NCATE Accreditation

Unit Governance and Resources

6.1 Unit Governance and Resources

How do the unit’s governance system and resources contribute to adequately preparing candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards? 

The School of Education, which resides in the College of Communication and Education (CME), is the center of the EPP Unit. The unit provides the leadership for effectively coordinating all programs at the institution designed to prepare education professionals to work in P–12 schools. The EPP Unit Organizational Chart shows the relationship between the programs in the unit (6.4.b.2). 

The EPP Unit benefits from the guidance and support of the CSU system and CSU, Chico in its preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards. The Academic Senate of the CSU, made up of elected representatives of the faculty from each of the 23 CSU campuses, recommends academic policy to the Board of Trustees through the Chancellor. CSU, Chico is accredited by the Senior College Commission of WASC. The unit received initial NCATE accreditation in 2007. All credential programs within the unit are preliminarily aligned to CTC program standards.  Each level of accreditation ensures that our candidates are well prepared to be effective, reflective and engaged in their professional education roles.

University President Paul Zingg and Provost Belle Wei consider the preparation of teachers to be a vital part of the university’s mission. The Provost directs the Academic Affairs division that oversees the academic strategic plan, the distribution of academic resources, faculty personnel matters, and coordination of curriculum decisions. The Provost consults regularly with the Council of Academic Deans (CAD) to guide implementation of the academic plan, develop initiatives for student success, and facilitate the exchange of information and development of policies. Exhibit 6.4.b.1 illustrates the relationships among university administrative positions and the EPP Unit.

The CME Dean, Dr. Angela Trethewey is the administrative head of the college and the chief academic and administrative officer. The Dean is responsible for academic policy, administration of instructional and research resources, and fiscal and personnel management. The Dean provides leadership for academic excellence in curricula, teaching, research, and service and is responsible for the development of external support, building strong relationships with the P-12 community, and implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan. Policies, procedures and practices for operation of the unit are found in documents at various levels of the institution (6.4.a.1). Unit documents are mission-driven and governed by university, school, and program policies. The All University Responsibility for Teacher Education Committee (AURTEC) provides program and policy oversight of the teacher education at CSU, Chico and ensures that education is an all-university responsibility (6.4.b.3.a and b). Department documents such as the SOE constitution outline the governance and operations of the unit, and Personnel, Policies, and Procedures documents set forth expectations for faculty hiring, retention, performance and evaluation (6.4.a.2and 3).

The unit is structured to provide leadership that best supports the preparation of candidates through shared governance, broad representation, ongoing communication, and collaboration. Although housed in different colleges, the coordinators of all programs in the EPP Unit meet monthly to discuss collaborative efforts for continuous improvement.  Pathway coordinators and the SOE Governance Council meet twice monthly. Led by the Associate Dean/Director, the elected Governance Council makes policy recommendations that guide and inform the SOE. Governance Council members include representatives from all program levels, faculty at large, staff, lecturers, and the Credential Analyst. Pathway coordinators conduct monthly pathway meetings with their faculty and clinical supervisors. Committees meet regularly as needed. Proposals initiated at the committee level are presented to the SOE body for approval. The SOE faculty meets monthly.

The EPP Unit ensures that candidates have access to student services such as advising and counseling through a variety of avenues (6.4.c.1).  Centralized pre-program advisor and pre-program advising tools are readily available (6.4.c.2). Policies, procedures, and practices for candidate recruitment and admission, and accessibility to candidates and the education community are found are found in several locations and documents at various system, institution, and program levels (6.4.d). The unit’s recruiting and admission practices are described clearly and consistently in publications and catalogs. Academic calendars, catalogs, publications, grading policies, and advertising are accurate and current (6.4.e).

