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Graduate Program Assessment

I. Outcomes Stated as Abilities

The outcomes of the Drury University M.Ed. degree are stated as abilities that students will exhibit when they complete their programs of study. These outcome abilities are directly related to the mission and goals of Drury University. The outcome abilities represent a combination of skills, behaviors, knowledge, values, attitudes, motives or dispositions, and self-perceptions. The outcome abilities are developmental, or teachable, and can be defined in increasing levels of complex elements or processes for learning and assessing performance. The outcome abilities are transferable in that they prepare students for the many roles and settings in which they perform.

The School of Education and Child Development’s (SECD) graduate programs are aligned to the CAEP Standards for Advanced Programs and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards.

CAEP Standards for Advanced Programs

Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions

1.1 Advanced program candidates demonstrate an understanding and are able to apply knowledge and skills specific to their discipline.
Provider Responsibilities

1.2 Providers ensure that advanced program completers use research and evidence to develop school environments that support and assess P-12 students’ learning and their own professional practice specific to their discipline.

1.3 Providers ensure that advanced program completers apply content and discipline-specific knowledge as reflected in state and/or national discipline-specific standards where they exist including Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs) and other accrediting bodies (e.g., Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs - CACREP).

1.4 Providers ensure that advanced program completers demonstrate skills and commitment to creating supportive environments that afford all P-12 students access to rigorous college- and career-ready standards (e.g., Next Generation Science Standards, National Career Readiness Certificate, Common Core State Standards).

1.5 Providers ensure that advanced program completers model and apply technology standards as they design, implement and assess learning experiences/environments to engage students and improve learning; and enrich professional practice.

Partnerships for Clinical Preparation

2.1 Partners co-construct mutually beneficial P-12 school and community arrangements, including technology-based collaborations, for clinical preparation and share responsibility for continuous improvement of advanced program candidate preparation. Partnerships for clinical preparation can follow a range of forms, participants, and functions. They establish mutually agreeable expectations for advanced program candidate entry, preparation, and exit; ensure that theory and practice are linked; maintain coherence across clinical and academic components of preparation; and share accountability for advanced program candidate outcomes.

Clinical Educators

2.2 Partners co-select, prepare, evaluate, support, and retain high- quality clinical educators, both provider- and school-based, who demonstrate a positive impact on advanced program candidates’ development and P-12 student learning and development. In collaboration with their partners, providers use multiple indicators and appropriate technology-based applications to establish, maintain, and refine criteria for selection, professional development, performance evaluation, continuous improvement, and retention of clinical educators in all clinical placement settings.

Clinical Experiences

2.3 The provider works with partners to design clinical experiences of sufficient depth, breadth, diversity, coherence, and duration to ensure that advanced program candidates demonstrate their developing effectiveness in creating environments that support all students’ learning and development. Clinical experiences, including technology-enhances learning opportunities, are structured to have multiple performance-based assessments at key points within the program to demonstrate advanced program candidates’ development of professional dispositions, as delineated in Standard 1, that are associated with creating a supportive school environment that results in a positive impact on the learning and development of all P-12 students.

Plan for Recruitment of Diverse Candidates who Meet Employment Needs

3.1 The provider presents plans and goals to recruit and support completion of high-quality advanced program candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and diverse populations to accomplish their mission. The admitted pool of candidates reflects the diversity of America’s P-12 students. The provider demonstrates efforts to know and address community, state, national, regional, or local needs for school and district staff prepared in advanced fields.

Admission Standards Indicate That Candidates Have High Academic Achievement and Ability

3.2 The provider sets admissions requirements, including CAEP minimum criteria, the state’s minimum criteria, or graduate school minimum criteria, whichever is highest, and gathers data to monitor applicants and the selected pool of candidates. The provider ensures that the average grade point average of its accepted cohort of candidates [meets or exceeds the CAEP minimum of 3.0, or the group average performance on a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment such as GRE, MAT, or other required graduate level assessment is in the top 50%.]
Over time, a program may develop a reliable, valid model that uses admissions criteria other than those stated in this standard. In this case, the admitted cohort group mean on these criteria must meet or exceed the standard that has been shown to positively correlate with measures of supportive environments that positively impact on all P-12 student learning and development. The provider demonstrates that the standard for high academic achievement and ability is met through multiple evaluations and sources of evidence. The provider reports the mean and standard deviation for the group.

Additional Selectivity Factors

3.3 Educator preparation providers establish and monitor attributes and dispositions beyond academic ability that advanced program candidates must demonstrate at admissions and during the program. The provider selects criteria, describes the measures used and evidence of the
reliability and validity of those measures, and reports data that show how the academic and non-academic factors predict advanced program candidate performance in the program and in service.

Selectivity During Preparation

3.4 The provider creates criteria for program progression and monitors candidates’ advancement from admissions through completion. All advanced program candidates demonstrate the ability to create and maintain supportive environments for teaching college- and career-ready standards. Providers present multiple forms of evidence to indicate advanced program candidates’ application of content knowledge and research, data-driven decision making, and the integration of technology in all of these domains.

