Education Unit Head:
Dr. Howard Smith
Dr. Jean Dockers
Phone: (620) 235-4489
Fax: (620) 235-4421
The PSU Teacher Education Unit is committed to developing field and clinical experiences based upon the Conceptual Framework (CF) to enhance candidate's knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions that develop Competent, Committed, Caring Professionals. Continuous communication and collaboration with PK-12 school administrators, faculty, and staff have served the unit and its candidates well, thereby ensuring continuous improvement in the educational process for all stakeholders. As a result, the unit and candidates promote the achievement of PK-12 students while increasing the quality of teachers and other school professionals.
3a. Collaboration Between Unit and School PartnersThe College of Education (COE) works closely with school partners to enhance the preparation of all candidates. In an effort to ensure that all candidates become Competent, Committed, Caring Professionals, the unit draws upon the insights of several committees and councils, which are comprised of representatives from PK-12 schools, the community, the university, and the candidates. Such partnership groups include the following: the Conceptual Framework Knowledge Base Committees, which review and revise the knowledge base; the COE Advisory Council (3.1k), who guide the planning of unit programs and efforts; the COE Council for Teacher Education, which reviews all programs within the unit and recommends approval for program changes and additions; and the Assessment Committee, which reviews data and recommends improvements of the assessment system. The College of Education and PK-12 partnership activities throughout the year also build powerful professional relationships. Examples of such partnerships include the administrators' luncheon, which builds relationships and provides program feedback (3.1m); the administrators' panel, which offers employment information to professional semester candidates (3.1n); the Early Career Teacher Academy, offering training and support to beginning teachers and mentors (3.1o); support letters, showing support for grants (3.1p); and the annual Administrators' Conference. (3.1q) Selection of field placements for all initial programs is a joint decision of the Director of Teacher Education and the partner schools and is guided by requirements established collaboratively with area PK-12 school personnel. Contracts signed by PK-12 school district administrators are secured before candidates are placed in a school system. The contracts are maintained in a file in the Office of Teacher Education. (3.1a, 3.1g, 3.1h)
The advanced program field placements are determined collaboratively by the Office of Teacher Education, some advanced program coordinators, and the PK-12 school site prior to candidates beginning their field experiences. Program coordinators assure that field sites provide quality and appropriate learning experiences for all candidates. Additionally, qualified site supervisors are selected to provide on-site supervision. Candidates are placed in school districts throughout the tri-state region including southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and southwest Missouri.
Five of nine advanced programs require a written contract which outlines the responsibilities of both institutions during the field experience. The programs which utilize contract agreements are Building Level Leadership, District Level Leadership, Library Media, School Counselor, and School Psychologist. (3.1b, 3.1c, 3.1d, 3.1e, 3.1f) The majority of advanced programs also utilize advisory teams, who provide feedback and input to strengthen field experience for Building Level Leadership, District Level leadership, Library Media, ESOL, School Counselor, and School Psychologist. (3.1l)
3.b Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice The unit's partners directly influence the design, delivery and evaluation of the unit's field and clinical experiences through frequent communication and survey data. All initial and advanced programs adhere to the state standards established by the Kansas State Department of Education. Initial and advanced candidates develop the required knowledge base which was created to evaluate implementation of the Conceptual Framework by identifying the essential knowledge, skills and behaviors including dispositions, diversity, and technology to become Competent, Committed, Caring Professionals.
Field experiences and clinical practice in initial programs are designed to increase incrementally in both time and responsibility. From the first field experience in CURIN 261 Explorations in Education, to practicum and internships in area classrooms for initial program candidates, through the culminating professional semester, PK-12 administrators and teachers are actively involved in planning and implementing the field/clinical experiences. All candidates participate in a Diversity Tutoring Project and departments require varied opportunities to interact with families and the communities such as Math Night and Kansas Kids Fitness Day. (3.4a) Also, candidates are expected to satisfy the technology indicators enabling them to use technology to support teaching and learning.
Prior to admission to the professional semester, candidates must meet all criteria to ensure mastery of the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful student teaching. (3.4a, 3.4b) Analysis of candidate and graduate feedback, PLT and Content Test score results, and feedback from PK-12 administrators provide data to strengthen and improve the professional semester.
