Category Archives: Office of Assessment and Accreditation (OAA)

News from the Office of Assessment and Accreditation

Dr. Christina Tschida

College of Education Faculty share Research at National CAEP Convention

GREENVILLE, N.C. (9/29/15) — The success of ECU’s recent Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation visit led to four COE faculty being invited to share their research at the Fall 2015 CAEP Convention in Washington, D.C. Two presentations highlighted the on-going efforts from ECU’s Pirate CODE (Continuum of Developing Expertise), its Transformation Initiative for CAEP accreditation, and on-going collaboration with CAEP to disseminate research conducted in relation to accreditation.

Dr. Christina Tschida and Dr. Elizabeth Fogarty led an invited presentation, “Co-Teaching:  Conceptualizing a New Model for Today’s Teacher Education Programs.” The session presented a conceptual framework for ECU’s 2:1 co-teaching model which pairs two teacher candidates with one cooperating teacher. This model is of great interest to CAEP and other teacher preparation programs as a way to build stronger collaboration skills among teacher candidates and engage high quality clinical placements.

When Dr. Jennifer Carinci, Director of Research, Innovation, and Data Strategy at CAEP, extended the invitation to Drs. Tschida and Fogarty she wrote, “CAEP would like to promote examples of research conducted in relation to using accreditation data and evidence related to our standards beyond accountability purposes for continuous improvement of providers and to inform the field.”

In another session, Dr. Diana Lys and Dr. Kristen Cuthrell led CAEP Convention participants in an interactive presentation, “Engaging Faculty in Data Rich Program Improvement: Strategies Tested in a Transformation Initiative (TI).” The session presented four strategies used in the Pirate CODE work and explored ways other program may adopt or modify them for their individual contexts.

The research emerging from ECU’s Transformation Initiative continues to be of great interest to CAEP. Dr. Carinci noted, “(T)he engagement of educator preparation providers in research on what works, what doesn’t work, why, and under what conditions, such as the work undertaken by East Carolina University as part of their Transformation Initiative, is crucial to advancing the field.”


Upcoming Professional Development Offering: Instructional Design for Online Student Success

The NEW Instructional Design for Online Student Success professional development series will focus on motivating and retaining online learners by developing a course that incorporates interactive tools, student collaboration and a variety of assessment activities. Topics will also include strategies for creating and fostering a sense of community in online or blended courses.

The first session, Collaborative Tools in Blackboard, will focus on using the collaboration tools that are readily available within Blackboard and many other learning management software suites including groups, discussions, wikis and blogs. Both novice and experienced online instructors are encouraged to attend the session, as it will focus on sharing collaborative ideas among faculty in addition to showing how to use these tools.

Collaborative Tools in Blackboard-Part I will be offered face to face on Thursday, September 17th at 1:00 in Speight 239. Participants are encouraged to bring their own device to participate in the interactive session. The session will also be offered online Thursday, September 24th at 2:00 via Saba Meeting.

Part 2 of Collaborative Tools in Blackboard will provide a more focused look at one or more of the collaborative tools discussed in Part 1 based on participant interest and feedback provided during the sessions.

Faculty and staff can register for these sessions via Cornerstone. For more information contact Holly Fales at

View all detailed descriptions of all COE Faculty/Staff Professional Development opportunities at

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OAA presents at VBEA

The Virginia Business Education Association held their annual summer conference at the The Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach, VA. The Conference, which took place from July twenty seventh to July thirtieth, was entitled “VBEA…Charting the Course for Success“. The conference hosted a wide range of business associated topics from Adobe Dreamweaver to Programming 101.
Jason Whited, Instructional Technology Consultant from the Office of Assessment and Accreditation was asked to host two workshops covering Social Media and Google Apps for Education on mobile devices. The first session, “Google apps; Collaborating Across Devices!” looked at how Google Apps for Education allows users to collaborate across devices. The second session, “Using Social Media in Education; How to Harness the Power of Tweeting, Liking and Pinning!” looked at the exploding phenomenon that is social media and how it is shaping education. Participants were introduced to social media and many of the available tools to help harness its expansive potential not only for the classroom but for professional development as well. Both sessions were attended by enthusiastic teachers who had many questions and comments on the topics. If you would like to know more about any of these topics feel free to contact Jason Whited at

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Professional Development Opportunities for 2015-2016

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s professional development for the 2015-16 academic school year will have two different overarching themes for participants. The workshops will be presented in two different formats to better fit the schedules and preferred learning styles of those interested in attending.  Participants will have the opportunity to attend either a face-to-face or an online session.

Google Apps for Education – A Progressive Workshop Series

Google Apps for Education are becoming a powerful tool in the Pk-12 education world.  Google has created a cost-effective way to bring collaboration tools to the classroom.  This has led to greater integration and implementation of this tool in the classroom with many of our LCSN partners using them.  If you have any questions contact Jason Whited at

Instructional Design for Online Student Success

This professional development series will focus on motivating and retaining online learners by developing a course that incorporates interactive tools, student collaboration, and a variety of assessment activities. In addition, these sessions will include strategies for creating and fostering a sense of community in online or blended courses.  If you have any questions about this workshop contact Holly Fales at

For detailed descriptions of each of the sessions, please visit College of Education Professional Development for Faculty and Staff.

ECU faculty and staff can register for these session via Cornerstone.


COE Instructional Technology Consultants Attend Pitt County Tech Fest

On August 10th, College of Education Instructional Technology Consultants, Christine Wilson, Jason Whited and Holly Fales attended Pitt County Schools’ 10th Annual Tech Fest at South Central High School. Over 500 educators from Pitt County and surrounding school districts gathered at Tech Fest to learn about the latest ways to implement technology in the classroom.

Teachers, media specialists, and technology facilitators from across Eastern North Carolina conducted a majority of the sessions with several technology vendors also presenting. Popular sessions included Google Apps, NearPod, and Canvas LMS. In addition, teachers shared examples of projects and lessons from their classes that utilized technology to reach a vast range of learners. The majority of sessions were interactive, with attendees using their own devices to participate.

The Pitt County Robotics Team provided entertainment during lunch with a demonstration of Roboxsumo, a cost effective robotics activity where robots are constructed of cardboard. Participants also had an opportunity to try 3D printing, Stop Motion Video and Green Screening throughout the afternoon.

Attending Tech Fest provided an opportunity for the COE ITC team to connect with school partners and gain additional insight into how technology is being utilized in local classrooms. For more information about Pitt County Tech Fest visit

Ellen Dobson

Dr. Ellen Dobson Serves on National Taskstream Panel

Photos Courtesy of Taskstream

In June 2015, Dr. Ellen Dobson, Assistant Director in the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation, was an invited panelist at Taskstream’s CollabEx Live in New York City. Dr. Dobson participated on a panel addressing CAEP standards and program assessment with Mel Horton of Central Connecticut State University and Courtney Peagler of Taskstream. She also led a roundtable discussion on the use of Taskstream in preparation for the CAEP accreditation process.

In addition to serving on  the panel, Dr. Dobson was also recently recognized as a Taskstream Knowledge Ambassador. This group is a collection of Taskstream clients and advocates who are especially committed to advancing assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses. They work together to promote dialogue and engagement around best practices in assessment.

ECU has used Taskstream since 2009.

Ellen Dobson Leading Discussion

Bob Porter

Grant Writing Workshop Series Opportunity Available

Grant Writing Workshop Leader Robert Porter, PhD, has presented grant writing to leading universities and medical schools internationally. He is coming to ECU this Fall to conduct three focused sessions. RSVP early as seating is limited to forty (40) per session.

All sessions will be held in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Room 1

Session 1: Writing Successful Grants –  September 22, 2015 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
Session 2: Grants in the Humanities and Social Sciences – September 22, 2015 (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Session 3: Writing Proposals to the US Department of Education – September 23, 2015 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

To attend, please RSVP to :

Start arriving at 8:00 a.m. for the morning sessions and at 1:00 p.m. for the afternoon session.

Session 1: Writing Successful Grants

This is an introductory workshop that covers basic principles of good grant writing, starting with the phrasing of a compelling research theme to the actual construction of the proposal itself. Major differences between traditional “academic prose” and persuasive grant writing are highlighted. Common pitfalls that can lead to early rejection of good ideas are reviewed, matched with practical strategies for better writing. Special attention will be paid to the perspectives of grant reviewers and how to write in ways that will meet their expectations.

  •  Killer mistakes in grant writing and how to avoid them
  •  Two critical steps that will double your chances for success
  •  How to win over the grant reviewer
  •  Simple keys to a more powerful writing style
  •  Visualization: Using illustrations to “sell” your project

Session 2: Grants in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Starting with the National Endowment for the Humanities, this workshop will cover a number of funding sources of particular interest to disciplines broadly grouped in the humanities and social sciences. Specific grant programs will be reviewed, together with eligibility requirements, funding levels, and lists of projects recently funded by each program. Key elements of the NEH grant review process will be covered, and excerpts from successful proposals will be highlighted. Additionally, participants will be guided to numerous opportunities posted by private foundations.

