Grambling State University (GSU) emerged from the desire of African-American farmers
who formed the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association to organize
and operate a school in 1896. The Association requested assistance from Booker T.
Washington of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Charles P. Adams was sent to aid
the group in organizing an industrial school, becoming its founder and first president.
The school became a Normal school in 1928 offering two-year certificates as a state
junior college, reorganizing in 1936 to emphasize rural education. GSU granted the
first four-year degrees in teacher education in 1944. The addition of graduate programs
in early childhood and elementary education in 1974 gave the institution a new status
and a new name- Grambling State University, becoming a prime source of dedicated teachers
serving communities in the rural south and throughout the nation. The University has
undergone numerous leadership and organizational changes since the 2010 accreditation
site visit (Ex. 1.5.a.2).
Mission: GSU is a comprehensive, historically-black, public institution that offers a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate programs of study. Both the undergraduate, traditional liberal arts program, and the graduate school, with a professional focus, embrace GSU's founding principle of educational opportunity for all. Committed to the education of minorities in American society, the University seeks to reflect the diversity present in the world. GSU advances the study and preservation of African American history, art and culture and is a community of learners who seek to contribute to their academic fields. GSU prepares its graduates to compete and succeed in careers related to its programs, to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, and to lead productive lives. The university provides its students a living and learning environment which nurtures their development for leadership in academics, athletics, campus governance, and in future career pursuits. GSU affords each student the opportunity to pursue any program of study and to demonstrate reasonable progress. GSU fosters in its students a commitment to service and to the improvement in the quality of life for all persons, expecting that all persons who matriculate and who are employed at Grambling will reflect through their study and work that the university is indeed a place "where everybody is somebody." (Exhibit 1.5.a.1 GSU General Catalog, 2013-2015, p.1 https://www.gram.edu/academics/catalog/). UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS: GSU, a member of the University of Louisiana System, is a selective admissions, state-supported, HBCU. Located in Grambling, Louisiana, it is three miles west of Ruston, population of 20,546 (U.S. Census, 2010). Monroe and Shreveport are metropolitan cities 36 and 60 miles, respectively, from the campus. GSU occupies approximately 375 acres, over 50 permanent buildings, a five-mile nature trail, an outdoor study pavilion, and an all-purpose assembly building. Fall 2014 enrollment consisted of 3534 undergraduate and 982 graduate students (1708 male and 2808 female). Total in-state enrollment was 3615 in-state students, out-of-state enrollment was 288, and international enrollment was 141. Among students enrolled in the undergraduate program 3280 were black, 57 were white, and 197 were other races. Among students enrolled in the graduate program 906 were black, 48 were white, and 28 were other races (Ex 1.5.a.7). GSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and its educator preparation Unit is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), now the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). All teacher prep and school leader prep programs are approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Louisiana Department of Education (Exhibit 22.214.171.124).
The Unit consists of educator preparation programs in the COE with three academic departments offering educator preparation programs: Curriculum and Instruction (C&I); Educational Leadership (EDL); and Kinesiology, Sport and Leisure Studies (KSLS), and those administratively housed in the COAS with its departments including teacher preparation programs: Music, Family and Consumer Science, Chemistry, Physics, and History. Unit faculty consist of all professional faculty who teach and support teacher education and educational leadership candidates, including those from the respective departments in the COAS that offer teacher prep programs. In fall 2014, the COE became known as the College of Educational, Professional and Graduate Studies (COEPGS) and the Dean of the COE was named Dean of the College of Education, the College of Professional Studies, and the College of Graduate Studies combined. For consistency throughout this self-study report, it will be referred to as the College of Education (COE). The COE and its educator preparation candidates are supported by auxiliary service units: the Centralized Advisement, Referral and Evaluation (CARE) Center, the Educational Resource Center (ERC), the University Laboratory Schools, and the Office of Professional Laboratory Experiences (OPLE). The Office of Retention, though not housed administratively in the COE, is a support system created to supplement the instructional program at the University through the use of tutorials and computer-assisted instruction. There are currently seven active teacher preparation programs at the initial level and four at the advanced level, and one graduate level program in educational leadership. (Exhibit 1.5.b.1 and Ex. 1.5.b.2). provides information about each program at the initial and advanced levels and their approval status as granted by the state and by specialized professional associations. GSU has two professional schools, nursing and social work.
Programs now offered by the Unit include: Bachelor Degrees in Elementary Education;
Secondary Education and Teaching; Special Education; Kinesiology (Pedagogy); Music(Concentrations
in Vocal and Instrumental Music Education); History(Concentration in Social Studies
Education); Child Development and Early Literacy (with a teacher education preparation
track for Grades PK-3); Elementary Education and Special Education M/M; and Master's
Degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education M/M Grades 1-5; Secondary Education
and Special Education Mild/Moderate Grades 6-12; Curriculum and Instruction; Special
Education; and Educational Leadership (Principal). The COE also offers non-certification
programs at bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels: B.A. Leisure Studies: M.S. Sports
Administration and Developmental Education; and Ed. D. in Developmental Education,
none of which prepare teachers and other school professionals for licensure and certification,
and therefore are not reviewed by CAEP.
