NCATE Overview


What is the institution's historical context?
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. It became widely known as “A Venture into Rural Education.”  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.

Programs offered include a doctoral program in developmental education and two professional schools, nursing and social work. During the tenure of Dr. Raymond A. Hicks the university’s fifth president, the university began implementing a desegregation settlement that provided funding for expansion of facilities and the development of new curricula. As a result of the agreement, a doctoral degree in education is now offered through the Louisiana Education Consortium (LEC), which includes Grambling State University (GSU), Louisiana Tech University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM).  Dr. Frank G. Pogue now serves as interim president of Grambling State University.

What is the institution's mission?
GSU is a comprehensive, historically-black, public institution that offers a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate programs of study. Through its undergraduate courses of study, with a traditional liberal arts program, and its graduate school, with a professional focus, the university embraces its founding principle of educational opportunity. Committed to the education of minorities in American society, the University seeks to reflect the diversity present in the world. The University 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 their 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 B1-2-1 GSU General Catalog, 2009-2011,p. 1).

What are the institution's characteristics [e.g., control (e.g., public or private) and type of institution such as private, land grant, or HBI; location (e.g., urban, rural, or suburban area)]?
GSU, a member of the University of Louisiana System, is a selective admissions, state-funded HBCU. Located in Grambling, Louisiana, it is three miles west of Ruston, population of 20, 546 (U.S. Census, 2000). 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 featuring a state of the art basketball arena.

Fall 2009 enrollment consisted of 4538 undergraduate and 454 graduate students (1881 male and 3111 female). Total in-state enrolment was 2737 in-state students, out-of-state enrollment was 1804, and international enrollment was 451. Among students enrolled in the undergraduate program 4347 were black, 140 were white, and 505 were other races. Among students enrolled in the graduate program 360 were black, 69 were white, and 25 were other races.

GSU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). All of the university’s teacher preparation and school leader preparation programs are approved by the Board of Regents and the Louisiana Department of Education (Exhibit B1-2-1 GSU General Catalog 2009-2011, p. 2).

What is the professional education unit at your institution and what is its relationship to other units at the institution that are involved in the preparation of professional educators?

The College of Education has three academic departments: Curriculum and Instruction; Educational Leadership; and Kinesiology, Sport and Leisure Studies. It is 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 15 teacher preparation programs (eleven active)  at the initial level and four at the advanced level. TeachGSU is an accelerated alternate path to licensure for candidates who are interested in obtaining certification in Elementary Education (Grades 1-5) or Special Education Mild/ Moderate (1-12). There are two advanced level programs that prepare personnel for postsecondary and other human service settings: Master of Science and Doctorate of Education in Developmental Education. These programs do not prepare candidates to work in P-12 schools and are not eligible for NCATE review. Tables 2 and 3 provide information about each program at the initial and advanced levels and their respective approval status as granted by the state and by specialized professional associations.

Which initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation programs are offered off-campus or via distance learning technologies? What alternate route programs are offered? [In addition to this response, please review the "Institutional Information" in AIMS and, if updating is needed, contact NCATE with details about these programs.]

GSU’s College of Education currently does not offer any off campus degree programs. TeachGSU, an alternative certification program for practitioner teachers to gain initial certification in Elementary Grades 1-5 and Special Education (Mild/Moderate) 1-12 is offered. The Special Education component of the program was recently redesigned and will become effective after state approval.

What substantive changes have taken place in the unit since the last visit (e.g., added/dropped programs/degrees; significant increase/decrease in enrollment; major reorganization of the unit, etc.)? [These changes could be compiled from those reported in Part C of the AACTE/NCATE annual reports since the last visit.]

Louisiana State Department of Education changed the certification structure since the last NCATE visit. The Elementary Education Program is now Grades 1-5. The B. S. in Mathematics, Physics Education, and Biology Education are now Grades 6-12; the B.A. in French Education, English Education, and Social Studies Education are now Grades 6-12. Health and Physical Education is now Kinesiology (Pedagogy K- 12 Health and Physical Education). There are no candidates enrolled in the French Education program. The following degree programs were approved by the State since the last visit: B.S. Special Education, Mild/Moderate Elementary/Dual; B. S. Special Education Mild/Moderate Secondary; B. S. Middle School Education 4-8 English and B. S. Middle School Education 4-8 Mathematics. Also approved was an Page 5 M. Ed. Program with concentrations in Early Childhood Education, Technology Facilitator, Educational Technology Leadership; Early Interventionist (Birth to 8 years). These programs have not been implemented due to state mandated budget cuts and spending restraints. The M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction was implemented Fall 2009. The M.Ed. in Special Education is scheduled for implementation Fall 2010. The University no longer offers Industrial Arts Education, Communication and Theater Education, nor Special Education PreSchool Non- Categorical. Advanced Program changes include the addition of the Master’s Program in Educational Leadership (Educational Leader Level I).

The Unit has undergone major change in leadership since the last NCATE visit. Three different people served in the role of dean during the 2009 calendar year. The current dean joined the Unit on September 8, 2009. Two department heads are in a full-time, temporary status and the NCATE Coordinator role changed October 3, 2009. The Assessment Coordinator resigned 3 years ago and this had an impact on the Unit’s assessment system. Recruitment and screening of applicants has been ongoing since that time. The position will be filled when a qualified candidate is successfully recruited. The leadership change goes beyond the Unit to the University. The role of President changed on October 13, 2009 and the then Provost filled that role until Dr. Frank G. Pogue was appointed Interim President on December 15, 2009. On January 31, 2010 the Provost resigned and an Interim Provost took leadership on February 1, 2010. The leadership is admittedly transitional but the Unit and University are stable because organizational memory is still strong. Changes in leadership are an asset to the Unit because it affords an opportunity to re-examine and revise its operational procedures, policies and practices.