ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW

OF THE

EDUCATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM

 

March 31, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared by the

Academic Program Review Subcommittee:

 

Curtis Czerwinski

Carla Graham

Jasmine Saros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This report is arranged by programs within the Department of Educational Studies, as follows:

 

I. EC-MC / MC-EA / EA-A / EC-A

Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (EC-MC)

Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (MC-EA)

Early Adolescence-Adolescence (EA-A)

Early Childhood-Adolescence (EC-A)

II. Graduate Special Education Program

III. Graduate Reading Program

IV. MEPD Program


 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW OF THE EDUCATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM

Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (EC-MC) / Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (MC-EA) /

Early Adolescence-Adolescence (EA-A) / Early Childhood-Adolescence (EC-A)

College of Liberal Studies

March 31, 2006

 

The Department of Educational Studies submitted its Academic Program Review (APR) self study report in the fall semester of 2005.  The APR Committee studied that report and on March 28, 2006, members of the APR Committee met with representatives from the Educational Studies Department to discuss the report. 

 

The Department of Educational Studies had undergone an external review by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that included an on-site visit in November, 2003.  The review team noted several items that did not meet PI 34 requirements.  This led to the production of a “DPI Professional Education Program Approval Report,” which was forwarded to UW-La Crosse by the office of the State Superintendent on January 27, 2004, granting UW-L’s education program conditional approval.  After UW-L’s submission of a remedial plan for program approval, the office of the State Superintendent on June 7, 2005 granted approval for UW-L’s teacher education programs.

 

The November, 2003 review had generated the following areas of concern:

·      Although there is a well defined and articulated conceptual framework it is unclear whether it represents a shared vision.  It was not found that the mission, vision, and pillars of the conceptual framework were shared across campus and into the PK-12 community

·      Evidence was not found as to how the conceptual framework will be used to evaluate program performance and outcomes.  It was unclear how 4 pillars are aligned to the standards and to evaluation instruments, such as clinical evaluations or faculty evaluations.

·      While UW-L has an Assessment Plan based on standards which include assessments at 6 points within a student’s program, concern exists as to whether the plan pertains to all licensing programs offered by UW-L. 

·      Although UW-L provided evidence of adoption of institutional assessment standards, it is problematic that all programs have not adopted the same standards or at least adopted the same core of standards through a systematic process.

·      Confusion was expressed by Clinical II and III students as to directions and advice given for documentation to be included and then the evaluation of their portfolios.

·      How are the communication skills in listening, speaking, and technology consistently assessed?

·      Were any or all assessments developed with the involvement of the PK-12 community?

·      Is there a plan for how assessments will be used to improve programs on a continual basis?

·      How are dispositions assessed using multiple measures that are developmental in scope and sequence?

·      Has a decision been made as to when in the program students will take the content test?

·      Is the statutory requirement of knowledge and understanding in conflict resolution offered in a systematic way to all education students?

·      There was no documentation found as to how data collection in future follow-up studies will be used to inform and strengthen the program.

 

 

While the November, 2003 review and these areas of concern are pertinent to a self-study of the entire Department of Educational Studies, the summaries, conclusions, and recommendations of the APR committee are arranged according to four subdivisions provided by the Department of Educational Studies, since a separate self-study document had been submitted for each:

 

I. EC-MC / MC-EA / EA-A / EC-A

Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (EC-MC)

Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (MC-EA)

Early Adolescence-Adolescence (EA-A)

Early Childhood-Adolescence (EC-A)

II. Graduate Special Education Program

III. Graduate Reading Program

IV. MEPD Program

Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (EC-MC) / Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (MC-EA) /

Early Adolescence-Adolescence (EA-A) / Early Childhood-Adolescence (EC-A)

 

SUMMARY OF THE SELF-STUDY:

 

1.  Program Mission and Goals

The Department of Educational Studies presents an extensive mission and goals statement centered around three inter-related features:  a formal mission statement, a “conceptual framework,” and a set of Teacher Education standards.  Each of these features can be applied to the four licensure tracks within the program: Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (EC-MC), Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (MC-EA) Early Adolescence-Adolescence (EA-A), and Early Childhood-Adolescence (EC-A). 