The unit and its school partners share expertise and resources through a variety of communication modes such as emails, phone calls, and personal contact to convey site specific details and requirements. Handbooks, agreements and guidelines describe the purposes of field experiences (3.3j, 3.3l, 3.5b)
Criteria for the clinical faculty are clearly established for all programs. Written communications show expectations and responsibilities of the school faculty working with candidates. (3.2, 3.3a, 3.3b, 3.3c, 3.3d, 3.3e, 3.3f, 3.3g, 3.3h, 3.3i, 3.3j) Advanced programs also require proper educational and licensure requirements and most require at least two years professional experience working in their area of specialization. (3.3k)
All advanced programs have entry, midpoint and exit criterion in place, which vary for each program. Individual programs develop their own guidelines which are based on program requirements, utilizing a variety of assessments. (3.5c, 3.5d, 3.5e, 3.5f, 3.5g, 3.5h, 3.5i) Extensive collaboration continues throughout the advanced program field experiences. Evidence of the collaboration between the university and the PK-12 school sites where candidates are placed is displayed in several ways. Many programs correspond in writing with the field sites during the field experiences, with all programs making ongoing personal contacts throughout the semester. Both on-site supervisors and program coordinators provide performance feedback by evaluating the field experiences of candidates as they develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to assist all students learn by analyzing student learning, reflecting on their practice, and participating in field experiences and clinical practice related to their role. Candidate field experiences are evaluated using the Advanced Knowledge Base, which includes indicators that evaluate Professionalism, Communication, Leadership, Instruction and Assessment, Diversity, Technology, and Research. (3.6h, 3.6i)
3c. Candidates' Development and Demonstration of Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions to Help All Students Learn Assessment of the Conceptual Framework Knowledge Base is a major strength of the program and provides data for review and continuous improvement. Candidates are evaluated incrementally on their development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions, including indicators addressing diversity and technology. Using the knowledge base indicators designated as dispositions, cooperating teachers assess candidates in the two foundation courses (3.6e, 3.6f) and in Overview of Education of Exceptional Students (3.6g). Throughout the program, candidates reflect upon their interactions with students beginning with a reflective journal in Explorations in Education, as a component of the lessons they prepare in methods classes, and finally as a tool for continued improvement and to meet the needs of all students in the Teacher Work Sample (TWS) prepared during the professional semester.
Using the 60 indicators of the Conceptual Framework, each candidate is evaluated three times during the professional semester by the university supervisor and cooperating teacher. From the ratings on the 60 indicators, mean scores are established for the six categories of the CF: Professional Characteristics, Relationships with Students, Instructional Planning, Instruction, Classroom Management, and Evaluation. (3.6a, 3.6b, 3.6c, 3.6d) The TWS focuses on student learning. The 60 indicators of the knowledge base represent the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to become a Competent, Committed, Caring Professional who, through effective use of technology, can help all students learn. The TWS requires candidates to prepare lessons based upon the context of the class, to reflect upon the lesson, and to plan and implement adaptations to ensure that all students learn. Successful review of all programs by KSDE ensures that candidates are prepared to create a learning environment and instruction to ensure that all students are successful.
University supervisor and cooperating teacher evaluations are analyzed for program improvement and are placed in each candidate's Teacher Education file. The combination of the 60 indicators, state standards assessments, PPST/ACT scores, GPA's, PLT and Content Test results, and successful completion of the both the Teacher Work Sample (TWS) and the Professional Portfolio ensure that program completers have met national, state, and PSU standards. If a candidate does not perform to the expected level, he/she is required to return to campus for further training before considering a second student teaching placement or candidates are counseled out of teacher education. Program completers are not required to pass the PLT and Content Test prior to graduation; however, they must pass all required academic assignments before being recommended for licensure for a one-year nonrenewable license.
A minimum of 150 hours of field experience is required in all advanced programs with the exception of ESOL (90 hours), Library Media (120 hours) and Reading (94 hours). Each program identifies a specific number of requirements to successfully complete the semester's field experience and to demonstrate the development of skills gained. Rubrics are utilized to ensure the overall professional development of the candidates, and candidates are evaluated on the new Advanced Knowledge Base of the Conceptual Framework. (3.6h, 3.6i, 3.6j, 3.6k, 3.6l, 3.6m, 3.6n, 3.6o, 3.6p, 3.6q, 3.6r, 3.6s)
Field and clinical experiences are intentionally designed and assigned by the Director of Teacher Education to ensure that all candidates work with diverse students in different school settings. (4.9a, 4.9b, 4.9c, 4.9d)
Additions to field experiences in several initial programs represent the most significant changes related to Standard 3 that have been made which lead to continuous improvement. The Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics Departments have added an internship in the semester prior to the professional semester. A second clinical experience has been added to English and Physical Education; an additional forensic experience in an area high school is now required in Speech/Theatre; and Music added a field experience in a PreK-8 setting. Several departments including Art, Family and Consumer Sciences, Physical Education, and Technology Education created field experiences to increase the number and variety of settings in which candidates work with students. (3.4a)
A majority of the advanced programs have undergone significant changes since the last NCATE visit. The Educational Leadership candidates complete field experiences throughout their entire program. A project based component has also been incorporated requiring a full year action research project. The Library Media program has embedded the CF Knowledge Base allowing candidates to be evaluated by both the Kansas Library Media Standards and the Advanced Knowledge Base.
The School Counselor program increased its overall program hours from 45 to 48, incorporating a course in Diversity Issues in Counseling as well as Contemporary and Ethical Issues in School Counseling; Group Counseling was dropped as a requirement. Candidates also now have a choice of elective workshops addressing a variety of timely topics to meet the needs of the students with whom they work (i.e. self-mutilation behaviors, crisis intervention, ADHD, poverty, etc.). Additionally, formal training of on-site supervisors will be offered in the future to more adequately prepare supervisors for their roles when working with practicum and internship candidates.
The School Psychologist program now requires an electronic activity log, development of a vita, and a professional development plan which guides activities during the internship year. Courses in Evidence-Based Interventions and Introduction to Human Neuropsychology have been added to the curriculum and Physiological Psychology has been dropped.
Another major change from the last review is the addition of the GUS Electronic Tracking System, which allows for systematic collection or analysis of field experience data to ensure continuous improvement.