Selection At Completion

3.5 Before the provider recommends any advanced program candidate for program completion, it documents that the advanced program candidate has reached a high standard for content knowledge; data- and research-driven decision making; and integration of technology in the discipline; and demonstrates the ability to create, maintain, and enhance supportive environments for effective P-12 learning.

3.6 Before the provider recommends any advanced program candidate for program completion, it documents that the advanced program candidate understands the expectations of the profession, including codes of ethics, professional standards of practice, and relevant laws and policies. CAEP monitors the development of measures that assess candidates’ success and revises standards in light of new results.

Impact on P-12 Student Learning and Development

4.1 The provider documents, using multiple measures that advanced program completers create a supportive learning environment that contributes to an expected level of P-12 student-learning growth. Multiple direct and indirect measures shall include all available growth measures appropriate to the discipline, required by the state and available to educator preparation providers, other state-supported P-12 impact measures where applicable, and other measures employed by the provider.

Indicators of Effectiveness

4.2 The provider demonstrates, through multiple measures, that advanced program completers effectively apply the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that the preparation experiences were designed to achieve.

Satisfaction of Employers

4.3. The provider demonstrates, using measures that result in valid and reliable data and including employment milestones such as promotion and retention, that employers are satisfied with the advanced program completers’ preparation for their assigned responsibilities in working with P-12 students.

Satisfaction of Completers

4.4 The provider demonstrates, using measures that result in valid and reliable data, that advanced program completers perceive their preparation as relevant to the responsibilities they confront on the job, and that the preparation was effective.

Quality and Strategic Evaluation

5.1 The provider’s quality assurance system is comprised of multiple measures that can monitor advanced program candidate progress, advanced completer achievements, and provider operational effectiveness. Evidence demonstrates that the provider satisfies all CAEP standards.

5.2 The provider’s quality assurance system relies on relevant, verifiable, representative, cumulative and actionable measures, and produces empirical evidence that interpretations of data are valid and consistent.

Continuous Improvement

5.3 The provider regularly and systematically assesses performance against its goals and relevant standards, tracks results over time, tests innovations and the effects of selection criteria on subsequent progress and completion, and uses results to improve program elements and processes.

5.4 Measures of advanced program completer impact on the P-12 learning environment, including available outcome data on P-12 student growth, are summarized, externally benchmarked, analyzed, shared widely, and acted upon in decision-making related to programs, resource allocation, and future direction.

5.5 The provider assures that appropriate stakeholders, including alumni, employers, practitioners, school and community partners, and others defined by the provider, are involved in program evaluation, improvement, and identification of models of excellence.

InTASC Standards

Standard #1: Learner Development
The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning Differences
The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning Environments
The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Standard #4: Content Knowledge
The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of Content
The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6: Assessment
The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction
The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies
The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration
The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Assessment Techniques

Drury University’s School of Education and Child Development graduate students are assessed in multiple settings within a variety of contexts. As a part of the formal admissions process to the graduate education program, the student completes a self-assessment of professional dispositions, requests approval of transfer course work, receives academic advising regarding professional goals and the graduate degree program, and is provided guidance in selecting a possible topic/project for EDUC 700: Capstone Seminar. This information is used to help design the remainder of the student’s program of study and becomes a portfolio record of the student’s development over time.

The School of Education and Child Development is nationally accredited by NCATE/CAEP. This accreditation ensures the quality of the teacher preparation programs at Drury University through ongoing rigorous assessment and adds significant value to the educational experience and subsequent qualification. Pursuant to this, graduate students are required to create and maintain an electronic portfolio of coursework. Students enrolled in any course must maintain a current subscription to Foliotek and upload coursework artifacts as directed by faculty. Failure to do so may result in the issuance of an Incomplete (I) grade in a course, the inability to register for graduate classes, and delay graduation until these requirements are fulfilled.

During the graduate program of study, students submit items for inclusion in their Foliotek electronic portfolio, which is comprised of three phases. The student works together with the instructor to assess the work and reflect on developmental goals for the remainder of the program. Artifacts uploaded to the portfolio represent best practices in teaching and learning.

The assessment plan addresses state and national educator preparation standards. The assessment strategies are designed to:

  1. have a positive effect on the teacher’s role in education;
  2. consist of a variety of methods;
  3. use state of the art technology;
  4. be affordable and accessible for branch campus students as well as Springfield students;
  5. reflect involvement in learned societies, state agencies, K-12 school districts, professional associations, and other higher education institutions;
  6. provide internal and external validity with respect to effective teaching; and
  7. be developmental in nature so that teachers are prepared for the assessments, provided constructive feedback, and adjustments are made in the master in education program as needed.

The most valid assessment process of the master in education program is one that engages graduate students in the activities of teaching, requires the display and use of teaching knowledge and skills, and that allows teachers the opportunity to explain their decision-making process. The assessment of the activities of teaching includes documentation, evaluation and examination.