On November 6, 2014 at the NCSTA conference in Winston-Salem Abby Colley received the Outstanding Student Teacher Award. Abby is a well-deserving graduate from the Elementary Science Concentration and is currently teaching 4th grade at Ayden Elementary in Pitt County. When she was a student at ECU her clinical teacher stated, “She excelled in the classroom with her passion, creativity, and willingness to collaborate with other teachers… I have seen her dedication for this field in her lesson planning, success of implementation of goals taught, and her responses to questions asked by her students…She is deserving of this award.” Congratulations, Abby. We are proud to have you as one of our pirates!
First established in 2006, the ECU Provost’s Council on Teacher Education unites educator preparation efforts at the University. Coming out of the Teachers for New Era movement, the original focus of the Council was developing collaboration between teacher education and the arts and sciences. Today, the Provost’s Council’s focus has broadened to include all educator preparation programs at ECU, yet still centers on collaboration across the campus to prepare candidates.
The Provost’s Council on Teacher Education includes the Provost, the deans of the colleges which house Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) programs, the dean of the ECU Graduate School, and key faculty and administrators in the College of Education, including the Executive Director of Teacher Education and the Director of Assessment and Accreditation.
Educator preparation programs at ECU reside in the following colleges:
- College of Allied Health Sciences
- College of Fine Arts and Communication
- College of Human Ecology
- College of Education
- College of Health and Human Performance
- Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
The Provost’s Council meets quarterly to address EPP issues related to accreditation, enrollment, funding, and planning. More information is available on the Provost’s Council and EPP Leadership and Authority webpage.
The Provost’s Council is evidence of how the EPP at ECU meets NCATE Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources.
As part of the Teacher Quality Partnership, the College of Education recently worked with two local school districts to provide additional support for teacher interns. In Pitt and Greene Counties, Instructional Coaches were hired to help interns make the transition from student to teacher. These coaches worked with interns during both semesters of the internship, conducting in-class observations and providing targeted professional development.
A variety of instructional practices were developed with the assistance of the Instructional Coaches, including but not limited to:
- Facilitating activities individually, in small groups and whole groups
- Incorporating all levels of the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Utilizing technology to engage students with content
- Increasing the complexity of student engagement
- Using more effective teaching practices and research-based strategies
- Monitoring student learning outcomes
Multiple research measures indicate that the instructional coaching model has yielded statistically significant gains in teacher candidate edTPA performance assessment results, and increases in the use of best instructional practices. This increases the potential to change the effectiveness trajectory of first year teachers while leading to positive gains in teacher candidate performance and K-12 student achievement.
Funding for the Instructional Coaches ended at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year; however, the benefits of coaching are compelling teacher educators to reconsider the traditional student teaching triad of intern, clinical teacher and university supervisor in order to include more elements of instructional coaching. In tomorrow’s blog post, you will learn how candidates in the school principal preparation program are providing coaching to elementary education undergraduates as part of their junior year practicum.
Teachers and interns have positive reflections on the instructional coaching model in practice. To hear their testimony, please refer to;
The faculty at ECU is united by the University’s motto, Servire, which means “To Serve.” Faculty at ECU desire that service to be of the highest quality by setting and maintaining high standards for themselves, in alignment with NCATE/CAEP. Standard 5 states:
“Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.”
To provide the highest quality service, ECU first demands that their faculty be highly qualified. All instructors must meet the ECU credentialing requirements outlined prior to teaching at the institution. All course instructors have prior work experience in educational settings (P-12 experience preferred). In addition, EPP faculty members are highly qualified to teach within the content area with an earned doctorate degree or equivalent alternate credential (e.g., master’s degree or demonstrated expertise).
High quality service also demands that ECU faculty model best-professional practice in teaching. Student feedback is utilized by faculty to improve teaching practice. The institution is committed to improving the quality of the instrument used to gather student feedback. SPOTS, the Student Perceptions of Teaching survey, data are available to EPP faculty and program leadership to use as one of multiple assessments of faculty teaching.
High quality service also requires contributions to future innovations in teaching. All teacher education faculty maintain robust research agendas and actively contribute to knowledge generation in their areas of expertise. Data compiled from faculty scholarship entries in Sedona, ECU’s documentation system for faculty activity, indicate that ITP faculty are active in research (see 5.4.e – Samples of faculty scholarly activities).
To ensure the continuation of high quality service of its faculty, the EPP conducts systematic and comprehensive evaluations of faculty performance on an annual basis (summarized by the OFE Evaluation Web page). Multiple measures are used to evaluate faculty teaching, research, and service. The University administers a student feedback survey for each course section taught at the institution, and data is shared with individual faculty and department chairs for use in annual evaluations. The ECU OFE provides guidance to all units in the EPP for institutional policies for tenured or tenure track faculty including reappointment, promotion, tenure, and post-tenure review.
