Category Archives: Office of Assessment and Accreditation (OAA)

News from the Office of Assessment and Accreditation

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Why Does Accreditation Matter? A Student Perspective.

As a student, I can recall several times when professors have shared that the program I am in is “accredited.”  My mental response was “That’s nice.”  I didn’t care.  All I wanted to know was when the next assignment was due, and what I had to do in order to pass that assignment, the class, and then get my degree.  Sure, it is great that my program has been given a stamp of approval by some mystery third party, but all of that is outside my realm of experiences.
Then a friend of mine at another university shared that they had failed their bid at re-accreditation.  When she graduated, her degree would be from a non-accredited program.  I asked her what that meant for her.  She told me that it would be harder for her to find a job because employers would see her degree as having less value than one from an applicant who had graduated from an accredited program.  Some employers might not even consider her qualified, despite her degree.  She had always wanted to move to the New York-New Jersey area, and now she wasn’t sure she could find a job in that competitive market.  New Jersey actually has a law requiring applicants to notify employers if their degree is from a non-accredited institution.  At that moment, I became alarmed.  Does that mean that all of my hard work might come to mean nothing if the program I was in suddenly lost its accreditation?
All of a sudden my immediate focus of passing the current assignment and class seemed less relevant.  After all, my current assignment and class would mean nothing if I couldn’t find a job after receiving my degree.  I was upset for my friend, who had always studied hard to maintain a high GPA so that she could go anywhere once she graduated.  Now her options were limited.  Attending and graduating from an accredited program suddenly became important to me, and I realized how important it was all along.

In today’s world of online universities and degrees, employers are concerned about hiring quality individuals.  In today’s job market, it can be hard to find a job when there are few positions and many applicants.  Employers look to whittle down the applicants they consider, and one of the first filters they use is whether or not the applicant has attended an accredited program.

Don’t let all of your hard work be in vain.  Make sure your program is accredited, or you may have just gone to school for nothing.

Written by:
Elbert E. Maynard
MSA Principal Fellow
East Carolina University

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CAEP Prep: What is the LCSN?

The Latham Clinical Schools Network (LCSN) is a network of 38 public school systems located throughout eastern North Carolina, who collaborate with the EPP at ECU in order to form a school partnership among teacher candidates and faculty.  LCSN provides quality field placements for pre-service teachers with trained clinical teachers in diverse public school settings.

The LCSN is critical to the EPP successfully meeting the expectations of Standard 3, Field Experiences and Clinical Practice, Collaboration between the Unit and School Partners.  Collaboration with the LCSN allows the EPP to strategically and proactively address concerns.  One common issue collaboratively addressed through LCSN was the need for criminal background checks for field experiences (practicum) and clinical practice (internship).

The in-depth collaboration between ECU EPP and LCSN partners leads to synergistic gains for the partners.  For the COE, partnerships from the LCSN support the TQP grant, focused on the clinical practice component.  Instructional Coaching in LCSN member district (Pitt County Schools and Greene County Schools) was an original TQP clinical practice reform, and is also a Pirate CODE innovation.  For LCSN, professional development is provided annually for all clinical teachers who mentor an intern during clinical practice through the fall and spring Clinical Teacher Conference and through other annual conferences, themed workshops, and collaborative professional development opportunities.  These events unite EPP faculty and clinical partners in support of candidates.

Prior to the Site Visit, it is important for our public school partners in the LCSN to know about the EPP’s programs and Pirate CODE.  LCSN representatives serve on the Council for Teacher Education, and are the crucial communication conduit for the EPP to the public schools.

Once the Site Visit schedule is determined, individual faculty, candidates, clinical teachers, university supervisors and other EPP stakeholders may possibly be invited to meet with the Site Visit Team.

Learn more about the Latham Clinical Schools Network: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/oce/Clinical_Schools.cfm

Latham_Clinical_Schools_Network_forPD

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Video Grand Rounds

Video Grand Rounds (VGR) provides teacher candidates with an introductory framework for classroom observations and subsequent faculty-guided discussions. This experience provides a conceptual foundation for their future study in teacher education.

Based on the medical grand rounds model, teacher candidates view video segments of typical classrooms, complete structured classroom observation protocols, and then debrief with faculty regarding the observations.