 

The program's mission statement, which collectively applies to all four of these licensure tracks, is as follows:

“The School of Education faculty and staff are committed to preparing and supporting education professionals for Early Childhood - Adolescence (Pre K-12) schools, which serve a variety of diverse populations.  UW-La Crosse Teacher Education graduates possess knowledge, skills, and dispositions, which reflect extensive preparation in general studies, professional studies, specialty studies, and pedagogy.  Graduates are dedicated to the youth of society; to the improvement of the human condition; and to teaching as a profession.”

 

The “conceptual framework” for teacher education programs at UW-L guides the philosophical framework for all curriculum in all teacher education programs.  The framework for the School of Education is summarized here:

“At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse we believe that teachers are active and healthy learners, leaders, and community members…This conceptual framework, along with the Teacher Education Standards and professional standards, represents the foundation and mission of UW-L teacher education programs.”

 

The objectives of the teacher education programs are based on the ten teacher education standards from INTASC (Interstate New Teachers’ Assessment and Support Consortium), which are also the standards in the Department of Public Instruction for the state of Wisconsin.  These standards provide guidance for the Department of Educational Studies to assess UW-L Teacher Education students, and to assess the overall effectiveness of the Teacher Education Program at UW-L.  These ten standards listed are:

  1. Understands Content
  2. Understands Development
  3. Understands Difference
  4. Designs Instructional Strategies
  5. Manages and Motivates
  6. Communicates
  7. Plans and Integrates
  8. Evaluates
  9. Reflects on Practice
  10. Participates in the Professional Community

 

In addition to these general goals outlined through mission statement, conceptual framework, and INTASC standards, the self-study for the EC-MC / MC-EA / EA-A / EC-A programs lists the following specific objectives:

  1. Support and strengthen Professional Development Schools (PDS) model
  2. Continue curriculum reform (as started in summer 2004 workgroups)
  3. Continue to build and strengthen the assessment system (an extensive system required by PI34)

 

 

2.  Assessment Tools

The Department of Educational Studies has listed several assessment measures to determine whether its EC-MC / MC-EA / EA-A / EC-A programs are meeting their goals and objectives.  These assessment measures include:

 

·      Praxis I Test:  a pre-professional skills test that must be passed by all students prior to admission to their initial Wisconsin professional education program.

 

·      Praxis II Test:  a subject assessment test that students must pass in order to qualify for a state education license.

·      Electronic Professional Development Portfolios:  Each candidate who prepares for a teaching career must have a portfolio of evidence documenting that the standards required for a teaching license have been met.

 

·      Candidate Progress Review (CPR): Faculty and staff of the School of Education recognize that all individuals seeking certification may not meet certain minimal professional standards.  Therefore, a procedure has been established to identify and counsel candidates in need of directed guidance.  The faculty have developed the CPR Committee to oversee the development and assessment of knowledge, skills, and dispositions among educator certification candidates as assessed by the multiple measures of the Teacher Education Assessment System.

 

·      Measuring Dispositions:  DPI requires all teacher education programs to monitor candidates’ dispositions.  Teacher education faculty and staff have determined seven essential dispositions for Teacher Education candidates at UW-L and a detailed rubric for assessing the level at which a candidate displays these dispositions.

 

·      Writing and Oral Language Self-Assessment Rubric:  Faculty are implementing a self-assessment rubric for oral language and writing so that candidates can reflect on their own growth and development in addition to faculty assessments.  A detailed example of this is provided in the self-study.

 

·      Process of Application for Admission into the EC-A Programs:  The extensive application process into the EC-MC/MC-EA and EA-A/EC/A programs is competitive and is another form of assessment.  All students must be admitted to Teacher Education in order to enroll in professional education courses.

 

·      Evaluation of all Field Experiences:  The faculty work to implement a new standards/performance based evaluation tool for student teachers.  Ten triad teams were involved in a pilot project in fall 2004.  A committee was charged to develop the project’s timeline and structure.

 

·      Program Evaluations:  Each semester, student teachers spend a half day on campus prior to graduation to complete a program evaluation, in the form of an on-line anonymous survey and participation in focus groups.

 

·      Advising Survey:  The School of Education has an extensive advising program, including an Advising Day for continuing pre-education students and students admitted to teacher education.  As part of the advising process, students complete an “advising satisfaction survey,” which is recognized as an important assessment tool.

 

·      Alumni and Employers Surveys:  Alumni and employers surveys are being re-continued after a decade of not being surveyed.  Graduates are surveyed three years after graduation.  Graduates’ employers will be surveyed after the graduates’ first year.

