Faculty Qualifications, Performance and Development

5.1 Faculty Qualifications, Performance and Development

How does the unit ensure that its professional education faculty contributes to the preparation of effective educators through scholarship, service, teaching, collaboration and assessment of their performance?

 

CSU Chico’s EPP Unit faculty are highly qualified educators who exemplify what it means to be professionally effective, reflective, and engaged in their work, as described in our conceptual framework and proficiencies. They model best teaching practices that support the development of candidates, integrating diversity and technology throughout their teaching. As teacher-scholars, they regularly reflect on the relationship between their teaching and scholarship. Together with P-12 practitioners and with faculty in other college or university units, they systematically collaborate as an engaged community of learners.

 

The EPP Unit includes 36 Tenure-Tenure Track (T-TT) and 53 temporary faculty members. As documented in Exhibit 5.4.a, 100% of T-TT track faculty members hold a doctorate degree. All T-TT faculty are engaged in meaningful, mission-driven scholarship and have contemporary experiences in public schools (5.4.a). All temporary faculty hold a master’s degree or above in education or a field related to their assignment. Temporary faculty who often serve as clinical faculty/supervisors include veteran administrators, experienced school psychologists, expert master teachers and others who are well recognized for their wealth of knowledge and competence in the field (5.4.b).

 

Faculty teaching practices include a wide variety of effective methods and practices to engage their students with content (5.4.h.1), including multiple types of technology (5.4.h.2). All course syllabi show that faculty design instruction to based on student outcomes linked to relevant standards and student assessments. Faculty use assessment technologies such as Blackboard Learn, CSU Chico’s learning management system, to make course content, assessments, grades, and collaborative activities accessible to candidates. To support candidate learning, faculty use university-supported electronic tools, such as Google Apps for Education and Turn It In, a tool for academic writing feedback. Diversity experiences are systematically and purposefully integrated throughout coursework and fieldwork (4.4.b.1 and 2), as required by state standards, in alignment with the University’s Academic Diversity Plan. Multiple sources of data inform our practice. Faculty regularly review data results of surveys and other measures in program meetings and adjust their instruction and programs accordingly (2.4.g.1).

 

Many faculty in the EPP Unit have earned teaching awards (5.4.j) and are known on campus and in the community as outstanding teachers and instructional leaders who model innovative and research-based best practices consistent with the unit’s mission and vision. For example, faculty across the unit collaborated on an Assistive Technology Workshop that engaged candidates across all programs in an integrated model of services for P-12 students (5.4.n, p. 6). Faculty are also known for pioneering new programs that maximize learning opportunities through online education, such as the Master of Science in Agriculture Education, an innovative collaboration with the AG*IDEA Consortium that allows candidates to take courses from respected faculty members across the nation.

 

Unit faculty engage in a broad range of scholarly work that exhibits intellectual vitality, relates to the EPP Unit’s conceptual framework, and influences the field. As teacher-scholars, unit faculty believe that scholarship, research, and creative endeavors enhance teaching and are essential to high-quality instruction. In their scholarship, faculty reflect about teaching, as evidenced by recent publications from across the unit (5.4.d.2 through 6). The summary of results of scholarly activity since 2011 confirms that faculty publish regularly and extensively, disseminating their research through presentations at international, national, state and local conferences related to teacher education, literacy, global education, early childhood education, counseling, administration, school psychology, and bilingual education (5.4.d.1). The summary also reveals that grant activity is significant (5.4.e.1) and that many faculty serve in leadership roles in professional organizations and associations (5.4.d.1).

