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MSU Teacher Education Unit (TEU)

Assessment System Data Collection

Overall Data Collection: The assessment system is designed to gather data related to:

  1. Minot State University criteria stated in the undergraduate and graduate catalogues for MSU and TEU program entrance, retention, and graduation requirements;
  2. ND Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) testing pass rates for initial programs requiring testing [];
  3. Requirements in the North Dakota Program Approval standards, which are aligned with professional association and NCATE expectations at initial and advanced levels [];
  4. TEU rubric scores on the INTASC (initial), TEU Dispositions, NBPTS (M.Ed.) and other advanced program standards incorporated as program outcomes and aligned with the ARK Conceptual Framework: Action, Reflection, Knowledge.
  5. Additional NCATE requirements related to experiences with diversity, ability to influence P-12 student learning, and use of data for program improvements.

Key Assessments and Benchmarks: Initial Programs
A chart illustrating the TEU Benchmarks and Data Collected appears at the end of this section, A. Assessment System. The key assessments for initial programs include:

  1. PPST testing in reading, mathematics and writing became required by the state for all initial licensees in 2002; and Praxis II (as detailed in the previous section) as of July 1, 2006. Candidates must pass the PPST cut scores as one of the criteria for Admission to Teacher Education. By policy of the TEAC, noted in the MSU Catalogue, candidates must meet or exceed state cut scores in areas requiring Praxis II tests prior to the completion of their program. Elementary Education candidates are also required to pass the PLT prior to completion of their program.
  2. MSU and individual TEU programs set entrance, retention, and exit requirements (i.e. favorable references, GPA) for undergraduate and graduate programs as noted in those respective catalogues. Performance on content-area knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in coursework expected in the North Dakota Standards for Program Approval is reported in aligned faculty-designed course assessments and GPA. The system is being revised to allow comparisons between faculty-generated assessments and external assessments as more Praxis test data becomes available. Since most content-area tests did not become mandatory until July 1, 2006, numbers of candidates taking the tests are still low, definitive decisions should not be made on program improvements until that ‘n’ is sufficient to assure validity and reliability.
  3. Key assessments of lesson and unit planning are included in ED 320, the elementary methods block or respective 7-12 or K-12 methods courses prior to student teaching, and Mid-term and Final Evaluations during student teaching.
  4. Field experiences are assessed in practica within methods courses, and in Mid-term and Final Evaluations of student teaching. These assessments reflect the ARK Conceptual Framework and the INTASC Standards. Surveys are conducted with cooperating teachers and administrators in field placement schools as an evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the TEU programs in preparing candidates.
  5. Ability to impact P-12 student learning is measured in its formative stages in the education core and methods courses; in terms of ability to do "teacher work" (i.e. planning, classroom management, learning facilitation) and to analyze student work. More summative evaluation is completed across the INTASC standards in methods courses and the Mid-term and Final Student Teaching Evaluations, including the pre-post test activity in student teaching, and through employer feedback from surveys.

Benchmark points in the initial programs include:

  1. Admission to Teacher Education: includes required GPAs, admissions seminar, PPST, recommendations, philosophy statement, 20 hour experience with students, and the first reflective self-evaluation on INTASC and Disposition criteria;
  2. Methods: content-area and core requirements, successful methods course(s) evaluations, including practica and the second INTASC/Dispositions self-evaluation;
  3. Application to Student Teaching: maintenance of acceptable rubric and GPA scores, successful completion of Teacher Education Core and content area requirements;
  4. Mid-term Student Teaching Evaluation: provides feedback to candidates on the INTASC and TEU Dispositions once they have been out in the field for a period of time, and provides opportunity for remediation if necessary.
  5. Final Student Teaching Evaluation: includes summative assessments across the INTASC Standards and TEU Dispositions by cooperating teachers and faculty supervisors, the third self-evaluation, and completion of final requirements for graduation, including PRAXIS II and PLT where required by the ND ESPB.
  6. Post-graduation Feedback: is provided from cooperating teacher and employer surveys, and the fourth and final self-evaluation from the graduate.

Use Of Benchmark Data for Advancement in the Program
Passing PPST scores, a minimum 2.50 GPA in communications block, major and overall coursework are required for admission to Teacher Education, along with the philosophy statement, recommendations and self-reflections. Maintenance of the GPA is required throughout the program, with discipline of these criteria administered through the TEAC. These criteria are monitored through the office of the Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences each semester. Scores based on the common rubric are aligned with INTASC and TEU Dispositions, and monitored longitudinally through the program and compared with GPA and test scores where possible and applicable. Successful performance in the content area, education core and methods courses are pre-requisite to entrance into a student teaching placement. As noted earlier, candidates must meet Praxis II or PLT requirements prior to their program completion.