 

 

3.  Strengths and Weaknesses of the Program

The self-study lists three significant strengths of the EC-MC/MC-EA/EA-A/EC-A programs:

 

·      Graduates of each program receive state certification.  Wisconsin certification allows all graduates to receive at least emergency certification in every state of the union.  Even though licensure requirements had major changes for all people who graduate after August 31, 2004, each program faculty has made the changes in the program requirements to have a smooth transition for all candidates graduating from either the old or new programs.

 

·      Employment rates are very high.  For the year 2003-2004, out of 313 total graduates, 178 are employed, 1 is unemployed, 18 are continuing their education, 1 is not seeking employment, and no information was available for 115 graduates.

 

·      UW-L has strong partnerships with PK-12 schools.  Every semester an average of 280-330 UW-L clinical students are placed in schools within a 45 mile radius.  A major initiative in this regard includes the implementation of Professional Development Schools (PDS) to support the learning and work of teachers an, as a result, to support the learning of students in PK-12 settings.  Three PDS partnerships started in spring 2005, at Logan High School, Onalaska Middle School, and Eagle Bluff Elementary School.  A fourth PDS, at North Woods International School in La Crosse will be opening in fall 2005.

The self-study lists two significant areas for improvement in the EC-MC/MC-EA/EA-A/EC-A programs:

 

·      A greater number of qualified faculty members is needed.  Twenty-five FTEs teach 693 EC-MC-EA majors and 350 EA-A majors.  The program relies on ad hoc instructors for many classes.  Most of the student teaching supervision, the capstone experience for candidates in the programs, is done by ad hoc faculty who do not have the academic background and current cognizance of educational research or philosophy that permanent faculty members have.

 

·      Faculty need to completely reorganize the EC-MC/MC-EA and EA-A/EC-A programs, to reduce the number of credits.  DPI-initiated program revisions in the 1980s led to curriculum expansion that requires over 140 credits for some programs.  Careful curriculum revision needs to reduce the number of overall credits needed for graduation and licensure.

 

 

4.  Previous Academic Program Review and New Program Initiatives

Current initiatives focus on lack of faculty, lack of permanent leadership, loss of and lack of funding for programs, enduring ongoing reorganizations, support and sustainability for the ongoing assessment system, and workload issues related to the specific needs of a professional program and its partnerships in PK-12 schools.  Faculty are pursuing plans to develop a student teaching abroad program, which would require financial support that has not yet been secured.

 

The teacher education programs began major review and reform in 2004.  This was guided by a needs assessment, input from area PK-12 administrators and teachers, feedback from program graduates and current students, student assessments, DPI licensure requirements, NCATE requirements, and faculty input.  A working draft has been assembled for this reform, which is an ongoing initiative.

 

 

5.  Personnel 

The self-study details a wide range of faculty professional development opportunities, including collaborative interactions with Murphy Library and Instructional Technologies.  Several faculty development grants have been secured through UW-L, and five sabbaticals were granted from 1998-2004.  Three faculty members from teacher education programs have been participants in the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows Program.  Faculty have utilized initiatives through the Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID), and faculty members may be reimbursed up to $1200 per year for presenting at or simply attending professional conferences.

 

Faculty members have all of their courses evaluated by students every semester.  The department chair regularly observes and reviews the work of non-tenured faculty and meets with junior faculty to provide feedback, and faculty request that colleagues visit their classes for peer review.  All non-tenured faculty are reviewed in spring of their first year on campus, in both fall and spring of their second year, and in the fall each year thereafter until achieving tenure.  Tenured faculty members participate in a post-tenure review of their work and goals in five-year cycles.  Teacher education faculty generally perform at high levels, as partly-evidenced by consistently high SEI scores.

 

Teaching is the most important function for educators in the joint programs, but 30% of a faculty member’s evaluation is based on scholarship.  Many faculty tie scholarship work into their teaching.  Faculty members are also expected to share their expertise with area school personnel to improve the PK-12 schools.  Service is a high expectation for faculty in teacher education, and the faculty’s role as an educational resource for western Wisconsin is taken seriously.  Faculty members have a statewide reputation in their respective fields and are called upon by state agencies such as the Wisconsin DPI to provide their services for education initiatives.

