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:
As documented in Appendix C, there are twenty-five faculty who contribute their scholarly knowledge and special education expertise through instruction, mentoring, and/or coaching of our candidates in their coursework, clinical experiences and in their Masters of Arts in Special Education Program. All are successful educators with an array of teaching experiences who promote student achievement and success through expert instruction and coaching, proactive advising, data collection and analysis and professional learning opportunities. Of the twenty-five faculty, six are on tenure track or tenured, ten are Adjunct/Lecturers, and nine are clinical coaches/supervisors of our teacher candidates in their clinical practice coursework.
Across the university, all instructors, including clinical practice coaches, are evaluated each semester by their students and also adhere to the review expectations of faculty at Fresno State, going through periodic reviews by Department and College Personnel Committees.
The six tenure/tenure-track faculty in the Fresno State Special Education Program who have terminal (Ph.D.) degrees in Special Education:
- Dr. Kimberly Coy, Associate Professor at the university for six years
Specializations: Universal Design for Learning and Educational Technology with expertise in teacher residency
- Dr. William Garnett, Assistant Professor at the university for six years
Specialization: Mild/Moderate & Moderate/Severe Disabilities with expertise in special education teacher residency
- Dr. Michael Mahoney, Assistant Professor at the university for two years
Specialization: Mild/Moderate Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders with expertise in special education teacher residency
- Dr. Kristina Rios, new Assistant Professor at the university
Specializations: Moderate/Severe Disabilities and Neurodevelopmental Disorders; Bilingual in Spanish and English,
- Dr. Christina Bosch, new Assistant Professor at the university (and Fulbright Scholar
Specializations: Universal Design for Learning; Bilingual in Spanish and English
- Dr. Dana Powell, retired Full Professor at the university for twenty-eight years
Specialization in Behavior Disorders
We have ten Adjunct/Lecturers with special education expertise who teach courses and mentor teacher candidates in our program. Nine Lecturers teach part-time in our program. One Lecturer, who is full time, is the Coordinator of the Education Specialist and Dual Credential Programs. We hold regular meetings with our coaches and offer professional learning opportunities.
Nine Lecturers hold Professional Clear Special Education Credentials in Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Disabilities. Of these nine,
- Seven also hold Single and/or Multiple Subject Credentials.
- Three also hold Professional Clear Administrative Services Credentials.
- One Lecturer holds a Professional Clear Single Subject Credential and Professional Clear Administrative Services Credentials.
Three Lecturers have terminal (Ed.D) degrees in Educational Leadership.
- One of these is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
- Seven Lecturers have Masters of Arts degrees in Special Education.
There are nine part-time Special Education University Coaches (fieldwork supervisors) who coach/supervise, mentor, and support our student teachers, teacher residents, and interns in their special education clinical placements.
- Two Coaches hold Professional Clear Administrative Services Credentials and Single or Multiple Subject Credentials.
- Seven Coaches hold dual teaching certification: Professional Clear Special Education
Credentials in Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Disabilities with Professional Clear
Single and/or Multiple Subject Credentials.
- One of the seven also holds a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology
- Two of the seven also hold Pupil Personnel Services Credentials in School Counseling.
- One Coach has a terminal (Ed.D) degree in Educational Leadership.
- One Coach has a Master of Arts degree in Administrative Services.
- Seven have Masters of Arts degrees in Special Education or Counseling.
Staffing Resources to Support Program (Appendix C):
Staff expertise plays a vital role in the development of competent teacher candidates and efficient systems for program support.
The staff in the Kremen Center for Advising and Student Services collaborate with all constituents, promote student success, and provide timely customer service. Staff work year round, learn the specifics of the many programs they serve, and provide customized support to meet the unique needs of faculty and students.
- Our three Academic Advisors, Ana Espinoza, Ivy Fitzpatrick, Jessica McVay (and their interns who are pursuing graduate degrees in higher education fields) offer students’ proactive advising, transcript audits, degree progress reports, registration information, and information on the available undergraduate and credential programs.
- Our Credential Admission Analyst, Renee Flores, processes the hundreds of admission applications received each semester for all three Basic Credential programs. She oversees the e-application system, updates the application website, uploads forms, monitors the website links, collects and analyzes data, runs reports, and implements regulations and policies. She also contacts students regarding admission issues, answers questions from the Coordinators and applicants, and collaborates with coordinators, faculty, and department personnel throughout the university.
- Sherri Nakashima, our Credential Analyst, analyzes transcripts and processes applications for the Preliminary and Clear Education Specialist Credentials from our program completers. Sherri also communicates, interprets and implements regulations and policies, processes local, state and federal documents, collects and analyzes data, writes reports, and tracks our program completers each semester. She collaborates with the program coordinators, Department Chairs, the Dean’s Office, Academic Advisors, Admission Analysts, faculty and different university and state personnel.
