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MSU Teacher Education Unit (TEU)

B. Standard 1.

Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other school professionals know and demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

B.1. What do candidate assessment data tell the unit about candidates' meeting professional, state, and institutional standards? For programs not nationally/state reviewed, summarize data from key assessments and discuss these results.
The unit offers 18 undergraduate degree programs leading to candidates' initial licensure as classroom teachers. Those programs are as follows: Art Education, Communication Arts, English, Spanish, Biology, Mathematics, Music, Chemistry, Earth Science, History, Social Science, Business Education, Psychology, Communication Disorders, Elementary Education, Physical Education, Elementary Education with Mental Retardation, and Secondary Education with Mental Retardation. The unit offers 7 graduate degree programs that include Master of Arts in Teaching: Science, Master of Arts in Teaching: Mathematics, Master of Music Education, Ed Specialist in School Psychology, Master of Science in Communication Disorders, Master of Science in Special Education, and Master of Education. The Master of Science in Special Education degree has three programs of study which are Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Special Education Strategist. The Master of Education degree offers 13 concentration options that include Art, Business, Cognitive Science, Elementary/Middle School Mathematics, Elementary Education, English, Gifted and Talented, Human Performance and Physical Education, Kindergarten, Middle School, Reading, Science, and Special Education.

The BSE program in music and the Master of Music Education are accredited through the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The Education Specialist in School Psychology is accredited through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The Master of Science program in Communication Disorders is accredited through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Notification letters from the accrediting agencies for the most recent reviews are linked in exhibits list below.

The remaining programs are reviewed by North Dakota's Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB). ESPB arranges for content experts in each program area to review the reports, data, and candidate work samples submitted by the unit. The content experts submit a report of their findings and make recommendations on program approval to the visiting joint NCATE and state teams. The content experts are currently reviewing the reports and supporting documentation and will be submitting their findings to ESPB, which will forward the reports to the unit for posting on the AIMS website as they arrive. Both the unit's state reports and the content expert review reports are available for viewing by selecting the link in the list of exhibits. As content expert reports are posted, links to them will be activated.

BSE candidates are assessed at the following six transition points: admission to teacher education, application to student teaching, completion of methods, midterm of student teaching, completion of student teaching, and as graduates 1-3 years out of their programs. All candidates must meet admission criterion for the university as well as those set forth for admission to teacher education. Admission requirements for teacher education include a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the three communication courses required for General Education with no grade below a C, a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the major plus meeting department guidelines, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50, completion of or current enrollment in ED 250, attendance at an admission seminar, documented 20 hours of working with children or youth, completion of a speech and hearing screening, two satisfactory recommendations, the candidate's current statement of philosophy of education, completion of a self assessment of dispositions and INTASC Standards, and meeting minimum score requirements (also required for licensure by the state) on the Reading, Writing, and Math sections of the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST). To be retained in Teacher Education, all candidates must maintain a minimum 2.50 GPA in the major and a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA. Prior to graduation, candidates in core areas as defined by the state, must meet minimum score requirements on the Praxis 2 content examination in the appropriate content area. Elementary education majors must also meet the state minimum score for licensure on the elementary level Principles of Learning and Teaching exam (PLT). Effective July 1st, 2010, all teacher education graduates must successfully complete the PLT exam appropriate to their licensure level.

The same four-point rubrics used by candidates in their self assessments of dispositions and INTASC standards are used by unit faculty, university student teaching supervisors, and cooperating teachers as they assess candidates' dispositions and their knowledge and performance relative to the ten INTASC standards. Data from these assessments are housed in a database maintained by the unit. Data indicate that candidates grow in their levels of knowledge and performance as they move from one transition point to another. The data show that candidates demonstrate solid performance and have attained expected levels of knowledge, with average scores above 3 on the four-point scale where a score of 4 represents exceeding expected levels for first year teachers.

A fall 2010 survey of recent graduates of unit programs (1 - 3 years out) was conducted. Graduates were asked to answer questions using ratings of excellent preparation, good preparation, average preparation, or poor preparation. While one graduate consistently rated preparation as poor, a majority of graduates rated preparation as excellent or good in almost all areas addressed by the questions. One area of concern identified by the survey results is a need to provide candidates with more opportunities to learn about assessment issues such as reliability, validity, bias, and scoring concerns. This was also a concern identified in comments gathered in a fall 2010 survey of employers of unit graduates. The employer survey results indicate that overall employers find unit graduates to be knowledgeable, skilled, and display appropriate dispositions. Results from both surveys can be viewed by selecting that links in the exhibit list.

Applicants to the unit's master's degree programs must meet minimum admission criterion as determined by the Graduate School and program directors. Requirements vary by program and are summarized in the table linked in the exhibit list. Each program has established transition points and benchmarks at which candidates are assessed. All policies and procedures regarding graduate student admission, candidate assessment, and curriculum changes are submitted to and must be approved by the Graduate Council. Most of the unit's master's degree programs require an action research project or thesis as a capstone experience. Oral exams or written comprehensive exams are also required in some programs.

All members of a candidate's graduate committee must approve the project or thesis proposal and make recommendations for awarding of the degree at the defense. All faculty on graduate committees must have graduate faculty status.

All graduate program candidates must meet minimum standards in coursework and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to remain in their programs. Candidates must complete their programs within 7 years or they must renew or retake coursework that falls outside of the 7-year time frame. Program directors collect, analyze, and store data on their program's candidates and their performance. Program faculty submit data to the program directors using rubrics developed by program faculty and the program. These vary by program. The Master of Education template for reporting data on its candidates is linked in the exhibit list below.

The Graduate School administers an annual survey to program completers. Results of the 2009 survey can be viewed in the exhibits. Surveys of MAT: Mathematics and MEd: Elementary/Middle School Mathematics Concentration graduate students are conducted annually. Both of these programs are grant supported. The surveys are used to collect data needed to meet grant requirements as well as to provide data for program and candidate evaluation.

B.2. Please respond to B.2a if this is the standard on which the unit is moving to the Target Level. If it is not the standard on which you are moving to the target level, respond to B.2b.

The following changes have taken place in the BSE Art program. In 2005 the Art Department converted courses from two credits to three. This was driven by student requests, credit transfer issues, and to bring the department in line with others in NDUS system. In 2007 the Art Department dropped Art 425 Professional Practices and separated the content of that course into four Visual Art Seminars - Art 191, Art 291, Art 391 and Art 491. This change was driven by repeated requests from exiting seniors to have more information sooner in their program, rather than all in the semester prior to their capstone exhibition. In 2009 the Art Department changed Ed 494 Student Teaching from 12 to 16 credits. This change was driven by students saying twelve weeks (six at each level) did not allow adequate time to make the full transition from classroom observer to being in total control of the classroom. Cooperating teachers also stated that they would be more apt to accept a student teacher if the student teacher's schedule were more in alignment with the public school semester.

The BSE Mathematics program made changes to the Math 391 - Teaching Mathematics (methods) course and the required practicum. Before the changes were made in 2009 the methods course was 4 semester hours and included 60 hours of practicum experience. Math 391 was reduced to 3 semester hours, and the practicum was removed from it. Two 1-semester hour practicum courses were created in response to candidate input that additional and earlier practicum experiences were needed. Thus Math 371 - Early Practicum was designed for mathematics education majors as a 45 clock hour placement to be completed prior to admission to Teacher Education. This practicum experience can be completed in a variety of settings including tutoring students individually, being a teaching assistant for a math faculty member in an intermediate algebra or college algebra course on campus, working in the campus Math Clinic, tutoring students in mathematics at the Burdick Job Corps Center, or being placed with a mathematics teacher in one of the local schools. Math 381 - Secondary Math Practicum is a 45 clock hour practicum experience that is done either in the same semester that the methods class is taken or in a subsequent semester. The placement for this class is with a secondary level mathematics teacher at an area school, with the expectation that the candidate will do some teaching under the tutelage of the cooperating teacher during the placement. Practicum experiences were thus increased from 60 clock hours to 90 clock hours for all candidates in the program. New requirements added to the BSE Mathematics program are Math 315 - Introduction to Mathematical Modeling, Math 446 - Probability and Statistics II, and Math 450 - Real Analysis. To accommodate these changes, the number of elective credits was reduced.