 

Faculty in the Department of Educational Studies have made the following requests for positions:

·         Science Education

·         Reading/Literacy Education (two positions)

·         Educational Foundations

·         Early Childhood Education

·         Masters of Education-Professional Development (ME-PD) Director

6.  Support for Achieving Academic Program Goals

The self-study highlights several physical facilities that offer support for faculty in the Department of Educational Studies, including well-equipped offices and work spaces in Morris hall, which underwent a complete remodeling in 1996.  The Marian Hammes Early Childhood Center, Alice Hagar Curriculum Resource Center, and Rhea Pederson Reading Center provide resources for faculty, education students, and area teachers to assist in achieving the objectives of the Teacher Education Program.  Morris Hall also houses a General Access Computer Classroom and the Morris Hall Educational Technology Lab.  A Lab Modernization Grant proposal was funded at $75,000, which included funding to purchase digital camcorders for students’ preparation of electronic portfolios.

 

The Department of Educational Studies currently has 16 tenure-track faculty members, fifteen of whom hold earned doctorates in their respective fields.  These well-qualified instructors are seasoned public school veterans with degrees from a variety of research universities.  Faculty are customarily assigned an eleven-credit load per semester, but new faculty members may have a lighter 8-9 credit load. 

 

Several support staff area assigned to support the department, programs, and field offices.  The department has 1.0 FTE, the program assistant for the Director of the School of Education is 0.89 FTE, a program assistant for the Office of Student Teaching/Internships and the Clinical Experiences Office is 1.0 FTE, and a 0.5 FTE is the Program Assistant to the Office of the Assistant to the Dean/Certification Officer who serves for all certification programs on campus.

 

Faculty actively seek funding through UW-L and external sources.  For example, for 2003-2006, the self-study listed seven specific examples of significant external funding obtained through external grants ranging from $3000 - $60,000 and totaling over $213,000.


 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR’S RESPONSES TO THE APR SELF-STUDY REPORT

 

[Insert optically scanned document]


 

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE APR COMMITTEE

 

The APR Committee was impressed with the Department’s thorough review provided in its Self Study Report, and appreciates that it was submitted in a timely manner.  The Department has an extensive statement of purpose that is outlined through a mission statement, conceptual framework, and Teacher Education Standards. The objectives of the Department fit well within the mission of the College of Liberal Studies and the entire UW-L community. 

 

CONCERNS:

In light of the self-study, the APR Committee notes the following areas of concern:

 

·      There is a lack of permanent leadership.  While the interim director has provided exemplary temporary leadership, the Teacher Education Programs need a permanent director to provide continuity for these programs and to ensure successful interactions with external accrediting and granting agencies.

 

·      There are 25 FTEs in the EC-MC/MC-EA and EA-A/EC-A Programs, to teach 1043 students declared as majors in these programs.  Many classes, and most of the student teaching supervision, the capstone experience for candidates in the programs, is done by ad hoc faculty who do not have the academic background that permanent faculty have.  The great number of ad hoc faculty makes inservicing difficult to complete.

 

·      The programs are in the midst of a massive reorganization and reform, in response to large credit-load curricula and changing licensure requirements.

 

·      Following five reorganizations in the past fourteen years where offices were moved, reorganized, and sometimes eliminated, the previous Academic Program Reviews could not be located. 

 

·      The Department is being impacted by loss of and lack of funding for programs.

 

·      Questions exist regarding the support and sustainability for the ongoing assessment system mandated by DPI.

 

·      The APR Committee concurs with the November 2003 DPI review team, noting concerns about unit-wide evaluation and assessment methods.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

In light of these concerns and the self-study report, the APR Committee makes the following recommendations:

 

·      Hire a permanent Director of Teacher Education .

 

·      Pursue new faculty positions, especially in Science Education, Reading/Literacy Education, Educational Foundations, Early Childhood Education, and Masters of Education-Professional Development Director.

 

·      Focus on completing the process of reorganization and Middle Level/Secondary Program reform that is outlined in the “Working Draft - 10/28/04” document within the EC-MC/MC-EA and EA-A/EC-A self-study.

 

·      Work with the Faculty Senate Office to locate previous Academic Program Review documentation.  The data included in these documents may be useful in future planning initiatives.

 

·      Continue to seek UW-L research and faculty development funding, UW System grants, and external funding.

 

·      Implement a plan for unit-wide evaluation of all field experiences.

 

·      Implement the self-assessment rubric for oral language and writing.

 

·      Implement a formalized system for peer review of teaching.

 

·      Begin collecting data from alumni surveys and employer surveys.

UNIT DATA SHEETS

(see enclosures)

 


 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW OF THE EDUCATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM

Graduate Special Education Program

College of Liberal Studies

March 31, 2006

 

SUMMARY OF THE SELF-STUDY:

 

1.  Program Mission and Goals

The Graduate Special Education Program in the Department of Educational Studies presents an extensive mission and goals statement centered around three inter-related features: a formal mission statement, a “conceptual framework,” and a set of Teacher Education standards.

 

The program's mission statement is as follows:

“The mission of the UW-La Crosse Special Education Program is to prepare teachers who are active and healthy learners, leaders, and community members to teach students with special education needs using evidence-based practices.  Our candidates gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to support the inclusion of students with Cognitive Disabilities (CD), Emotional Behavior Disorders (EBD), and Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) in PreK-12 schools.”

 

The “conceptual framework” for teacher education programs at UW-L guides the philosophical framework for all curricula in all teacher education programs including the Special Education Program.  The framework for the School of Education is summarized here:

“At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse we believe that teachers are active and healthy learners, leaders, and community members…This conceptual framework, along with the Teacher Education Standards and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards, represent the foundation and mission of the UW-L Special Education Program.”

 

The goals and objectives of the Special Education Program are based on the ten teacher education standards from INTASC (Interstate New Teachers’ Assessment and Support Consortium), which are also the standards in the Department of Public Instruction for the state of Wisconsin, and the National CEC standards.  These standards provide guidance for the Department of Educational Studies to assess UW-L Graduate Special Education students, and to assess the overall effectiveness of the program at UW-L.  These ten standards are listed under their INTASC and equivalent CEC headings:

INTASC

CEC

  1. Understands Content
  2. Understands Development
  3. Understands Difference
  4. Designs Instructional Strategies
  5. Manages and Motivates
  6. Communicates
  7. Plans and Integrates
  8. Evaluates
  9. Reflects on Practice
  10. Participates in the Professional Community
  1. Foundations
  2. Development and Characteristics of Learners
  3. Individual Learning Differences
  4. Instructional Strategies
  5. Learning Environments and Social Interactions
  6. Language
  7. Instructional Planning
  8. Assessment
  9. Professional and Ethical Practice
  10. Collaboration

 

The UW-L Special Education Program is housed in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Studies and prepares undergraduate and graduate Cross-categorical Special Education teachers.  The undergraduate Cross-categorical Special Education program is completed as a minor in the Teacher Education Program.  There are two certification options for undergraduates minoring in Special Education:  Cross-categorical Special Education certification at the Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence age levels or Cross-categorical Special Education certification at the Early Adolescence- Adolescence age levels.  The Cross-categorical Special Education Graduate Program has two tracks:  Cross-categorical Special Education certification only or Master of Science Degree in Education - Special Education with certification.

 

 

 

2.  Assessment Tools

The Department of Educational Studies has listed several assessment measures to determine whether its Graduate Special Education program is meeting its goals and objectives.  These assessment measures include:

 

·      Pre-Profession Skills Test Scores and Praxis II Test Scores

·      Student GPA

·      Student Portfolio Evaluations

·      Demonstration of Candidate Effects on Student Learning

·      Student Teaching Evaluations

·      Faculty Advisors:  Each student is assigned to a special education faculty member for advising and portfolio mentoring, and to assure that students are completing their degree in a timely manner.

·      Alumni Surveys:  Reinstituted in spring 2004 after not being collected for approximately 10 years

 

 

3.  Strengths and Weaknesses of the Program

The self-study lists that the most significant strength of the Graduate Special Education program is that graduates of the program receive state certification.  Graduation rates in certification programs are not separated out specifically to the special education program.  In the special education graduate program, students have a 100% job placement rate.  Wisconsin certification allows all graduates to receive at least emergency certification in every state of the union.  Even though licensure requirements had major changes for all people who graduate after August 31, 2004, each program faculty has made the changes in the program requirements to have a smooth transition for all candidates graduating from either the old or new programs.

 

The self-study does not list a most significant area of needed improvement of the Graduate Special Education program.  While no single area is provided for this separate program, please see the earlier section of this APR report (EC-MC / MC-EA / EA-A / EC-A.)

 

 

4.  Previous Academic Program Review and New Program Initiatives

NOT PROVIDED.  This is the first APR review of the Graduate Special Education Program.

 

 

5.  Personnel 

The self-study details a wide range of faculty professional development opportunities, including collaborative interactions with Murphy Library and Instructional Technologies.  Several faculty development grants have been secured through UW-L, and five sabbaticals were granted from 1998-2004.  Three faculty members from teacher education programs have been participants in the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows Program.  Faculty have utilized initiatives through the Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID), and faculty members may be reimbursed up to $1200 per year for presenting at or simply attending professional conferences.

 

Faculty members have all of their courses evaluated by students every semester.  The department chair regularly observes and reviews the work of non-tenured faculty and meets with junior faculty to provide feedback, and faculty request that colleagues visit their classes for peer review.  All non-tenured faculty are reviewed in spring of their first year on campus, in both fall and spring of their second year, and in the fall each year thereafter until achieving tenure.  Tenured faculty members participate in a post-tenure review of their work and goals in five-year cycles.  Teacher education faculty generally perform at high levels, as partly-evidenced by consistently high SEI scores.

 

Teaching is the most important function for educators in the joint programs, but 30% of a faculty member’s evaluation is based on scholarship.  Many faculty tie scholarship work into their teaching.  Faculty members are also expected to share their expertise with area school personnel to improve the PK-12 schools.  Service is a high expectation for faculty in teacher education, and the faculty’s role as an educational resource for western Wisconsin is taken seriously.  Faculty members have a statewide reputation in their respective fields and are called upon by state agencies such as the Wisconsin DPI to provide their services for education initiatives.

 

No formal plans have been made to increase faculty in the Special Education Program at this time.  However, it is clear that as the number of graduates seeking cross-categorical special education certification continues to increase it will be necessary to add at least one new faculty member within the next five years.

 

 

6.  Support for Achieving Academic Program Goals

The self-study highlights several physical facilities that offer support for faculty in the Department of Educational Studies, including well-equipped offices and work spaces in Morris hall, which underwent a complete remodeling in 1996.  The Marian Hammes Early Childhood Center, Alice Hagar Curriculum Resource Center, and Rhea Pederson Reading Center provide resources for faculty, education students, and area teachers to assist in achieving the objectives of the Teacher Education Program.  Morris Hall also houses a General Access Computer Classroom and the Morris Hall Educational Technology Lab.  Recently, a Lab Modernization Grant proposal was funded at $75,000.

 

As of fall 2003, the Special Education Program has 3 full time tenure-track faculty, all of whom currently hold earned doctorates in special education.  Faculty are customarily assigned an eleven-credit load per semester to reflect the fact that all of them have responsibilities for graduate courses at the 400/500 and 700 levels.  They also teach a course that is required for all teacher education candidates (SPE 401/501) and provide instruction in one Professional Development School setting.  It is necessary for at least one faculty member each semester to carry more than eleven credits and there is at least one ad hoc faculty member hired to teach a section of SPE 401.


 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR’S RESPONSES TO THE APR SELF-STUDY REPORT

 

[Insert optically scanned document]


 

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE APR COMMITTEE

 

The APR Committee was impressed with the Program’s review provided in its Self Study Report, and appreciates that it was submitted in a timely manner.  The Program has an extensive statement of purpose that is outlined through a mission statement, conceptual framework, and Teacher Education Standards.  The objectives of the Program fit well within the mission of the College of Liberal Studies and the entire UW-L community. 

 

CONCERNS:

In light of the self-study, the APR Committee notes the following areas of concern:

 

·      There is a lack of permanent leadership in the School of Education.  While the interim director has provided exemplary temporary leadership, the Teacher Education Programs need a permanent director to provide continuity for these programs and to ensure successful interactions with external accrediting and granting agencies.

 

·      The number of of graduates seeking special education certification is expected to increase.

 

·      Following five reorganizations in the past fourteen years where offices were moved, reorganized, and sometimes eliminated, the previous Academic Program Reviews could not be located. 

 

·      It is unclear how the assessment techniques listed in the self-study are utilized to implement improvements in the program.

