This Institutional Report and accompanying evidences are presented by the Professional Education Unit at the University of Kentucky as part of national and state requirements for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). The accreditation site visit in November 2015 will be an NCATE legacy visit; thus, this report and evidences reflect terminology from the NCATE 2008 standards, guidelines, and processes. Materials on this site duplicate materials in the NCATE Accreditation Information Management System (AIMS). Additional materials not included in AIMS are identified as Additional Supporting Documents.
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Overview and Conceptual FrameworkOverview of University of Kentucky (click to expand)
Located in Lexington in the Bluegrass Region of Central Kentucky, the University of Kentucky (UK) is a public, research, land-grant institution of higher education. The flagship university, UK is one of eight public universities in the Commonwealth. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the university as RU/VH, a research university with very high research activity (I.5.a.1). Consistent with its land-grant mission, UK recently received Carnegie’s reclassification for community engagement (I.5.a.2).
Celebrating its 150th anniversary in February 2015 (I.5.a.3), UK was established in 1865 with funding from the federal Morrill Land-Grant College Act and private donations as the Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) College, a part of Kentucky University (now Transylvania University). Located at Ashland, the home of Kentucky statesman Henry Clay, and on the adjoining Woodlands estate, A&M opened its first classes in October 1866 with 190 students and 10 professors. In 1878, A&M separated from Kentucky University and moved to UK’s present site on a 52-acre park and fairground donated by the City of Lexington. Three new buildings were constructed and dedicated in 1882. In 1908, A&M College achieved university status, and its name was changed to State University, Lexington, Kentucky. In 1916, the General Assembly renamed State University the University of Kentucky.
From its original three buildings and 52 acres in 1882, today’s campus is experiencing tremendous growth in classrooms and facilities, including construction of new residence halls, academic and research buildings, and renovation of the Student Center and athletic facilities. The campus now covers more than 918 acres; is home to more than 30,000 students and 14,500 employees including 2,300 full-time faculty; has more than 90 nationally ranked academic programs; and boasts an annual budget of more than $3 billion. UK benefits the region and Commonwealth by engaging in research, public service, and health care. Grant awards to university faculty for fiscal year 2014 totaled over $259.2 million, including $152.5 million from federal agencies.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2009, the UK mission reads as follows: “The University of Kentucky is a public, land grant university dedicated to improving people’s lives through excellence in education, research and creative work, service, and health care. As Kentucky’s flagship institution, the University plays a critical leadership role by promoting diversity, inclusion, economic development, and human well-being.” Eleven core values guide the institution: integrity, excellence, mutual respect and human dignity, diversity and inclusion, academic freedom, personal and institutional responsibility and accountability, shared governance, a sense of community, work-life sensitivity, civic engagement, and social responsibility (I.5.a.4). Development of the UK 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is underway with five key goals highlighted: undergraduate student success, diversity and inclusivity, community engagement and impact, graduate education, and research (I.5.a.5). Anticipated Board of Trustees approval of the plan will occur in summer 2015.
UK offers programs across baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels through its 17 colleges: Agriculture, Food, and Environment; Arts and Sciences; Business and Economics; Communication and Information; Dentistry; Design; Education; Engineering; Fine Arts; Health Sciences; Law; Medicine; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health; Social Work; and the Graduate School. The university is committed to providing the highest quality programs and ensuring these programs achieve national, regional, and state accreditation. UK received regional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1915 and has been accredited continuously to award undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees with the most recent reaffirmation in 2013 (I.5.d.9).
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Educator preparation at UK began in 1880 when the Kentucky General Assembly established a Normal School at the A&M College. In 1908 the legislature replaced the Normal School with a Department of Education and in 1909 changed the name to Teachers’ College. In 1911 a School of Education was created in the College of Arts and Sciences, and in 1923 the College of Education was created with a four-year course of study.
Today, the preparation of educators is an institution-wide endeavor. Programs are located in six colleges: Agriculture, Food, and Environment; Arts and Sciences; Communication and Information; Education; Fine Arts; and Social Work. The unit is defined as the College of Education and the preparation programs in the five additional colleges. The dean of the College of Education serves as the unit head. Unit programs are governed by program faculties, each comprised of a broad representation of professionals, including education faculty, university faculty from content areas, practitioners from schools and agencies, and candidates. To ensure collaboration and communication across programs, chairs of the program faculties are organized into the Program Faculty Chairs Group which meets monthly during the academic year.
The unit mission, adopted by faculty in 2006 and revisited periodically to ensure its continuing relevance, states: The College of Education endeavors to expand the knowledge of teaching and learning processes across a broad educational spectrum. The college fosters a culture of reflective practice and inquiry within a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. As part of a research-extensive university, the college advances knowledge through research. As part of a land grant institution, the college prepares professionals for a variety of roles in educational settings and community agencies and provides leadership in the improvement of the education, health, and well-being of citizens in the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.
The unit offers programs for initial and advanced teacher candidates and other school professionals. Initial programs are offered in agricultural education, art education, elementary education, health education, interdisciplinary early childhood education (IECE), middle level education, music education, secondary education (English, mathematics, science, social studies), special education (LBD, MSD), music education, physical education, and world languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish). Advanced teacher programs are offered through Teacher Leader master’s programs (educational leadership, IECE, special education) and through Rank I programs. Other school professional programs prepare literacy specialists, instructional supervisors, principals, superintendents, school social workers, school media librarians, and school psychologists. Alternative programs are offered in MSD, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Much of the alternative MSD program can be completed through distance learning. The unit does not have off-campus sites.
The NCATE/state partnership agreement specifies program approval is the responsibility of the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). Thus, programs at UK are currently under state review as part of the accreditation process. For this review, the unit has piloted a new submission process which required a new template and identification of key candidate assessments.
Programs with separate accreditation include the School Media Librarian Program (ALA I.5.d.1), the School Social Worker Program (CSWE I.5.d.2), Art Education (NASAD I.5.d.3), and Music Education (NASM I.5.d.4). The School Psychology Specialist Program is recognized with conditions by NASP (report in AIMS), and the School Psychology Doctoral Program has accreditation from APA (I.5.d.5). The unit is accredited with no areas for improvement by NCATE and the EPSB (I.5.d.6-8).
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The conceptual framework for the professional education unit is guided by the theme, Research and Reflection for Learning and Leading. This theme is aligned closely with the institutional vision and mission of UK and the vision and mission of the unit. The theme reflects and guides how we approach preparation of professional educators within the context of a research, land-grant university.
Research is a valued activity and tool within UK’s educator preparation programs. Faculty and candidates generate scientific research using a wide range of research methodologies and contribute to the professional literature. Programs use practitioner inquiry and data-based instructional models in applied settings to enhance student learning and professional development. Research findings from the entire field of education inform design of courses, selection of interventions, and features of professional education programs.
Reflection is a long-standing aspect of UK’s educator preparation programs and is, in our view, a hallmark of professional practice. Reflective assessment of performance, outcomes, and approaches to problems is a dynamic process appropriate for faculty, experienced educators, and candidates in initial stages of their careers. Candidates are expected to complete numerous reflective activities as they work to meet standards; the goal is to prepare educators who are capable of analysis and problem solving that will result in improving educational practices and outcomes.
Learning is included as a component within our conceptual framework to underscore our commitment to the many facets of learning and to highlight the ways in which our programs conceptualize, promote, and accomplish learning. As a unit, we do not share a single theoretical view of learning. Faculty and candidates conceptualize learning using a wide range of perspectives including behavioral, constructivist, and social. We believe that our diversity of thought enriches and strengthens our unit. The reference to learning in our conceptual framework encompasses learning among all those who participate in our educator preparation programs and those who are affected by the educational efforts of our faculty and candidates.
Leading is an expectation that faculty hold for themselves and an outcome that is promoted among our candidates. As members of the educational community at Kentucky’s flagship university, we believe it is our obligation and privilege to provide leadership in educational policies and practices across levels and dimensions of universities, schools, and agencies. We believe that as leaders and followers work together to improve student learning among diverse student populations, we can obtain positive results that improve education in Kentucky and beyond.
The four elements of our conceptual framework are synergistic and mutually supportive of our work. Taken as a whole, research, reflection, learning, and leading provide a strong conceptual basis and functional framework for the preparation of educators at the University of Kentucky.
Candidate proficiencies are aligned with institutional, state, and national standards identified in the conceptual framework document (I.5.c.1). Evidence of this alignment can be found in program documents, course syllabi, and candidate assessments. Institutional standards, which initial and advanced candidates must demonstrate, include the four elements of the conceptual framework, research, reflection, learning, and leading; the Unit Functional Skills and Dispositions; and the Unit Technology Standards. Advanced candidates in Teacher Leader master’s programs must demonstrate proficiency with the institutional Teacher Leadership Standards and Action Research Standards.
In addition to institutional standards, candidates must demonstrate they meet the pertinent state standards. Initial and advanced teacher candidates must demonstrate the ten Kentucky Teacher Standards which were adopted by the Education Professional Standards Board in 2008, replacing the New Teacher Standards and the Experienced Teacher Standards which were in effect during the last accreditation visit. Initial candidates in IECE are required to meet the nine Kentucky Teacher Standards for Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) Birth to Primary. Candidates in educational leadership are required to document their proficiency on each of the six Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for School Leaders and on the five ISTE Standards for Administrators.
Programs are further aligned with national standards of the respective specialized professional associations (SPAs) that are endorsed by NCATE. Additionally, NCATE recognizes those programs that have been accredited by their respective accrediting agencies. In some disciplines and/or program levels, NCATE has not endorsed standards. In these instances, program faculties have identified standards with which to align their programs.
Since the last site visit, the conceptual framework has been reviewed and revised to reflect new standards, policies, and research as follows:
The Conceptual Framework Committee proposed and the unit faculty approved the most recent revisions to the framework in December 2014 (I.5.c.2).
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Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions
Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other school professionals know and demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.Overview of Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions (click to expand)
Candidates in initial and advanced educator preparation programs possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to help all students learn. Multiple assessments aligned with professional, state, and institutional standards are used to determine professional competency of prospective and continuing educators enrolled in unit programs. Assessments include such measures as basic skills test scores, GPAs, PRAXIS II scores, ratings on portfolio artifacts aligned with standards, student teaching evaluations, New Teacher Survey data, and graduate and employer survey data (1.4.i.1-1.4.j.6). Data from these assessments are available at the unit level; other assessments consist of course-embedded assignments and portfolios at the program level. In advanced programs, assessments include GPAs and GRE scores, course-embedded assignments, certification exams in some cases, and feedback from graduates. Additional assessments at the advanced level vary by program but typically include portfolios, teacher work samples, action research projects, and/or other course-embedded assignments. Data from these assignments are maintained at the program level. In addition to these assignments, alignment of initial and advanced program curricula with the appropriate professional, state, and institutional standards, which is evident in course syllabi and scoring rubrics, helps ensure that candidates have the requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to help all students learn.
Teacher candidates know the subject matter they plan to teach and can demonstrate their ability to apply important principles and concepts set forth in professional, state, and institutional standards. Measures used to assess content knowledge proficiency of initial teacher candidates include PRAXIS II scores (1.4.d.1-2), GPAs (2.4.b.1), basic skills test scores (2.4.b.2), ratings on content-related artifacts in the OTIS online portfolio (1.4.d.8-9), and student teaching evaluations (1.4.d.9a; see 1.4.d.9b for sample student teaching reports prior to use of OTIS). Summary PRAXIS II pass rates for initial candidates were 100 percent in 2011-2012, 98 percent in 2012-2013, and 93 percent in 2013-2014 (1.4.d.1); candidates in the alternative route programs had 100 percent pass rates each year.
