I.1 University’s Mission, Historical Context, & Unique Characteristics
California University of Pennsylvania, a comprehensive regional institution of higher education and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, is a diverse caring and scholarly learning community dedicated to excellence in the liberal arts, science and technology, and professional studies that is devoted to building character and careers, broadly defined. The University is inspired by its core values of integrity, civility, and responsibility and is guided by its bill of rights and responsibilities.
Mission. To advance its ultimate mission of building the character and careers of students, California University of Pennsylvania shall focus its efforts on three goals: student achievement and success, institutional excellence, and community service. These interrelated ends will be facilitated by the following means: high quality faculty, students, programs, and facilities. These means, in turn, will be funded through an energetic program of resource acquisition and stewardship. http://www.calu.edu/about-us/mission-statement-and-vision/index.htm
Unique Characteristics. The university is in the Borough of California, a community of approximately 6,000 residents, located on the banks of the Monongahela River, about an hour’s drive south of Pittsburgh. The main campus consists of 38 buildings situated on 90 acres with an additional 98-acre recreation complex, George H. Roadman University Park, located one mile from campus. The single satellite facility is located at Southpointe in Canonsburg, PA. The geographic location of the university gives the resident student opportunities to explore and pursue a wide variety of activities. In addition to cultural activities provided on campus, the student has easy access to the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, located only 30 miles from campus. One of the fourteen state-owned institutions of higher education in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, it has the strength and stability of a university system, but it retains its own flavor and unique history.
Historical Context. The institution that is now California University of Pennsylvania began as an academy more than 150 years ago, being founded in 1852. It has evolved over the years until now it is a multi-purpose university. Significant occurrences during that time include:
Jennie Adams Carter becomes the first African American to graduate from the college in 1881. The institution begins granting bachelor’s degrees in elementary education (1928), in secondary education (1928), and in industrial arts (1930). It also begins granting master’s degrees in 1963 and currently has plans for granting doctorates in some educational areas in the near future.
The institution begins providing clinics for children with disabilities (1935), reading problems (1936), and speech difficulties (1936). In 1998, California University’s Council of Trustees approves the adoption of cores values of Integrity, Civility, and Responsibility for the university.
In 2012, the State System of Higher Education appoints Geraldine M. Jones as acting president, the first African American and first woman to hold the position. Additional historical materials for the university can be found at http://www.calu.edu/about-us/history/index.htm.
California University of Pennsylvania Mission & Vision:
The “Unit” is across all four colleges at California University of Pennsylvania. Dean Kevin Koury is the head of the Unit and also acts as the Education Official for all certifications. http://www.calu.edu/academics/colleges/education/ncate/_files/Education-Unit-Organizational-Chart.pdf Dean Koury is responsible for all education candidates, even for the programs located in the other colleges. However, the faculty of Art Education, School Psychology, and Technology Education programs report to their respective Dean. All departments hosting a teacher certification program, either initial or advanced certification, are led by either a department chair or a program coordinator. The Graduate Dean shares responsibility for graduate level teacher certification programs that are located in the three undergraduate colleges. California University of Pennsylvania offers a broad range of undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate programs, most of which lead to an initial teaching certificate, additional endorsement, or advanced certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Unit’s initial teacher preparation and advanced professional development programs respond to diverse constituency needs. The Unit provides a personalized, continuum of learning for diverse students and faculty body through collective excellence in academia. One goal of the Unit is to maintain a diversity of contemporary curricula appropriate for the preparation of new education based professionals and the improvement of professionals already in the field.
To advance the University’s ultimate mission of building the character and careers of students, the Unit shall focus its efforts on three goals: student achievement and success, institutional excellence, and community service. These interrelated ends will be facilitated by the following means: high quality faculty, students, programs, and facilities. These means, in turn, will be funded through an energetic program of resource acquisition and stewardship.
1.3 Program Summary
The Unit contains programs related to PK-Grade 4 education, middle level education, special education, and technology education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The unit also contains undergraduate programming in secondary education in a variety of areas (i.e., mathematics, sciences, English, and social studies). All aforementioned undergraduate and graduate programs are located on the University’s main campus and are delivered primarily in a traditional manner. This means that there may be an occasional course that is delivered via distance educational modalities. All of the aforementioned programs have been approved by the state for delivery with the exception of the graduate program for middle level education and newly created Secondary and Special Education (7-12) graduate and undergraduate programs. As for national recognition, the programs have been reviewed by their SPA and are working to correct any issues as indicated on the (February 1, 2013) reports. Recognition statuses range from Recognized with Condition to Further Development Required. Technology Education did not seek SPA approval.
Graduate programs for Reading Specialists, ELL Specialists, School Psychologists, and School Counselors are delivered in a traditional manner and are state approved. All of the aforementioned graduate programs with the exception of School Counseling are constructing rejoinders to the most recent SPA reports. Their status ranges from Recognized with Condition to Further Development Required. The School Counseling program has been nationally recognized by CACREP. Graduate Programs in Masters of Arts Teaching (MAT), the Principals Program, and the Superintendents Program are delivered via distance education and all have state approval. The programs for Principals and Superintendents have been recognized with conditions by the correspond SPA, while the MAT program requires further development by its SPA.
I.4 Basic Tenets of Conceptual Framework …
The Conceptual Framework establishes the shared vision for the Educational Unit’s efforts in preparing educators to work effectively in P-12 schools. It provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, scholarship, service, and unit accountability. The conceptual framework is knowledge-based, articulated, shared, coherent, consistent with the unit and/or institutional mission, and continuously evaluated. The Conceptual Framework is presented to students for the first time in the Summer Orientation Welcome & Information sessions held by the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services. The Conceptual Framework is also disseminated through the Teacher Education Program Student Handbook 2013-2014. Each semester there are a number of required meetings for all teacher education candidates. These meetings are used to present new policies, procedures, guest speakers, information dissemination (such as the Pennsylvania Chapter 354 changes, Conceptual Framework, curricular changes, or Praxis Exams) as well as allowing a feedback session where candidates can express their concerns and any other problems they are having in successfully completing the teacher education program.
Most importantly, the conceptual framework is explained to our candidates mainly through our students’ extensive professional coursework. The students become familiar with the Conceptual Framework as they prepare their portfolios. Candidate evaluations and assessments provide evidence that successful future educators in our programs demonstrate acceptable performance in each of the critical knowledge areas. We are thus assured that alignment between programs, field experiences, and assessments has been successful. The theme for our conceptual framework is “Preparing Tomorrow’s Educational Leaders through Knowledge, Professional Practices, and Professionalism.” The conceptual framework for California University of Pennsylvania’s teacher education and educational specialist program is based upon the three principles of Knowledge, Professional Practices, and Professionalism, which form our philosophical foundation. Three elements support each of the conceptual framework principles, creating a strong base for our candidates to build the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of a 21st century educational leader and teacher. Conceptual Framework Principles and Rationales
Many of the tenets in the Conceptual Framework run parallel to the work of Charlotte Danielson. The three areas found within the Educational Unit’s Conceptual Framework include Principle 1 (Knowledge), Principle 2 (Professional Practices), and Principle 3 (Professionalism). The areas that are included in the Danielson model involve Planning and Preparation, which can be found in the Unit’s Principles 1 and 2. They also include a domain on the Classroom Environment, which is found in the Professional Practices principle. Danielson’s third area (Instruction) has commonalities with the Unit’s second principle. Finally, Principle 3 from the unit fits with Danielson’s final domain (Professional Responsibilities).
Post Baccalaureate and Graduate Programming