Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions

What do candidate assessment data tell the unit about candidates’ meeting professional, state, and institutional standards and their impact on P-12 student learning? For programs not nationally/state reviewed, summarize data from key assessments and discuss these results.

 

Data indicate that initial programs preparing effective, reflective and engaged teachers who meet professional, state and institutional standards. All candidates meet admission requirements, including passing a state subject matter competency test (or, for the Single Subject Program, passed a state approved subject matter program) (2.4.b). With that base of content knowledge, candidates build pedagogical content knowledge through state-approved programs that align with state standards and Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs). To be recommended for a credential, candidates must pass all requirements for in-program transition and program completion (2.4.a.2). Based on data from our 2014 CAEP Annual Report, 97% of candidates (or 255 of 263) who attempted to finish an initial program were able to successfully complete requirements.

 

Data from key assessments (1.4.c.1 - 2, 1.4.d.2) indicate that candidates who are recommended for a credential are particularly well prepared to 1) create lesson plans and 2) present content using strategies that reach all learners. In 2013-2014, as in previous years, candidates earned high scores on PACT Planning Rubrics (1-3) (1.4.d.2 Tab 4). Similarly, on the Exit Survey, 96% of candidates reported feeling adequately- to well-prepared to plan lessons (1.4.d.3, line 1). Candidates are adept at providing multiple explanations and strategies to help all students learn, using appropriate technologies. Over 93% were rated as professional or exemplary on Field Evaluations for TPE 4: Making Content Accessible. The Exit Survey supports this trend, with 93% of candidates responding that they were adequately or very well prepared to “adjust teaching strategies so all pupils have chances to understand and learn.”

 

In addition, initial candidates know how to use data to inform instruction, as evidenced by their 98% pass rate on PACT, which requires teaching, collection and interpretation of student work, and design of next steps for instruction. In 2013-2014, candidates scored highly on other measures of assessment (TPEs 2 and 3), with all students acceptable or above in their preparedness to use formative and summative assessments. On the Exit Survey, 94% of candidates responded that they were adequately- to- well prepared to use assessments to monitor student progress (1.4.d.3 Tab 1). Candidates believe that all students can learn (Disposition 2), a disposition on which supervisors consistently rate candidates highly (3.6 out of 4, 1.4.d.2 Tab 3).

 

Initial candidates are highly reflective (EPP Unit Proficiency 5), with 95% responding that they felt adequately (19%) to well (76%) prepared to “evaluate and reflect on their own teaching and to ask for help when they need it.” (1.4.d.3, line 1). On Field Evaluations, performance in 2013-2014 was the highest for TPE 13: Professional Growth, with a mean of 3.5 out of 4 (1.4.d.2 Tab 3). This score suggests that candidates are demonstrating behaviors that are reflective, consistently seeking opportunities for feedback and growth. Dispositional data indicate that 98% of students at a professional or exemplary level for EPP Disposition 3, which focuses on reflection (1.4.d.2 Tab 3).

 

Data also indicate that initial candidates are engaged with their students, schools and the community (EPP Proficiencies 5 and 6). Candidates scored highly on TPE measures of engagement, with a mean of 3.3 out of 4 on field ratings for TPE 8 Learning About Students, TPE 10 Social Environment, and TPE 12 Professional/Legal/Ethical Obligations. Dispositional data confirm these field evaluations, with mean scores of 3.6 for Collaboration (Disposition 4) and 3.5 for Positive Environment (Disposition 5) (1.4.d.2 Tab 3).

 

In the MA in Education (MA in Ed) program, candidates demonstrate effectiveness through a series of key assignments and proficiency checks, ending in a culminating experience that consists of a thesis, project, or comprehensive examination. All candidates other than those admitted to the Rural Teacher Residency (RTR) pathway are required to have a teaching credential for admission. Throughout the program, candidates build specialized knowledge related to their positions and the education field. In the 2013-2014 Exit Survey, 94% of candidates agreed or strongly agreed that the program “helped to increase knowledge about my content area or area of emphasis” and “helped me become more knowledgeable about current issues in education” (1.4.d.2 Tab 8, lines 1, 2). Results of the culminating activity give further evidence of their depth of knowledge and pedagogical skills. In 2013-2014, 94% of candidates passed the culminating activity on their initial attempt, and the remaining students passed on their second attempt (1.4.d.2 Tab 7).

