Standard 4 Exhibit Room » Standard 4 Institutional Report
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.
|How does the unit prepare candidates to work effectively with all students, including individuals of different ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and/or geographical area?|
The RSA SOE demonstrates its commitment to diversity through its Core Values and assessment practices, the work of its Diversity Committee, and its increasing efforts to recruit and retain both faculty and candidates from diverse backgrounds. Through the Core Values of Social Justice and Inclusive Community embodied in its curriculum, field experiences, and clinical practice required of candidates in initial and advanced programs, the RSA SOE prepares candidates to work effectively with all students of different ethnicities, races, socioeconomic status, genders, exceptionalities, languages, religions, sexual orientations, and/or geographical areas.
Exhibit 4.3.a details the Core Values of Social Justice and Inclusive Community, and the proficiencies and associated proficiencies related to diversity that candidates are expected to demonstrate in initial and advanced professional programs. The exhibit also documents specific proficiencies that must be shown in clinical practice. For example, candidates are expected to adapt instruction or services for all students (Inclusive Community proficiency) and connect instruction to students’ experiences and culture (Social Justice proficiency).
An ad-hoc Diversity Committee was initiated in 2006, but was changed to a Standing Committee in 2010. As a full committee, it was charged with reviewing and monitoring practices, policies, and curriculum related to diversity and creating a culture that values and supports diversity. The committee produced a working definition of diversity: “differences among groups of people and individuals based on disability, sexual orientation, gender, language, religion, ethnicity, race, and/or socioeconomic status.” The committee initiated a curriculum-mapping process related to diversity, shown in Exhibit 4.3.b which breaks down courses by initial and advanced programs including for English Language Learners (ELL) and students with exceptionalities. The exhibit explains the type of “input” (activity, reading, assignment, handout, course content, etc.) and “output” (knowledge, skills, and/or dispositions) expected for each course. It shows the percentage of courses that address diversity, describes the way it is addressed, and how assignments measure candidate competencies in meeting students’ diverse needs.
This exhibit provides evidence that the curriculum and related field experiences ensure that candidates are aware of different learning styles and adapt instruction or services appropriately for all students, including linguistically and culturally diverse students and students with exceptionalities. Through this concerted effort, candidates gain an understanding of the importance of diversity in teaching and learning and the pedagogical knowledge and skill to develop a classroom and school climate that value diversity. In courses such as “Families, Culture and Learning,” and “School and Society,” candidates connect lessons, instruction, or services to students’ experiences and cultures. Other courses focus on principles of universal design for learning as a basis for respecting all learners and the value of team collaboration in working with students with particular learning needs and their families. Candidates for teachers of speech-language pathology must complete a client study of a culturally-linguistically diverse individual.
The Diversity Committee surveys candidates during their clinical practice to assess their understanding of designing instruction for diverse populations. Each survey had a response rate of over 70%; the results are in Exhibit 4.3.j. Over 80% of respondents indicated that they treat all students equally and consider differences in learning style in developing lessons (question #1, page 3 of results).
Candidate proficiencies related to diversity are assessed through various key assessments. Exhibit 4.3.c catalogues assessments in each program that address the Core Values of Social Justice and Inclusive Community (including student learning with children and adolescents, and those with exceptionalities). The chart describes this rubric; additional rubrics and data are in program reports in AIMS. It should be noted that 11 of the 16 programs submitting reports to the SPAs had at least two assessments that explicitly addressed diversity as a central component.
Our candidates connect instruction and services to students’ experiences and culture, demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences, incorporate multiple perspectives in their instruction, and develop climates that value diversity. During clinical practice, over 85% of the candidates met or exceeded the Pathwise item, “creates an atmosphere of respect and rapport.” Their ability to adapt their instruction based on diverse needs was equally strong, with over 85% meeting or exceeding the Pathwise item, “demonstrates flexibility and responsiveness.” It is important to note that all of our teacher education programs include an assessment for these elements during earlier field experiences as well, ranging from lesson and unit planning to staff supervision. Across programs over a two-semester period, over 80% of candidates met or exceeded the standard. Assessment data gathered from observing teaching (Teacher Work Sample [TWS] and Pathwise) during clinical practice are routinely shared with candidates by their University Supervisors during weekly seminars to support their ability to help students from diverse populations learn.
The RSA SOE’s commitment to diversity extends to its efforts to increase and maintain faculty diversity. The demographics of the unit’s full-time professional education faculty in initial and advanced programs are summarized in Exhibit 4.3.d. Approximately 20% is non-White/Caucasian (Black, Asian, Hispanic), a figure that holds true for the University, and 36% are male and 64% are female. The data indicate that candidates have the opportunity to interact with both male and female full-time faculty from at least two ethnic groups. Data on part-time faculty is not reported.