A database is kept of candidates who withdraw from, repeat or do not pass student teaching as the capstone assessment. That information is made available in a longitudinal report and included in program improvement reflections. A five-year compilation is available in the exhibits, including the ratio to overall successful candidate completion. Candidates having difficulty in student teaching placements are counseled by a group of faculty including the Director of Advising and Field Placement, the candidate’s advisor, the program coordinator, and the Chair of TEHP, in consultation with the cooperating teacher and faculty supervisor for the placement.

Key Assessments and Benchmarks: Advanced Programs
The M.Ed., M.A.Ts in Mathematics and Science, and M.S. in Special Education undergo state/NCATE review. The M.M.E., M.S. in Communication Disorders, and Ed. Specialist in School Psychology have achieved national accreditation from their respective professional associations. The Special Education programs are aligned with the standards of the Council for Exceptional Children, but the only specialty area that has been submitted and currently holds national accreditation is Education of the Deaf.

The TEU advanced programs tend to serve more diverse purposes and professional criteria than the undergraduate programs, but do have basic commonalities across their assessment criteria which can be framed conceptually as follows. The P&P Assessment Sub-committee, P&P, Graduate Program Directors and TEAC have discussed the draft language presented here; with final recommendations to be made to TEAC and Graduate Council in Fall 2006.
Key assessments (draft) for advanced programs include:

  1. State Tests: North Dakota does not require state testing for graduate-level programs that do not lead to initial teacher licensure. Individuals completing the TEU Education Core requirements after already acquiring a non-teaching bachelors’ degree are subject to the same standards and testing as traditional candidates.
  2. MSU as an institution and individual TEU programs set entrance, retention, and exit requirements for graduate programs as noted in those respective catalogue sections, including a minimum GPA for entrance, and in the program major. In addition, programs assess content relative to national standards (i.e. NBPTS Standard 2 for the M.Ed. or NCTM for the MAT Mathematics). Criteria for content concentrations within the M.Ed. degree are set and assessed by those respective departments.
  3. The M.Ed. degree includes assessments of advanced lesson, unit and year planning in ED 535 and ED 522, and applications for diversity and field experience in ED 519. Examples in other degrees include: the M.A.T. Mathematics MATH 540 requirement for designing lessons on proof writing, and the use of ED 519 within the M.A.T. Science to assure needs of diverse students are considered in learning experiences.
  4. Graduate field experiences are assessed in ED 519 for the M.Ed. and MAT Science and in MATH 511 for the MAT Mathematics, and in multiple practica within the M.S. in Special Education. Other programs hold national accreditations.
  5. Impact on student learning in graduate programs is measured formatively in core coursework (such as ED 535, ED 519, MATH clinic experiences) and summatively in performance demonstrations of "teacher work" and employer feedback.

Benchmark points (draft) in the advanced programs include:

  1. Admission: Formal admission to the program is made through the Graduate School, with reviews by respective Graduate Program Director(s). Criteria for admission, retention, and exit are published in the Graduate Catalogue. Program of Study and Graduate Committee forms are completed with the advisor upon admittance and filed with the Graduate School.
  2. Core Competencies I: Performance in the Program of Study over the first year, based on the specific program’s criteria for the degree and compliance with the ND Standards for Program Approval: Advanced Programs for Teachers
    1. assessments showing proficiency in Content Knowledge;
    2. and/or Pedagogical Knowledge & Pedagogical Content Knowledge (cognitive science-education core or educational applications specific to the content area);
    3. and scholarly tools (e.g. ED 501 research methodology).
  3. Professional Knowledge & Skill Application
    1. Thesis/Major Paper/Project Proposal: The candidate’s proposal for the capstone is approved by the Graduate Committee, Chair and Dean(s).
    2. Field experience & diversity requirement (e.g. ED 519)
  4. Core Competencies II: Admission to Candidacy for the Degree
    1. Continuing assessments of program criteria in the final year of coursework
    2. Oral or written comprehensive exams, and other final assessments if required
  5. Capstone Assessment (Project / Thesis Defense, Exhibition / Performance Demonstration): The capstone assessment is designed to provide evidence:
    1. of the candidate’s personal growth through their experience in the program, and
    2. that the candidate can contribute scholarly work to the profession.
  6. Feedback from candidates on course evaluations and employer surveys

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