On Thursday, January 3, the College of Education Office of the Dean sponsored a retreat at the Boone Center for program faculty chairs and university supervisors who work in educator preparation programs at the University of Kentucky. The retreat was designed to update participants on recent accreditation changes as a result of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) merger with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) to form a unified accrediting body, the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The retreat also focused on new state regulations from the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) related to field and clinical experiences in educator preparation programs. Further, the retreat focused on the use of the OTIS portfolio system to create observation forms and other documents to record candidate proficiencies on various standards.
Presenters included Parker Fawson, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, associate dean for international engagement, and member of the EPSB’s Program and Accreditation Review Committee (PARC); Rosetta Sandidge, associate dean for accreditation, assessment, and planning; Sharon Brennan, director of the Office of Field Experiences and School Collaboration; and Gerry Swan, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and developer of the OTIS portfolio system.
During the morning sessions, Fawson updated the group on discussions of the PARC committee as the committee works to redesign the process and requirements for educator preparation programs to submit program documents to the EPSB for review and approval. Sandidge shared new accreditation and candidate assessment requirements and timelines related to the next NCATE/CAEP accreditation review. Brennan then led a discussion of the new state regulations regarding field and clinical experiences. Following these sessions, participants worked in small groups to discuss and plan for the implementation of these requirements. After their work sessions, participants shared their thoughts with the large group.
During the luncheon, Tina Stevenson, principal at Winburn Middle School, and Matt Thompson, assistant superintendent of student learning for the Scott County Schools, participated in a panel discussion entitled “Aligning Program and School Needs: How Can We Strengthen School/University Partnerships” and moderated by Brennan. The panelists were complimentary of UK student teachers. However, they underscored the importance of candidates coming to the classroom with the ability to understand the new standards and analyze assessment data.
After lunch, Swan demonstrated how faculty can use OTIS to create observation forms which can be used to record candidate progress throughout their field and clinical experiences. Participants worked in small groups to create a sample observation form in OTIS. Following the work session, a question and answer session regarding various aspects of OTIS implementation was held.
As a follow-up to the retreat, discussions related to continuous assessment, accreditation, program approval and clinical experience will continue throughout the year at meetings of program faculty chairs and university supervisors.