For more information and examples related to Standard 5, please visit the NCATE/CAEP Exhibit Rooms on the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s website.
According to the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program website, The Principal Fellows Program provides a competitive, merit-based scholarship loan to individuals of exceptional academic ability who have teaching or relevant experience and who desire to enter school administration in a North Carolina public school. Through this scholarship loan, fellows have the opportunity to pursue their studies full-time and earn a Master of School Administration (MSA) degree in two years. The program consists of one year of full-time academic study at one of eleven designated colleges in the UNC system, followed by one year of a full-time internship in a North Carolina public school while attending school part-time. Fellows are provided with and must participate in regularly scheduled enrichment experiences to augment their learning opportunities as they prepare for the challenges of being a principal or assistant principal. Fellows must agree to practice as full-time administrators for four years within six years following the completion of their degree as repayment for their scholarship loan.
The opportunity to become a school administrator is an exciting one to be sure. Personally, I am extremely excited to be pursuing a MSA degree because it will give me the opportunity to serve staff, students, parents, and the community in which I will be working to a greater degree than was possible in my role as a classroom teacher. Elbert Maynard, current MSA Principal Fellow, explains this best in his perspective on becoming a school administrator. He stated, “Students are in desperate need of good teachers-those who will challenge them with high expectations in a caring and respectful way, in order to prepare them for the challenges their futures hold. Therefore, why would a teacher leave the classroom to become an administrator? An administrator can do the same thing for a staff of teachers that a teacher does for his/her students. By being a support for teachers, an administrator can influence an entire school. If an administrator can positively influence two teachers, then that administrator doubled the number of students positively affected. If an administrator can positively influence 50 teachers, 100 teachers…the positive effects on students’ lives grow exponentially.”
The program design clearly addresses the idea that individuals would be best served by being able to focus solely on their studies during the first year. According to Elbert Maynard, “Dividing time between a full-time job and studies in an MSA program takes away from both. I would be taking away from my students by dividing my attention between them and pursuing an advanced degree; the reverse is also true as I would be taking away from my potential as a future administrator by not focusing solely on my studies while pursuing the MSA. The Principal Fellows Program is a blessing that allows individuals to focus solely on becoming the best administrator they can be, without taking away from the students those teachers have a responsibility to. Not only that, the Principal Fellows Program has a prestigious reputation of excellence that any MSA candidate would be honored to be a part of.”
East Carolina University has had the largest cohort of fellows among the eleven universities for at least the last four years. This speaks to the attractiveness and success of the university. The MSA program at East Carolina University prides itself on being grounded in service to our surrounding school region. With a focus on servant-leadership, students in the MSA program at East Carolina University are required to complete six Service Leadership Projects where they go into schools within our region to serve as problem-solvers, collaborators, and change agents. The authentic learning received by fellows provides them with the knowledge and confidence they need to further prepare them for the role of principal and assistant principal. We are actually given the opportunity to go into schools and provide assistance and support to staff and students in the role of principal or assistant principal. Elbert Maynard stated he chose East Carolina University because, “ECU is known statewide-even nationwide-as having excellent teacher and administrator programs. Having enrolled in the programs here at ECU, I can report that this reputation is not exaggerated–if anything, it is understated. My courses taken, and my experiences as a GA working with the Office of Accreditation and Assessment, have been more valuable to me than I could possibly quantify with words. Success as an administrator hinges on, in large part, the preparation gained through an MSA program. I can predict confidently that I will be successful as a future administrator due to the excellence of the program here at ECU.” I concur with Elbert’s view about East Carolina University.
MSA Principal Fellow
East Carolina University
The ECU Instructional Technology program was well represented at this year’s AECT (Association for Educational Communication and Technology) International Convention held in Jacksonville, FL, November 4-8. Members of the ECU faculty and masters program alumni shared their current research and participated in a variety of AECT organizational activities.
Professor Abbie Brown expressed great pride in ECU’s representation at the event, “It was deeply gratifying, and just plain fun, to see our alums engaging with the international community of instructional design/technology.”
Highlights of the convention included a prominent display of Dr. Sugar’s most recent book, Studies of ID Practices: A Review and Synthesis of the Research on ID Current Practices (published by Springer); Dr. Abbie Brown’s receipt of an Immersive Learning Award for the podcast series, Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, & Learning Sciences; Dr. Slagter Van Tryon’s management in organizing the PacifiCorp instructional design competition; Dr. Strycker’s leadership in the Teacher Education Division; and Dr. Luterbach’s research presentations, one of which was a collaborative endeavor with alumnus Ken Hubbell.
The North Carolina Council Teachers of Mathematics held their state conference Oct 30-31, 2014 in Greensboro, NC. A delegation of 21 Senior 1, secondary mathematics education students were among those representing ECU as attendees at this event. Upon their return from the conference, these students created posters highlighting several interesting or useful ideas gleaned from the sessions and workshops.
On Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014, these students hosted a special Gamma Student Chapter event to share their posters with other mathematics education students and faculty. Over 50 mathematics education students and faculty attended the event. The Senior 1 students talked to visitors about their posters and experiences at the conference. The active engagement between presenters and attendees provided participants with a greater appreciation of the exciting happenings in North Carolina mathematics education.
During the 2006 NCATE accreditation visit, the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) unit at ECU received three AFIs or Areas for Improvement. According to the NCATE Glossary, an Area for Improvement is:
A statement cited by the Board of Examiners or the Unit Accreditation Board indicating that a unit has not met expected levels of achievement in one or more elements of a standard. The Board of Examiners may cite one or more areas for improvement and still recommend that the standard is met.
The EPP at ECU received one AFI in Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation, and two AFIs in Standard 4: Diversity. Specifically, they are:
AFI in Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation:
- The assessment system does not certify that faculty regularly and systematically analyze data composites in order to improve programs and unit operations. (ITP and ADV)
AFI for Standard 4: Diversity:
- Commitments to diversity are not consistently aligned in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. (ITP only)
- Candidates have limited opportunities to interact with faculty members from diverse backgrounds. (ITP and ADV)
Since 2006, the EPP has worked diligently to address each AFI and reports on its progress to date in the CAEP Annual Report. Future 2015 CAEP Preparation Blog posts will address how the EPP has tackled each AFI.
Following the 2006 NCATE review, significant changes were made to the EPP Professional Studies Core (PSC). The PSC underwent major changes in 2008-09 as part of revisions mandated by the NCDPI concerning initial licensure programs. Revisions were also made in 2009-10 for advanced teacher licensure programs.
The new PSC requires all initial teacher candidates entering Upper Division in fall 2010 to successfully complete diversity in education coursework, either EDUC 3002 or a CTE approved social science course. More recently, the OAA provides grade reports for EDUC 3002 organized by program area to inform course improvements. Likewise, in the NCDPI revised programs, all new MAEd candidates admitted in fall 2011 and afterward, are required to complete a Graduate Evidence Portfolio, as well as a Diversity Advocacy project, as part of the required MAEd core course (EDUC 6001).
All candidates in the EPP are required to complete field experiences and clinical practice (internships). The 38 districts in the LCSN—where ITP candidates are required to complete internship placements—have P-12 student populations averaging 44 percent minority student populations. Many LCSN districts have high percentages of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. Data from NCDPI on ELL’s is not available, but LCSN partners report the increase in Hispanic populations during the past five years correlates to an increase in ELL students in their districts.
In an effort to align with NCATE/CAEP Standard 4, OAA focused two dashboards on the subject of diversity. Standard 4 states:
“The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates can demonstrate and apply proficiencies related to diversity. Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse populations, including higher education and P–12 school faculty, candidates, and students in P–12 schools.”
These dashboards provide a summary of advanced programs candidate performance on Graduate Evidence 2, Cultural Proficiency (COE_1.9) and a profile of P-12 student populations in placement schools (COE_1.6).
For more information and examples related to Standard 4, please visit the NCATE/CAEP Exhibit Rooms on the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s website.
The Senior Year Internship is a required clinical experience for teacher education majors at East Carolina University. It is a two-semester experience within a public school classroom, under the mentorship and coaching of a specially trained and licensed clinical teacher. The Senior Year Internship is designed to provide students with opportunities to internalize and apply previous teaching and learning experience, as well as opportunities to teach and grow professionally through observation, planning, teaching, assessment, and reflective work with an effective classroom teacher.
In Senior I, a teaching intern’s first semester, students acclimate themselves to the public school environment by gaining an understanding of policies and procedures, multiple roles of classroom teachers, the diverse needs of the students, as well as the beginning stages of a range of experiences of curricular planning, delivery of instruction, and assessment.
The second semester, Senior II, is an emersion semester of involvement with clinical teachers providing constant feedback to the intern about the teaching and learning process. In addition, the intern will complete a portfolio to document his or her growth and development as a classroom teacher with support from the clinical teacher and the university supervisor.
The Senior Year Internship is designed to allow students to gain practical experience and attain a level of competency needed for a high functioning novice beginning teacher. There is a key focus on specific and timely feedback from clinical teachers and university supervisors which is meant to augment the intern’s growth. The internship is invaluable in that it is practical learning combined with expert coaching from seasoned and trained teachers and supervisors.
Interns are generally able to make smooth transitions into their own classrooms once they are hired because of the depth of knowledge and experience they have acquired in this experience.
For more information regarding the Senior Year Internship, please see the Teacher Education Handbook.
The Senior Year Internship is a central feature of the initial teacher preparation programs at ECU and aligns with NCATE Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice