Standard 1. Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
Standard 1 components
As can be seen in AIMS, our programs were somewhat successful in relation to SPA reviews, with 6 of 17 programs receiving national recognition with conditions (advanced programs: School Psychology, Reading Specialist, Administrative Program for Principal, Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility; initial programs: Elementary Pre K-4, and Middle Level 4-8) and 11 identified as needing further development (advanced programs: English as a Second Language; initial programs: Special Education Pre K-8, and all Secondary Education programs). The receipt of these reports came just prior to the submission of the Institutional Report. All programs will be submitting either a Response to Conditions or a Revised Report.
The College of Education and Human Services has one advanced program for candidates that do not have a national or state review: Secondary Education (MAT). A review was completed by (ILPB) that reported the program in need of further development.
The key assessments are aligned at each decision point with the Unit’s Conceptual Framework, the Pennsylvania Department of Education Chapter 49.2 competencies, and the standards of the applicable Specialized Professional Association (SPA). [Assessments of Professional Skills see Standard 1.4.c]
Data from required licensure tests is somewhat limited and restrictive due to the changes in certificate areas. PRAXIS II data from the period 09/01/2011-08/31/12 show that 100% of our program completers achieved qualifying scores on their required PRAXIS II tests. [Title II Reports see 1.4.b]
The results of other key assessments paint a somewhat different and more positive picture of our candidate’s content knowledge and show they are meeting professional, state and institutional standards. Cumulative GPA and Content Area GPA are collected at Decision Point 2, Admission to Teacher Education. Candidate overall GPA was 3.62/4.00 in SP 12 and 3.59/4.00 in FA12. Candidate content GPA was slightly higher: 3.63 (SP 12) and 3.70 (FA12).
Additional data regarding candidate content knowledge is collected at Decision Point 4, Student Teaching. Cooperating Teachers complete an evaluation of their student teachers at the conclusion of each placement. The teachers are asked to rate, on a scale of 0-3, the student teacher on a number of items, including one dealing with content knowledge: “Student teaching candidate demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the content that they are teaching”. Cooperating teachers rated the content knowledge of all candidates quite high: 2.77/3.00 (SP 12) and 2.80/3.00 (FA12).
The California University supervisor also collects important data during the candidate’s student teaching experience. The supervisor uses the state-mandated Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Teaching Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430) to assess the candidate in five categories: Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instructional Delivery, Professionalism, and Content Knowledge. In the category of Content, all candidates were scored 2.75/3.00 (SP 12) and 2.56/3.00 (FA12). Category I of the PDE 430 also addresses content knowledge. The description of category begins with “Student teacher/candidate demonstrates thorough knowledge of conten” Student teacher/candidates were scored at 2.75/3.00 (SP 12) and 2.61/3.00 (FA12).
Candidate knowledge of content is documented by pass rates on PRAXIS II assessments. In 2011-12, the Unit had an overall institutional pass rate for program completers of 100%.
Each program of study provides coursework in which candidates must demonstrate content knowledge through completion of course content and mastery of course objectives. Candidates must complete each professional education course with a grade of “C” or better and maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 within their major to demonstrate content knowledge. All program completers earned at minimum a 3.0 GPA to apply for Pennsylvania teacher certification.
At Decision Point 3, candidates submit an electronic portfolio organized around the InTASC standards/principles to a member of the faculty for review and assessment. During the academic year 2011-12, 96% of the artifacts and corresponding rationales (293/304) were rated as either Exceeding or Meeting Expectations on Principle 1, Knowledge of Subject Matter. Data on overall and content area GPA are also collected at Decision Point 3. The average overall GPA of undergraduate candidates was 3.62/4.0 (SP 12) and 3.60/4.0 (FA12). Average content area GPA for undergraduate candidates was 3.67/4.0 (SP 12) and 3.81/4.0 (FA12) [GPA Averages see Standard 2.4.b].
At Decision Point 4, the content knowledge of our undergraduate candidates is rated high by the university supervisors at 2.74/3.00 and 2.56/3.00 (SP and FA12) and by the cooperating teachers at 2.71/3.00 and 2.85/3.00 (SP and FA12).
Advanced Program candidates at California University must possess a BS/BA degree to be admitted. This requirement ensures their understanding of content knowledge within their discipline. The requirements for admission, retention and exit from Advanced Programs are reflected by the six Decision points.
