AAQEP Accreditation 2022
Conclusion & Next Steps
Looking across the findings from the self-study conducted by the Multiple Subject, Bilingual Authorization, Single Subject, Agriculture Specialist, and Education Specialist programs highlights that, based on the available data sources, overall, program completers are prepared to adapt to working in a variety of contexts and grow as professionals.
Areas of Strength:
Although the existing data sources program faculty used to examine how well program completers are prepared for their roles as teachers primarily allowed us to examine work that is done while candidates are in the program, the findings of the analysis highlighted some specific areas of strength in the work our programs do.
Like in our findings to Standard 1, our analyses of the data in response to the Standard 2 Aspects again highlighted the work our programs do to prepare our completers to engage in culturally responsive practices with diverse learners. Given our educational unit’s stated goal to prepare educators who will serve as leaders in a culturally and linguistically diverse society, this finding is not particularly surprising, though it is helpful to have it validated by the data. In particular, one of the key sources of data that the Education Specialist and Agriculture Specialist programs used to examine the ways in which they prepare completers to be able to support diverse learners was with the documentation of field placement sites where candidates are placed. Our region is home to learners from a broad range of backgrounds and, as demonstrated, our programs work to place candidates in contexts that, demographically, look like the contexts in which they will teach.
Another area of strength for our programs was in preparing candidates to create productive learning environments for their students. Again, programs were able to draw on data from a variety of sources. These sources included data captured from faculty and coaches while candidates were in the program in the form of FAST scores, performance on key assignments, and field placement evaluations, as well as data from surveys completers responded to upon program completion and after time in their own classrooms. Looking across the findings from the analyses of the different sources highlighted both that the programs do, in fact, prepare candidates to create productive learning environments and that completers feel confident in the preparation they received.
Finally, across programs, findings from the data analysis demonstrated our programs do, in fact, prepare candidates to collaborate with colleagues to support their professional learning. Data from the Ag Specialist Program, in particular, highlighted the ways candidates are given opportunities to collaborate with community members and other Ag Specialist educators to support their ongoing learning. Similarly, data collected from the Education Specialist program’s pilot survey to program completers highlighted the importance of developing the ability to engage in these productive collaborations, as nearly all responders indicated they regularly collaborate with their colleagues. Finally, the responses to the CSU Educator Quality Center completer survey also demonstrated completers’ beliefs that the programs supported them in developing the capacity to engage in productive collaborations.
These areas of strength very much align with our priorities as an educational unit, as we explicitly work to prepare our candidates to be engaged in their school communities and to be able to collaborate with all stakeholders--students, families, colleagues, and community members--to help support the education of all learners. As they do so, we believe strongly in the need to continually self-assess, reflect, and make plans for future improvements in a quest for continuous improvement.
Areas for Growth:
While our analyses did highlight strengths in the work we do, we also discovered some areas for growth that we intend to address as we move forward. Below, please find specific next steps articulated by each program that program faculty are committed to pursuing. We also highlighted unit-wide areas for growth, synthesized from across the programs’ findings.
In particular, one area in which all programs have room to improve was in ensuring that completers are prepared to support students’ growth in international and global perspectives. While our programs emphasize the use of culturally sustaining pedagogies and always incorporating multiple cultural perspectives, that does not always extend to an international or global scale. Moving forward, program faculty will work together to analyze syllabi to consider where and how to incorporate an emphasis on international and global perspectives. Additionally, we will reach out to our campus International Faculty Organization to seek out their suggestions for how we might better support our candidates in not only developing their own international perspectives but also how they might bring that knowledge into their future work contexts. A starting point for this work may be to think explicitly about commonalities in some of the educational issues across the world, such as the role of globalization and internet-based technologies in connecting markets, impacting lived experiences, and influencing human migration. From there, we can work to guide our candidates in how they might incorporate international and global perspectives into their work with their students.
Like we highlighted in our responses to Standard 1, another challenge faculty had while working to engage in their self-study in relation to the Standard 2 Aspects was a lack of data sources, particularly data sources from a variety of perspectives that would allow for triangulation of findings. This was especially true for the Bilingual Authorization program and the Agriculture Specialist Program because the larger CSU Education Quality Center and CCTC surveys do not disaggregate results to the individual program level. We understand that, if we truly want to know about the impact of our programs on our completers once they are in the field, we need to collect data from them at that point in their trajectory. Additionally, we also need to gather the perspective of their employers and/or supervisors to learn more about how well they believe we prepared their teachers.
Moving forward, as we articulated in Standard 1, we intend to develop unit-wide surveys that can be administered annually to completers who finished our programs in the past five years and their employers that will include both general programs about the work our institution does as a whole and program-specific questions. The hope is that this will allow us to collect data that will be useful at both levels. Additionally, at the individual program level, programs plan to begin holding focus group discussions with program alumni to learn more about areas in which the program prepared them well and areas in which they would have liked more preparation. These focus group discussions will also provide opportunities for program faculty to learn more about current issues in the field and ensure that our current candidates are being prepared to address those issues.
Finally, again as discussed in Standard 1, in order to then make the necessary changes to program practices, program faculty plan to spend time examining current coursework, assessments, and evaluation tools to ensure that coursework aligns with expected outcomes, that assessments provide a valid way for candidates to demonstrate mastery of those outcomes, and to ensure that the tools used for evaluation actually measure what they are intended to measure. If we want to make sure our completers are successful for their work in their future roles, we need to make sure our programs include the coursework that will prepare them to be. As they do so, faculty will also engage in inquiry, examining student work across courses to ensure the validity and reliability of both the assignments used and the tools used to evaluate those assignments. We envision that this work will take time and be ongoing as program faculty will need to try new approaches, examine their effectiveness, make revisions, and then implement those revisions.
Standard 2: Completer Professional Competence & Growth Program Next Steps