Discussion of Assessment Results
1) Reflecting on this year’s assessment(s), how does the evidence of student learning impact your faculty’s confidence in the program being reviewed; how does that analysis change when compared with previous assessment evidence?
The data obtained from the 2011-12 assessments confirm that the Teacher Education program effectively prepares caring, confident novice teachers. Previous assessments indicated that students in the Elementary Education program needed more instruction in teaching reading. In response to that need, the department added a course titled: “Reading Instruction in the Primary Grades (K-2)” and modified the existing reading course to “Reading Instruction in the Intermediate Grades (3-6).” The department also modified practica in Levels 2 and 3 to provide students with more opportunities to practice reading instruction. Current assessment results suggest that the Elementary Education students are more confident in their teaching skills overall. Continuous program improvement is a guiding principle in the Teacher Education Department. As noted in item 3 below, the department recently conducted a year-long self-study that resulted in several recommendations for program improvement. As the department prepares for the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Inquiry Brief Proposal Review in 2014, the faculty and staff will continue to assess student learning in order to make further improvements. Overall, the faculty and staff are confident that it provides a high-quality teacher education preparation program.
2) With whom did you share the results of the year’s assessment efforts?
Assessment data were shared with the department faculty and staff. Data were also shared with secondary content departments through the University Council on Teacher Education (UCTE).
- Admission requirements: Beginning fall 2012, applicants to the teacher education elementary and special education programs will be required to pass the appropriate Praxis II test and also take the CAAP Writing (essay) assessment. Secondary applicants will be encouraged to take the Praxis II since it is a prerequisite for student teaching, but will not be required to take it until approval from the University Council on Teacher Education (UCTE). Secondary students may continue to take the entire CAAP test.
- Student grades: If a student receives two C- grades in any professional course, provisional admission status from the program will be revoked. After termination, a student may reapply after one year. This applies to professional coursework and practica only.
- Lab school: An exploratory committee was formed to look into the viability of starting a charter school that would also serve as a lab school. This initiative resulted in a joint committee being formed between Teacher Education and Child and Family Studies to develop a proposal for a charter kindergarten. The proposal was approved and Weber State Charter Academy will open fall 2013.
- Graded practica: In order to increase the rigor of each program, faculty developed a proposal to incorporate a graded practicum in levels 2 and 3 of the Elementary Education program and the Secondary Professional core (special education already has the pre-student teaching graded practicum).
- Math proposal: To address the need for teachers with stronger math content knowledge and pedagogy, a committee was formed to begin discussions with the Math department to explore the possibility of cross-listing Math 2010 and 2020, which would enable Teacher Education to provide an integrated three-course progression for math (Math 2010, Math 2020, and EDUC 4300/4640). The committee would also track CAAP, Praxis, and LMT scores. The math progression would also fit into the proposed 2+2 (associates – bachelors) program.
- Course realignment: A committee was formed to review the course sequence in the elementary and special education programs. As a result, the committee developed a set of recommendations for course realignment and presented them to the faculty at the April 10, 2012 department meeting. One of the proposals is to have a common foundational core of courses that elementary and special education majors will take together. The recommendations were approved by the faculty at the September 2012 department meeting, and are pending approval by the college and university curriculum committees. The department also approved the creation of a Pre-Education Associates degree program. That proposal is also pending approval at the college and university curriculum committee levels.
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