Thursday, April 17, 2008

NCATE Conference Spring 2008 - Summary and work to be accomplished

NCATE Conference April 3-6, 2008
Summary and “To Do” List:
(submitted by Jo Hoffman, NCATE Coordinator)

In general it was a good conference with many questions answered both at the program level and at the unit level.

The Provost had asked me to network for ideas from other similar institutions that may help us get through this on a tight budget with the possibility of having no one replace Ms. Caruso. Here are two suggestions I received that seem to be the most feasible.
* Have each program designate an Assessment Coordinator for their program’s assessments/data collection or form an Assessment Team of 6-8 faculty members from across the college. This person or Team would also be responsible for organizing the data analysis that will be the meat of Section IV of the Program Reports.
* Offer incentives for sustained faculty participation—these incentives could come in the form of release time or having expressed value placed on NCATE work in the areas of scholarship and service.

Encouraging faculty to design research projects that use the data collected in the assessment process for the College of Ed and individual programs may be a good way to combine NCATE work with scholarship. It needs to be clearly valued in the retention, tenure, and promotion process so that those most willing to do the work that is needed for NCATE accreditation and Program Recognition are motivated to do so because they see it as academic/scholarly work that can be included in their folders.

It was reinforced that it is imperative for our programs to create a supplement to the TPC Competency Forms used in the final student teaching semester for the midterm and final evaluations that the Supervisor and the Cooperating Teachers complete. In short, initial certification programs must collect field data specific to their programs’ standards. Advanced programs, even those not leading to licensure, need also to assess their candidates in the area of field experience.

Advanced programs and programs preparing other school personnel (Counselor Ed, Ed Leadership, School Psych, Speech Pathology) must be certain that they are collecting data about how their candidates perform in the field. My suggestion is for these programs to designate program field advisory committees and that the office of the Dean holds articulation meetings with representatives from these programs each academic year. The Field Advisory Committee orchestrated by the Teaching Performance Center serves only our candidates in the Initial Programs.

We will have to disaggregate the data at the unit and program levels for the candidates who take the programs at Ocean County College. All the unit forms that we use (Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Field; Teacher Work Sample Assessment Forms; Survey forms like the COE Report Cards) will need to add a part to fill in for those filling out these forms indicating candidates in OCC programs.

For the Fall 2008 NCATE Conference, we should bring a team: one faculty member for each of the three levels of candidates served and accountable in the NCATE process: Initial, Advanced, and Other School Personnel. I hope it is possible to earmark funds for this expense.

We need to ask each program to formalize their plan for working with their adjuncts and in the case of those programs that offer the OCC option, those faculty must be included as well. It must be made clear and be documented as to how key assessments (those on the list of the 6-8 assessments in Section II of the Program Report template) are systematically assigned through the sections so that all candidates are getting the same experiences.

It was emphasized once again that as a unit and at the program level we are accountable for our candidate’s impact on their students’ learning. The Teacher Work Sample is the tool for gauging our candidates’ impact on their students’ learning that we are using at the unit level in the Initial Programs Assessment System. In each of the programs, the relevant subsections of the TWS are also being used as Assessment #5 on the list of the required 6-8 assessments each program must use as data; therefore, programs must align the TWS to their SPA standards.

We have CDs with all of the presentation materials from the conference sessions available. Also, NCATE offers Web Seminars. They announced one upcoming for Arts and Sciences faculties that would be beneficial for those faculty who are part of the NCATE process but who are not faculty in the education programs. When that session is announced, I will be trying to coordinate our participation.

I would like to schedule days over Summer I and II to work with each program on the Sections I, II, III of their Program Reports. Getting this work done in Summer 08 will be a huge benefit to each program so that by the end of the spring semester 09, they are ready to complete Sections IV and V analyzing the data they have collected from their assessments. Program Reports are to be submitted by September 15, 2009.

Respectfully submitted,
Jo Hoffman, NCATE Coordinator