Budget resources are tied to enrollment growth and Full Time Equivalent Students (FTES) targets. Due to state reductions in revenues, budget cuts to the CSU system has at times reduced enrollment targets and resources.   After deep cuts in 11/12, budget resources have stabilized and are slightly increasing. Some colleges receive a slightly higher percentage of funding than CME, based on the “Special Needs” category in the budget model (6.4.g.1). The SOE state-appropriated funds adequately support its mission and are comparable across departments within CME. Funding is tied to enrollment targets measured by the number of (FTES). Funding is allocated to each academic unit using a budget model that incorporates: Lecture FTES, Lab FTES, Lower Division FTES, Upper Division FTES, Graduate FTES, Administrative Support, Technology, Majors and Special Needs.  Using these factors, each department within the college receives funding to match performance in achieving full-time equivalent student enrollment and in other areas outlined by the model (6.4.g.2).

Resources allocated to departments within the unit permit faculty teaching, scholarship and service that extends beyond the unit to P-12 education and other programs in the institution. For example, in AY 13-14 the SOE budget was adjusted to reflect a greater emphasis on high-quality clinical experiences by increasing funding supervision funding formula from a 3:1 candidate/faculty ratio to 2:1. Additionally, the SOE fully funded all professional development travel requests, allocating $26,851, in accordance with the approved professional travel funding guidelines that support the mission and RTP expectations (6.4.f.1 and 2).

Academic Affairs also allocates funding for professional development, according to newly revised Professional Development Support Guidelines (5.4.g.1).  The EPP Unit provides additional support for professional development including attendance at professional meetings, workshops, and PD activities that engage faculty in dialogue and skill development related to emerging theories and practices. Grant activity further supports the high-quality work within the unit and its school partners. During AY13-14 SOE reimbursement for faculty grant activity totaled $363,837, or 17% of faculty salaries.

Workload policies and practices permit and encourage faculty to be engaged in a wide range of professional activities. Faculty workload is a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) between the faculty union and the CSU system.  As per the CBA, all Chico State full-time faculty carry 24 WTUs (weighted teaching units) per year (6.4.h).  Academic Affairs’ newly revised Professional Development Guidelines include provisions for a one-course release for the first two years for newly hired T-TT faculty. The SOE new faculty mentoring program provides new faculty with an additional 3-unit course release and an assigned mentor (5.4.g.7). The EPP Unit’s use of part-time faculty and of graduate teaching assistants is purposeful and employed to strengthen programs. Clinical faculty are included as valued colleagues in preparing educators. Support staff includes an Administrative Analyst, Administrative Support Coordinators (5), and full-time Technology Support Personnel (2). Departments are staffed based on FTES. For example, the 2.5 SOE personnel support initial and advanced programs, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of faculty and program coordinators in the operation of programs, teaching and advisement of candidates.

The EPP Unit’s state-of-the-art facilities include an autism clinic, kinesiology pedagogy lab, and speech and hearing clinic. The Autism Clinic combines multiple disciplines, resources, and support to allow continuous development in a positive environment for CSU Chico students, individuals with autism, and their families. The on-campus Center for Communication Disorders provides diagnostic and rehabilitative services for communicative disorders. The Pedagogy Laboratory includes a gymnasium with attached observation room. In the SOE, technology investments of approximately $45,000 a year allow faculty to model the use of technology and candidates to practice its use. “Smart” classrooms are outfitted with flexible modular furniture, laptop carts, Smartboards, and Swvl Cams for two-way video instruction. All candidates have access to physical and/or virtual classrooms, computer labs, curriculum resources, and library resources that support teaching and learning (6.4.i). All candidates have access to distance learning, including support services and resources, when applicable (6.4.j.1 and 2).

Resources for distance learning programs provide exceptional reliability, speed, and confidentiality of connection in the delivery system. Faculty and candidates have access to CSU Chico’s Meriam Library which houses over 75,085 electronic journals, 172,323 Ebooks, and 130 databases.

With the support of the Office of Outreach, Research and Grants (ORG), the unit has secured approximately $15 million since 2008. These mission-driven resources allow for ongoing professional development for faculty and school site partners. The unit serves as an information technology resource to the university, community, and other institutions.