Standard 5 Exhibit Room » Standard 5 Institutional Report
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 systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.
|How does the unit ensure that its professional education faculty contributes to the preparation of effective educators through scholarship, service, teaching, collaboration and assessment of their performance?
Adelphi University and the RSA SOE have established guidelines and procedures for the recruitment, hiring, assessment, and professional development of faculty. Professional education and clinical faculty include full-time, part-time faculty, and P-12 Teacher Mentors and Supervisors in partner schools. The data in Exhibit 5.3.a and Exhibit 5.3.b offer a cumulative view of the RSA SOE professional education and clinical faculty qualifications, faculty rank, tenure track, highlights of scholarship and leadership in professional associations/service, and teaching or other professional experience in P-12 schools (Also in AIMS). Exhibit 5.3.a shows that professional education faculty have earned doctorates or have exceptional expertise that qualifies them for their assignments. Information provided by ORAP for Fall 2010, shows 14.9% (N=10) of full-time faculty in the RSA SOE hold the rank of full professor with tenure; 38.8% (N=26) have the rank of associate professor, with the majority having tenure; and 34% (N=23) have the rank of assistant. Exhibit 5.3.b (Qualifications of Clinical Faculty) shows that all professional education faculty (as well as P-12 Teacher Mentors) who supervise candidates in a P-12 school setting have qualifications (Master’s and doctoral degrees) in the fields that they supervise. All RSA SOE faculty have contemporary professional experiences in school settings at the levels they supervise, and 26 of the 38 listed (68%) have doctoral degrees in the areas they supervise. NYSED criteria mandate that Teacher Mentors in P-12 schools be a licensed employee in the school district and certified in the area in which the teacher candidate is assigned. All P-12 Teacher Mentors who work with teacher candidates are certified and tenured in the area they teach.
Professional education and clinical faculty incorporate best practices in teaching that contribute to the preparation of effective educators and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the content they teach. Three RSA SOE faculty have received University-wide awards for excellence in teaching since 2007, attesting to their dedication to the highest standards of teaching.
Teaching by professional education faculty helps candidates develop the proficiencies outlined in professional, state, and institutional standards and guides candidates in the application of research, theories, and current developments in their fields and in teaching.
The RSA SOE faculty value candidate learning and assess candidate performance through ongoing review of teaching. Exhibit 5.3.d contains multiple documents, including the RSA SOE Peer Review Operating Procedures with explicit guidelines for the review of teaching (pages 9-11). The RSA SOE assesses best practices in teaching through examination of syllabi that draw on the unit’s Conceptual Framework, and the results of an online Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET). Exhibit 5.3.c, includes a document,“Policies and Procedures for the Evaluation of Teaching and Clinical Supervision” that presents SET (Attachments A and B). Exhibit 5.3.c includes handbooks for full and part-time faculty that address teaching and learning and student feedback on teaching (Chapter VII in the Full-Time Faculty Handbook; Chapter V in the Part-time Faculty Handbook).
Using SET, candidates assess their professors’ ability to support their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The SET data provided is an annual averaging of scores by department, sorted by University codes established by ORAP. During the 2010-2011 academic year, candidates rated courses’ impact on their critical thinking skills to be an average between 1.6 and 1.8 out of a “1-4″ scale (“1″ being the highest). A summary of SET data is available in the RSA SOE Office of Assessment and Research (Exhibit 5.3.f). In addition, candidates complete an exit survey of program outcomes (addressed in Standard 1) where they assess their own problem-solving and critical thinking abilities as well as knowledge of a variety of instructional strategies reflecting different learning styles. Candidates consistently rate their knowledge and skill development as the highest categories on the survey (above 4.0 on a 5 point scale).
Reflective Practice is one of the Core Values, and the faculty are encouraged to reflect on their own effectiveness as teachers, including the positive impact they have on candidates’ learning and performance. SET results are sent to faculty to be discussed with their peers and faculty supervisors in order to improve their teaching. The SET data show consistently high ratings for the “instructor evaluation” section, covering topics such as faculty’s knowledge of content, their ability to set clear expectations, and their availability outside of class. Across each RSA SOE department, the 2010-2011 scores on these questions are consistently high, with averages ranging from 1.3 to 1.7 on a 4-point scale (1 = highest).
The peer observation protocol is another method faculty use to assess their effectiveness as teachers including their impact on candidate learning (Exhibit 5.3.c). Full and part-time faculty are observed by their peers and have the opportunity to get feedback in a post-observation conference. The Collective Bargaining Agreement [CBA], included in Exhibit 5.3.d (page 23), mandates observation for tenured faculty once every three years. The RSA SOE Peer Review Operating Procedures (included as part of Exhibit 5.3.d, page 6) encourage observation for non-tenured faculty and was systematically implemented for part-time faculty after the first accreditation.
As one of the Core Values, Scholarship reflects the belief that “teachers must be scholars who value and engage in life-long learning.” The professional education faculty have significantly demonstrated scholarly work in their specialized fields, as highlighted on the faculty information spreadsheet in Exhibit 5.3.a. Over 90% of the full-time faculty have either presented or published scholarly work within the past three years. It should be noted that part-time faculty also engage in scholarship. The CBA provides explicit guidelines for scholarly work (page 25, Exhibit 5.3.d) that are reflected in the RSA SOE Peer Review Operating Procedures (pages 11-12, Exhibit 5.3.d). Samples of faculty scholarship (part of Exhibit 5.3.d) demonstrate the range and depth of scholarly activity within the unit, along with its alignment to the Core Values.
Our professional education and clinical faculty actively provide service to the University and broader communities, including P-12 schools, in ways consistent with the institution and unit’s mission. An acknowledgement of the importance accorded to service by faculty is Adelphi’s being awarded the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching of the Community Engagement Classification in 2010. The University was one of 115 institutions to receive this recognition and one of only 311 to receive it since 2006. Almost all faculty – 63 out of 68 – submitted examples of community engagement in consideration for this award. Since 2007, three RSA SOE faculty have received the University-wide Excellence in Service Annual Award.
Exhibit 5.3.e shows the Carnegie Faculty Survey used to collect data for the Carnegie Foundation application. It also includes a summary of RSA SOE faculty community engagement activities from that survey, revealing that most faculty worked collaboratively with P-12 schools and professional associations and provided education-related services at local, state, regional, national, or international levels over the past three years.
Faculty collaborate with professional practitioners in P-12 schools and with faculty in other college or University units to improve teaching, candidate learning, and the reparation of educators. Faculty members collaborate across programs and departments. For example, RSA SOE and College of Arts & Science faculty serve on the Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP) Steering Committee to jointly determine curriculum. Also, two recent substantial National Science Foundation grants are the result of collaboration between units; specifically the TOMS (Teachers of Mathematics Scholarship) grant and the SEA (Science Education) grant are joint collaborations between departments in the Arts and Sciences (Math and Environmental Studies) and RSA SOE. Based on Exhibit 5.3.a and a review of faculty curriculum vitae, over 50% of the publications and presentations at conferences are collaborative efforts.
The process of evaluation of faculty teaching performance involves submission of syllabi, SET, and records of classroom observations along with examples of assignments and candidate work in a portfolio submitted to the RSA SOE Unit Peer Review Committee (UPRC) for re-appointment, tenure and promotion. The portfolio also includes documentation of scholarly and service/collaborative activity. Exhibit 5.3.f includes a summary from the RSA SOE Annual Report of the UPRC evaluations for 2010-2011. Evaluation of full-time professional education and clinical faculty include annual reviews with the Dean (biannual for tenured faculty), that involve a self-assessment of progress and goals. Exhibit 5.3.g gives examples of professional development that supports teaching scholarship and service.
Efforts have been expanded at the University and unit level to integrate new and non-tenured faculty members into the University and RSA SOE through a formal orientation process, workshops, and regular meetings on topics of interest and areas in need of strengthening, as determined from online evaluations and performance assessments. Workshops are held about assessments and technology at RSA SOE faculty retreats and other meetings. An important component of the professional development of faculty is the assignment of a more senior faculty member from the same department within the RSA SOE as a mentor to address areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. This has helped acclimate new faculty members to the University and RSA SOE customs, policies, and procedures.
The RSA SOE has polices and practices that encourage all professional education faculty to be continuous learners. The RSA SOE has undertaken a systematic effort to support the work of part-time faculty through a number of mechanisms, including adoption of a University-wide part-time faculty handbook (Exhibit 5.3.c), reinstatement of the part-time committee in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) in 2011, as well as regular meetings across programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I). The RSA SOE began receiving formal feedback from part-time faculty in C&I during Fall 2010, seeking perceptions about the program and suggestions for the program and department. In Fall 2011, a unit-wide open house and orientation were held for part-time faculty that focused on technology integration and the assessment system. Feedback from participants (N= 48) was positive, and the event will be held again in Spring 2012. As noted in Standard 3, regular meetings have been held with part-time faculty by the OSCP five to six times a year to update their knowledge about supervisory requirements and candidate assessments. In addition, a system of observations was piloted in the C&I beginning in 2009-2010, with rotating full-time faculty conducting observations of part-time faculty each semester. The adjunct observation protocol is aligned with the full-time faculty protocol The observations are summarized in a report (part of Exhibit 5.3.c). Data at the program and unit level has guided the growth of professional development opportunities throughout the RSA SOE.
The resources available for professional development through attendance at conferences have increased, with the recent addition of support for international fellowships for faculty through the Office of International Education. In 2010-2011, two full-time faculty received support to conduct studies abroad and participate in international seminars.
The RSA SOE faculty have demonstrated professional commitment to the integration of diversity into their teaching, based on results from candidate exit surveys and results from the Diversity Survey administered to student teachers over the past two semesters (Fall 2010, Spring 2011). Results reveal that the majority of candidates (80% to 91%) have learned to differentiate their instruction to address the range of learning needs of their students.
Teaching by the professional education faculty reflects the proficiencies outlined in professional, state, and institutional standards. To meet the 30 hours requirement of professional development to maintain current certification, professional education and clinical faculty in CSD are encouraged to participate in in-service and other professional association workshops and meetings. The Department provides a continuing education experience for part-time faculty once a year that includes topics such as diversity/multicultural program development and best practices for supervision.
Nowhere is the commitment to professional development more apparent than in the area of technology. RSA SOE’s most sustained efforts resulted from data in candidate exit surveys (2008-2009) that identified the need for exposure to Smartboards, increasingly used in classroom settings. Beginning in 2009-2010, faculty and teacher candidates were offered sessions on how to use Smartboards (candidates were expected to attend these sessions as part of their requirements). From 2008 to 2011 the RSA SOE faculty have increased their use of Moodle providing greater access to documents and readings for courses, discussion groups, and online resources.
The results of the Technology Survey suggest candidates’ mastery integrating a range of technology, from Smartboards to blogs; student teachers reported an increase in the use of Smartboards from 66% to 71% over the two semesters, while their own use of blogs in courses range from 19% to 27%, and their use of the Internet is consistently around 85%. Results from two administrations of this survey (Exhibit 5.3.h) also illustrate that faculty use a variety of technology in their courses in ways that help candidates learn and prepare them to apply technology in their own student teaching.
Each year, the Faculty Center for Professional Excellence (FCPE) sponsors an annual conference on the use of technology in the classroom. In addition, the University began offering technology grants to faculty for scholarly and instructional innovations during the 2010-2011 academic year with an allocation of $32,000. Following an application process and review by faculty and administrators responsible for technology, nine of the 16 grants awarded, totaling $19,239, went to RSA SOE faculty members.
As teacher scholars, all professional education faculty are actively engaged in dialogues about the design and delivery of instructional programs in both professional education and P-12 schools. The RSA SOE faculty has focused on greater collaboration with partner schools as another area of continuous improvement which is summarized in Exhibit 5.3.e. Collaborative curriculum development cuts across programs and departments, including content-based courses for teacher and leadership candidates in childhood and adolescent education (e.g. courses in science, mathematics, and linguistics developed collaboratively with the College of Arts and Sciences faculty), literacy-based courses for physical educators, and programs in autism, youth development, educational technology, peace studies, and adolescent special education. Collaborative teaching is often the result of candidate feedback about coursework that indicates the need for more varied topics and activities. Current collaborations include guest speakers who address physical and health education policies and practices in childhood education social foundations courses, speakers in second-language learning for special education courses, special electives offered by faculty in special education to candidates in Educational Leadership, and team teaching by a current school district superintendent and full-time faculty member in the district leadership program.
The RSA SOE has policies and practices that encourage all professional education faculty to be continuous learners. Plans for sustaining and enhancing faculty support of our candidates and programs, based on evidence from unit-wide assessments, include the institutionalization of an effective approach to mentoring nontenured faculty, enhancement of the outreach and support of part-time faculty, and the further integration of technology in the classroom. In 2009-2010, seven new pre-tenure faculty members participated in a comprehensive pilot mentoring program (CPMP) within C&I, led by a senior faculty member. Surveys conducted of the full and part-time faculty regarding formal department-wide meetings and events from 2009 to 2011 consistently revealed the benefits to faculty from such events regarding information gathering, faculty interaction, and goal setting.
In the initial accreditation, an area for improvement was how the unit systematically and formally evaluates faculty performance. As mentioned earlier, a new system of part-time faculty observations and mentoring was piloted during the 2010-2011 academic year (see Exhibit 5.3.c Policies and practices for evaluation of teaching and clinical supervision: Attachment D). Observations are now part of the ongoing system of part-time faculty development. Part-time faculty have the opportunity to get feedback in a post-observation conference. A summary report of highlights from 10 observations conducted during Fall 2011 is provided in Exhibit 5.3.c, and includes a detailed description of areas of strengths as well as areas for improvement. Part-time faculty are an integral part of the RSA SOE, and efforts to monitor and evaluate their performance will continue, as well as providing professional development and ensuring their representation on faculty committees.