Advanced Program candidates seeking initial certification must possess a minimum grade point average of 3.00/4.00 to achieve Degree Candidacy at Decision Point 2. At Decision Point 3 (Recommendation for Student Teaching) GPA data are collected. In SP and FA12 respectively, Advanced Candidates in initial programs earned an overall mean GPA of 3.61/4.00 and 3.79/4.00. For the same period, average content area GPA for Advanced Program candidates was 3.49/4.00 and 3.81/4.00. Advanced Candidates construct and present electronically a portfolio organized around InTASC standards. During the 2011-12 academic year, 100% of advanced candidates were rated as ‘Meets Expectations’ on the artifacts and rationales under Principle One: Knowledge of Subject Matter. At Decision Point 4, the content knowledge of advanced candidates is rated high by the university supervisors at 2.79/3.00 and 2.57/3.00 (SP and FA12) and by the cooperating teachers at 2.77/3.00 and 2.82/3.00 (SP and FA12).
Coursework and field experiences provide understanding of general and content specific instructional best practices that enable integration of content and pedagogy to optimize candidates’ learning in both initial and advanced programs. Candidates demonstrate understanding of learning strategies, research-based pedagogical methodologies, appropriate utilization of instructional technology, and independent problem-solving skills to support successful learning for students with diverse characteristics across content areas.
Candidates’ pedagogical content knowledge and skills are assessed at several points in their programs. At Decision Point 3, Recommendation for Student Teaching, both initial and advanced candidates present their electronic portfolios to a faculty member or a panel of faculty for review and assessment. Candidates select and include a minimum of two artifacts under each principle. They also write a rationale statement for each principle that describes the artifacts and how they demonstrate the candidates’ knowledge or skill as described in each of twelve principles/standards set forth by InTASC. Each principle (artifacts and rationale) are scored on a scale from 0 (unsatisfactory) to 3 (exceeds expectations). A number of the principles address pedagogical knowledge and skills: Human Development and Learning, Adapting Instruction for Individual Needs, Multiple Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management and Motivation, Instructional Planning Skills, and Professional Commitment and Responsibilities. Data indicate that in all of the InTASC Principles, over 90% of our candidates either Exceeded or Met Expectations. [Portfolio Information see Standard 2.4.h]
Three items on the PDE 430 form speak to our candidates’ pedagogical content knowledge and skills: planning and preparation, classroom environment, and instructional delivery. The ratings given to candidates by their student teaching supervisors in these three categories ranged from 2.61-2.75/3.00 and 2.59-2.60/3.00 in SP and FA12 respectively. [PDE 430 Data see 3.4.f]
Candidates take into consideration the backgrounds and prior experiences of their students. Relevant data is collected at Decision Point 3: Recommendation for Student Teaching when candidates’ electronic portfolio is assessed. Several principles contain knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to this standard. During the 2010-2011 academic year, between 94-97% of candidate’s artifacts and rationales either exceeded or met expectations as rated by faculty reviewers [Portfolio Information see Standard 2.4.h]
Student teaching is the capstone field experience for all candidates in our initial programs, undergraduate and advanced. Perhaps the best judges of our candidates’ professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills are the classroom teachers with whom our candidates work during their student teaching experience. All candidates are evaluated by their cooperating teachers at the conclusion of each placement. Four of the five areas in which candidates are assessed are related to this standard: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instructional delivery, and professionalism. The ratings achieved by our candidates ranged from 2.77-2.84 (SP 12) and 2.76-2.90 (FA12).
The knowledge and skills contained in this standard are also assessed by the university supervisor in categories 1-4 on the PDE 430 instrument) at the conclusion of the student teaching experience. Our candidates achieved scores ranging from 2.61/3.00 (SP 12) and from 2.59-2.74/3.00 (FA12). Candidates also reflect upon their experience in reflections required after every lesson taught during student teaching.
The College of Education and Human services has developed a system of Unit-wide assessment that utilize varied sources to measure candidate effectiveness through the use of national licensure exams, professional disposition assessments, candidate self-reflections, lesson/unit planning, performance during clinical experience, and grade point average (GPA). Measures of programmatic effectiveness are provided by varied stakeholders, including candidates, cooperating teachers, administrators, and university faculty. All undergraduate and graduate candidates enrolled in Initial Programs are assessed in a consistent and coherent manner at targeted transition points.