  • Overview of NEH mission, structure and budget
  • Fellowships and residency programs
  • Awards targeted to junior faculty
  • Support for graduate study and doctoral dissertations
  • Key do’s and don’ts for success

Session 3: Writing Proposals to the US Department of Education

Of the wide range of grant programs offered by the US Department of Education, a select few are targeted to university-based researchers. This session will focus on funding tracks within key DoE divisions such as the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). Guidance will be provided on locating current and future funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, proposal structure, and DoE grant review procedures. Excerpts from successful proposals will be examined as models for preparing key sections. Topics to be covered include:

  • Navigating the DoE grant process
  • Deconstructing the Application Notice
  • Organizing the proposal
  • Understanding DoE grant review and selection criteria
  • Writing critical proposal elements: Need for Project, Research Objectives, Quality of Project Design, Quality of Project Personnel, and Project Evaluation

For more information, please visit

Dr. Linda Patriarca

East Carolina University’s Own Dr. Linda Patriarca Nationally Recognized

Dr. Linda A. Patriarca is named one of “The 30 Most Influential Deans of Education in the United States ” according to a new list. This will leave the College of Education at East Carolina University in a great position as she steps down and hands the reigns to Dr. B Grant Hayes who will be taking over as dean at the end of July.

In preparing the listing of Deans of Education, the researchers’ goal was “showcasing how they have had an invaluable impact not only on the field of education as a whole, but also on the lives of the future teachers of America whom they have shepherded through their programs.”

The list was compiled by researchers at Mometrix Test Preparation. The list was compiled through analysis of state and national awards and honors, education program rankings, degree program rankings and level of pay received by graduates of the teaching programs. It was developed as a way to honor individuals dedicated to educating the future workforce.


edTPA Data Help Ensure Readiness to Teach

Dr. Diana Lys, Director of the Office of Assessment and Accreditation

I recently had the pleasure and honor of delivering the keynote address for the 2015 edTPA Mid-Atlantic Implementation Conference in Towson, Maryland. As a longtime supporter and champion of observation- and performance-based educator preparation and assessment, I was eager to share with peers from across the nation who are at different places on their journey with edTPA.

First, I wanted to commend each person for being there. By the virtue of their attendance and leadership, participants were helping shift the negative tone of dialogue around teacher preparation by highlighting innovative practices and committing to positive change. At the core of the narrative is a shared rallying call to ensure each teacher candidate enters tomorrow’s classroom ready to teach.

Quality teacher preparation matters, and too much external criticism of teacher preparation exists for the field to be fighting against itself. As a field, we have a moral obligation to prepare the best possible beginning teachers for school children; to ensure each graduate is ready for his or her first day of school. edTPA is a positive, uniting step forward.

For example, teacher educators are practically drowning in data. Yet what are we doing with it? In a program without actionable teacher candidate performance data, program improvement efforts often lack momentum or direction. At East Carolina University, our faculty were convinced our students were well prepared, but we couldn’t prove it. Something was missing. That something was a shared, validated summative assessment confirming the program’s outcomes.

Common Data Get Oars “Rowing in Unison”

Today, we use edTPA data to plan our program-improvement journey. By using a common performance assessment, all of the institution’s oars begin rowing in unison. The educative nature of edTPA helps programs to identify strengths and gaps and offers direction for improvements.

edTPA data help to build a culture of inquiry; again, the educative nature of edTPA has a uniting power for faculty, bringing them together to examine candidate portfolios and to assess their programs at a deeper level. In many ways, edTPA helped to break down the tall, isolating silos in teacher education.

edTPA is one improvement that launched others. We are developing new embedded signature assessments as formative metrics prior to edTPA. We are reconceptualizing our clinical practice through a 2:1 coteaching model, and early data and partner feedback are very positive.

As director of assessment and accreditation, I can’t underscore enough the power and value of edTPA in our accreditation process for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—a process that builds like a wave. edTPA was an essential uniting factor across our educator preparation programs, allowing us to surf that wave rather than letting it pummel us into the sand. With the right leadership, edTPA:

  • Provides valid and reliable candidate performance data
  • Fosters a culture of evidence in your teacher preparation program
  • Informs evidence-based program improvement

Let’s Not Waste Our Time

In a recent commencement speech to her son’s graduating class, ABC news correspondent Martha Raddatz said, “Don’t waste your time on those who don’t bring out the best in you.”

Similarly, let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t bring out the best in our candidates and our programs. Let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t inform our program improvement efforts and that fail to drive our programs in a positive direction.

Let’s focus the energy of our people, our program improvement efforts, and our analysis on data that are valid, reliable, and content and context specific.

And finally, let’s not be silent about what is best—what matters for the field. Make our voices heard as we endeavor to expand our reach with edTPA—blog, tweet, post, share your stories.

This article was also published to the EdPrepMatters blog at

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College of Education Alumni lead the pack of East Carolina University Alumni on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has ventured into the higher education world in a way that allows institutions to connect not only with alumni and current students but with prospective students as well. It has gathered data from all profiles where education has been associated with East Carolina University and allowed the data to be searchable. If you go to ECU’s Higher Education LinkedIn page you will see that COE grads are on top of the list for where they work and what they doECU LinkedIn profile