The common classroom observations provide teacher candidates with a common language to discuss quality teaching throughout their programs. These shared experiences lead to in-depth discussions of best practices.

VGR is currently integrated into the Early Experience course in the Elementary Education, Special Education, English Education, Birth-Kindergarten Education and Health Education programs.

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College of Education’s Professional Development for using Educational Technology

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation(OAA) along with COE IT offers professional development geared toward the faculty and staff in the COE.  The workshops cover training on Blackboard, TEMS, social media and the use of video in courses.  Most sessions are offered on Tuesday afternoons under the theme of “Tech Training Tuesdays”.  The workshops are all offered through ECU’s employee training system called Cornerstone (http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/cornerstone/).  This allows the faculty to track their professional development through out the year.  More information about professional development available to those in the College of Education is available on the COE Professional Development for Faculty/Staff webpage (http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/oaa/facultypd.cfm). COE requires that all faculty teaching distance education course have 6 hours of PD a year.

In designing training for faculty and staff The OAA gets feedback from faculty on what they want to see for training options.  One of the biggest complaints that the OAA heard from faculty is that they are tired of the “one and done” model of training workshops. In trying to find a solution to this dissatisfaction OAA has decided to run a professional learning community (PLC) pertaining to social media.  The PLC looks at how social media can be used both in the classroom setting and for developing a personal learning  network.  The PLC will meet multiple time during the fall semester and once during the spring.  The hope of running a PLC is that faculty will look to create their own PLC’s in the future on topics that they find relevant for PD.
Fall 2014 COE Professional Development Flier

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Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Dashboard Project Focuses Data Collection

Data includes the number of university supervisors and cooperating teachers who have been assigned to an initial licensure candidate for the final semester of internship, and the percentage holding a license and/or additional training in their supervision area.

Data includes the number of university supervisors and cooperating teachers who have been assigned to an initial licensure candidate for the final semester of internship, and the percentage holding a license and/or additional training in their supervision area.

Beginning in Fall 2012, the College of Education began collecting and compiling data to be included in the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Dashboard Project.  The EPP Dashboards cover all educator preparation programs at ECU, including those in and outside the College of Education.  Until this time only university dashboards had been available.  After reviewing the NCATE/CAEP Standards, the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation decided to focus the dashboards on performance measures, collected at different points throughout the program, for both the undergraduate and graduate levels. COE OAA then schedules the dashboards for updating each summer.  The most recent updates for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years will be posted on IPAR’s University Dashboard website no later than October 2014.

The data collected and summarized by COE OAA in the EPP Dashboards include:

  • Graduate Evidences 1 and 2
  • edTPA
  • Final Progress Reports
  • Internship Grades
  • Senior I Methods Grades
  • Diversity of Field Experiences
  • Undergraduate Dispositions
  • Average GPA at admittance to the program
  • Cooperating Teacher and University Supervisor Licensure

The EPP Dashboards can be viewed on the University Dashboard website.

 

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CAEP Prep: ECU’s Pirate CODE Process

The ECU Pirate CODE features a set of seven coordinated innovations linked throughout the teacher education curriculum and clinical practice. Each innovation is evolving through a series of carefully planned stages, to institutionalize each innovation in the Department of Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education. Once refined and data analysis proves it an effective model, the innovation is scaled up and implemented in other teacher preparation programs across the EPP.

TIThe stages of the ECU Pirate CODE begin with small scale, squishy pilots and more through a carefully planned set of stages to refine, study, and expand the innovation.

Since the submission and approval of the Pirate CODE, the Research on Practice model has evolved within the unique and complete context of the ECU EPP. The language of the model has morphed into an implementation language from the original descriptors rooted in the R&D research literature. The Pirate CODE TI and model have been presented in multiple venues across the EPP and at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division K Research Summit as well as at an invited session to the 2014 AERA Annual Meeting.

#ECU_CAEPisComing

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COE Faculty Engaged at NC-ACTE Fall Forum

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On September 25-26, 2014, the NC Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators held its annual fall Teacher Education Forum in Raleigh, NC. 

The Teacher Education Forum is a wonderful opportunity for teacher educators engaged in all aspects of preparation–from recruitment to curriculum, to clinical practice, to induction–to convene annually.