 

·      The APR Committee concurs with the November 2003 DPI review team, noting concerns about unit-wide evaluation and assessment methods.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

In light of these concerns and the self-study report, the APR Committee makes the following recommendations:

 

·      Hire a permanent Director of Teacher Education .

 

·      Pursue the addition of a new faculty position, in anticipation of the increased number of graduates seeking special education certification.

 

·      Work with the Faculty Senate Office to locate previous Academic Program Review documentation that may be specifically pertinent to the graduate special education program.  The data included in these documents may be useful in future planning initiatives.

 

·      Continue to seek UW-L research and faculty development funding, UW System grants, and external funding.

 

·      Develop a plan for how assessments will be used to improve the program on a continual basis.

 

·      Begin collecting data from alumni surveys and employer surveys.


 

UNIT DATA SHEETS

(see enclosures)


 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW OF THE EDUCATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM

Graduate Reading Program

College of Liberal Studies

March 31, 2006

 

The Academic Program Review sub-committee met with the School of Education on March 28, 2006.

 

EXTERNAL REVIEW:  The Graduate Reading Program was reviewed and approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in November 2003, but no documentation of this review was provided in the Academic Program Review Report. Although it was not mentioned by name in the final approval of the School of Education given by the Department of Public Instruction on June 7, 2005, the sub-committee assumes it was included in that final assessment.


 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR’S RESPONSES TO THE APR SELF-STUDY REPORT

 

[Insert optically scanned document]


 

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE APR COMMITTEE

 

The mission of the Graduate Reading Program is to:

 

1)       Serve students desiring one or more of the following: a masters of science degree in education; certification as a reading teacher and, if desired, reading specialist; expertise in teaching reading in the regular classroom; updates on developments in the field of reading education;

2)       Provide diagnostic and remedial instruction to area school children and adolescents;

3)       Serve area teachers through its resource collection, its professional development resources, and its co-sponsorship of the International Reading Association-Affiliated Midwest Wisconsin Reading Council.

 

To achieve the first part of its mission for graduate students, the program has four clearly defined goals for its candidates who will be recommended for licensure by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: teachers as learners, teachers as leaders, teachers as inquirers, and teachers as community members. To facilitate student expertise in teaching reading in the regular classroom, faculty from the Graduate Reading Program also teach undergraduate courses.

To achieve the second part of their mission statement, the Graduate Reading Program was affiliated with the Reading Evaluation and Development (R.E.A.D.) Clinic until 2004, at which time the clinic was closed by the University. The clinic had provided assessment and tutoring services for children and youth ages 5-18. Tutors were graduate and undergraduate students with practicum requirements in reading. While the Graduate Reading Program has submitted a request for a new tutoring center to the UW-L administration, no response to this request had yet been provided as of the submission of the Academic Program Review report.

To achieve the third part of their mission statement, the Graduate Reading Program maintains the Rhea Pederson Reading Center, which houses a literacy resource library for teacher education students and area teachers.

 

The program is currently in transition to the 2003 standards of the International Reading Association (IRA).

 

PERSONNEL:  Currently, the Graduate Reading Program has one tenured professor, and is seeking to fill a second tenure-track position. The program had 5 faculty in the mid-1990s.

 

 

 

The Academic Program Review sub-committee’s review of the Graduate Reading Program reveals these areas of concern:

 

·         It was unclear why there was so little information on previous self-study or past assessment, given that the program was larger (5 fulltime tenured or tenure-track faculty) in the past.

·         The program now has one tenured faculty member, and is seeking to fill one additional tenure-track position. With so few faculty, this makes it difficult to develop the program, and particularly to do so in a timely fashion.

·         The program is clearly in transition, and is in the process of defining and updating assessment standards. These standards should be defined and implemented as soon as possible, perhaps with the assistance of other education faculty.

·         The faculty of the Graduate Reading Program should continue to find ways to effectively convey to the administration that they also teach undergraduate courses in reading and literacy, and that these courses are increasingly important as new teachers will be expected to be prepared to teach in Reading First schools funded through No Child Left Behind federal regulations.

·         The faculty of the Graduate Reading Program should also continue to seek support for a tutoring clinic, as this was clearly a valuable service to the community and a valuable field component of graduate and undergraduate reading education.


 

UNIT DATA SHEETS

(see enclosures)


 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW OF THE EDUCATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM

Master’s of Education—Professional Development

College of Liberal Studies

March 31, 2006

 

The Academic Program Review sub-committee met with the School of Education on March 28, 2006.