The unit also receives feedback from the New Teacher Survey (NTS) which the EPSB conducts every other year. On the survey, student teachers and first-year intern teachers who are our graduates complete a self-assessment of their proficiency with the Kentucky Teacher Standards (KTS); cooperating teachers rate student teacher performance and resource teachers assigned as mentor teachers to intern teachers rate intern teacher performance. Until the most recent administration of the New Teacher Survey, the EPSB provided raw data which allowed the unit to disaggregate data by program area. Programs were provided with the overall EPSB NTS reports in addition to their specific program data (see sample in 1.4.j.7). Programs also assess candidate content knowledge using measures such as admissions interviews and course-embedded assignments. These program-specific data are not aggregated across the unit. Survey results suggest beginning teachers from the unit are well satisfied with the academic preparation they receive. The specific survey indicators that address content knowledge and the ratings of each respondent group can be found in exhibit 1.4.d.5.
Initial teacher candidates in undergraduate programs develop content knowledge through the university’s core curriculum, referred to as the UK Core, adopted by UK in May 2009 (1.4.l-m). All candidates complete Core requirements in 10 areas of study that address four broad learning outcomes: intellectual inquiry; written, oral and visual communication; quantitative reasoning; and citizenship. The 10 areas of study include intellectual inquiry in the arts and creativity; intellectual inquiry in the humanities; intellectual inquiry in the social sciences; intellectual inquiry in the natural, physical, and mathematical sciences; composition and communication I; composition and communication II; quantitative foundations; statistical inferential reasoning; community, culture, and citizenship in the U.S.; and global dynamics.
Because teacher preparation programs require specific classes from UK Core offerings, candidates work closely with advisors to select courses required in their programs. In addition to meeting the Core requirements, initial teacher candidates in graduate programs must complete a teaching major in a content area at the undergraduate level and then enroll in and successfully complete the master’s degree prior to receiving a recommendation for certification. The transcripts of initial candidates enrolled in master’s programs are audited to ensure candidates have appropriate content knowledge needed for certification in the state and to be successful in the classroom.
Candidates in advanced programs also possess strong content knowledge and are able to apply concepts and principles identified in institutional, state, and professional standards. Candidates must meet the admissions standards of the Graduate School, which requires a 2.75 undergraduate grade point average for admission. To remain in good standing, candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA on graduate coursework. Candidates in other school professional programs in educational leadership, school library media, and school psychology are required to receive passing scores on certification exams. Pass rates for these exams are displayed in exhibit 1.4.d.4.
Teacher candidates have a broad knowledge of instructional strategies that draws upon content and pedagogical knowledge and skills to help all students learn. The methods courses taken by initial candidates serve to develop instructional strategies necessary to teach the subject matter content. As documented in exhibit 1.4.d.3, pass rates on the required Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exams are high. In initial preparation programs, pedagogical content knowledge is assessed through course-embedded assignments, such as lesson and unit plans, classroom management plans, performance assessments, field experience journals, and student teaching evaluations. Selected assignments become part of the candidate’s portfolio. New Teacher Survey data on items related to pedagogical knowledge and skills are displayed in exhibit 1.4.d.6. For the most part, mean scores from student teachers, cooperating teachers, intern teachers, and resource teachers meet or exceed 3.0 on a four-point scale.
Initial teacher candidates can also apply professional knowledge as delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards to facilitate student learning. In initial teacher preparation programs, professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills are assessed through course-embedded assignments, such as reflective narratives focused on teaching and learning and personal growth plans, which document their proficiency in these areas. These assignments become part of the candidate’s professional portfolio. Pass rates on PLT exams, also a measure of professional knowledge and skills, are high across the unit (1.4.d.3). Data from the New Teacher Survey related to professional knowledge are illustrated in exhibit 1.4.d.7. These data reveal that candidates excel in areas related to professional knowledge and skills. Of particular note is candidate performance on KTS 7, reflecting on the effectiveness of instruction for the purpose of improving student learning, which is one of the components of the unit conceptual framework.
Candidates in both initial and advanced programs are required to understand and abide by the Kentucky Code of Professional Ethics for educators. When candidates apply for admission to initial preparation programs, they are required to verify that they have read and understand the Code of Ethics (1.4.e, p. 8). They are also required to complete a character and fitness review as part of the application process and prior to admission to student teaching (1.4.e, p. 7). Candidates in advanced programs also discuss and analyze the Code of Ethics and ethical issues in their respective disciplines.
All candidates must demonstrate proficiency on the Unit Functional Skills and Dispositions. In addition to unit dispositions, some programs have additional dispositions associated with their SPA standards; still other programs have added program-specific dispositions to the Unit Functional Skills and Dispositions. When candidates apply for admission to initial programs, they are asked to complete a self-assessment of the dispositions (1.4.e, pp. 12-13). Further, program faculties assess candidate dispositions throughout the program using artifacts that candidates upload to their OTIS portfolio (1.4.f).
Teacher candidates focus on student learning as shown in their assessments of student learning, the design and use of assessments in instruction, and development of meaningful learning experiences based upon student backgrounds and developmental levels. Teacher candidates are assessed on student learning throughout their programs with course-embedded assignments. The unit also analyzes data on the New Teacher Survey that relate to assessing student learning and designing instruction based upon assessment results. Please see exhibit 1.4.d.6 for survey results related to student learning. Examples of candidate work demonstrating their ability to plan assessments, analyze P-12 student learning, and differentiate instruction may be reviewed in the OTIS online portfolio during the onsite visit, and exhibits can be made available as part of the IR Addendum submission.
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Since the last accreditation visit, several institutional, state, and national initiatives have provided direction and feedback as the unit engaged in continuous improvement. At the institutional level, the university adopted a new UK Core which requires all undergraduates to complete coursework in 10 areas of study that address four broad learning outcomes: intellectual inquiry; written, oral and visual communication; quantitative reasoning; and citizenship. Program faculties were required to review and revise the general education components of their respective programs. The Middle School Education Program also used this as an opportunity to revise all aspects of the program, including field and clinical experiences which are discussed in Standard 3.
Several EPSB initiatives have resulted in continuous improvement of unit programs. In 2008, the EPSB consolidated the Kentucky New Teacher Standards and the Experienced Teacher Standards into one set of Kentucky Teacher Standards. As a result, programs were required to align coursework, field experiences, student teaching, and assessments with these new standards.
Initial preparation programs in the unit have additionally been affected by two regulations promulgated by the EPSB: 16 KAR 5:020 Standards for Admission to Teacher Education (1.4.t) and 16 KAR 5:040 Admission, Placement, and Supervision in Student Teaching (4.4.i.1). The first of these regulations provides a more rigorous set of rules regarding basic skills testing, increased the overall GPA requirement for admission to teacher education, and clarified the requirement that all candidates for teacher education must be enrolled in the EPSB data system before taking professional education courses. The UK Admission, Retention, and Completion Policy adheres to this regulation (6.4.e.5). In addition, the new Office of Program Development, Accountability, and Compliance is charged with ensuring that all UK programs establish and maintain rules that are in compliance with the regulation. The second regulation, Admission, Placement and Supervision in Student Teaching, identified a variety of new rules which are described in Standard 3. The unit also developed two new policy documents to provide guidance to candidates and program faculties: the UK Field Experience Assignments Policy (6.4.e.6) and the UK Unit Policies on Student Teaching (6.4.e.7). Both of these documents were used by program faculties as they developed the clinical practice component required in the unit program submission process.
Advanced teacher preparation programs have also been revised as the result of an EPSB regulation that all approved master’s degree programs leading to rank change sunset as of December 31, 2010. If units chose to continue offering master’s degree programs leading to rank change, they were required to submit new Teacher Leader programs designed in consultation with P-12 and arts and sciences faculty. At UK, Teacher Leader master’s degree programs have been approved in educational leadership, interdisciplinary early childhood education, and special education; other Teacher Leader master’s programs are under development. Additionally, the ESPB required the redesign of all principal and superintendent preparation programs across the state. Development of the redesigned programs involved extensive collaboration with P-12 school partners, many of whom now co-teach in the program. New EPSB regulations regarding field experiences and student teaching were implemented in 2014; changes occurring as a result of these regulations are discussed in Standards 2 and 3.
During 2012-2013, UK was invited by the EPSB to pilot a new approach to program approval and accreditation that had been proposed by the EPSB Program and Accreditation Review Committee (PARC). The PARC committee was interested in an on-line approach that would emphasize the use of data, streamline the program approval process for EPPs, and facilitate regular program review and updates. The committee developed a draft program submission template to guide the program submission process (1.4.n). The draft document laid out the components an EPP would have to address in order to submit a program for review.
Participation in this pilot provided the unit with an opportunity to rethink the relationship between accreditation, program submission, annual reviews, and the UK continuous improvement model. Following 18 months of intensive work, a system to implement the new program submission process was developed. The unit has come to recognize that this program submission process represents the foundation for continuous improvement. The full system can be termed the “UK continuous improvement system for program development, submission, management, review, and update.” A program development and submission documentation manual was created to guide program faculties in their work (1.4.o).
UK’s continuous improvement system has 10 common components which align with those proposed by PARC. These components include program description, clinical faculty, cohort data, assessments, summary data report and use of data, program clinical model, student teaching, field experiences, approaches to mastering Kentucky Unbridled Learning initiatives, and program innovations (1.4.p).
The system utilizes advanced technologies to enable program faculty to carry out the tasks of program development and management. Working with an outside consultant, Walking Man Productions, a number of software tools and cloud-based systems were chosen to create the collective website and individual program pages used to present each program’s set of 10 components along with a guide or master document that serves as an annotated outline and road map to documents and components for the benefit of the visitor or reviewer (1.4.q).
This system has several characteristics that guide program faculties in their work. First, the documents that are collected within each component are working documents rather than descriptive documents. These documents are actually used with candidates and P-12 partners in operating the program. Second, the documents are current rather than static. As changes are made, these changes are reflected in the program’s website. Third, the UK collective approach to program development and continuous improvement is aligned with NCATE/CAEP standards, EPSB regulations, and Kentucky P-12 curriculum and assessment initiatives (1.4.r-s). The program submissions serve multiple purposes for program operations and accreditation.
Each program faculty has the responsibility to populate the 10 program components within the unit web pages provided for them and to ensure that all documents are current. Additions, edits, and deletions on the program webpages are managed automatically by the software. At the time of preparing this IR, the parts of the system that have received attention are program development and program submission. The next part of the system that will become important will include updating data tables and revising program documents based on data analysis.
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There were no areas for improvement from the previous accreditation review.
Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation
The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on the applicant qualifications, the candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the unit and its programs.Overview of Assessment System and Unit Evaluation (click to expand)
The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the unit and its programs. Multiple data sources, including feedback from candidates, unit faculty, and P-12 personnel, are used to assess candidate performance and professional growth throughout their respective preparation programs. In addition to candidate data, various other data are tracked on a continuous basis to ensure the unit and its programs are operating efficiently and effectively. The unit’s continuous assessment plan, reviewed by the EPSB’s Continuous Assessment Review Committee prior to the accreditation visit, identifies specific components of the assessment system (2.4.a.1).
The use of a common Admission, Retention, and Completion Policy is required for all program faculties in the unit (2.4.a.2). This policy is accessible both in the UK Bulletin (2.4.a.3) and on unit web pages. The policy is developed and systematically maintained by the Program Faculty Chairs Group, approved by unit faculty, and integrated into the university governance system through review and approval of the Faculty Senate. Although the policy does not constitute the full unit assessment system, as a major governance policy it sets forth for all candidates and faculty the rules by which candidates are expected to progress through unit programs.
Candidates in undergraduate initial preparation programs are assessed at three transition points – admission to the program, at midpoint prior to student teaching, and at the conclusion of the program. Admissions criteria include the following: a minimum overall 2.75 GPA (or a 3.0 GPA in the last 30 hours of coursework); passing scores on the PRAXIS I exams in reading, writing, and mathematics; completion of 30 credit hours of coursework; documenting knowledge of, and adherence to, the Kentucky Professional Code of Ethics; signed state-mandated character and fitness review; three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the candidate’s potential for success in teaching; a self-assessment of proficiency across the required standards sets (including the Unit Functional Skills and Dispositions); documentation of 21st Century skills (critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration); a grade of C or better in professional education courses; an admissions portfolio which documents writing ability; and a formal interview with program faculty during which candidate qualifications and portfolio artifacts are discussed.
Candidates in graduate level initial preparation programs must meet the same requirements, except they may use either passing scores on the GRE or the PRAXIS I; must satisfy UK Graduate School admission standards which require an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and a GPA of 3.0 on any graduate coursework they have taken; and have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution.
Admissions data for candidates in initial programs over the past three years are presented in exhibits 2.4.b.1-3. Average GPAs for candidates admitted to programs unit-wide were 3.26 (N=473) in 2011-2012, 3.43 (N=223) in 2012-2013, and 3.41 (N=345) in 2013-2014 (2.4.b.1). Summary PRAXIS I results for all test takers over the three years are presented in exhibit 2.4.b.2, and summary data for GRE scores are presented in exhibit 2.4.b.3. Exhibit 2.4.b.4 identifies the number of students who enrolled as declared education majors for each of the three years and, of these, the number admitted as candidates into a teacher education program.
A mid-point retention review may be conducted at any time by the program faculty, but is required no later than the semester prior to the final clinical experience, i.e., student teaching. Candidates must continue to earn a grade of C or higher in professional education courses; continue to maintain a minimum 2.75 overall GPA (or a minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 30 hours); demonstrate improved/acceptable competence on the 21st Century skills and the Unit Functional Skills and Dispositions; continue to demonstrate adherence to the Kentucky Professional Code of Ethics; demonstrate adequate progress on all required standards sets; and demonstrate adequate progress on completing coursework. Admission to student teaching requires a successful retention review, verification the candidate has completed at least 200 hours of field experience in diverse classrooms, and a recommendation by program faculty that the candidate is approved for student teaching. The EPSB requires that all applicants for a teaching certificate present passing scores on the appropriate PRAXIS II exam(s). Although taking and passing the PRAXIS II tests is not a program completion requirement at UK, candidates are encouraged to complete the exams prior to student teaching so the process of applying for and receiving a teaching certificate can proceed in a timely manner.
The third continuous assessment point is program completion at which time each program faculty conducts a review of all candidates, typically at the end of student teaching. For candidates to successfully complete a program, they must continue to meet all standards for admission and retention, including GPA requirements; have completed all coursework and successfully completed student teaching; and documented they have met all standards, as evidenced in the OTIS Online Portfolio Management System. The program faculty must certify to the Office of Program Development, Accountability and Compliance that candidates have met all standards as a prerequisite to changing their status to “complete” and recommending them for teaching certificates.
Following program admission, if problems are identified at any point, program faculty will prepare a professional growth plan for the candidate that identifies the problem and required improvements, and provide feedback and guidance for remediation. If problems continue, candidates may be counseled further about problems identified in the professional growth plan, placed on probation in the program, or dropped from the program. If a candidate is placed on probation, the time and conditions of the next review will be identified by program faculty and communicated to the candidate by the Director of Program Development, Accountability and Compliance. If a candidate is dropped from the program, the director will notify the candidate of this action. Candidates who have been dropped from a program following a retention review may take no further professional education coursework in the program. Mechanisms are in place to address candidate complaints (2.4.f). The Admission, Retention, and Completion Policy identifies the appeal process for candidates regarding continuous assessment decisions (2.4.e). Policies related to grade appeals are identified in UK Administrative Regulations (6.4.e.9).
In addition to transition point assessments, candidates must complete eight key assessments recently mandated by the EPSB as part of the new program submission process, which the unit piloted in conjunction with this accreditation review. These eight assessments include two content knowledge assessments, one of which is the PRAXIS II content test; assessment of professional capabilities, i.e., the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam, or another measure of professional capabilities if the PLT is not required for the specific program; assessment of clinical experiences as a measure of teaching proficiency; assessment of candidate assessment proficiencies; assessment of candidate ability to diagnose and prescribe for personalized student learning; assessment of candidate ability to apply content knowledge and pedagogical skills (instructional practice); and a literacy assessment. Program faculties aligned the assessments with state and SPA standards and addressed the issue of ensuring the assessments are accurate, fair, consistent, and nonbiased (2.4.c.1). Sample assessments include lesson plans, unit plans, work samples, observational reports, reflective narratives, action research projects, community-based projects, classroom management plans, and student teaching/practicum/internship evaluations. Candidates are required to document the assessments in their OTIS portfolio accounts (2.4.d.2a). Since programs recently developed some of these assessments as part of the pilot, three-year trend data will be unavailable for some assessments.
Exhibit 2.4.a.4 summarizes the continuous assessment of candidate performance in initial teacher preparation programs. This exhibit identifies the data collected at various transition points, persons responsible for collecting and reporting the data, and the frequency/timeline for collecting and reporting the data. Exhibit 2.4.a.5 identifies similar information for continuous assessment of candidate performance in advanced teacher preparation programs and other school professional programs. Ongoing assessment of various aspects of unit capacity and operations is summarized in exhibit 2.4.a.6.
The unit uses a comprehensive distributed data system to generate candidate, program, and unit data from a multitude of sources. These systems reside within the unit, the university, and the EPSB. Candidate data are managed within the Office of Program Development, Accountability and Compliance using the CEPIS Student Information System (2.4.d.1a, 2.4.d.1b), the UK Student Information System, and the OTIS Online System (2.4.d.2a, 2.4.d.2b). Reporting of data at the university level uses the HANA database which has data on students, faculty, teacher course evaluations, and student surveys (2.4.d.3a). HANA data are summarized on the UK Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics website (2.4.d.3b). EPP candidate data available through the EPSB reporting site are maintained and synchronized with unit data. Both CEPIS and OTIS systems have extensive built-in reporting capabilities.
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Since the last accreditation visit, the unit has engaged in continuous improvement in several areas related to Standard 2, Assessment System and Unit Evaluation. Multiple electronic data systems have been developed to assist with data collection, analysis, and reporting to individuals, units within the university, and various state and federal agencies.
Professional staff in the Office of Program Development, Accountability and Compliance have been charged, since 1996, with the development of a database and information system (CEPIS) that has been used to collect, store, analyze, maintain, and report candidate data. Since the last visit, the CEPIS system has received a number of enhancements that support the management of unit programs and candidate cohorts.
The OTIS Portfolio System has also taken on a much more central role in the unit distributed data system. All programs both initial and advanced are now required to use the OTIS system, which means data collected and managed in OTIS are available for distributed use. OTIS data are intentionally much more granular for documenting candidate progress towards demonstrating standards and completing clinical activities. Some programs moved from hard copy portfolios to OTIS electronic portfolios as recently as fall 2014 and are, therefore, at different stages of implementation.
The EPSB data system additionally has taken on a much more important role for Kentucky EPPs. Although data in the EPSB database are essentially data entered by units, explicit and intentional synchronization of unit data and EPSB data is far more important than in the past. The EPSB has also created a variety of reporting mechanisms to make data more easily accessible to units across the state. The CEPIS system has received enhancements to facilitate the maintenance of synchronized data between UK and the EPSB. Every other year the EPSB administers the New Teacher Survey to student teachers and their cooperating teachers and first-year teachers and their resource teachers (2.4.d.5-7), which provides valuable graduate and employer data aligned with the Kentucky Teacher Standards.
During 2014-2015, a field experience tracking system was developed in OTIS to ensure that candidates can document their diverse field experiences and clinical practice. By state regulation (16 KAR 5:040), candidates in initial preparation programs must document a minimum of 200 hours of field experiences prior to student teaching (4.4.i.1). Required are experiences at all three levels of schooling, experiences in the required EPSB field experience categories, and experiences with diverse families and community. OTIS field experience journals and reports allow candidates to document the accomplishment of these requirements. Candidate data from OTIS can be transferred to the EPSB Field Experience Tracking System (K-FETS) (4.4.i.2). Discussions regarding a similar tracking system for candidates in advanced teacher preparation and other school professional programs are occurring within the Program Faculty Chairs Group.
Since the last accreditation visit, the UK Office of Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics (IRAA) has implemented an interactive HANA database which provides real-time data on a wide variety of student, faculty, and alumni measures (2.4.d.3a, 2.4.d.3b). For example, student enrollment and degree completion data are available by student demographics (i.e., race, gender, residency status, full-/part-time status), degree level, semester, and academic year (2.4.d.3c). These data can be disaggregated at the college and program levels. Student retention and graduation rates are available by college and year. Faculty demographics (i.e., race, gender, age, tenure status, full-time/part-time status) can be disaggregated by college and academic year and aggregated across the university by academic year (2.4.d.3d). Aggregated teacher course evaluation data at the university level can be disaggregated by college, department, and individual course/faculty member by semester and year (2.4.d.3e, 2.4.d.3f). Overall results of student and graduate surveys can be disaggregated by college but not by departments or programs (2.4.d.3g, 2.4.d.3h). After submission of Title II reports, PRAXIS summary scores are also posted on the IRAA website (2.4.d.3i). As a result of this new interactive data system, data are now more easily available to facilitate decision-making on a wide range of issues related to unit capacity and operations.
Also since the last visit, the unit has adopted Digital Measures, an electronic database used to track faculty Distribution of Effort (DOE), scholarly productivity (i.e., publications, presentations, funded grants), course teaching assignments and enrollments, graduate student committees, and faculty awards (2.4.d.4). Faculty members access Digital Measures through the myUK portal using their Link Blue account. Much of the data are uploaded into the system using existing databases on campus. For example, information regarding grant proposals and funded grants is supplied by the UK Office of Sponsored Projects Administration. Data related to courses (i.e., faculty course assignments and enrollments) and faculty DOE are pulled into Digital Measures from the UK SAP system. Individual faculty or departmental staff members enter data regarding faculty scholarship (e.g., publications, presentations, awards). Once entered into the system, data can be easily retrieved for reporting purposes, and faculty can generate curriculum vita and populate the Faculty Activities Report and Faculty Evaluation Form which are required for annual or biannual faculty performance reviews. Aggregated data from Digital Measures are reported annually in the COE strategic plan progress report and various state and national reports.
The unit has a well-qualified team to lead assessment efforts in the unit. In 2013-2014, the dean restructured responsibilities of associate deans, resulting in the establishment of a senior associate dean position with responsibility for academic programs, accreditation, and planning. This position oversees seven accreditations within the College of Education and provides oversight for a new Office of Program Development, Accountability and Compliance which is fully staffed with a director, an assistant director for certification and compliance, a CEPIS data portal systems analyst and programmer, and a staff member who works on data management. Complementing this office staff is a new assistant dean for program assessment named by the dean in fall 2013 to continue development and implementation of the OTIS Online Portfolio System across unit programs. The COE has continued to support the expansion of the hardware and software associated with the CEPIS and OTIS management systems.
These additional resources have facilitated the process of evidence-based decision making in the unit. Program and unit improvements based on data have been made since the last visit. For example, in 2012 the department chair in Kinesiology and Health Promotion used student and faculty data to successfully request additional faculty resources from the dean and provost. This request based on data resulted in the creation of new lecturer lines and the subsequent hiring of seven new lecturers, increasing from four in 2012 at the time of the request to 11 in 2014-2015 (2.4.g.1). Another example of the use of data to improve programs involved the School Media Librarian Program which suspended admissions in 2010 due to decreased enrollment and university-wide budget cuts. Responding to requests from the Kentucky librarian community that the program be reinstated, the School of Library and Information Science in collaboration with COE leadership established a committee of experts to review the status of the school library media profession in Kentucky and gather data from stakeholders regarding the need for the program. Resulting data were used to successfully request reinstatement of a faculty line to support the program with a joint appointment for this faculty member, thereby strengthening collaboration between the two colleges (2.4.g.2). A third example of the use of data to improve the unit focused on the establishment of a new Department of STEM Education in 2011. The unit used statewide data regarding science and mathematics teacher shortages to make the case for a new department that would focus exclusively on the recruitment and preparation of teachers in the STEM disciplines through creation of innovative teacher preparation programs (2.4.g.3).
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There were no areas for improvement from the previous accreditation review.
Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
The unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school professionals develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn.Overview of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice (click to expand)
Unit faculty members, working collaboratively with school partners, regularly update the conceptual framework which supports field experiences and clinical practice in initial and advanced programs (I.5.c.1). Collaborative activities are organized through program faculties, the governing bodies for initial and advanced programs. Program faculty members include university and school-based faculty and school leaders (6.4.b.2). When appropriate, program faculties include community agency representatives, such as public librarians for the school media librarian program (3.4.a.3).
Drawing from the conceptual framework, program faculties design field experiences and clinical practice to emphasize research and reflection, critical components of the curriculum, and promote growth in professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for effective teaching that impacts student learning. School partners lead seminars to promote candidate growth. For example, school, state, and community agency partners facilitate sessions held annually for candidates. This allows candidates to engage with partners about professional topics such as hiring practices, performance assessments, and community resources (3.4.a.4). When school partners lead seminars in their schools, they cover an array of topics (e.g., assessment tools; expectations of new teachers; 3.4.a.5). Cooperating teachers and student teachers (STs) co-teach by planning, implementing, and reflecting about impact of instructional practice on student learning, and school partners co-teach some university courses with university supervisors (3.4.a.6).
Candidates must complete 200 field experience hours prior to student teaching. Most complete more than 200 hours to ensure they have multifaceted experiences in diverse settings. Field experiences are integrally woven into courses to achieve program goals throughout every aspect of the program (3.4.b.1-3; 3.4.e.1). Field experiences in advanced programs are tailored to achieve program goals and meet individual candidate needs; some field experiences are in candidate’s schools as well as other settings (3.4.b.3). Candidates in initial and advanced programs complete some experiences in community settings (e.g., Carnegie Center; 3.4.a.2).
Placements are made in partner network (PN) schools (3.4.b.4) in districts which have signed contracts with the unit (3.4.a.1). Criteria for selecting PN sites include evidence of high quality field experiences, professional learning opportunities for school and university faculty, and emphasis on research-based approaches to improve practice and promote student achievement. Approximately 150 schools in over 40 districts participate in the PN including urban, suburban, and rural areas. Some schools in the PN have clinical faculty who are in advanced programs, program graduates, and/or recognized by the state for innovative practices (3.4.b.5). Program faculties collaborate with PN schools to place, monitor, and assess candidate progress. The Office of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships (OCP) maintains placement databases that document field experiences which candidates record electronically in OTIS and the state KFETS tracking system (3.4.b.6-7).
Field experiences and clinical practice are closely aligned with course content to ensure research, theories, and pedagogical practices examined in courses are meaningfully applied to promote candidate growth. Under the careful supervision of clinical faculty, candidates apply theories and implement strategies in classrooms to positively impact student learning. Each field experience involves structured reflections related to assigned activities, which clinical faculty monitor and assess (3.4.b.8).
STs begin placements before the university semester officially begins. In the fall, STs start when school starts; in spring, they begin after the winter break. The number of ST placements varies to meet program goals; most programs have two placements; some have three. STs visit classrooms in other schools/levels which reflect different perspectives and practices. STs are reviewed regularly while documenting progress in relation to instructional impact on student learning.
Cooperating teachers are selected by program faculties based on program and state policies (3.4.b.1; 3.4.c.1). Waivers for cooperating teachers with specialized expertise are occasionally requested (3.4.c.2). University supervisors are selected by department chairs in collaboration with program faculties. Clinical faculty must complete supervisory training before they mentor STs. Training addresses key aspects of supervision including roles, responsibilities, co-teaching strategies, and performance assessments. Face-to-face and on-line training options are available (3.4.d.1-2). Training continues during placements as university supervisors and cooperating teachers collaborate to review and extend training and tailor supervisory strategies to address school needs. Throughout student teaching, the supervisor and cooperating teacher confer about ST growth using standards-based performance assessments (3.4.d.5) communicating frequently through face-to-face meetings, electronically, and by phone. In addition to general training, supervisors must complete specialized training to ensure that all state mandates for teaching and learning are infused into field experiences and clinical practice. For example, all supervisors completed training related to the new science standards (3.4.d.3). Supervisors also attend orientations each semester and engage in PD at regularly held meetings and retreats that focus on various field experience topics (3.4.d.4).
At the end of each placement, STs, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers evaluate the experience using the Student Teaching Perception Evaluation (STPE) (3.4.d.6). Each ST evaluates the cooperating teacher, university supervisor, and TEP. The cooperating teacher evaluates the university supervisor, and the university supervisor evaluates the cooperating teacher. These evaluation data inform placement and program decisions. University supervisors are also evaluated by the department chair and attend departmental meetings where field experiences and clinical practice are discussed.
The OCP publishes Field Notes (FN), a newsletter published each semester focusing on topics related to field experiences and clinical practice and enhanced collaboration between the university and school partners. Clinical faculty and candidates contribute articles. Each year STPE data are evaluated and findings are reported (3.4.d.7). Guides describe field experience and clinical practice requirements including policies, procedures, and responsibilities (3.4.e.2). Program faculties expand guidelines in program guides (3.4.e.3-4) and instructors provide course guidelines in syllabi (3.4e.5). STs begin with orientations (3.4.e.6). Program faculties use the OCP database to ensure candidates have a diverse array of experiences prior to and during student teaching.
Candidate progress is continuously monitored using program faculty designed tools at three critical assessment points: entry, midpoint, and exit. At entry, program faculty carefully screen applicants using multiple evidences to inform admission decisions including content knowledge, dispositions, and experience working with children (3.4.g.1-2). At midpoint, program faculty measure candidate progress related to student teaching approval requirements. At exit, clinical faculty score summative assessments individually and collectively including written artifacts and ST presentations of signature portfolio pieces in oral defenses. Within the three assessment mileposts, program faculty meet regularly to review candidate progress and develop action plans for candidates not making satisfactory progress.
Activities, assignments, and assessments related to field experiences and clinical practice are described in program materials (3.4.f.2). Growth is measured using multiple assessments (3.4.f.1; 3.4.f.5) and tracked through PGPs which help candidates document and reflect with clinical faculty about their progress through the program (3.4.f.3). One activity in which all candidates are involved is a training to handle difficult situations entitled Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools (3.4.g.3).
Performance assessment criteria are linked to professional standards and impact on student learning. Emphasis is placed on research-based practices in which reflection is key (3.4.d.5; 3.4.b.8). Candidates must demonstrate competence on all KTS (3.4.d.5), which are aligned with INTASC standards and the evaluation framework used to promote effectiveness for teachers at all experience levels in the state (3.4.f.6). Two standards unique to Kentucky include collaboration with teachers, parents, and others and leadership activities aimed at positively impacting student learning (3.4.f.7).
ST progress is assessed at quarter, mid, and endpoints. Formative performance assessments include lesson plans, observation reports, analyses of video-recorded lessons, and PGPs (3.4.f.8). Summative performance assessments include solo teaching, observations, signature portfolio presentations, and final performance assessments (3.4.f.5). University supervisors provide STs with continuous feedback through observation reports, reflective conferences, written assignment feedback, and midterm progress reports. Alerts are sent to candidates not making satisfactory progress (3.4.f.4). University supervisors also report unsatisfactory progress to the OCP director to help identify and document identified areas of concern, develop specific action plans, and provide guidance to promote success. Supervisors, cooperating teachers, and STs develop action plans that specify expectations, guidance, and timelines for progress (3.4.e.7).
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As indicated in 3.1, university and school based partners collaborate on various significant programmatic matters related to field experiences and clinical practices. There are several examples that highlight aspects of the collaborative work that focus on school partners’ professional development (PD) activities and instructional programs for candidates. Two PD centers housed in the unit provide countless hours of PD to school partners. The Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD) established the Kentucky Reading Project in 1998 and the Adolescent Literacy Project in 2011 in which over 3,500 educators across nearly every county in the state received training on the implementation of comprehensive, research-based literacy instruction designed to increase student achievement and family engagement (3.4.h.1). The Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform (PIMSER) provides high-quality, research-based training and support for improvements in mathematics and science education. This center currently works with educators across 100 counties to improve teacher practice and impact student achievement in math and science, with a particular focus in the rural, Appalachian region (3.4.h.2).
In addition to these two PD centers, several faculty members collaborate with school-based faculty to provide additional PD opportunities. For example, the Bluegrass Writing Project (BGWP) (3.4.h.3) focuses on developing and improving writing instruction of K-16 teachers in all content areas and is offered during the summer each year. This annual PD series includes a Technology Academy in partnership with Stonewall Elementary School, ELL Academy with Beaumont Middle School, and the BGWP Institute with Leestown Middle School. Clinical faculty members co-teach and co-facilitate this PD series with school-based faculty in our partner schools.
We have several initiatives that provide instructional programming for school partners, candidates, and children. For example, the STEM Education Department hosts an annual summer SeeBlue STEM Camp, a collaborative program between the unit and the College of Engineering. This weeklong camp is designed for middle level students and provides a variety of positive learning experiences and career exploration in the STEM fields. Teacher candidates work shoulder to shoulder with graduate students enrolled in a graduate level course to learn instructional techniques gaining valuable content knowledge. Then, they co-teach and facilitate the camp experience for the students (3.4.h.4). This summer (2015), high school students from the STEAM Academy will also participate in the professional learning experience alongside candidates and teachers that will culminate in co-facilitation of this middle level summer camp.
The 15 student organizations within our unit emphasize professional educator development and engage in many instructional programs that directly benefit children in our partner schools. For example, candidates in the Elementary Education Student Association are participating in the Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy’s Humanities Hop. This is an afterschool program that offers children in grades 3-5 extracurricular activities that focus on the humanities and meets one day per week. A clinical faculty member within the Elementary Education Program leads this supplementary field experience initiative (3.4.h.5).
Developing exceptional teachers is essential for innovative, authentic, and meaningful learning that will support excellence in P-12 student outcomes and promote the kinds of learning environments that students deserve. Teachers are in many ways students of their own practice, and consequently professional growth experiences should be woven in along a career continuum in which they develop as master teachers. Our Pro-Teach advanced degree program (3.4.h.6), which is currently under development, is designed to a) Pro-mote exceptional cadres of teachers who work collaboratively around an area of interest; b) Pro-duce personalized resources and tools to implement creative learning experiences; and c) Pro-actively impact instructional innovations in the classroom. Through a process of “mentoring mentors” of cadres of teachers, a faculty member would work directly with school-based graduate students who serve as mentors to our candidates in the classroom, thus creating a triad of mentorship (faculty member, graduate student serving as host teacher, and student teacher). Cohorts would be organized around a content focused identity (e.g., Social Studies C3 Framework, Middle School Literacy, Innovative Grading and Assessment Practices) with a faculty member leading/chairing. These cadres would function with peer-to peer elements (e.g., Professional Learning Communities); the cadre would share co-developed tools and resources to improve teaching and learning in schools, districts, and states as teacher leaders. Coursework is offered in a variety of flexible formats (e.g., hybrid and online classes, Saturday meetings) and designed to allow the cadre of practicing teachers to collaborate in meaningful ways.
As described in 3.1, the Office of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships has established a comprehensive process for the placement of teacher candidates and student teachers (STs). In addition to this process, program faculties continuously examine and revise field placements for instructional programs based on evolving program and school needs to ensure quality placements for all candidates and to help all P-12 students learn. For example, additional field experiences were added to William Wells Brown Elementary School (WWB), which scored the lowest among elementary schools in the state’s testing and accountability program in 2013-2014. Led by a clinical faculty member and co-chair of the unit’s Elementary Education Program, an increased number of teacher candidates placed at WWB provided additional instructional support at the classroom level. This strategic placement for field experiences both address specific instructional needs by the school as well as provide candidates with first-hand experiences with struggling learners during a focused, district initiated intervention for improvement in student achievement. Additionally, faculty and student organizations are providing instructional support and training to help support this school (3.4.h.7).
The unit is committed to helping candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to enter the profession as “learner ready” from day one. As such, the unit strives to ensure a wide diversity of field experiences and related professional activities throughout the educator preparation program. For example, we are expanding our field experiences that include Districts of Innovation in which schools are piloting innovative instructional strategies (3.4.h.8-9) that move beyond more traditional classroom pedagogy (e.g., project based learning, blended learning, competency/standards based assessment, badges for learning) as well as Next Generation partner districts (3.4.h.9a). The unit also piloted a ST placement in a DoDEA middle school at Fort Knox during spring 2015. DoDEA schools have recently adopted the 21st century learning framework and will begin to roll out the CCSS for Mathematics in fall 2015 and ELA in fall 2016 (3.4.h.9b). Since DoDEA schools use the Terra Nova assessment in place of state testing, placement in DoDEA schools provides an additional opportunity for STs to draw comparisons across a variety of classroom settings.
The unit continues to expand opportunities for candidates to engage in student teaching in international settings. For example, we had seven STs in spring 2012 and 13 STs in spring 2013 participate in a faculty led seven-week embedded field experience in Xi’an, China (3.4.h.9c). The unit has established a new Office of International School Partnerships and is beginning to build relationships with the TRI-Association (The Association of American Schools of Central America, Colombia, Caribbean, and Mexico) and NESA (Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools). In addition to these developing partnerships, the unit has established a Global Educators Cohort (3.4.h.9d) within our EDLife Living Learning Program. Candidates within this cohort will complete the Global Studies undergraduate certificate (3.4.h.9e) in addition to program requirements, which includes additional requirements in a foreign language and an education abroad experience while demonstrating cultural competencies.
STs placed in innovative districts and international settings join seminar class meetings via Skype to share and reflect on what they are learning with peers placed in more traditional instructional environments. This strategy allows STs to compare and contrast instructional approaches, management techniques, assessment foci, and similarities/differences in professional stature across a variety of settings.
In addition to placing candidates and STs in a variety of instructional settings, the unit also provides opportunities for engagement within informal instructional settings. For example, STs participate in after school programming, including one-on-one tutoring of students to prepare for KPREP at Deep Springs Elementary School. STs in the middle level preparation program also provided a professional learning session for district administrators (superintendents, principals, curriculum coaches) during a full-day professional development session at the Next Generation Leadership Academy (2013) related to the instructional integration of mobile devices in elementary and middle school classrooms (3.4.h.9f).
The unit has expanded opportunities for field experiences and clinical practice that focus on modeling and hands-on opportunities for learning. An example, the Middle Level Preparation Program begins with two initial courses that are taught on-site at a partner middle school. Course content focuses on modeling of middle level pedagogy, classroom management and discipline, and content area literacy in a “real-world” setting. Following delivery and modeling of course content, teacher candidates spend several hours in classroom settings in which they are provided opportunities to put into practice what they are learning through their coursework (3.4.h.9g).
The unit has also started to pilot a cross-institutional collaboration with the University of Louisville in which technology is leveraged for candidates in our unit to “see inside” classrooms in Louisville, a more complex inner city school district. Through the use of Skype, candidates in both locations (Lexington and Louisville) are able to observe live lessons while using Today’s Meet (a live-feed, back channel) to capture questions they have about the instruction, classroom management, and student behaviors they observe. Following the lesson, the classroom teacher engages in a conversation with the candidates to respond to their questions. This strategy provides opportunities for candidates to observe, question, and learn in the context of a classroom they may not normally have access to due to the physical distance. This model was presented to the EPSB in January 2015 (3.4.h.9h).
In our Literacy Education master’s program, two courses are conducted in partnership with the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning (3.4.h.9i). Through this model, graduate students in this advanced program work shoulder-to-shoulder with faculty and staff at the center as they learn how to assess and provide differentiated instruction to struggling readers in first grade through high school as part of the UK Literacy Clinic (3.4.h.9j). There is also a strong family literacy component that focuses on enhancing families’ knowledge and skills related to literacy learning, including help for ELLs.
This type of collaboration extends across many of our advanced degree programs. For example, the EDL Teacher Leadership Program (3.4.h.9k) was developed as part of a collaborative engagement design process in which unit faculty, content faculty, and P-12 practitioners worked together to plan curriculum and experiences for the revised program. Field-based professional experiences require candidates to complete a variety of job-embedded assignments that enhance transfer of learning into practice.
Reflection following observed instruction is emphasized across programs. A debriefing in which the ST reflects on the lesson and identifies areas for growth in which he/she will focus prior to the next observation period follows each observation. STs are expected to reflect on student performance in relation to stated objectives/learning targets as well as students’ strengths and learning needs for the purpose of individualizing instruction by identifying students who met or exceeded criteria as well as those who performed below criteria. Based on these data, STs are expected to identify ways in which they will differentiate instruction to ensure student success as well as how progress will be communicated with parents/caregivers. Additionally, each ST completes a Professional Growth Plan, which includes checkpoints throughout the semester and is presented as an exit interview with program faculty.
Some programs (MIC Secondary, Middle Level) are piloting newly designed performance assessments through the use of Presentations of Learning in which STs must demonstrate the culmination of their skills, knowledge, and professional dispositions in a public presentation as a type of capstone project at the culmination of the student teaching experience (3.4.h.9l). MIC master’s exams now include a video analysis using the ATLAS database of videos in partnership with the NBPTS (3.4.h.9m). STs use professional noticing and educational research to design a classroom environment that increases student achievement and engagement. The individual portion requires candidates to self-assess their classroom experiences to target an area in need of instructional growth, analyze theoretical and practical research to create an action plan to improve their area of growth, and use data to assess the effectiveness of the action plan and reflect on how this experience will impact their future practices in the classroom. The collaborative portion requires candidates to apply the stages of professional noticing to a critical video segment and present their responses to the video segment during an oral defense (3.4.h.9n).
The MSD Option 6 alternative program is piloting virtual supervision of candidates who teach in remote rural areas of the state. Faculty use a webcam in the candidate’s classroom and Bluetooth audio to communicate during observation. Using this method required EPSB approval to waive 16 KAR 9:080 which requires supervisors to be physically present during observations (3.4.h.9o). Faculty are conducting an evaluation of this approach and will report findings to the EPSB.
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There were no areas for improvement from the previous accreditation review.
Standard 4: Diversity
The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates can demonstrate and apply proficiencies related to diversity. Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse populations, including higher education and P-12 school faculty, candidates, and students in P-12 schools.Overview of Diversity (click to expand)
The University of Kentucky and the professional education unit are committed to facilitating the learning of all students in diverse P-12 classrooms. UK’s commitment to diversity is evident in its mission that states in part: As Kentucky’s flagship institution, the University plays a critical leadership role by promoting diversity, inclusion, economic development, and human well-being. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is identified as an institutional value adopted by the UK Board of Trustees. UK also demonstrates its commitment to diversity through the planning process currently underway to develop the institution’s 2015-2020 strategic plan. The draft plan focuses on five goals, one of which is diversity and inclusivity. Promoting diversity and inclusion was also one of five goals in the 2009-2014 strategic plan (4.4.a.1). UK has established offices, committees, and support services that facilitate the creation of a welcoming work and learning environment for all candidates, faculty, and staff. Examples include the Office of the Vice President for Institutional Diversity (4.4.a.2) which oversees the Commission on Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion; the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services; the Martin Luther King Center; and Student Support Services.
Against this backdrop of institutional commitment, the unit emphasizes the importance of diversity in its mission, which states: The College fosters a culture of reflective practice and inquiry within a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. Further, Goal 4 of the 2009-2014 Unit Strategic Plan states: The College of Education is dedicated to promoting inclusion and diversity in its curricula and among its faculty, staff, and students. The draft 2015-2020 unit plan identifies diversity and inclusion as a continuing commitment. Unit leadership and faculty, the Inclusiveness Committee, and the Office of Student Engagement, Equity, and Diversity play pivotal roles in meeting strategic goals related to diversity.
Guided by its conceptual framework theme, Research and Reflection for Learning and Leading, the unit is committed to ensuring candidates acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to help all students learn. As such, the unit expects candidates to be able to demonstrate culturally responsive instruction and educational practices. To support the development of these proficiencies, the unit provides candidates with coursework and field and clinical experiences aligned with institutional, state, and national standards related to diversity.
Candidates in initial and advanced programs are required to develop and demonstrate proficiencies related to diversity that are specified in the unit conceptual framework and in national, state, and institutional standards (4.4.a.3). Two of the five Unit Functional Skills and Dispositions described in the conceptual framework emphasize the importance of diverse perspectives in the development of professional educators. Candidates in initial and advanced teacher preparation programs must demonstrate proficiency on standards and performance criteria related to diversity in the Kentucky Teacher Standards. Candidates in interdisciplinary early childhood education (IECE) must demonstrate proficiencies related to diversity identified in the Kentucky IECE Birth to Primary Standards.
The unit assesses candidate proficiencies with diversity using multiple measures such as assignments embedded in coursework, artifacts within the electronic OTIS portfolio (4.4.a.4, 4.4.a.4a), candidate performance during student teaching (sample in 4.4.a.5), and survey results from graduates and employers, including the Graduating Senior Survey (4.4.a.6), Undergraduate and Graduate Alumni Surveys, and the New Teacher Survey (4.4.a.7).
Initial and advanced preparation programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated to reflect attention to the knowledge, dispositions, and skills needed by candidates to meet the needs of diverse P-12 learners. Diversity, defined by NCATE as encompassing ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geographical area, is addressed in all educator preparation programs through coursework, field experiences, and clinical practice. Syllabi for a sampling of initial teacher preparation courses with diversity components are presented as exhibits 4.4.b.1-9f. Representative syllabi for courses related to diversity in advanced programs are presented as exhibits 4.4.b.9g-p.
In addition to coursework, candidates and faculty have opportunities to engage in university and unit sponsored activities related to diversity. Examples of university sponsored activities include the “I Am Diversity” initiative (4.4.c.1-2), the annual cultural diversity festival (4.4.c.3), the annual OUTspoken event (4.4.c.4), the Confucius Institute Day (4.4.c.5), and a reception hosted by UK President Capilouto for the Muslim Student Association (4.4.c.6). Unit activities have included an art exhibit created by art education candidates to shed light on Lexington’s homeless community (4.4.c.7), Ally Development workshops by counseling psychology doctoral students focused on recognizing biases and stereotypes and becoming an ally for an oppressed group (4.4.c.8), and an annual “Light It Up Blue” autism awareness event (4.4.c.9).
Candidates have opportunities to interact with diverse university and unit faculty. Exhibit 4.4.d.1 provides a snapshot of full-time professional education and university faculty by race/ethnicity and gender for fall 2014. Exhibit 4.4.d.2 provides three-year trend data regarding demographic data for all full-time unit faculty. As indicated for the 2014-2015 year, of the 157 unit faculty 17.8 percent (N=28) represents racial/ethnic diversity, and gender diversity is 55.4 percent (N=87) female and 44.6 percent (N=70) male. Exhibit 4.4.d.3 presents six-year trend data on racial/ethnic and gender diversity of all full-time COE faculty by tenure status.
Since educator preparation is a university-wide responsibility, it is also important to review the diversity of the faculty for the institution as a whole. Exhibit 4.4.d.4 presents five-year trend data on the racial/ethnic and gender distribution of full-time university faculty by tenure status. When considering all faculty members, the percentage of diverse faculty has increased from 17.4 percent in 2010 to 19.9 percent in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of female faculty across UK increased from 31.8 to 39.2 percent.
The unit is committed to the continued recruitment of diverse faculty. All faculty search committees must comply with university regulations and the unit’s Guidelines for Search Committees on Promoting Diversity (4.4.g.1-3). All positions are advertised in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, the Chronicle of Higher Education, discipline-specific publications, and on websites of the relevant professional organization. During the interview process, faculty candidates are asked to share their experiences and interests related to diversity. As evident in exhibits 4.4.d.8 and 5.4.a.1, many faculty are engaged in research and teaching around topics of equity and diversity.
The unit is further committed to recruiting and retaining diverse candidates in its programs. Candidates have opportunities to work with peers who represent diverse populations in terms of race/ethnicity and gender. Exhibit 4.4.e.2 presents demographic information on students enrolled in the College of Education from 2007 through 2014. During this time, racial/ethnic diversity of COE students increased from 11.3 percent to 18.9 percent. Exhibit 4.4.e.3 describes racial/ethnic and gender diversity of the overall UK student population for the same time period, during which racial/ethnic diversity across the university increased from 13.9 percent to 22.0 percent. Percentage of enrollment by gender in both the college and university was relatively unchanged from 2007 through 2014.
The unit recognizes the urgent need to recruit and retain a diverse student body. To create a diverse community of learners, the unit has implemented a variety of programs to complement traditional candidate recruitment and retention methods and continues to seek new and innovative ways to recruit, retain, and graduate professional educators. The college participates in early outreach programs, such as summer campus, senior preview nights, Come See for Yourself sessions, and campus visits. Support services for diverse candidates are available through the COE Office of Student Engagement, Equity, and Diversity (4.4.h.1) and the UK Office of Institutional Diversity’s Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services designed to assist students of underrepresented populations in achieving academic excellence and adjusting to student life at the university. Services include tutoring, study groups, study skills workshops, academic planning and monitoring, career exploration, and peer-mentoring.
The unit is committed to ensuring all candidates have opportunities to work with diverse students in P-12 schools. U.S. Census data regarding the diversity of Fayette County and surrounding Kentucky counties that UK serves are presented in exhibit 4.4.f.1. Demographic data for placement schools are provided in exhibit 4.4.f.2. These data include racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity (i.e., based on students receiving free and reduced lunch) of students in the placement sites. Data also include the percentages of English language learners and students with special needs enrolled in these schools. More information regarding achievement gap data and teacher qualifications at these schools is presented in exhibit 4.4.f.3. To ensure all candidates have placements in diverse school settings, the unit monitors individual candidate placements using the OTIS electronic portfolio and the Kentucky Field Experiences Tracking System.
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Since the last accreditation visit, the unit has engaged in continuous improvement in several areas related to Standard 4, Diversity. The university and unit continue to demonstrate commitment to diversity through ongoing strategic planning processes. The draft university strategic plan for 2015-2020, which is expected to have Board of Trustee approval during summer 2015, identifies diversity and inclusivity as one of five key goals which will guide the university over the next five years. Likewise, the draft College of Education strategic plan identifies diversity as a critical goal for the unit in coming years. These goals reflect the emphasis on diversity in the mission statements of both the University of Kentucky and the College of Education.
The unit transitioned an ad hoc Inclusiveness Task Force to a standing committee by faculty vote in spring 2014. The new Inclusiveness Committee has met regularly throughout the 2014-2015 academic year (4.4.g.4-6). The committee is sponsoring a spring 2015 diversity symposium in collaboration with the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. Unit faculty with expertise in various aspects of diversity will facilitate round table discussions related to their areas of research interest and expertise (4.4.d.7). The dean has also requested that the committee review the unit’s Guidelines for Search Committees on Promoting Diversity for possible revision during the 2015-2016 academic year.
As part of development of a new Rules document, unit faculty voted to expand the function of the Inclusiveness Committee beginning in 2015-2016 to include the work of the previous International Education Committee. Unit faculty believe it is extremely important to think locally and globally in addressing diversity given that the world is now so interconnected due to technology, international commerce, and the ease of travel. The unit has made strides in weaving a sense of global-mindedness into its programs. Since 2007, the unit has expanded the international student teaching program by adding school sites and has established exchange programs with Linkoping University in Sweden and Charles Sturt University in Australia. The unit is working to develop an exchange with the Hong Kong Institute of Education and a partnership with the American School of Valencia (Spain), which is an International Baccalaureate School. For two years, the unit had a student teaching program in Xian, China, in which each cohort had a faculty mentor who also provided professional development for teachers at the school.
The unit regularly hosts international scholars who are post graduate students conducting research under the direction of faculty mentors in the unit. The unit has also established the International School Partnership Office with a faculty director and an assistant director. This office facilitates professional development programs with international schools. Teachers from these schools enroll in graduate programs and take courses both on-line and on campus. The unit has also started an organization for international students. A graduate certificate in international education has been implemented in the College of Education, and an undergraduate global certificate has been implemented at the campus level for students interested in concentrating studies on global issues.
Moving forward, the unit plans to provide more opportunities for international experiences to be built into course requirements beyond the student teaching opportunities that currently exist. For candidates who cannot participate in an international experience, the unit plans to provide opportunities for them to learn with and from international students on campus through assignments in their preparation programs.
Unit faculty believes it is important for teachers to adopt globally-minded practices and wants to help teacher candidates include such practices in the repertoire of strategies they use in the classroom. Faculty also believes it is important for teachers to address the needs of the broad diversity that exists in classrooms locally and to help those students become globally-minded citizens. This type of citizen understands and appreciates cultural variance, knows how to work with people from around the globe, understands global systems, and addresses world-wide problems in collaboration with those in other parts of the world who have different perspectives. This is currently being done through the international student teaching program as student teachers who are participating in the program make connections with students in schools in Lexington (e.g., electronic pen pal projects).
While the diversity among unit faculty continues to increase, the unit is committed to the ongoing recruitment of diverse faculty. The unit consistently advertises all vacant faculty positions in the Chronicle of Higher Education and in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Departments and programs also advertise in program-specific outlets, such as websites of relevant professional associations, and with other online media sources, such as higheredjobs.com. The unit is also committed to retaining diverse faculty through new faculty orientation sessions, a faculty mentoring program, and support and feedback through two-year and four-year reviews. Over the past few years, the unit has successfully retained diverse faculty by making counter offers when faculty have been recruited by other institutions.
In addition to having diverse faculty work and interact with candidates, many unit faculty are engaged in research and teaching related to equity and diversity. As documented in exhibits 5.4.a.1 and 4.4.d.8, faculty are engaged in scholarship related to ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geographical area. A recent EdTalk session in the unit focused on diversity in education settings (4.4.d.5-6), and a research symposium co-sponsored by the College of Education Inclusiveness Committee and the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment showcased a cross-section of faculty research and engagement focused on diversity (4.4.d.7).
Recruitment and retention of diverse candidates remains a high priority for the unit. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the unit hired new directors for recruitment and retention of undergraduate and graduate candidates, with a focus on recruitment and retention of candidates from underrepresented groups. The unit has completed renovation of a Student Success Center designed to provide a more welcoming, student-centered environment as candidates move through all phases of their programs. Plans are underway to renovate a connecting space in 138 Taylor Education Building which would house professional advisors in the unit. The college also has plans to recruit a new director of the Office of Student Engagement, Equity, and Diversity to replace the former director who accepted a student affairs position at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
The unit is committed to ensuring that candidates have experiences in diverse P-12 school settings throughout their preparation programs. By state regulation, candidates in initial preparation programs are required to document a minimum of 200 field experience hours prior to the student teaching experience (4.4.i.1). Required experiences include placements with diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic students, English language learners, students with disabilities, and students across elementary, middle, and secondary grade levels. To ensure all candidates have these experiences, field experiences are now electronically tracked using the OTIS online portfolio system and the Kentucky Field Experiences Tracking System (4.4.i.2). Discussions regarding a similar tracking system for candidates in advanced teacher preparation and other school professional programs are occurring within the Program Faculty Chairs Group.
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There were no areas for improvement from the previous accreditation review.
Standard 5: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development
Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systemically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.Overview of Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development (click to expand)
The unit faculty is defined as all full-time faculty members in the College of Education and faculty in other UK colleges who contribute in significant ways to educator preparation. While not all programs in the COE prepares P-12 educators, faculty members across the college participate in educator preparation in a variety of ways including teaching required and elective courses, serving as members of program faculties, and participating in faculty governance as committee members and voting members of the COE faculty.
Unit faculty members are well qualified for their respective roles. Data on the qualifications of full-time faculty employed during 2014-2015 are provided in exhibit 5.4.a.1. An indicator of faculty qualifications is the high proportion of faculty with earned doctorates (5.4.a.2). Unit faculty members who do not hold an earned doctorate meet Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS) criteria for having exceptional expertise in their specializations and teaching areas. Documentation of the SACS designation of exceptional expertise is maintained in the Office of the Dean. Faculty awards also serve as an indicator of faculty qualifications and productivity (5.4.a.3).
Unit faculty experiences in school settings are reported in exhibit 5.4.a.1. Examples of these experiences include observations of student teachers or first-year teachers in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program, action research, work with schools or school districts on professional development efforts, consultations with schools or school districts, funded projects with school or district partners, or employment as a teacher, administrator, or other certified position such as school psychologist. Faculty without P-12 teaching experience are primarily those involved in COE programs that do not focus on P-12 educator preparation, such as biomechanics, counseling psychology, exercise science, higher education, and rehabilitation counseling.
Unit faculty members are employed in one of five title series, as described in the UK Administrative Regulations (5.4.a.4-8). These include regular title (5.4.a.4), special title (5.4.a.5), clinical title (5.4.a.6), lecturer title (5.4.a.7), and research title (5.4.a.8). Unit faculty in tenure-track positions are either regular title, a designation held by the majority of faculty involved in educator preparation, or special title. Regular title faculty members are expected to accomplish excellence in teaching, research, and service; because UK is a research-extensive university, the majority of unit faculty members are appointed in regular title lines. Special title faculty positions are individually defined, and for the most part, these positions are teaching-intensive positions with a relatively modest research allocation. Non-tenure track faculty appointments occur in clinical title, lecturer title, and research title series. Historically reserved for faculty appointments in the UK health care colleges, clinical faculty positions were approved for the COE in 2011; faculty in these appointments have responsibilities related largely to clinical supervision and school partnerships. Unit faculty members in the lecturer series have primary responsibility for teaching and some commitment to service and outreach. Faculty members with a research title appointment work primarily with externally-funded projects. The numbers of unit faculty employed in each title series by rank and tenure status over the past three years are provided in exhibit 5.4.a.9. As appropriate to the title series appointment, individual faculty members negotiate annual Distribution of Effort (DOE) assignments with the respective department chairs (5.4.a.9a).
The qualifications of P-12 and university faculty who work with student teachers are carefully monitored by the COE Office of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships. Programs seek cooperating teachers with the licensure, experiences, and exemplary skills that qualify them to serve as models and mentors for future educators. All cooperating teachers either (a) meet or exceed qualifications specified in 16 KAR 5:040 (5.4.b.1) or (b) serve as a cooperating teacher under a waiver approved by the EPSB. Since the last accreditation visit in 2007, the unit requested seven waivers of cooperating teacher qualifications, all approved by the EPSB (5.4.c.1). Unit faculty who serve as university supervisors are required by 16 KAR 5:040 to participate in supervisor training (3.4.d.1) and co-teaching training (3.4.d.2). All unit faculty members were also required to complete training in the Next Generation Science Standards (3.4.d.3).
Unit faculty members are engaged in scholarly activities that reflect the dual mission of a flagship research university and a land grant university. Summary data regarding faculty scholarship since 2010-2011 are displayed in exhibit 5.4.d.1. Specific information regarding faculty productivity for each year is provided in exhibits 5.4.d.2-6. Faculty grant productivity is summarized in exhibit 5.4.d.7.
Unit faculty members model high quality and effective instruction as evidenced by course syllabi, faculty teaching portfolios, candidates’ ratings of courses, and faculty awards. Current and recent course syllabi available in program documents describe how courses relate to the conceptual framework, Research and Reflection for Learning and Leading, and address pertinent professional standards. The syllabi provide evidence that faculty use innovative applications of performance assessment to determine and enhance candidate learning, prepare candidates for appropriate applications of technology, and provide background and experiences that enable candidates to serve diverse populations of P-12 students.
Faculty members in tenure track lines maintain teaching portfolios as required by UK Administrative Regulations (5.4.f.4). Designed for faculty reflection, evaluation, and improvement of teaching and advising, the teaching portfolio is one source of evidence considered during annual (non-tenured faculty) and biannual (tenured faculty) performance reviews and is a required component of promotion and tenure dossiers (5.4.e.1). Sample teaching portfolios will be available for review during the site visit.
Teacher course evaluations provide ongoing sources of data regarding the quality of faculty instruction. Formal course evaluations occur at the end of each semester and are part of the program implemented by UK’s Office of Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics. Data from the past six semesters indicate candidate ratings on two measures, overall value of the course and overall quality of teaching, exceed overall university ratings for the same two measures for each semester (5.4.e.1a). These results are available to course instructors and department chairs and are required components of faculty performance reviews and promotion and tenure reviews. Faculty members also use the results to improve subsequent courses, and administrators use the data to mentor and advise faculty on ways to improve teaching and learner outcomes.
Unit faculty members provide leadership and service to the profession and collaborate with P-12 partners. Unit faculty are actively engaged in collaborations with colleagues in P-12 schools, faculty in other units at UK, faculty at other universities, and members of professional organizations. Examples of faculty leadership and collaboration are provided as exhibits 5.4.e.2-9f.
Faculty performance reviews (5.4.f.1) and promotion and tenure reviews (5.4.f.4) are prescribed in UK Administrative Regulations. Required reviews include the following: annual reviews of all non-tenured faculty; biannual reviews of all tenured faculty; progress toward tenure reviews at the end of Years 1 (optional), 2, and 4 for non-tenured faculty; and promotion and tenure reviews as required for assistant professors and as appropriate for associate professors. Although UK has no institution-wide post-tenure review, the university has policy regarding review and development of tenured faculty (5.4.f.7).
Descriptions of these faculty review processes, including timelines, forms (5.4.f.2-3), evidences (samples in 5.4.f.5-6) and appeal procedures, are distributed to unit faculty through email and in the COE Faculty Handbook (6.4.a.6). Results of these processes are housed in the Office of the Dean. Sample performance reviews and promotion and tenure dossiers will be available for review during the site visit.
Unit faculty who supervise student teachers and P-12 cooperating teachers are evaluated using the online Student Teaching Perception Evaluation described in Standard 3. Staff members in the Office of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships compile the ratings and send results to individual faculty members, program faculty chairs, and department chairs. Faculty and administrators use these results to determine needed programmatic and personnel changes.
Faculty professional development is valued and supported by the unit. Each faculty member receives $1,000 in travel support and can apply for additional funding from departmental budgets and use approved conference travel in grant budgets. Expenditures for faculty travel over the past three years by academic department are identified in exhibit 5.4.g.1. Professional development opportunities are also available within UK and the unit. Examples include mentoring of new faculty members, annual faculty retreats, guest speakers, small conferences or meetings on or near campus, and workshops offered through the UK Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (5.4.g.2-9d). Tenure track faculty members are also eligible to apply for sabbaticals after every six years of service at UK. Leaves may be for one semester with full salary or one academic year with half-salary. From 2010 through 2015, 28 unit faculty members will have had sabbatical leaves (5.4.g.9e).
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Since the last accreditation visit, the unit has engaged in continuous improvement in several areas related to Standard 5, Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development. As indicated in 5.1, the College of Education received approval from Central Administration to utilize the Clinical Faculty Title Series (5.4.a.6) to employ clinical faculty. This title series had been reserved almost exclusively for the health care colleges and was not approved for faculty appointments in the COE until 2011. Since that time, 15 clinical faculty lines have been approved (5.4.a.9). Faculty serving in these clinical positions are former classroom teachers, school principals, district superintendents and directors, state education agency commissioners and associate commissioners, and the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). In addition to teaching and supervisory responsibilities, many of these appointments have leadership responsibilities in newly-established units within the college. Examples include the National Center for Innovation in Education, led by the former CCSSO executive director and funded by the Gates and Hewlett foundations to lead systematic educational innovation across the United States; the Next Generation Leadership Academy which has provided intensive professional development to four cohorts of school leaders over the past four years; and the Teacher Leader Academy that is serving 110 teachers in 17 eastern Kentucky school districts during 2014-2015.
Other new opportunities for faculty collaboration with P-12 schools occurred with the establishment of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Academy, a collaborative high school partnership between the University of Kentucky and the Fayette County Public Schools. Numerous unit faculty members were involved with the creation of the academy which opened its doors to students in 2013 and provided leadership and professional development to educators in the academy. These faculty members continue to collaborate with UK Central Administration and Fayette County Public Schools on plans to construct a new building to house the academy on the UK campus near the College of Education (5.4.e.5).
Faculty collaboration also occurs through the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform, which moved from the Office of Provost to the College of Education in August 2013. This institute provides many opportunities for networking of faculty across the university and unit to develop and deliver research-based training and support for P-12 educators in the STEM disciplines. The institute currently works with educators across 100 counties to improve teacher practice and impact student achievement in math and science, with a particular focus in the rural, Appalachian region (3.4.h.2).
Additional examples of faculty collaboration and engagement with P-12 schools include the annual SeeBlue STEM camp for middle school students held on the UK campus each summer and the Family Math Nights held at area middle schools since 2008 to increase parental involvement in mathematics and help struggling students by encouraging more family involvement at home through fun, targeted math games.
Unit faculty members also engage in outreach and service to area schools through the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD) and the Bluegrass Writing Project (3.4.h.1, 3.4.h.3). As reported in Standard 3, through CCLD’s Kentucky Reading Project and Adolescent Literacy Project, over 3,500 educators across nearly every county in the state received training on the implementation of comprehensive, research-based literacy instruction designed to increase student achievement and family engagement. The Bluegrass Writing Project, offered during the summer each year, focuses on developing and improving writing instruction of K-16 teachers in all content areas.
The unit has a long history of successful collaboration with the University of Louisville and the University of Cincinnati on an annual student research conference held each spring during which education candidates from all three universities present results from their research efforts, many of which involve P-12 students and schools. In 2014-2015, the unit strengthened its collaboration with the University of Louisville through regular UK/UofL summits hosted by each campus. The summits are designed to encourage and facilitate faculty collaboration across the two institutions. Described in Standard 3, one such collaboration related to clinical preparation of candidates in the middle level education program was presented to the EPSB at its January 2015 meeting.
In the area of scholarship, unit faculty members have been increasingly successful in submitting grant proposals and securing awards of externally-funded grants. Since 2009-2010, the number of submitted proposals has increased from 47 to 81 in 2013-2014, resulting in an increase in external grant funding from $10,360,114 in 2009-2010 to $21,328,265 in 2013-2014 (5.4.g.1). Examples of recent grant awards include a federal Race-to-the-Top grant with the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative to implement a Next Generation Teacher Leader Academy in Eastern Kentucky and an Institute for Education Sciences funded grant to evaluate the efficacy of enhanced anchored instruction for middle school students with learning disabilities in math.
To incentivize faculty grant-related scholarship, supports for funded scholarly activities are available from a variety of sources. For example, the university and unit continue to provide start-up funding for new faculty, the unit continues to provide grant procurement and management services to unit faculty, and course releases are available to faculty who receive external grant funding which provides salary support during the academic year. Typically, faculty members receive a course release for every 12.5 percent of academic year time supported by grants.
Since the last accreditation visit, the unit has adopted Digital Measures, an electronic database system, to identify and track faculty productivity and performance. Key measures of faculty productivity maintained in Digital Measures include publications, presentations, and grant awards. Additional faculty data, i.e., teacher course evaluations, are maintained through the UK Office of Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics. These electronic systems provide ease in accessing and reporting data for annual strategic plan progress reports, federal Title II reports, the AACTE PEDS reports, and various accreditation reports. Additionally, faculty members are able to use Digital Measures and the IRAA Teacher Course Evaluation systems to produce reports for annual or biannual performance reviews and promotion and tenure reviews. Future developments include enhanced tracking and reporting of faculty service, engagement, and outreach activities, which have proven more difficult to quantify. Further, these faculty productivity data provide valuable information to guide decisions within the unit; exhibit 5.4.h.1 identifies specific unit operations data related to Standard 5.
In summary, members of the professional education faculty at the University of Kentucky are well qualified to deliver programs that prepare candidates to meet professional standards and contribute to improvements in the nation’s P-12 schools and other education agencies. Faculty members are productive scholars and contributing members of a wide range of educator communities at the local, state, national, and international levels. The unit provides processes and supports that enable faculty to realize the outcomes in our conceptual framework, Research and Reflection for Learning and Leading. Collectively, the professionals involved in educator preparation at UK strive to offer candidates the rigorous and high quality experiences that prepare them to be educators who have positive impacts on their P-12 students.
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There were no areas for improvement from the previous accreditation review.
Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources
The unit has the leadership, authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources, including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.Overview of Unit Governance and Resources (click to expand)
The professional education unit consists of the College of Education (COE); the agricultural education program in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment; art education and music education programs in the College of Fine Arts; the school social worker program in the College of Social Work; the school media librarian program in the College of Communication and Information; and the world languages program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Professional education programs in the College of Education are located in the departments of Curriculum and Instruction; Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling; Educational Leadership Studies; Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation; Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology; Kinesiology and Health Promotion; and STEM Education.
The dean of the College of Education serves as the head of the unit with overall responsibility for the unit. In this capacity, the dean oversees and provides leadership and support for all programs and serves as the unit liaison with the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board. Department chairs report to the dean who reports to the provost (6.4.b.1).
The unit is guided by the UK Administrative Regulations (6.4.a.1), Governing Regulations (6.4.a.2), Senate Rules (6.4.a.3), and Student Rights and Responsibilities (6.4.a.4). Part 1 of a new COE Rules document was developed by the Faculty Council, approved at the March 2015 faculty meeting, and is pending provost approval (6.4.a.5). The COE Faculty Handbook (6.4.a.6) is currently under revision to reflect changes outlined in the Rules document.
Unit programs are governed by individual program faculties, collaborative groups comprised of education faculty, university faculty from content areas, practitioners from schools and agencies, and undergraduate and graduate candidates. These multidisciplinary committees are responsible for initiating and revising courses and programs, ensuring and documenting candidates meet standards, administering unit policies in their respective programs, conducting continuous assessment of candidates, and using data to improve programs. To ensure collaboration and communication across the unit, the chairs of the program faculties are organized into the Program Faculty Chairs Group, which has regular monthly meetings convened by the director of the Office of Program Development, Accountability, and Compliance (6.4.b.2).
Further, various councils and standing committees facilitate leadership and faculty governance within the unit. Membership and function of standing committees are described in the Rules document (6.4.a.5). The Council of Chairs, Faculty Council, Staff Council, and Council of Student Leaders serve as advisory groups to the dean. The Council of Chairs, chaired by the dean, includes the department chairs, associate deans, budget officer, and Faculty Council chair. The Faculty Council is comprised of one faculty representative from each department and three elected at-large members. The Staff Council includes representatives from each department and unit in the college. Membership on the Council of Student Leaders includes presidents of each student organization.
The office of Undergraduate Advising and Student Success (6.4.c.1) provides candidate services related to enrollment and advising. The office consists of an advising staff comprised of an associate dean and seven full-time advisors. Candidates in initial teacher preparation programs are required to meet with an advisor at least once each semester. Candidates in advanced teacher preparation and other school professional programs meet with assigned faculty advisors each semester, as appropriate. Graduating senior ratings of advising have improved steadily over the past four years (6.4.c.2).
The office of Program Development, Accountability, and Compliance (formerly Academic Services and Teacher Certification) (6.4.c.3) oversees candidate admissions and completion, and the office of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships (6.4.c.4) facilitates placements in field experiences and student teaching. Candidate support services are available through the university’s Counseling Center (6.4.c.5), Career Center (6.4.c.6), and Disability Resource Center (6.4.c.7).