Exhibit 5.3.a for Standard 5 listing faculty scholarship and expertise shows that full and part-time faculty have the relevant knowledge and experience to prepare candidates to work effectively with students with exceptionalities and diverse backgrounds, including advocacy work for families of students with special learning needs and immigrant families.
Our commitment to a diverse population of candidates is equal to that of a diverse faculty. Overall, the identified racial backgrounds of RSA SOE candidates represent the diversity of our local communities (including Suffolk and Nassau Counties on Long Island, and Queens County, part of New York City) from which they are drawn, evidence that candidates engage in professional experiences with male and female candidates from different socioeconomic groups, and at least two ethnic/racial groups. Exhibit 4.3.e. details the racial and gender breakdown by percentage for both initial and advanced programs, as well as for the University and neighboring counties.
Candidates are encouraged to work together on committees and education projects related to education and the content areas. Undergraduate candidates participate in projects through the University Diversity Committee and the Future Teachers Association (FTA).
The RSA SOE has made sustained efforts to increase or maintain both faculty and candidate diversity. Current policies and practices for the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty are presented in Exhibit 4.3.g, including Policy, Protocols and Procedures in the Handbook for Faculty Searches, which dedicates a section to strategies addressing diversity in faculty recruitment and hiring (page 7 of the Handbook).
Current policies and practices for the recruitment and retention of diverse candidates are presented in Exhibit 4.3.h which provides an overview of current efforts by the University’s Office of Admissions to recruit diverse candidates. Exhibit 4.3.h/attachment B corroborates this commitment. The University Faculty Senate’s Committee for Individuals with Disabilities acts as an advocate for disabled populations and supports efforts to retain diverse faculty and candidates.
Candidates in the RSA SOE work with both male and female P-12 students from different socio-economic groups, and from at least two ethnic/racial groups. This practice mirrors NYSED regulations which require candidates in initialprograms to experience working in high-needs schools with student populations that are disadvantaged, ELL, and students with disabilities (NYSED, Part 52.212.k.c.2ii.C). This policy is fully described in Exhibit 4.3.i, including NYSED criteria used to identify a school as diverse.
Candidates in advanced programs undertake internships and complete assignments related to understanding diversity. For example, in the Educational Leadership program, interns complete a 30-hour practicum consisting of field-based experiences in multiple school settings, including ELL and special education services.
Exhibit 4.3.f details the demographic breakdown by race/ethnicity and free lunch status of P-12 students in schools where six or more of our candidates in the initial and advanced programs are placed. All 33 schools listed have students from two or more racial/ethnic groups and students eligible for free or reduced price lunch.
Teacher Mentors must indicate whether the candidate evidences fairness (treating students equitably with regard to race, class, gender, sexuality and other categories of difference) and a belief that all students can learn (working with students of all ability levels and tailoring instruction to their individual needs) [see Exhibit 3.3.f (Scoring Guides, Form A) for Standard 3].
Based on the results of multiple assessments, the RSA SOE has undertaken a number of changes and activities that have resulted in improved candidate performance and program quality regarding diversity. Candidates and faculty regularly review assessment data on candidates’ ability to work with all students. An exit survey administered each semester to candidates in initial programs as they complete student teaching includes nine questions asking them to evaluate how their Adelphi education helped them address the needs of diverse learners. Results show that across three academic years (2008-2011), there has been a steady increase in candidates’ positive responses with a mean response above of 4.9 for all programs on a “1” to “5” scale (“1” is lowest). The unit’s advanced programs are modifying this survey to capture information relative to their candidates’ experiences. This exit survey appears in Exhibit 1.3.i.
To establish baseline information from which to evaluate improvements in candidate performance and initial program quality, the RSA SOE standing committee on diversity created a unit-wide survey in Spring 2010 to determine programs’ effectiveness in preparing candidates for working with diverse populations. Candidates were asked to identify the most important methods, courses, and readings that support their work, give their perceptions about their programs’ overall focus on issues of diversity, and make suggestions to strengthen teacher candidate preparation. The pilot survey was conducted in Spring 2010 and achieved a 47% response rate that increased to 70% in Fall 2010. Over the two semesters, teacher candidates identified the development of lessons for diverse learning needs and attention to all students as the most frequently identified methods across the programs used in their clinical experiences to support their work with diverse populations. Eighty-five percent of our teacher candidates in Fall 2010, and 95% in Spring 2011, indicated incorporating diversity in their student teaching lessons. A majority also reported equitable treatment by faculty and peers in their programs. The diversity survey results are offered in Exhibit 4.3.j.
The RSA SOE Diversity Committee is collaborating with the Assessment Committee to sustain our commitment to the needs of diverse populations through the review of unit-wide assessments (particularly the TWS, the Pathwise rubric, the exit survey and the Dispositions Assessment) for inclusion of elements that reflect the Core Values and pertain to diversity.
