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.
6.3 Feedback on correcting previous areas for improvement (AFIs)
AFI #1 Workload assignments do not accommodate faculty involvement in teaching, scholarship, and service. (Apply to: ITP, ADV) Rationale: More documentation is needed. Interviews on-site may provide additional evidence. Candidates indicate a need for better advisement.
(see Addendum Exhibit 6.3.1 and 6.3.1.a)
6.4 Areas of concern related to continuing to meet the standard
(1) The unit did not provide clear evidence of a formal mechanism to facilitate the collaboration between unit faculty and faculty in other units of the institution involved in the preparation of professional educators. Rationale: Neither the IR or the exhibits mention what means the unit utilizes to ensure collaboration with the Arts and Sciences. (see Addendum Exhibit 6.4.1 and 6.4.1.a)
6.5 Clarification of, and responses to, questions in off-site report
(Please Note: #3 was skipped in Section 6.5 of the off-site report…the responses below match the numbering of that report to avoid confusion.)
(1) How does the unit ensure the collaboration between unit faculty and faculty in other parts of the university who are involved in the preparation of teachers and other school personnel? (see Addendum Exhibit 6.4.1 and 6.4.1.a)
(2) What is the composition of the Advisory Council on Education (ACE)? In addition to P-12 personnel, does the ACE have Arts and Sciences members? Do unit candidates participate in the ACE?
As described in the IR, Standard 3 narrative, p. 19, “The Advisory Committee on Education (ACE), comprised of unit graduates, Arts and Sciences faculty, teachers, school administrators and district leaders, and community partners, meets once each semester to review programs and unit data, suggest improvements to practices, and provide feedback on new initiatives.” The unit strives for a balanced representation from a number of groups who are partners integral to the success of all programs, including current candidates, alumni across programs, full-time and adjunct faculty from the AFTSE, Arts and Sciences faculty, cooperating teachers, district administrators (public, private and parochial), and community partners. (see also Addendum Exhibit 6.4.1 and 6.4.1.a to address candidate membership.)
(4) What is the percentage of unit sections taught by full-time and adjunct faculty members? (see Addendum Exhibit 6.5.4)
(5) What is the reason for the faculty turn-over since 2006?
There are a number of reasons why 14 full-time faculty have left the unit since 2006. They include: 5 moved out of town (including 1 person who did not finish her doctorate as planned and moved); 4 (including one of the former deans) retired from higher education; 1 left to pursue a doctorate; 1 was promoted to another administrative position in the university (she was a faculty member and dean); 1 was not tenured; 1 was terminated; and 1 left to have a baby.
(6) What professional development opportunities are there for adjunct faculty members? If these opportunities exist, are they connected to the evaluations of adjunct faculty performance?
Adjunct faculty are encouraged to attend and openly invited to any university-wide and AFTSE professional development opportunities, particularly those offered through the Bellarmine Center for Teaching Excellence and Leadership and the Bellarmine Center on Economic Education. All full-time and adjunct faculty are invited to monthly university-wide professional development such as the “Spotlight Series” offered monthly by the Faculty Development Center.
Additionally, adjunct faculty are encouraged to co-author publications and co-present at professional conferences. The AFTSE has funded adjunct faculty to attend AILACTE, for example, to present with full-time faculty on leadership preparation. There are, however, no regular professional development funds budgeted for each adjunct faculty per year. There are no scholarship or service requirements of adjunct faculty, only high quality teaching and/or supervision of candidates. Therefore, participation in professional development is voluntary unless the adjunct faculty were recommended (by the dean or chairs) to improve teaching based on evaluation feedback in order to maintain employment.
(7) Do faculty loads allow for adequate candidate advisement?
(see Addendum Exhibit 6.3.1 and 6.3.1.a)
(8) What has been the unit’s response to the need for better advisement brought by candidates in the surveys? (see Addendum Exhibit 6.5.8)
(9) What has been the unit’s response to the need for better technology preparation of candidates? (see Addendum Exhibit 6.5.9)
(10) What has been the unit’s response to the need for evaluation of field placements?
As described in Standard 3 of the IR, initial certification candidates have both formal and informal ways to evaluate their field placement experiences and professional semester experiences (see IR Exhibit 3.3.e.1, pp. 27, 56; IR Exhibit 3.3.e.2, p. 8). At the end of each semester, the Field Placement Coordinator reviews the candidates’ feedback in an effort to determine which schools and cooperating teachers should be continued as effective placements. Additionally, instructors of courses that have an accompanying field placement or supervisors of junior field practicum inform candidates of the procedure for relating concerns over a field placement. Candidates are to work with their assigned cooperating teacher first (if possible) to address a concern. If candidates are unable to resolve the concern, or feel uncomfortable discussing the concern with the cooperating teacher, the candidate should involve the course instructor and/or practicum supervisor. In some instances, candidates are changed to a different school or cooperating teacher; in others, candidates are encouraged to problem-solve collaboratively with their supervisor and cooperating teacher to resolve issues. Professional semester placements are rarely changed unless all attempts to resolve concerns have been unsuccessful. Typically, the Field Placement Coordinator and the building principal are involved in professional semester changes as well as the university supervisor, cooperating teacher(s), and candidate.
Advanced program candidates are guided through a similar procedure when concerns arise, with each situation being handled individually. In the EdS program, the supervisor assigned to the candidate completing an internship responds to feedback about the placement and collaboratively works with the candidate and principal to resolve any issues. Schools and principal mentors are evaluated by candidates, with the feedback determining future placements.
The unit makes every effort to find the most appropriate and effective field and clinical placements, understanding that school districts and principals have procedures and practices that, at times, narrow the choices for the most optimum placements. Additionally, the unit acknowledges the need for candidates to experience placements in which they will most likely be hired by a district, in an effort to provide the most authentic learning experience to better insure success as a new teacher.
Finally, the unit encourages problem-solving and independent thinking on the part of candidates in regard to field experiences, understanding that candidate complaints about field are not always well-founded and may stem from a perspective such as “Why can’t I have the really nice cooperating teacher that my friend has?” Thus, feedback on placements is taken seriously, but is evaluated in terms of its authenticity.
(11) Information needs to be provided concerning access to updated library resources to support the unit.(see Addendum Exhibit 6.5.11)
Addendum Exhibit 6.3.1 Explanation of Workload for Faculty on 11-Month Contracts
Addendum Exhibit 6.3.1.a Load Report-McGee-1112
Addendum Exhibit 6.4.1 Collaboration between Unit and A&S Faculty
Addendum Exhibit 6.4.1.a Collaboration Supporting Evidence
Addendum Exhibit 6.5.4 Percentage of Courses Taught Full-time and Adjunct
Addendum Exhibit 6.5.8 Policies and Practices for Quality Advisement
Addendum Exhibit 6.5.9 Technology Preparation of Candidates
Addendum Exhibit 6.5.11 Updated Library Resources to Support Unit