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Exhibit Room Louisiana St. Supp. Rep. SPA Reports  




Policies and Procedures for Data Collection and Use of Data for             Improvements

 The COEHD (unit) and the university’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment implement policies and procedures to collect and aggregate data. Multiple data sources are used to improve its programs. The data is then used by the unit and its constituents to improve candidate and faculty performance. Data become the basis of discussions from which program and unit changes are initiated.  By reviewing IRA and unit reports, committees and individual administrators and faculty identify effective and ineffective aspects of the unit and its programs. Therefore, from the outset, decisions to maintain or change programs and procedures are data-driven.  Suggested changes are formalized and linked to the unit’s Conceptual Framework and SPA and state standards and follow procedures outlined by the unit’s assessment system.

       Candidates’ work in class and field experiences is systematically assessed throughout the programs. To progress through their program, candidates must satisfy criteria for one portal before moving to the next. Additionally, portfolio assessments provide candidates with feedback designed to help them become more effective practitioners. Assessments created or adapted by program faculty are used to identify needed improvements. The PEC surveys, completed by initial and advanced program candidates, reflect the unit’s Conceptual Framework. Candidates’ performance on PRAXIS tests is also reviewed to identify areas for improvement. When a deficit is identified, individual candidates can also receive services to help them improve their performance through the Teacher Development Program.

       Faculty who teach courses assess the work of candidates enrolled in their courses. Key unit assessments (e.g., initial certification rubric for implemented lesson plan) are completed in PASS-PORT by faculty teaching the respective classes.  At each portal, candidates’ electronic portfolios are assessed by their faculty advisors. Data on results are aggregated by the assessment coordinator and reports available to faculty and administrators to indicate candidates’ progress through the portals. In addition to providing the means whereby candidates can demonstrate their competence, the assessments provide feedback to help students reflect on their strengths and areas for improvement.

       One element of the PEC survey, a unit assessment at initial and advanced levels, focuses on candidates’ knowledge of diversity. Several years ago, the unit identified the need to improve candidates’ preparation to work effectively with diverse populations of students.  To address this need, new and redesigned courses were included in curricula, and seminars and workshops, such as “Conversations on Diversity” and workshops on differentiated instruction offered for candidates, as well as faculty,  school teachers and administrators.  Results of the PEC survey provide documentation that tracks candidates’ knowledge pertaining to their preparation in this area and other areas.

       Candidates’ performance on PRAXIS tests is also reviewed to identify areas for improvement. When a specific area is identified, workshops that address the need are offerred to candidates.  For instance, a committee, with participation of the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Department of History and Political Science, was formed in 2006-2007 to specifically address low scores on the elementary content area test.  While there is a 100 percent passing rate on required tests for all graduates, some candidates do not pass on their first attempt.  Because initial certification candidates are required to pass all tests prior to student teaching, it is necessary for some candidates to take the test(s) more than once, and others who do not pass withdraw from the teacher education program.

       Individual candidates can also receive services to help them improve their performance through the Teacher Development Program. A faculty member draws on data from formal and informal assessments to identify an area for improvement, and he or she completes a recommendation form, outlining the problem and actions previously taken.  The recommendation is submitted to the Teacher Development Program Coordinator program coordinator, Dr. Frances Wood, who invites the candidate to meet with her to design an action plan for improvement. If the candidate chooses to avail herself or himself of the services, the plan is carried out.  Candidates are recommended for a variety of problems, but two common ones are incorrect grammar in speech and ineffective classroom management.  Documentation of recommendations and participation in Teacher Development is kept on file. Data are used by Dr. Wood and other faculty to identify topics for professional development workshops, which are offered by Dr. Wood and other faculty members in COEHD and other colleges.  Among professional development topics, sessions are offered each semester on diversity and PRAXIS preparation.

       One means for faculty performance assessment is the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (IRA) that collects and aggregates data on Student Opinions of Teaching (SOTs). Data collected and aggregated by the IRA are  reported to the respective individual faculty members, department heads, and deans.  The SOT reports provide faculty with candidates’ ratings of their effectiveness in pedagogy and related aspects of their performance. Data are used by faculty and administrators to facilitate the improvement. Each year, faculty develop a professional development plan to guide their work by specifying goals for the year in teaching effectiveness, professional activities, and service. At the end of the year, data on accomplishments are collected in a report that is submitted to the department head. Each faculty member meets individually with the department head to discuss strengths and areas of improvement, and the department head assigns points on a rating scale. Classes taught by non-tenured faculty are observed and assessed annually by the department head, and tenured faculty are observed by a peer. These assessments provide faculty with sufficient feedback on which they can reflect to improve performance.






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