The Office of Clinical Practice
In our program, candidates engage in three clinical experiences in at least two different school sites in both general and special education. In these clinical settings, candidates interact with a variety of mentor teachers, faculty, administrators, and students in different grade levels (TK-age 22), whose demographics are reflective of the Central Valley’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity. In the Office of Clinical Practice (OCP), Dr. Felipe Mercado, Coordinator of Clinical Placements, collaborates with rural and urban partner districts throughout the Central Valley to secure diverse clinical placements for our candidates. Dr. Mercado also matches each candidate to a University Coach with expertise in the same discipline as the candidate’s pathway. He resolves placement and clinical issues, establishes and implements policies and procedures for clinical practice and supports coordinators, faculty, coaches and students in the successful completion of their clinical experience each semester. The Program Assistant, Brenna Barks, coordinates and collates clinical applications, organizes and maintains the master placement sheet, shares placement information with the Coordinator, answers emails and questions from coaches and students, and offers Tk-20 training.
The Teacher Internship Program (TIP) partners with local county offices of education, school districts, the Credential Coordinators and faculty to develop highly qualified teachers. Eligible teacher candidates who have been offered district-hired/district-paid teaching positions in their own classrooms apply to the Teacher Internship Program (TIP) for university internships. The Teacher Internship Program assistant, Maria Vargas, contacts partner districts, processes applications and documents, monitors interns’ academic progress, answers their questions, collects data, and informs the Credential Coordinators of issues as they arise. Maria also co-plans and co-facilitates (with the LEBSE Dept. Chair, Dr. Imelda Basurto) the monthly professional learning workshops that our interns attend.
Carmen Chapman is the Department of Literacy Early, Bilingual and Special Education Administrative Assistant who offers support to coordinators, faculty, and students. She schedules courses, finds classrooms, develops and maintains semester course matrices, passes along the teaching offers, monitors faculty unit loads, prepares faculty contracts each semester, answers questions, brainstorms solutions, and implements policies and procedures.
Institutional Support for Program:
The Dean and Associate Dean oversee and maintain the Kremen building, the classrooms, computer labs, technology and equipment, and the faculty and staff who work there. Under the supervision of the Dean and Associate Dean, our technology support and dean’s office staff ensure that faculty and staff have working laptops and monitors, technology and equipment support, offices, office furniture, supplies, materials for teaching and working. The Dean and Associate Dean also ensure a positive and healthy work environment. They oversee, implement, and ensure that Kremen faculty and staff understand and follow university policies, protocols, and procedures; advocate to the Provost to ensure that there are adequate numbers of staff and faculty; engage in review processes to ensure that retention, tenure, and promotion processes are understood and followed; oversee the hiring of new personnel; address student, staff and faculty complaints and discipline; oversee the Kremen budget and expenditures (with the support of our Budget Analyst), and are actively involved in the day-to-day operation of the Kremen School.
Personnel in the Dean’s Office support the Dean and Associate Dean, faculty and programs in all aspects of doing the work of teacher preparation. They oversee MOUs, contracts, budgets; implement policies and procedures; collaborate with and provide guidance to faculty and staff; ensure that data is collected, analyzed and provided to the appropriate departments and state agencies; maintain faculty employment records and student evaluations; create, adjust and maintain the Kremen websites; and ensure the efficient operation of all aspects of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.
Overall, we are especially proud of and grateful for the dedication of our staff throughout the Kremen School.
Mechanisms to Collect Student Feedback and How Data are Used:
Students provide feedback to the program in several ways.
- Fresno State Student Ratings of Instruction (FSSRI): Students anonymously evaluate all instructors, coaches and their course content each semester. The ratings of instruction and content provide valuable feedback to the instructor, the Department Chairs, the Associate Dean and the Dean.
- Program Survey for Continuous Improvement: In fall 2020, the Fresno State Special Education Program faculty developed a survey to assess the needs of our candidates for continuous program improvement. The survey included fifteen questions based on the themes of our Education Specialist Program Standards that ask for a response on a 4 point Likert scale. One open-ended comment question was included. The survey has been distributed three times, once in fall 2021 and at the beginning and end of spring 2021, to current candidates in all three phases and program completers. Data was collected, collated and shared with faculty at a program meeting. We will continue to refine and distribute the survey each semester, collect and collate the data to determine needed improvements to our courses.
- EdQ Center surveys: Program completers and year 1 teachers are asked to complete a survey on a number of standards-based items to determine the candidates’ perception of the program’s development of competence and readiness for the teaching profession. The data can be disaggregated and analyzed by program, pathway or ethnicity. We analyze and compare the data collected by the EdQ Center to see the trends, improvements, and needed changes to our program.