The Unit currently does not offer any off campus degree programs. An alternative Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) certification program for practitioner teachers to earn a Master's Degree and to gain initial certification in Elementary Grades 1-5 and Special Education (Mild/Moderate) 1-12 and Secondary Education Grades 6-12 and Special Education (Mild/Moderate) with concentrations in Biology, Physics, Math, English, and General Science, is offered. (Ex. 1.5.b.1 and Ex.1.5.b.2 ). The Alternative Teacher Certification Project provides an opportunity for highly motivated mid-career changers and recent college graduates to obtain teacher certification licensure and a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. The goal of this program is to offer a pool of skillfully trained and qualified teachers to address the shortage of STEM teachers in high-need school districts in north Louisiana (Ex. 15.b.3).
The Unit's Conceptual Framework (CF) depicts the outcomes, processes and proficiencies for expected knowledge, skills and professional dispositions embedded in the vision, mission and philosophy of the Unit (1.5.c.1.a). The tree model is a graphic representation of the CF for educator preparation programs at the University (Ex. 1.5.C.1). The roots draw from the knowledge, skills and dispositions identified by the Unit, Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs) and state and national standards. Candidates are prepared to become Masters of Subject Matter Content, Facilitators of Learning, and Enhancers and Nurturers of Affective Behaviors and to become Catalysts for Change in their educational settings. In 2013-2015, the CF tree graphic was modified to include Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Standards (PARCC), LA COMPASS and IRA standards (Ex. 1.5.c.15). In addition, a shift in practice occurred to enhance outcomes of advanced program candidates preparing to become school leaders and other school professionals by building skills to conduct high-quality teacher observations, providing learning and practice in the process of setting, tracking, and scoring student learning targets (SLTs) and aiding in the understanding of the uses of the Human Capital Information System (HCIS) implemented by the state (Ex. 1.5.c.20).The Unit Vision, "Producing knowledgeable, skilled, and compassionate educators and other school professionals", mission, philosophy, purpose and goals are outlined in Exhibit 1.4.c.1. The institutional standards of the Unit, found at https://www.gram.edu/aboutus/strategic/, reflect the University's goals for initial and advanced students. Currently GSU is a selective admissions institution which continues to recruit a diverse student population. The Unit continually revisits standards and curricula to improve practices and to use data for program improvement. All teacher candidates must pass all components of PRAXIS I and II prior to enrolling in student teaching. The Praxis Oversight Committee (Ex. 1.5.c.5; Ex. 1.5.c.19) has been reinstated, and a Dual Advisement Committee (Ex. 1.5.c.16; Ex.1.5.c.18). has been added to enhance candidates' success advancing timely and effectively. Professional education faculty from the COAS and COEPGS are members of both committees. Teacher prep programs are housed within the COEPGS and the COAS. Through broad-based curricula consisting of research-based instruction, strategic field experiences and performance-based assessment, the educational preparation programs produce competent teachers and educational leaders. The content of the curricula is based on national standards of the Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs) state standards (e.g. CCSS, LA COMPASS, PARCC, Bulletin 746), regional standards (e.g. Southern Regional Education Board [SREB]) and unit standards (Ex. 1.5.c.2). The Unit at GSU seeks to mold candidates into effective classroom teachers, scholars, and educational leaders who respond to the needs of communities by creating educational opportunities for all students regardless of individual differences. In meeting these goals, the Unit has made changes to the CF. In 2003, the Unit's CF emphasized preparing teachers and other school personnel to educate PK-12 students. In 2010, the revised CF addressed the preparation of other school professionals in advanced level programs in addition to initial level candidates. Six new proficiencies were added to the list of CF outcomes under Skills: Facilitators of Learning to delineate that advanced program candidates will facilitate school improvement, model best practices for teaching and learning, demonstrate competence as action researchers, demonstrate proficiency in the application of research findings, model best practices for implementing reading specific to the content area, and advocate for Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum as appropriate. The overarching concept was added that candidates will become Catalysts for Change in their educational settings. The use of an integrated and systematic method of assessment of the curriculum, instruction and impact on student learning was improved. Instead of focusing only on what graduates have learned and can do, emphasis is placed on the candidates' impact on student learning. This impact is validated by the candidates' portfolios and artifacts and PK-12 student work samples. Another review of the CF was conducted in 2013-2014 with subsequent changes. The tree graphic representation was revised. GSU stakeholders, including its PK-16+ partners and professional education faculty, determined it necessary to make it known that continual emphasis on rigorous program content, delivery and assessment of feedback for program improvement are vital. This feedback is depicted by the leaves becoming a part of the soil (foundation), sending nutrients (graduates) back up through the tree (programs) to recycle continual productivity in PK-12 schools and in the global society. The knowledge, skills and professional dispositions that all candidates acquire allow them to become Catalysts for Change. With some restructuring of colleges at GSU in Fall 2014, some of the teacher preparation programs are now housed in the COAS (Child Development and Early Literacy, Music, History), with imperatives for intensive and extensive collaborations among Unit faculty, candidates, programs, and administrators. Professional accountability courses now reflect the current Praxis content and format. A new course was offered in Fall 2014 to address the writing competencies of Praxis, resulting in separating the reading and writing proficiencies and allowing a full semester devoted to each competency. The Unit has, over the years, made adjustments reflecting the latest curriculum frameworks and adhering to state and national standards (Ex. 1.5.c.2.a).