 

In the last few years, the quality of academic writing has become a focus of the MA in Education program and of all graduate programs at CSU Chico. Upon entry, an average of 15% of candidates are admitted as conditionally classified and in need of remediation, scoring at level 2 on the writing rubric. By the time they are advanced to candidacy, all have achieved a level 3 or 4 on the rubric, indicating a professional level of writing that includes a consistent use of quality evidence to support statements. Data from 2013-2014 supports this trend (1.4.d.2 Tab 7). The 2013-2014 Exit Survey confirms that finding, indicating that 94.5% of candidates agreed or strongly agreed that their writing had improved in the program (1.4.d.2 Tab 8).

 

A hallmark of the MA in Ed Program is its emphasis on action research, which closely aligns with the EPP Unit’s proficiencies Reflection (2) and Engagement (3). Scores on their Action Research Key Assessment show that candidates know how to 1) use data to identify key issues and 2) use research methods to study ways to increase student learning. On the Action Research Key Assessment, 100% of candidates scored at the Professional or Exemplary levels (1.4.d.2 Tab 7, line 23). On the Equity Study Key Assessment, 96.3% of candidates scored at the Professional or Exemplary levels, which provides further evidence that candidates understand the important role that the school plays in the community (1.4.d.2 Tab 7, line 4). Dispositional data show that finishers are reflective (Disposition 3) and collaborative (Disposition 4), both essential personal and professional characteristics of teachers who are educational leaders (1.4.d.2 Tab 7).

 

Candidates earning credentials as a school psychologist (PPS), speech-language pathologist (CMSD) or school administrator (EDAD) are well prepared to be effective, reflective and engaged in their professional roles. All programs are aligned with rigorous California state standards, and all candidates must pass the transition point criteria outlined in 2.4.a.2.

 

All candidates finishing the PPS program in 2013-2014 passed the PRAXIS with a mean passing score that exceeded the national average. Each also scored exemplary across all ten domains in the final evaluation, providing evidence of their preparation across categories including: Personal Qualifications, Communication, Consultation, Counseling, Assessment, Intervention, Program Development, Ethical Practices, Community Collaboration and Inservice Training.  These scores rose between the end of the first and second-year clinical experiences, particularly in the area of assessment. This growth points to the success of the internship experience in solidifying candidates’ skills using data to inform decisions regarding psychoeducational interventions. On the Culminating Activity, all 2013-2014 PPS finishers successfully completed the comprehensive exam, with three candidates earning the score of “pass” and one earning a “pass with distinction.”

 

CMSD finishers’ clinical evaluations and performance reviews indicate a high level of competence across categories including: Prevention, Evaluation, Interpersonal Skills, Reporting and Professional Behaviors and Responsibilities. On the Second Year Evaluations, 100% scored at or above acceptable across categories. Notable are the high ratings in categories of Interpersonal Skills (86% Outstanding) and Professional Behaviors/Responsibilities (95% outstanding) (1.4.d.2 Tab 10). These high ratings speak to the dispositional strength of these reflective and engaged clinicians. All candidates passed the PRAXIS and the program’s comprehensive exam, and they reported that their program “provided them with the academic training necessary to begin their careers” (1.4.d.2 Tab 10).

 

In EDAD, most candidates seek the credential with the MA in Ed, so they must successfully complete Key Assessments for both MA in Education and EDAD. Candidates demonstrate preparedness for school leadership with Mid-Program and Final Portfolio Reviews focused on five leadership roles that align with the unit’s conceptual framework: Principal/Teacher, Purposeful Manager, Inquirer/Reflector/Connector, Community Organizer, and Change Agent  (I.5.c.1).  On the Final Review for 2013-2014, all candidates reached Proficient (40%) or Exemplary (60%) (1.4.d.2 Tab 7). Successful completion of these evaluations provides evidence that finishers met or exceeded the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSELs), including the ability to analyze data, engage in reflective practice, and use technology to support and improve student learning. Exit Survey findings support the key assessment findings; all candidates agreed or strongly agreed that the program helped them learn to 1) promote a safe, efficient and effective learning environment, 2) work with diverse students and families and 3) develop personal ethics in a leadership capacity (1.4.d.2 Tab 8).

 

Across all programs in the unit, data demonstrate that graduates meet the unit’s proficiencies and dispositions. These data also are also useful in guiding continuous improvement efforts, which will be described in the following section.