 

EXTERNAL REVIEW:  None of the three MEPD tracks (Initial Certification, Traditional Professional Development, and Learning Community) has been reviewed before, and the MEPD is not mentioned by name in the final approval of the School of Education given by the Department of Public Instruction on June 7, 2005, but the sub-committee assumes the three tracks were included in that final assessment.

 

Since there have been no previous external reviews, there was no occasion for an internal response.


 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR’S RESPONSES TO THE APR SELF-STUDY REPORT

 

[Insert optically scanned document]


 

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE APR COMMITTEE

 

The MEPD program has a clearly defined over-all goal:  it is to provide “excellent graduate-level learning opportunities for persons in education and educational-related roles” in local communities.  To do this, three tracks are available:

 

*    the Initial Certification Track.  This track allows non-education

majors/graduates the opportunity to become certified educators.

 

*    the Traditional Professional Development Track.  This track offers certified

      educators the opportunity to obtain additional certification or to increase

      professional effectiveness.

 

*    the Learning Community Track.    This track affords practicing teachers the    

      chance to improve teaching practices, aids in their professional development,

      and assists them in becoming better prepared to meet the changing demands of

      the profession.

 

The Initial Certification Track uses a core curriculum with five content areas and adheres to Department of Public Instruction (DPI) standards.  The Traditional Professional Development track uses a highly individualized curriculum (four content areas) and a Board of Review, which oversees each candidate’s work to ensure that it meets the individual’s self-defined goals.  The Learning Community Track uses its curriculum; adherence to governmental and professional standards and guidelines, namely, State of Wisconsin’s Teachers’ Standards, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and other standards from teachers’ respective disciplines; and individual reflection about the demands of the profession that leads to the creation of long-0term initiatives.  In addition, students create a Professional Development Plan (PDP), a capstone research proposal, and a portfolio proposal.

 

The Initial Certification measures its success by enrollment figures and the number of graduates; successful completion of two Pre-professional Skills Tests (PPST’s):  Praxis I (reading, writing, and math) and Praxis II (disciplinary content areas); a portfolio organized around State of Wisconsin standards, student teaching or internship, which include three evaluations during the experience; and the passing of a comprehensive exam or completed thesis.

 

The Traditional Professional Development Track measures its success by enrollment figures and the number of graduates; performance in coursework and the terminal project, both closely mentored/monitored by faculty evaluators; and follow-up interviews.

 

The Learning Community Track measures its success by enrollment figures and the number of graduates; ongoing assessments/indicators of Learning Community values; student feedback; site councils with facilitators; completion of a portfolio and a capstone project; and survey results (rē content learning and its application, quality of teaching, student learning, and ongoing change)

 

 

PERSONNEL:  The Director of the MEPD program oversees the three tracks, and program faculty share teaching workload and are supported by one part-time and one full-time program assistant.  Each Learning Community in that track utilizes two facilitators (selected from the faculty and from P-12 teachers, trained and approved per graduate faculty guidelines), two facilitator-support persons from the Regional Development Team (RDT), and two part-time consultants.

 

The Academic Program Review sub-committee’s review of the MEPD program reveals these areas of concern:

 

·         The Learning Community Track is the only one that lists explicit goals.  The

Initial Certification Track and the Traditional Professional Development Track refer to goals, but they are not clearly specified.  Goals need to be listed consistently in the beginning of each track’s self-study.

 

·         Follow-up interviews of graduates of the Traditional Professional

Development Track can be expanded.  Five per year is not a very large   

sample.

 

·         The content of the portfolio and the nature of the capstone project of the Learning Community Track could be described.

 

·         As the Initial Certification Track self-study avows, the program needs more follow-up of its graduates to determine the real impact of the degree on their teaching (as compared to undergraduate certification degrees).

 

·         The Initial Certification and the Traditional Professional Development Track offer an exam vs. thesis option, and very few elect to write a thesis.  This tendency needs to be examined and perhaps challenged.

 

·         The Learning Community Track seems to be taking students away from the Traditional Professional Development Track.  This, too, maybe deserve some  study.

 

·         Clearly, all three tracks of the MEPD program need to keep the current review at or near the top of their future assessment strategies in order to establish a solid history of self-study.


 

UNIT DATA SHEETS

(see enclosures)