There are six decision points in the California University of Pennsylvania Teacher Education Assessment System for undergraduate Teacher Education Candidates enrolled in initial programs. These decision points provide relevant benchmarks for both the application of key assessment procedures and established criteria for continued participation in a teacher preparation program. The decision points in Initial Programs, common key assessments, assessment level, and data collection points are available for review in the Teacher Education Program Student Handbook. The six decision points are: (1) Acceptance as a Pre-Education Student, (2) Admission to Teacher Education, (3) Recommendation for Student Teaching, (4) Completion of Student Teaching, (5) Graduation, and (6) Certification. [Teacher Education Handbook Undergraduate see Standard 2.4.b]
There are also six decision points for Teacher Education Candidates enrolled in Advance Programs leading to initial licensure. These decision points largely mirror the decision points for undergraduate Teacher Education Candidates: (1) Acceptance as a Graduate Candidate, (2) Candidacy, (3) Recommendation for Student Teaching, (4) Completion of Student Teaching, (5) Graduation, and (6) Certification. [Teacher Education Handbook Graduate see Standard 2.4.b]
The new assessment exam for PK-4 and Special education is called the PECT. The PECT is made up of three modules: Child Development, Learning, and Assessments; Collaboration and Professionalism (Module One); Language and Literacy Development and Social Studies (Module Two); and Mathematics, Science, and Health (Module Three). Data from the PECT given since March 2012 is limited due to the small numbers of test takers. However, regardless of the number of test takers, the results are very disappointing. There is an unacceptable decline in the percentage of candidates achieving qualifying scores when PECT results are compared to PRAXIS II results. We are reviewing test objectives and content, examining course content for alignment with test objectives, and even have unit faculty taking the various tests. The Unit is examining all avenues in an attempt to improve the pass rate on the PECT.
In 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Education made significant changes in the early childhood/elementary certificate areas. Gone were the N-3, K-6, and standalone Special Education certificates to be replaced by PK-4, 4-8, and Special Education PK-8 and 7-12 certificates. The change in certificates was accompanied by a change in licensure tests required of candidates for new certificates. The Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) replaced PRAXIS I (PPST). Candidates must provide evidence of qualifying scores on the PAPA at Decision Point #2: Admission to Teacher Education for undergraduates and Degree Candidacy for graduate students. The PAPA is required of all candidates for initial certification at California University.
The Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT) replaced PRAXIS II for PK-4, Special Education PK-8 and 7-12 candidates. Candidates in the 4-8 programs still take a subject concentration test as well as PRAXIS II since the new PA Grades 4-8 Core Assessment Battery does not become available until Sept. 2013. Candidates for secondary certificates take the required content area test for their subject area.
Taken as a whole, the assessment data collected at these decision points provide evidence that California University’s teacher candidates are meeting professional, state, and institutional standards. However, some of the data clearly indicate a need for further study and action. Most specifically, candidate’s ability to achieve qualifying scores on the new Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT).
Measures of candidate content knowledge, with the exception of PECT scores, are satisfactory. However, our candidates’ difficulty achieving qualifying scores on the PECT is not acceptable. The unit is undertaking a number of corrective measures in an attempt to correct this problem: PECT review sessions conducted by unit faculty; Unit faculty taking the PECT; and a review of all professional coursework in an attempt align course and test objectives and content.
Most indicative of our candidates’ impact on student learning is data collected at the Student Teacher Showcase. At this event, held each semester close to the conclusion of student teaching, candidates prepare a poster presentation addressing three areas: Professional Demeanor and Leadership, Effect on Student Learning, and Understanding of Standards and Standard-Driven Instruction. On the center panel of the trifold, the results of the candidates’ student intervention project are presented. During student teaching, candidates identify knowledge or skill for which their students need work. Candidates typically administer some form of pre-test/needs assessment to collect data regarding students’ entry point. An intervention is then designed based upon data collected from the pretest, typically taking the form of a series of lessons. A post-assessment is then administered to determine the effect/impact of the intervention.
At the showcase, candidates’ presentations are assessed by faculty, public school administrators and teachers, university supervisors, and other candidates. The rubric employed contains a four point scale from 3 (Exceeds Expectations) to 0 (Unacceptable). The average rating on Effect of Student Learning was 2.58 in spring 2012 and 2.74 in fall 2012.
Candidates in teacher education are familiar with the professional dispositions delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. The ideal of fairness and the belief that all students can learn is the aim of the teacher education programs at CALU. Candidate disposition is measured at three different levels in the teacher education program.
The Candidate Professional Disposition Instrument assesses the 7 areas of integrity, civility, responsibility, professional maturity, professional development, student learning, and fairness with a 0-3 point scale. As indicated by the data, the averages of Level 3, university supervisor scores, were all well above the superior range for each of the 7 areas with a low average of 2.30 for student learning to a high of 2.56 for both integrity and professional maturity.
