Preparation programs ensure that candidates, upon completion, are ready to engage in professional practice, to adapt to a variety of professional settings, and to grow throughout their careers. Effective program practices include: consistent offering of coherent curricula; high-quality quality, diverse clinical experiences; dynamic, mutually beneficial partnerships with stakeholders; and comprehensive and transparent quality assurance processes informed by trustworthy evidence. Each aspect of the program is appropriate to its context and to the credential or degree sought.
Description of Faculty Resources to Support Program (see Appendix C):
There are presently two (2) tenure-track faculty and three (3) adjunct instructors in the Bilingual Authorization Program (BAP). The tenure-track faculty have doctorate degrees and are experts in bilingual education. They have extensive work experience in PreK-12 classroom settings that serve emergent bilingual children. Moreover, they are established scholars whose research focuses on bilingual education. In the 2021-2022 academic year, there are currently searches underway for two additional faculty members, one to teach in the Spanish pathway and one to teach in the Hmong pathway.
The adjunct faculty meet qualifications to teach in the program as they have advanced degrees and/or are current credentialed teachers teaching in bilingual/dual immersion classrooms. The BAP faculty sit on the program advisory committee and regularly discuss their courses, assignments, candidate progress, and updates on current research in bilingual/dual immersion research and strategies. This ensures that the program remains recent, aligned to state standards, and ensures swift ongoing support for candidates--all goals of the program.
Description of Staffing Support Resources to Support Program (see Appendix C):
The main consistent staffing supports for the Bilingual Authorization Program (BAP) consist of four (4) people--the program coordinator, the department chair, the administrative support coordinator, and an academic advisor. The BAP coordinator is responsible for the recruitment, advising, professional development of candidates that is achieved by maintaining close relationships with campus staff and community partners. For example, campus staff include the dean and associate dean, academic counselors, credential analyst, program faculty, department chair, credential coordinators, clinical practice coordinators, and clinical coaches. Community partnerships include district partners, community college staff, and community organizations.
The BAP is housed in the Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education (LEBSE) and thus the BAP coordinator works closely with the department chair and administrative support coordinator to coordinate allotment of BAP course sections and faculty assignments each semester. The chair also supports advocacy efforts to maintain a strong program. For example, during the 2020-2021 academic year, the chair supported the coordinator with the redesign of the Spanish pathway and the request for a tenure-track hire for the program.
The BAP also works closely with academic counselors that advise program students with sequencing of courses, timeline to graduation, pathway to becoming a bilingual/dual immersion teacher, and other academic needs. The Kremen School of Education and Human Development has four (4) academic advisors, however, the BAP works closely with one counselor who was hired by a title v grant specifically to support bilingual authorization candidates.
Description of Institutional Support for Program (see Appendix C):
The institutional support for the BAP includes classroom facilities, technology, and library resources. For example, the Kremen School of Education and Human Development ensures there is always classroom space for program courses that are equipped with white boards, projectors, and speakers. Moreover, the School is equipped with the INTERESC technology resources center that is equipped with computers, printers, and other technology needs that candidates may need. The campus resources that support the program include our library, which houses the Teacher Resource Center and contains a collection of teaching materials for prek-12 grade classrooms. Center staff also assist students with locating teaching materials specific to their needs. The library also houses the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, an internationally renowned research center for the study of children’s and young adult literature. Program candidates are encouraged to utilize these resources to assist with the development of lesson plans and student teaching.
Description of Mechanisms to Collect Student Feedback and How Data Are Used (see Appendix C):
Under the leadership of the new BAP coordinator, during the 2020-2021 academic year, a BAP interest questionnaire was created for recruitment and advising efforts. It includes questions on student status (community college, undergraduate, credential, full time teacher). Once interested candidates select their appropriate status, the questionnaire directs them to specific questions. For example, for community college students, the questionnaire asks what campus they are attending, if they plan to transfer to Fresno State, anticipated major, if they plan to pursue teaching, etc. For all status options, the questionnaire also asks them to rank their perceived language skills along the four (4) domains assessed, speaking, reading, writing, and listening, to help the BAP coordinator advise them with coursework and pathways to completing the bilingual authorization. All of the data collected from this questionnaire helps with program partnerships with the Liberal Studies Program, Multiple Subject Credential Program, and counseling. In addition, understanding how new/incoming students self-perceptions of their language skills is insightful information that helps with continuous program improvement, such as ongoing conversations with program faculty to ensure program courses and support structures help candidates feel competent in their language skills.
Moreover, a new BAP completer survey was created during the 2020-2021 academic year and disseminated among program graduates in Spring 2021 to provide feedback on their experiences in the BAP and credential programs. Some sample questions included, “If you completed the BAP via coursework, please rank how each course prepared you for your career as a bilingual/dual immersion teacher,” and “Would you have liked the option to have completed your Site Visitation Project (SVP) and Teaching Sample Project (TSP) in Spanish or Hmong?” The data from this survey will be discussed in BAP committee meetings during the 2021-2022 academic year and every year thereafter to reflect and strategize how student feedback can be used to improve the experiences of current cohorts.
Additional plans to collect feedback from students include creating a course evaluation survey that will be disseminated after each course is completed. The purpose of this survey is to get candidate feedback on program priority areas like: 1) meeting of learning objectives, 2) balance between theory and practice, 3) practical application of course concepts and strategies to everyday classroom context, 4) avoiding repetition across courses, and 5) overall how well the course prepared them for careers in bilingual/dual immersion teaching. This survey will be created jointly among all stakeholders in the BAP committee meetings during the 2021-2022 academic year.