Recruitment policies and practices, including information about affordability, scholarships, majors, and student life, are described on university and unit websites (6.4.d.1, 6.4.d.2, 6.4.e.3). Admissions criteria, policies, and practices; curricula, including course descriptions; academic calendars; financial aid information; and candidate support services are described in The University of Kentucky Bulletin (6.4.e.1) and The University of Kentucky Graduate School Bulletin (6.4.e.2) and on the UK website (6.4.e.3) and COE website (6.4.e.4). The unit provides candidates specific information regarding procedures through various policy documents and handbooks (6.4.e.5-8). Candidates are also provided advising sheets which identify curriculum requirements, and grading policies are described in the UK Bulletin (6.4.e.9).
The unit has sufficient budgetary resources to support the work of faculty in preparing candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards. The COE budget for FY 2014 totaled $20,717,400; the budget has steadily increased since the last NCATE visit (6.4.f.1). External grant funding for FY 2014 totaled over $21.3 million (6.4.f.2). Based on the FY 2015 budget, the level of funding for the COE is comparable to similar units on campus, such as the College of Nursing which has a heavy clinical component (6.4.g.1).
The unit provides faculty with sufficient resources to fund professional development. The amount of unit expenditures for conference travel has fluctuated over the three-year period with the most recent expenditure of $192,983 for 2013-2014 (6.4.f.3). The university and unit also provide professional development opportunities for faculty as described in Standard 5.
The university and unit have faculty workload policies (6.4.h.1-2) which guide faculty assignments. Unit faculty members negotiate workload with department chairs each year using the Distribution of Effort (6.4.h.1a). According to unit policy, faculty members in tenure-track positions are expected to teach the equivalent of a 2-2 load, that is two three-credit courses each semester. New tenure-track faculty members typically receive a course reduction during their first year to develop their research and service agendas. The supervision of six candidates during student teaching, graduate practicum, and internships constitutes the equivalent of teaching one three-credit course. The maximum supervisory load for a full-time faculty member is 18 candidates per semester when supervision is the only responsibility. Faculty members may teach an additional three credits for additional compensation. Faculty members receive additional payment for teaching summer classes. Five-year data on teaching loads confirm adherence to these guidelines (6.4.h.3-7).
The unit has adequate personnel to support the work of candidates, faculty, and administrators. In 2014-2015, the unit employed 84 staff members, including 37 biweekly staff and 47 monthly staff (6.4.h.8). Biweekly staff members include administrative assistants, staff support associates, and IT specialists. Monthly staff members include budget personnel, undergraduate advisors, grant personnel, and directors of development, communications, recruitment, information services, and compliance. During 2014-2015, the COE employed 53 part-time instructors (6.4.h.9); 97 teaching, research, and graduate assistants were employed in fall 2014 and 112 in spring 2015 (6.4.h.9a).
The unit has adequate campus and school facilities. UK has engaged in extensive construction projects totaling $1.36 billion since 2011, which include new residence halls, a new Student Center, and a new academic science building (6.4.i.1, 6.4.i.2). The COE is located in six buildings on campus: Dickey Hall, Taylor Education Building, Seaton Building, the School Psychology Clinic, the Early Childhood Lab, and the Biodynamics Lab in the Multidisciplinary Science Building. Facilities include classrooms equipped with technology support, conference rooms, computer labs, and a new café in Dickey Hall. Recently renovated spaces include classroom spaces in Dickey Hall, Taylor Education Building, and Seaton Building; the café in Dickey Hall; and the Student Success Center. Renovation of the Dean’s Office suite and two courtyards were funded through private donations. The Early Childhood Lab, which serves as a training site for candidates, recently moved into renovated facilities and can now accommodate up to 104 children (6.4.i.3).
The unit ensures candidates, faculty, staff, and administrators have library and technology resources needed to meet its mission and help candidates meet standards. Candidates and faculty have complete access to the University of Kentucky Libraries, a major research library system, which is centered in the main William T. Young Library (6.4.i.4). Its collection exceeds four million volumes and over 400 commercial databases. The Education Library, housed in Dickey Hall, is devoted to materials related to education and psychology (6.4.i.5). In addition to the monograph and journal collections, the Education Library houses the Kentucky school textbook examination collection, children’s and adolescent literature, teaching guides, activity books, manipulatives, videos, P-12 textbooks, and other instructional materials. An education librarian collaborates with the Committee on Media and Information Systems to purchase materials and assists with faculty and candidate research. Technology support is provided through COE Information Systems (6.4.i.6). Graduating seniors and alumni consistently express satisfaction with library and technology resources and services (6.4.i.7).
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Since the last visit, the unit has engaged in continuous improvement in several areas related to Standard 6, Unit Governance and Resources. In 2011, the UK Board of Trustees approved a new academic department in the College of Education. The Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education was established with science education and mathematics education faculty members from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the hiring of three additional faculty members. The department was established to provide greater visibility for STEM programming and increase opportunities for external grant funding. Other changes included name changes for the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology and the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling to reflect the range of programs in each department.
In the area of governance, the dean focused on communication and collaboration across the Faculty Council, the Staff Council, the Council of Chairs, and the Council of Student Leaders. The dean and chair of the Faculty Council meet regularly prior to monthly meetings of the Faculty Council. The chair of the Faculty Council attends monthly meetings of the Council of Chairs to provide a Faculty Council update and then communicates issues discussed at the Council of Chairs meeting with members of the Faculty Council. The Staff Council meets monthly and provides feedback to the dean on matters related to staff within the unit. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the Staff Council sponsored a speaker series and special events for unit faculty and staff (6.4.j.1-4).
The dean also emphasized candidate voice by establishing the Council of Student Leaders with membership comprised of the presidents of each student organization. Candidate feedback through the council played a key role in securing the Dickey Hall Café and renovating the Student Success Center and courtyards. The number of student organizations in the unit has increased dramatically, and candidates are actively recruited to become involved in multiple organizations within the unit (6.4.j.5). In addition, new EdLife and KHP (Kinesiology and Health Promotion) Learning Living communities have been established in two residence halls.
Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, the Faculty Council developed a set of new COE Rules to guide unit operations, which were approved by the COE faculty in March 2015 (6.4.a.5). A key feature of the new Rules relates to membership and voting privileges of unit faculty. As part of this effort, the Faculty Council reviewed and revamped standing committees focusing on the role of the committee, membership, and terms. These standing committees now include the Faculty Council; the Courses and Curricula Committee; the Committee on Media and Information Systems; the Rules Committee; the Graduate Recruitment, Retention and Student Success Committee; the Undergraduate Recruitment, Retention and Student Success Committee; the Research Advisory Committee; the Faculty and Student Recognition Committee; and the Inclusiveness Committee.
Since the last visit, the dean restructured COE leadership positions to facilitate more efficient unit operations and respond to emerging directions and expectations for the college. These leadership positions now include a senior associate dean for academic programs, accreditation, and planning; a senior associate dean for research, analytics, and graduate student success; an associate dean for clinical preparation and partnerships; an associate dean for undergraduate advising and student success; and an assistant dean for program assessment. Directors have also been named to lead efforts focused on recruitment; retention; student engagement, equity, and diversity; online teaching and learning; information systems; communications; development; next generation teacher preparation; engagement; innovative school models; clinical practices and school partnerships; international school partnerships; alumni and community relations; and program development, accountability, and compliance. The directors report to the dean or an associate dean as appropriate to the area of responsibility.
The Office of the Associate Dean for Research, Analytics, and Graduate Student Success has focused on increasing the number of external grant proposals that unit faculty submit each year. From 2009 to 2014, the number of proposals has increased from 47 to 81 resulting in increased grant funding from $10,360,114 in 2009-2010 to $21,328,265 in 2013-2014 (6.4.f.2). The university and unit continue to provide start-up funding for new faculty, and the unit continues to provide faculty support related to grant procurement and management.
In terms of personnel resources, the COE received approval from Central Administration to utilize the Clinical Faculty Title Series (5.4.a.6) to employ clinical faculty. This title series had been used previously by the health care colleges and was not approved for faculty appointments in the COE until 2011. Since that time, 15 clinical faculty lines have been approved (5.4.a.9). Faculty in these positions bring to the unit such varied experiences as classroom teachers, school principals, district superintendents and directors, and state education agency commissioners and associate commissioners. To emphasize the critical role of clinical partnerships across unit programs, the college named a new associate dean for clinical preparation and partnerships in December 2014 and renamed the Office of Field Experiences and School Collaboration as the Office of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships (6.4.c.4).
The COE increased the number of lecturers from 12 in 2012-2013 to 21 in 2014-2015 (5.4.a.9). In addition to these new faculty personnel resources, the unit has hired a new associate director for development, a special projects coordinator, and a data analyst/programmer. Since the 2007 visit, the unit has increased the number of full-time professional advisors from three to seven.
Regarding assessment resources, in fall 2013 the unit named a new assistant dean for program assessment to continue development and implementation of the OTIS Online Portfolio System across unit programs. Approval from Central Administration was also secured to establish a new professional staff line and hire a CEPIS data portal systems analyst and programmer. The EPSB has rapidly expanded regulatory authority to manage educator preparation, and in response the COE has established a new Office of Program Development, Accountability, and Compliance to serve as the interface between the EPSB and unit programs. The office is staffed with a director, an assistant director for certification and compliance, the new CEPIS programmer, and a staff member who works on data management. The COE has continued to support the expansion of the hardware and software associated with the CEPIS and OTIS management systems.
Since the last visit, the former Instructional Technology Center was restructured as the COE Information Systems (COEIS) (6.4.i.6). Housed in the new Student Success Center in 151 Taylor Education Building, COEIS has a director, two full-time staff members, and a cadre of student workers to serve faculty, staff, and candidates in all areas of technology. The goal of the COEIS is to provide reliable, friendly service to advance digital-age teaching and learning. Specific services include a centralized helpdesk, extended hours, e-board tools, mini-open lab and printing, technical support, website management, Blackboard/Canvas learning management systems assistance, Adobe Connect meeting rooms, server and database administration, digital signage, equipment checkout, email and listserv maintenance, and training and professional development for faculty, staff, and candidates.
The unit secured resources to renovate facilities devoted to teaching and learning. The facilities include a Student Success Center in Taylor Education Building designed to provide a more student-centered environment as candidates move through their programs; renovated classrooms in Dickey Hall, Taylor Education Building, and Seaton Building; and a new café in Dickey Hall to encourage candidate, faculty, and staff collaboration. The Early Childhood Lab was relocated in January 2015 to newly renovated space in the former Lexington Theological Seminary (6.4.j.6-7). The new space enables the lab to be licensed for 104 children, compared to 54 previously, and allows twice as many candidates to train and observe in the lab. Further, two courtyards in Taylor Education Building were redeveloped and landscaped (6.4.j.8), and the Dean’s Office suite was renovated to accommodate a large conference room.
The COE is collaborating with UK Central Administration and Fayette County Public Schools on construction of the new STEAM Academy to be located on campus near the Taylor Education Building (6.4.j.9). The college has also worked with an architect to redesign the Scott Street facade of Dickey Hall and the breezeway space between Dickey Hall and Taylor Education Building. Development officers use the architectural renderings to secure donor contributions for the renovations. Other plans call for renovation of first-floor restrooms in Dickey Hall and Taylor Education Building during summer 2015.
To improve communication with internal and external audiences, including alumni and the general public, the unit adopted a new marketing brand and logo (Inquire – Innovate – Inspire), redesigned its website (6.4.e.4), enhanced its publications (6.4.k.1), and implemented a data dashboard (6.4.k.2). The dean also established a Board of Advocates, an external advisory group comprised of education and business leaders from across the country (6.4.k.3). At biennial Board meetings, current and planned initiatives are highlighted, and feedback is obtained regarding educator preparation and unit needs.
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There were no areas for improvement from the previous accreditation review.