Evidence of our candidates’ ability to assess and analyze student learning, make appropriate adjustments to instruction, and monitor student progress can be seen in data collected at several Decision Points. At Decision Point 3 – Recommendation for Student Teaching, candidate portfolios contain lesson plans that reflect knowledge of and skill in the behaviors contained in this standard [Candidate Work see Standard 1.4.h]
At California University of Pennsylvania, there are programs in School Psychology, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, and an Administrative Program for Principals. Each of the aforementioned programs are nationally recognized with conditions according to the SPA reports.
Candidates enrolled in the School Psychology program have an adequate understanding of the knowledge expected in their fields and delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards as demonstrated through a pass rate of over 80% on the Praxis II. In addition, the program has a School Psychology Clinic and a committed internship site that demonstrates their knowledge of students, families, and communities and focus on mental health services both on an individual and group basis.
Candidates enrolled in the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility program have an adequate understanding of the knowledge expected in their field and delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards as demonstrated through Candidate Program Portfolios, Case Studies, and a Tools project [Candidate Work Samples see Standard 1.4.g] These assessments meet the Education Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards but need to further aligned with ELCC standard elements to better demonstrate that candidates possess the knowledge and skills needed to be successful.
Candidates enrolled in the Administrative Programs for Principals program have an adequate understanding of the knowledge expected in their field and delineated in the profession, state, and institutional standards as demonstrated through 100% pass rate of the Praxis exam for School Leaders Licensure Moreover, candidates complete a Candidate Program Portfolio and Tools project to demonstrate alignment with ELCC standards and the CALU conceptual framework.
Candidates enrolled in School Psychology, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, and the Administrative Program for Principals are able to create positive environments for student learning. In the Administrative Program for Principals and the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, the Graduate Survey and the School Improvement Project focus on candidate effects on student learning and are aligned with ELCC standards. [ELCC ADP Key Assessments see Standard 1.4.c] These assessments continue to be revised by improving rubrics in order to obtain a better measure of the effect of student learning.
With regard to the limited quantitative data indicating candidate performance related to Standard 1, the unit is addressing this area for improvement in the following ways. First, the unit has more semesters of Praxis II exam data from all candidates. The unit has begun to compile Pearson Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) data. The unit has collected data on LIVETEXT portfolios developed around the 12 Performance Principles. (Knowledge of Subject Matter, Human Development and Learning, Adapting Instructional for Individual Needs, Multiple Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management and Motivation, Communication Skills, Instructional Planning, Assessment and Effect on Student Learning, Professional Commitment and Responsibilities, Partnerships, Diversity, and Field Experience. Also, the unit continues to develop rubrics that more closely reflect the professional standards and provide a valid and reliable measure of content knowledge for teacher candidates.
With regard to the unit not articulating the expected disposition for teachers and other educations, CALU has now revised the Conceptual Framework. [Conceptual Framework see Conceptual Framework Standard I.5.c] to address candidate disposition. Dispositions are assessed at three points from beginning to end of the programs to show growth in each individual candidate. Disposition are assessed in 7 areas of integrity, civility, responsibility, professional maturity, professional development, student learning, and fairness with a 0-3 point scale. The three points or levels where disposition are measured and by whom they are measure are Candidates self-score, Candidate scored by professional educators, and University supervisor scores at mid-point of student teaching.
With regard to the Specialty Professional Assessment approval, the following programs have now been conditionally approved. The Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Program was nationally recognized with conditions by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC). The Reading Specialist Program was nationally recognized with conditions from the International Reading Association (IRA). The remaining programs are seeking to remediate issues and resubmit materials on September 15, 2013. The Secondary Spanish Program requires further development for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The Mathematics Education Program requires further development for the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space, and Physics Programs require further development for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The Social Studies Program requires further development for the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS).
Standard 1.4 Exhibits
Standard 1.4.a State Program Review & Findings
Standard 1.4.b Title II Reports
Standard 1.4.c Assessments of Professional Skills
Standard 1.4.e Disposition Key Assessments & Scoring Guide
Standard 1.4.f Disposition Key Assessments Data
Standard 1.4.g Candidate Work Samples
Standard 1.4.h Sample Candidates Work (Portfolio)
Standard 1.4.i Follow-up Studies of Graduates
Standard 1.4.j Employer Feedback on Graduates
Standard 1.4.k State Data Collection