College of Education faculty presenting sessions at the 2014 Fall Forum included:

  • Patricia Anderson (ELMID)
  • Jamin Carson (ELMID)
  • Kristen Cuthrell (ELMID)
  • Laura King (SEFR)
  • Diana Lys (OAA)
  • Linda Patriarca (Dean’s Office)
  • Lora Lee Smith Canter (SEFR)
  • Michael Vitale (SEFR)
  • Karen Voytecki (SEFR)
  • Kathi Wilhite (SEFR)
  • Jennifer Williams (SEFR)

To learn more about NC-ACTE, visit their website.

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CAEP Prep: Introduction to the edTPA

The edTPA is a pre-service performance assessment designed to determine a teacher Plan_Assess_Instructcandidate’s readiness to teach.  It is the first nationally available, educator designed performance assessment for candidates entering the teaching profession.  The edTPA requires the teacher candidate to plan, instruct and assess a 3 to 5 hour learning segment while developing an electronic portfolio of evidence of teaching competency. The assessment is completed during the second semester of the teaching internship. The 27 subject-specific versions of the assessment share a common architecture and common language.

The edTPA was introduced to the College of Education during the spring semester of AY 2010-2011.  Three program areas participated in the national field test of the original version of the TPA, as it was known at the time.  Since then, all initial licensure programs have adopted the edTPA as a summative assessment.  During AY 2011-12, 284 portfolios were submitted and evaluated.  The number of portfolios increased to 575 in AY 2012-13.  During the most recent administration of the edTPA, 535 portfolios were submitted and evaluated.

Authored by Dr. Ellen E. Dobson

Pirate CODE

CAEP Prep: Pirate CODE Innovations

caepThe ECU College of Education is one of several teacher education institutions nationwide to receive approval from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) to implement a transformation initiative (TI) called Pirate CODE (Continuum of Developing Expertise) as the framework for its spring 2015 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation visit.

Pirate CODE brings seven research-based teacher education assessment initiatives that have previously operated independently throughout the college under one umbrella to strengthen and develop teacher candidates.

Students enrolled in the College’s Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education programs begin working with the first component of Pirate CODE during their sophomore year and experience different components throughout their junior and senior years. Each component is designed to improve and assess teacher preparedness using different, but complementary, methods.

A brief overview of the TI Innovations

  1. Video Grand Rounds- Teacher candidates are given an introductory framework for classroom observations and subsequent discussions guided by faculty.
  2. ISLES- Pre-service candidates develop a common framework of instructional practices which highlight effective evidence-based strategies for increasing student achievement through a series of online modules.
  3. edTPA Preparation Modules- Informal perspectives and skills are gained based on interdisciplinary research that complements traditional teacher education programs and facilitates student edTPA™ performance.
  4. Instructional Coaching- Instructional coaches maximize teacher candidates’ growth in the internship experience through instructional coaching of performance.
  5. Professional Development for Clinical Teachers and University Supervisors- The local level of professional development consists of departments within the College of Education: The Office of Professional Development and Student Outreach, the Office of Assessment and Accreditation/Instructional Technology, the Office of Clinical Experiences, and the Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center.
  6. Co-Teaching- The Co-Teaching partnership enables clinical teachers to provide consistent mentoring, giving interns the time and support necessary to gain skills required to teach successfully.
  7. edTPA™- The edTPA™ is a valid and reliable summative capstone assessment to assess candidate readiness and provide data to inform program improvement.

For more information on each of the innovations, please visit the Pirate CODE website.

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CAEP Prep: NCATE-Legacy Transformation Initiative

ECU’s accreditation cycle was extended by one year – from Spring 2014 to Spring 2015 – when our Transformation Initiative (TI) was approved. As a result, ECU was allowed to complete this accreditation visit under the old NCATE Standards, not the newly approved CAEP Standards. As a result, ECU is hosting an NCATE-Legacy Transformation Initiative accreditation visit.

The NCATE Unit Standards (2008) are:

  • Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
  • Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation
  • Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
  • Standard 4: Diversity
  • Standard 5: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development
  • Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources

More information about the NCATE Unit Standards (2008) and their indicators are available at http://www.ncate.org/.