Recent data provided by the Teacher Quality Research Center pilot project (based at the State University of New York at Albany) combined state data regarding schools of education program completers and where they teach. Our analysis (Exhibit 1.3.k) reveals important information about our graduates who taught in elementary schools in 2006-2007 and who completed initialprograms in childhood education between 2000 and 2005. Of note, our program completers (N=2,559) had a higher percentage of first teaching placements in high-needs schools (based on the percent of students receiving free and reduced price lunch) and diverse schools (based on the percent of Black and Hispanic students) than program completers from three other comparison groups – independent sector institutions, the Long Island region, and the rest of New York State.
In 2010, the University was one of 115 institutions across the United States to be awarded the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Many of the initiatives on which this award was based are part of RSA SOE programs and involve partnerships with organizations that emphasize service to diverse and high-needs populations. For example, the grant-supported partnership between the Department of Health, Physical Education and Human Performance Sciences and the Hempstead School District and the American Red Cross (Make-a-Splash project) provides health, safety preparedness, and aquatics education to underserved youth in Hempstead High School.
The need to improve the diversity of teacher candidates has led to a notable increase in faculty grant activity relating to diversity. The National Science Foundation awarded a five-year grant for $895,000 to create the Teachers of Mathematics Scholarship Program (TOMS) following a proposal submitted by faculty in the Departments of Mathematics (College of Arts & Sciences) and Curriculum and Instruction. The program provides academic support and partial funding for 16 mathematics majors in their junior, senior, and graduate years who are pursuing certification in secondary education to teach mathematics in high-needs schools. While all qualified and interested candidates can apply to TOMS, candidates from two-year colleges are being recruited and African American and Latino candidates are especially encouraged to apply. The program offers specialized courses in preparation for working in high-needs schools, such as Issues of Learning Mathematics in High-Needs Schools: Race, Gender, Equity, and Social Justice. The program is described at: education.adelphi.edu/news/national-science-foundation-awards-adelphi-5-year-grant/.
In July 2011, a three-year grant was awarded by the NYSED as part of “Race to the Top” funding, and represents a collaboration of the program faculty in the (TESOL)/Bilingual and Science Education programs, with the Roosevelt and Westbury School Districts in Nassau County to support the education of science teachers through a residency model. The BEST program – Bilingual Educators in Science and Technology – includes bilingual certification. Both partner districts serve high-needs populations, including ELL (Spanish and Haitian Creole). Teacher Mentors and candidates alike will have the opportunity to participate in the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ (NBPTS) Take One! program.
Another successful grant proposal, funded by the National Science Foundation for the Science Education Advancement program (SEA), will provide scholarships to 26 candidates in the Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP) and in the graduate program in science education who intend to teach in high-needs schools. Submitted by the Departments of Environmental Studies and Curriculum and Instruction, the program supports the University’s partnerships with these schools, offers field experience in the marine sciences, provides mentoring for graduates of the program for three years, and gives candidates the opportunity to also participate in the NBPTS Take One! Program.
The RSA SOE strongly supports the global education of its teacher candidates and has expanded opportunities for field experiences abroad. Recently, the RSA SOE partnered with the Peace Corps, pairing service abroad with a master’s degree in TESOL. Candidates undertake a year of graduate study before teaching English abroad in the Peace Corps for six academic credits, then return to the RAS SOE to complete their degree requirements. In addition, an inaugural study abroad program in Kerala, India is being offered in the intersession (2012) for teacher candidates as part of a required special education course. Candidates will participate in site visits and work with children with disabilities and their families in school settings. Students will have opportunities to spend time with the families to learn about their traditions and daily lives.
Several programs have integrated or augmented coursework or activities for teaching to diverse populations based on program-based data addressed in their reports to SPAs. For example, both the undergraduate and graduate Physical Education programs have integrated lesson and unit planning for teaching diverse populations in their courses during the Exploration phase of the programs. In the Literacy program, electives are now recommended in special education or TESOL. The Educational Leadership program has added a special topics course in “Leadership in Special Education Settings.”
A 2011 decision by the New York State Board of Regents directed the NYSED to require programs for initial certification to include three credits of study for teachers to develop the skills necessary to provide instruction that promotes the “participation and progress of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum.” In addition, initial programs are required to include 15 of the 100 hours of pre-student teaching field experience in understanding the needs of students with disabilities (see highered.nysed.gov/pdf/memo1152010.pdf).
Future planning for continuous improvement to support diversity and equity in teaching and learning is reflected in the goals of the RSA SOE Diversity Committee as recorded in the 2010-2011 RSA SOE Annual Report. The committee and the unit plan to: