Standard 6 Exhibit Room » Standard 6 Institutional Report
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.
|How do the unit’s governance system and resources contribute to adequately preparing candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards?
The RSA SOE operates under a system of governance that ensures the effective management of curriculum, instruction, and resources for the preparation of professional educators. Through its established by-laws and operating procedures (Exhibit 6.3.a), the RSA SOE has the leadership and authority to plan, deliver, and operate coherent programs of study that enable candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.
The Dean of the RSA SOE reports directly to the University Provost. The Dean is the head of the RSA SOE and represents it in all administrative and financial matters. The unit consists of three departments: Health Studies, Physical Education and Human Performance Science (HSPE); Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD); and Curriculum and Instruction (C&I). Each has its own chair. Individual programs (e.g. Childhood in C&I) within each department are led by a director who is a faculty member or administrator reporting to the department chair. To support program coherence, the directors work with their faculty on admissions decisions, facilitate curriculum development, oversee candidate advisement, and coordinate activities with other department directors. Exhibit 6.3.b includes organizational charts showing the unit’s administrative structure and relationship to its governance structure. The Manhattan Center is an extension site with graduate programs in TESOL, Special Education, and Educational Leadership. Its director reports to the chair of the Department of C&I.
RSA SOE’s organizational structure further supports the direct management and coordination of all programs for the initial and continuing preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel. Unit-wide standing committees focus on specific issues relevant to the preparation of professional educators, as detailed in the Assessment System Guide, Exhibit 2.3.a (page 25). These committees include: Academic Affairs, Assessment, Standards and Policies, Diversity, Fieldwork and Educational Preparation, Governance and Elections, Technology, Review Board (Student Grievance), and Peer Review. Each committee has representatives from all three departments and its own operating procedures, in accordance with those of the unit (Exhibit 6.3.a). Exhibit 6.3.b includes a document, Relationship Between Institutional and Unit Governance, which describes the University Faculty Senate governance and cross-references it with the RSA SOE governance structure and standing committees.
The RSA SOE full faculty meet two to three times per semester to review curriculum content, instruction, and matters relevant to candidate preparation. Minutes are available in the unit’s Office of Assessment and Research.
Admission standards are adhered to through scrutiny of applications by faculty and academic advisors. The unit’s recruitment and admission practices are described clearly and consistently in publications and catalogs. Policies are well communicated on the Adelphi Web site (education.adelphi.edu/admissions/requirements/), in applications, candidate handbooks, and articulation agreements with community colleges. Information for the admission of initial and advanced candidates is also posted across campus, at off-site centers, open-house events, and in mailings and emails to schools and districts. Institutional advertising appears in newspapers, billboards, radio, and television. Exhibit 6.3.d provides a list of policies and practices for candidates’ recruitment and admission with relevant Web links.
Academic calendars, catalogs, RSA SOE publications, grading policies, and advertising are accurate, current, and available to candidates on the Adelphi Web site. Examples are in Exhibit 6.3.e.
The RSA SOE’s programs for teacher and school leader education are approved by and registered with the NYSED. Faculty involved in the preparation of educators, P-12 practitioners, and other members of the professional community participate in program design, implementation, and evaluation of the unit and its programs. The faculty have the primary responsibility for the curriculum, methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and aspects of student life that relate to academic programs.
When curricular changes are needed to meet new state or professional standards, the RSA SOE’s by laws and operating procedures enable a thorough review process to ensure curricular quality (Exhibit 6.3.a RSA SOE Operating Procedures, page 3).
The unit ensures that candidates have access to student services such as advising and counseling at Garden City and Manhattan Center. Academic advisement is the responsibility of the faculty. Contractually, full-time faculty members hold six posted office hours per week for advisement. Candidates are assigned an advisor upon acceptance. Advisement covers candidate progress and, when applicable, progress in other services, including the Learning Center, the Writing Center, and Career Services. Faculty reports on advisement meetings are included in candidates’ records.
The University offers a range of services for candidates in need of additional support. The Student Counseling Center offers free counseling and crisis intervention as needed. Health Services offers emergency service 24/7 and has a nurse practitioner available for appointments weekdays. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Office of Disability Support Services ensures equal access to all University programs, services, and facilities for students with documented disabilities. Policies and practices are shown in Exhibit 6.3.c.
All unit department chairs, directors, and committee chairs serve on the Continuous Improvement Advisory (CIA) team, chaired by the Dean. It provides ongoing communication among faculty and administrative staff and between the Garden City and Manhattan campuses. Minutes are available in the Dean’s office. The RSA SOE and the College of Arts & Sciences collaborate through the Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP) steering committee, which focuses on reviewing University, state, and professional requirements across undergraduate and graduate coursework pertinent to teacher preparation.
The yearly RSA SOE budget is based on extensive planning with representatives from the University Budget Office, the Provost’s Office, and the Office of the Dean, and input from department chairs, program directors, and administrators. The budget supports on-campus and clinical work essential for the preparation of professional educators. The 2010-2011 budget (Exhibit 6.3.f) includes provisions for assessment, technology, professional development, and support for the Manhattan Center. The Budget Coordinator maintains budgetary operations for the unit. Department chairs oversee their respective operating budgets.
Exhibit 6.3.g shows the budgets of comparable units with clinical components at Adelphi, as well as students enrolled in other professional programs at the Manhattan Center. Comparisons to the budgets of these other units demonstrate that the RSA SOE receives budgetary allocations at least proportional to other units on campus or similar units at other campuses to provide programs that prepare candidates to meet applicable NYSED and professional standards.
Workload policies, including class size and online course delivery, allow faculty members to be effectively engaged in teaching, scholarship, assessment, advisement, collaborative work in P-12 schools, and service. Faculty workload is specified as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement [CBA] (Exhibits 5.3.f and 6.3.h). Exhibit 6.3.h links to the Human Resources Web site and to the CBA that describes policies, procedures, and practices for faculty workload. Across the unit, full-time faculty assume coordination of specific courses, thereby ensuring interaction and communication between full-time and part-time faculty about curriculum and instruction. Faculty workload data for Fall 2010 and Fall 2011 are shown in Exhibit 6.3.h. The charts show that 96-97% of RSA SOE full-time faculty taught full courseloads, and approximately 40% of part-time faculty taught full courseloads.
Administrative personnel support faculty and candidates (organizational charts, Exhibit 6.3.b). There are offices dedicated to course scheduling and assessment primarily to support faculty, and offices dedicated to certification and clinical placement focused primarily on supporting students. Graduate assistants and student workers supplement the work of full- and part-time staff. Professional development opportunities are offered to staff in such areas as FERPA and management of databases.
The RSA SOE has adequate campus and school facilities to support candidates in meeting professional standards. Exhibit 6.3.i provides information about candidates’ access to physical and/or virtual classrooms, computer labs, curriculum resources, and library resources at Garden City and the Manhattan Center.
The RSA SOE allocates resources across programs to prepare candidates to meet standards in their fields. Professional education faculty and candidates have access both to current library and curricular resources and electronic information. University libraries are located in Garden City and the Manhattan Center and contain 600,000 volumes, 806,000 microforms, 25,000 audiovisual materials, 61,000 electronic journal titles, 221 electronic databases, and the University Archives and Special Collections. Candidates have access to over 100 computer workstations, as well as ports for laptops and wireless hot spots in the library. The Curriculum Materials Center for RSA SOE candidates is also housed within the library.
This section details the initiatives in the RSA SOE’s governance/organizational structure and resources that support the continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality to meet professional, state and institutional standards. The first significant area of change in the RSA SOE’s structure has been the strengthening of the RSA SOE Office of Assessment and Research, including the hiring of a full-time Director of Research and Evaluation in 2010, and the addition of a standing faculty committee on Diversity in 2011. The former, addressed in Standard 2, was in response to the identified need for expanded data support across all programs. The latter, addressed in Standard 4, was prompted by the results of unit-wide feedback/evidence that indicated a need among candidates for additional content and pedagogical knowledge about working with diverse populations.
An area for improvement from the initial accreditation involved Standard 6, specifically regarding concerns that all programs require the majority of pedagogical coursework to be taught by full-time faculty and that some faculty had teaching loads that were not in compliance with NYSED standards. The unit complies with NYSED standards [Part 52.21, Regulations for the Registration of Curricula in Teacher Education, 2(h)(2)(i)]. While NYSED standards prescribe faculty teaching assignments and prescribe the ratio of full and part-time faculty teaching credit bearing courses, this applies only to institutions that are not accredited by an acceptable professional accrediting association and whose students do not meet the standard for performance on the NYSED teacher certification examination. The RSA SOE is both an accredited institution through NCATE and RSA SOE students meet the standard for the NYSED teacher certification examination.
The effective and accurate utilization of data gleaned from our assessment system is the foundation of continuous improvement across all programs. The RSA SOE Office of Assessment and Research is actively pursuing efforts to standardize the use of assessments by implementing increased systemization in the administration and reporting of surveys, as applicable, to standing committees and full faculty. A data integrity and improvement project was initiated by the RSA SOE in Summer 2010, beginning with an analysis of data needs and issues within the RSA SOE, including coding for registered programs, coding for majors, and coding for the Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP) program candidates in content areas and in their fifth year. In Fall 2010, another project concerning data integrity was implemented in coordination with other offices involved in Title II reporting. The scope of this project involved separating program completers from candidates who had completed coursework but not student teaching. This project was expanded to include reporting enrollments across the unit each semester, thereby monitoring students as they enter and progress through the programs. Ultimately, the successful coordination of accurate coding across data systems will allow for better monitoring of candidates as they go through their programs. Exhibit 6.3.a includes a document titled Data Integrity Work which describes the most recent outcomes of this effort, much of which has been completed.
Alongside this data integrity and improvement initiative have been further quality assurance efforts with regard to streamlining and digitizing fieldwork, student teaching and graduation applications and clearances. This work will take up to two years to complete and the initial focus has been on a process analysis of fieldwork application and record keeping. As of the time of writing, field testing is underway of an on-line application for fieldwork and of improvements to the logging of fieldwork hours completed via Moodle.
Over the past three years, there have been upgrades to classrooms and facilities at the Hy Weinberg Center (housing CSD) and Woodruff Hall (housing HSPE). The upgraded facilities support faculty and candidate use of informational technology in instruction. Recent upgrades of diagnostic and information technology resources include specialized speech labs and exercise science labs on the main campus in Garden City and Smartboard installations in Garden City and the Manhattan Center. Currently, more than 90% of all classrooms at Adelphi have multimedia capabilities and full Internet access. With more than 300 access points, the main campus is wireless and supports the increased use of mobile devices. Continuous improvements to technology infrastructure are reflected in the new strategic plan for the University’s Office of Information Technology (IT) (available on site in the Dean’s office) which includes expanding e-portfolio capacity, expanding the educational technology lab, and continuing to upgrade the communication sciences lab. In addition, the RSA SOE technology committee is cited in the IT strategic plan as a model for adoption across all University units.
Several programs within the RSA SOE — Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Health Studies and Communication Sciences — offer either blended (30% to 80% online) or fully online courses. Adelphi online courses are subject to the same rigorous curriculum approval process as traditional courses. Faculty are supported in developing course materials by Adelphi’s Faculty Center for Professional Excellence (FCPE). Resources for distance learning programs are sufficient to provide reliability, speed, and confidentiality of connection in the delivery system. These are documented in Exhibit 6.3.j.
Upgrades to the Alice Brown Early Learning Center (ELC), a program for toddlers through pre-kindergarten, included the installation of new video observation equipment, which has enhanced learning and expedited the delivery of high-quality clinical practice. Beyond technology improvements, the ELC recently underwent an external review which provided valuable feedback and recommendations for improvements to the program that would benefit families attending the ELC as well as teacher candidates from the RSA SOE. Recommendations that have already been implemented include the addition to the staff of an early childhood special education teacher who can provide supervision of candidates, the formation of an Advisory Group and a review and clarification of the mission of the ELC. In addition, the ELC director is working with the staff on preparing for the initial stages of application for accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The RSA SOE provides adequate resources to develop and implement the assessment system which is currently comprised of several different software systems including CLASS and SAAS (University database systems), SPSS software, Excel, and Moodle (intranet data-sharing resource). The University provides training and technical support on these platforms for faculty and staff development as needed. Faculty, staff, student, alumni, and employer data are collected using CLASS, Moodle and Excel. Data are processed and analyzed with Excel and SPSS, and reports are created and returned to standing committees, faculty, and administration using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and are posted on Moodle. The Assessment System Guide, discussed in Standard 2 (Exhibit 2.3.a) provides in-depth detail on data collection, including schedules and the types of reports generated.
The faculty continue to refine and improve programs to meet the professional needs and standards of the field guided by the unit’s core values. Developments in process include advanced certificate programs in health education, STEP –TESOL (joint BA/ MA program), the education of students with severe and multiple disabilities, middle years education, and a Master’s degree and a certificate program in educational theater. In addition, the faculty in C & I are in the process of developing a doctoral program (Ph.D.) with a social justice focus and a working title, “Critical Studies in Education, Curriculum, Culture and Community.” This would be the first doctoral level program for this department.
With the adoption in 2010 of the strategic plan for the University (AU 2015), the Dean of the RSA SOE prepared a draft report to align the planned and proposed activities of the School. Included in this report is an open letter to the President establishing the local and national context for the professional preparation programs offered through the RSA SOE. For example, the decline in P-12 population in the region is already resulting in school closures which, in turn, impact the demand for teachers and school leaders. However, as noted above, the RSA SOE faculty, in collaboration with colleagues across the University, are actively engaged in ensuring both new program developments and current offerings are relevant and meet national standards. The strategic report reflects priorities to prepare educators for high needs schools and shortage subject fields, to ensure greater diversity of candidates, and to sustain currency in technology. This report is under discussion by faculty and is available on site in the Dean’s office.