensure that it has an adequate number of support personnel?

There is one full-time employee assigned to the unit who is responsible for monitoring and maintaining technology (computers, smartboards, projectors, etc.) and for being a liaison between the college technology infrastructure and GSU’s infrastructure.  There is a full-time person who runs the PRAXIS Lab and helps candidates to prepare for the PRAXIS exams. A full-time person works with licensure matters for current candidates and alumni and fosters job placement for candidates.  There is a full-time person assigned to run the Educational Resource Center and to handle media relations for the Unit. Each department head, the director of OPLE and the dean has at least one full-time administrative assistant.  The unit had an assessment coordinator but the position was vacated three years ago.  Several strong candidates were identified for the position but did not accept an offer; the search is still in progress and will be an additional support person for the Unit when the position is successfully filled. The Unit has an adequate number of support personnel to foster its operations and the intellectual development of candidates.

Currently the number of support personnel positions is adequate, but the Unit has little control over ensuring this to be true in the future. The dean and other administrators in the Unit are focusing on retaining support personnel in an effort to avoid the uncertainty of replacing support personnel. As support personnel needs arise, the dean works with the Provost, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the Vice President for Finance to meet the needs of the Unit.

6c.6. What financial support is available for professional development activities for faculty?

GSU has Title III funds that are available for professional development activities for undergraduate faculty. Faculty use these funds to engage in continuous learning through workshops, conferences, webinars, etc. The unit also has a Southern Region Educational Board grant that supports professional development for faculty who teach in the Masters program for educational leaders.

6c.7. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits  related to personnel may be attached here (0-3).

6d. Unit facilities

6d.1. How adequate are unit – classrooms, faculty offices, library/media center, the technology infrastructure, and school facilities – to support teaching and learning? (Describe facilities on the main campus as well as facilities at off-campus sites if they exist.)

The facilities are more than adequate to support teaching and learning.  Each faculty person has a private office that is equipped with furniture and essential technology (telephone, computer hardware, computer software). There are two computer labs for faculty and candidate use and faculty can access the computer lab in the School of Graduate Studies.  Candidates are also entitled to use computer labs in various locations around campus. The number of classrooms (lecture and seminar) available for instruction is a sufficient; many are equipped with SmartBoards.  There is a mobile, wireless computer center that is available for instruction and several laptops that can also facilitate learning outside the classroom. Candidates are given email addresses and it connects them to GSU’s electronic information system.  The library has access to several electronic databases, which facilitates candidates’ ability to access literature and other essential resources to enhance learning.

Charles P. Adams Hall was built in 1969 and the structure contains 89,212 square feet of space. The administrative offices of the Unit and two departments, ERC, CARE, OPLE as well as space for graduate assistants, and classrooms are housed in Adams Hall. KSLS department office, faculty offices and classrooms are housed in the Assembly Center. Each department has a reception area, private offices for the department heads, and a conference room. The ERC contains a microcomputer laboratory, a materials production/multi-purpose room and a curriculum library/reading room. 10 graduate assistant office stations are located on the second floor as are instructional spaces:  11 classrooms, 2 seminar rooms and 2 amphitheaters (seating 118 and 180 persons). There is a dedicated document room that has curricular materials from school districts, materials for standards and access to technology for use by faculty and candidates.

6d.2. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to unit facilities may be attached here (0-3).

6e. Unit resources including technology

6e.1. How does the unit allocate resources across programs to ensure candidates meet standards in their field of study?

Some resources are essential across programs (ex. faculty, support personnel, technology, etc.) and assignment of resources is based on program need (equitably rather than equally). For example, a professor in the advanced programs passed in the spring of 2009 and there is currently a search underway to fill that position. This, however, did not prompt the need to create new positions in other program areas. The department heads, the dean and the COEAC monitor current trends and prioritize needs based on the value added to learning as outlined in the conceptual framework. Resource needs for the unit are then considered in the GSU’s allocation process. The Interim President established a Budget Priorities Committee for GSU in the spring 2010 term.  The dean works with the Provost to ensure that the budget needs of the Unit are part of the budget prioritizing process.

6e.2. What information technology resources support faculty and candidates? What evidence shows that candidates and faculty use these resources?

Candidates and faculty all have access to computer hardware and software.  Faculty and candidates are assigned a “G number” which gives access to the Banner system.  Candidates use this system to register for classes, to check schedules, to apply for financial aid, and to check grades earned in their classes.  Faculty use this system to submit employees’ information, to submit grades, to submit timesheets for payroll, to access leave forms, to update contact information, etc.  Faculty and candidates also are assigned personal email accounts, which give them access to university-wide communiqués for emergencies and other essential information. Faculty and candidates also use email as an efficient communication instrument for short inquiries and to document communications. Blackboard is available and used to support teaching and learning in the unit and GSU at large. New SmartBoards are being installed in Unit. Most faculty in Unit are trained to use SmartBoards; refresher and beginning training for this instructional technology will take place over the next two semesters. The technology resource centers, both in the Unit and GSU, are available for both faculty’s and candidates’ use (Statistics Lab, PRAXIS Lab, Honors Lab Graduate Studies Lab, Faculty Development Lab, Library, etc).

Perhaps the best evidence that these resources are used is the presence of candidates in class; registration is predominately an on-line process.  Other evidence that the technology is used is the submission of grades, which is also done on line. Requests for technology troubleshooting and the repair/restoration of hardware and software indicate the use of technology in the Unit. Initial and advanced candidates have extensive training in the use of technology, which culminates in the development and presentation of a professional electronic portfolio.

6e.3. What resources are available for the development and implementation of the unit’s assessment system?

The Unit is currently reviewing and revising its assessment system.  Internal and external human capital are available for the development and implementation of the unit’s assessment system.  The director of OPLE is working closely with the COEAC, faculty, and the Standard Two Assessment Committee to revise the assessment system and to ensure that it aligns with the newly revised conceptual framework. The Associate Vice President for Institutional Research has joined the Unit’s efforts to ensure that the assessment system is compatible to the GSU’s assessment processes. The facilities available include clean and safe work areas, adequate furnishings, and 24-hour access to technology. The unit has adopted TaskStream as an assessment tool and student technology fees were used for TaskStream. A consultant was hired (December 2009) to help faculty load their courses on this system. There is an on-going search for an assessment coordinator and funds are available to fill the position as soon as the unit can recruit a fully-qualified applicant.

6e.4. What library and curricular resources exist at the institution? How does the unit ensure they are sufficient and current?

The NCATE/ SACS Document Room have curricular resources from various school districts and are easily accessible for faculty and candidates. The ERC also has essential material for candidate and faculty use.  The Unit also has a resource center that has curricular and other literature available for candidates’ use.  GSU library has a substantial amount of holdings that support initial and advanced program (both in print and electronic form) and a substantial portion of the library fiscal resources are allocated to the unit. (Exhibit 6e.4.1Library Resources) Curriculum resources are also available through the Laboratory Schools.

Faculty are invited to review materials to determine items that should be purged and to recommend items for acquisition in the Unit (NCATE Document Room, ERC).  GSU’s Library solicits input from faculty to purge dated material in the campus’ library. The Library and Learning Resources Committee is a standing GSU committee that has representation from the Unit and other campus operations. This committee is responsible for material collections policy, development of library resources, physical facilities and the optimization of the library resources and services.  The committee receives requests for holdings and prioritizes acquisitions against several criteria (including budget). Electronic access to literature and interlibrary loan from other universities enhances the unit’s ability to have sufficient access to current materials.

6e.5. How does the unit ensure the accessibility of resources to candidates, including candidates in off-campus, distance learning, and alternate route programs, through electronic means?

Candidates, regardless of program (initial or advanced) or class format (traditional seat-time or distant learning) have equal access to resources through electronic means.  Candidates are assigned a G-number that gives them access to GSU’s electronic resources, including their email account. The library has several electronic journals, newspapers, books, and databases that facilitate learning and research. Distant learning candidates have access to faculty for electronic advisement and consultation as well as access to electronic library resources.

6e.6. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to unit resources, including technology, may be attached here (0-3