In fall semester 2009 several curriculum changes for the MAT: Mathematics degree program successfully went through the curriculum revision and adoption process. Several changes were made, starting with increasing the number of required courses and credits to 30 semester hours from the previous 24 semester hour requirement. Math 501 - Research in Mathematics/Mathematics Education, a 3-semester hour course, was changed to Math 501 - Action Research in Mathematics Education and was reduced to 2-semester hours. A new 3-semester hour course, Math 550 - Technology for Teaching Mathematics, was added as a required course. In addition, a new 2-semester hour course was added to the required course list: Math 596 - Capstone Proposal. The 2-semester hour Math 598 was given an new name and description and became a required course instead of a writing elective. The new name is Math 598 - Capstone Project. Candidates had previously had the option of doing a formal writing project consisting of two major papers in the Math 598 course or doing a thesis in Math 599. The number of elective credits was reduced from a minimum of 6-semester hours to a minimum of 2- semester hours. Previously technology focused coursework had been addressed primarily through electives such as courses on SmartBoard usage, using spreadsheets to teach mathematics, or introduction to new calculators such as the TI-N-Spire. The total number of credits required to complete the MAT: Mathematics program remained the same at 32-semester hours. The oral examination was eliminated as a requirement for completing the degree as it was not supplying data that were helpful in assessment of candidates or the program.

Elementary Education faculty are in the process of requesting a change in its program requirements that will mandate a minimum GPA in general education courses in order to graduate. This request comes as the result of data analysis showing low GPAs for general education courses in specific disciplines among elementary education majors and data from two years ago that indicated a correlation between candidates' low GPAs in general education and difficulties with the Praxis II and student teaching. The request will go to the Teacher Education Administrative Council (TEAC) in the fall.

A new program called Teacher Talks was initiated by the Director of Field Experiences for the BSE programs. This program brings together cooperating teachers and key personnel in the unit to discuss issues relating to practicum and clinical experiences and to provide professional development for the cooperating teachers concerning changes to programs, the conceptual framework, and assessment forms used in the clinical experience.

The university adopted new admission requirements including higher ACT scores for those who will begin studies in fall 2011.

The university is undertaking a revision of general education and has adopted learning outcomes for the institution.

The university has established the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETL) to provide support for student learning and to provide faculty with professional development to enhance student engagement in the learning process. First year experiences that engage freshmen in learning communities of 20 students or less in three linked courses have been established and are supported through CETL. Civic engagement opportunities linked to candidate coursework are also supported through CETL.

Secondary education majors will need to meet minimum score requirements on a newly required state licensure test: the secondary Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test. The state requirement goes into effect July 1, 2010.

New dispositions aligned with INTASC standards were recommended for adoption in spring 2010. The new dispositions will be included on the assessment forms used in student teaching and will increase the frequency of disposition assessment in the clinical setting.

The Center for the Applied Study of Cognition and Learning Sciences (CASCLS) was established as a center of excellence on campus. The center is designed to help educators at all levels connect information on how the mind/brain actually works to appropriate applications in P-12, undergraduate, graduate, and community education. A Cognitive Science concentration was added to the Master of Education program in support of CASCLS.

The Department of Special Education is working toward having all of its programs accredited through the Council for Exceptional Children.

B.3. Exhibit Links