 

University personnel documents identify service as part of the primary professional responsibility of faculty. Unit faculty are engaged in a wide range of service to their departments, colleges, the university, and the educational community. The unit values mutually beneficial partnerships that align the teaching and research agenda of the university and the self-identified interests of the communities of its region. Many faculty serve elected or appointed membership on department, college and university committees. Service contributions, in particular service to P-12 partners, is recognized and supported in the personnel evaluation process across the unit for both tenured/tenure track and part-time faculty. Because our unit believes in the power of education to create a society in which each student is valued, we work collaboratively with our school partners in a broad range of service activities to that end. For example, specific programs such as Agriculture Specialist Program annually engage in P-12 partners and candidates in approximately 20 local, regional, and state activities (5.4.e.2). Faculty engaged in professional development projects in collaboration with our P-12 partners provide deep and engaging service in support of our local P-12 students, schools and districts. Additionally, many faculty in the unit hold leadership roles, as evidenced in faculty vita and in exhibits 5.4.a, 5.4.b. The unit is a known leader in support of the CSU, Chico Academic Plan service goal to “Serve the North State and Beyond”(Goal 4).

 

All policies and requirements for evaluation leading to retention, promotion and tenure are described in CSU, Chico’s Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures (FPPP) document, based upon the CSU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and Title 5 regulations. The FPPP provides basis for the unit’s systematic evaluation of faculty in teaching, scholarship and service (5.4.f.1). In alignment with the FPP, each department develops its own RTP policies.  The mission and vision of the department sets the foundation for the policy and provides specific expectations for faculty performance relative to the discipline. Once approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the document serves as that department’s guidelines (5.4.f.2 through 7). Each academic year the university generates an RTP calendar for all departments that indicates which faculty are due to be reviewed, what type of review they will undergo, and when reports for each level of review are due (5.4.f.2). Although the unit is composed of faculty from five departments, the existence of a common set of university personnel policies means that each department shares similar standards for performance.

 

As part of the evaluation cycle, faculty reflect periodically on the quality of their instruction, using evidence such as Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs), syllabi, and feedback on student work. They write reflections about changes they make to their teaching and evaluate the outcomes of those changes, based on data (5.4.l). Faculty use evaluations as opportunities to reflect on their teaching, set new goals, discuss actions taken, and evaluate the effects (5.4.k). SET data from 2012-2013 show that in education courses, candidates’ average rating of teaching was 4.5 out of 5 points across 11 instructional categories, (5.4.i). A summary of results in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service shows that EPP Unit faculty consistently earn high ratings, with 80% of faculty evaluated since 2011 having earned a rating of superior in their teaching (5.4.f.8). Policies and practices are in place to assure that clinical faculty are regularly evaluated and meet unit expectations (5.4.c.1, 2, and 3).

 

Policies, procedures, and practices for professional development provide assurance that professional growth is an essential and well-supported component of faculty development at CSU, Chico and the EPP Unit (5.4.g.1, 2, and 3). Recently revised Professional Development Funding Guidelines from Academic Affairs provide $1800.00 per year and a 3-unit course release for the first two years for new faculty, in addition to a  $2000.00 start-up package. T-TT faculty receive $800.00 per year for professional development. Organizations such as the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) offer faculty and staff Learning and Teaching Awards and Learning Enhancement Grants to improve quality and productivity in learning and teaching.  The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RESP) provides internal funding opportunities for faculty research and creative projects, Internal Research Grant (IRG) competitions, Faculty Development Grants and Research Scholars. The CME Office of Outreach, Research and Grants (ORG) provides proposal development support and project management services to SOE faculty seeking and successful in securing external funding.

 

Goal-driven professional development opportunities ensure the growth of individual faculty and the EPP Unit (5.4.g.5). A statement describing why the travel is mission critical must accompany requests for approval to travel. Plans for professional development events sponsored by the School of Education are based upon needs identified by the Continuous Improvement System. Faculty contribute to unit continuous improvement by sharing what they learn with their colleagues at department meetings and other professional development opportunities in the unit. Grant project directors collaborate across the unit to co-sponsor professional development events that address project and unit goals. By sharing the resources across programs, unit faculty maximize opportunities for professional development within the institution and across the region. Department-level new faculty mentoring has been successful, resulting in the support and retention of new faculty (5.4.g.7).