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:
Multiple Subject Program faculty share home departments across three Kremen Departments: Curriculum & Instruction (N 41), Liberal Studies (N 3), and Literacy, Early, Bilingual, Special Education (N 16). When faculty are hired in the Kremen who are invited to teach courses within the Multiple Subject Credential Program, they have relevant Doctoral and Masters degrees, K-12 teaching and/or administrative experience and have stayed current on issues in teacher education. A review of the faculty qualifications in Appendix C demonstrates that 18 or 30% of the program faculty have earned a terminal degree relevant to teacher education. 27 or 45% of the program faculty are part-time faculty serving as university coaches who supervise student teaching. The university coaches are well qualified as they are experienced credentialed TK-6 teachers and/or former TK-6 administrators who stay current on effective supervision approaches such as cognitive coaching, adult learning theory, and current content-specific pedagogy and instructional practices. Program faculty range in years of experience teaching for Kremen with some just starting and others in their 38 year in the highest range. The majority of the program faculty (N 31) have taught between 1-5 years in the program. The data audit revealed that faculty are qualified and, if they serve in an adjunct capacity, are qualified and receive support from a full-time faculty member to develop and teach the courses to which they are assigned.
Other indicators that our faculty contribute to a coherent and high-quality curriculum include faculty participation in community learning meetings called phase alike and course alike sessions. Faculty who teach the same courses co-plan whereas faculty who teach during the same phase look for connections between their courses in that phase of the program. Additionally faculty who teach within the teacher residency programs sometimes co-teach with a district partner who brings the district perspective and initiatives into the curriculum. Other program faculty who teach within the teacher residency program co-teach with each other to help credential teachers see the integration of content between math and special education as one example. Still other faculty build collaborative engagement activities with credential students from other programs across the nation such as with the example of literacy circles where the credential students read culturally sustaining picture books on a digital platform to learn more together about interactive read aloud strategies and becoming culturally competent.
Description of Staffing Support resources to support program:
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 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
For the Multiple Subject Credential Program, candidates engage in two semesters of clinical experiences. In these clinical settings, candidates interact with a variety of mentor teachers, faculty, administrators, and students in different grade levels (TK-6) 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 Practice, 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 for students and coaches.
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 and Martha Lomeli is the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Administrative Assistants who offer support to coordinators, faculty, and students. They schedule courses, find classrooms, develop and maintain semester course matrices, pass along the teaching offers, monitor faculty unit loads, prepare faculty contracts each semester, answer questions, brainstorm solutions, and implement policies and procedures.
Although the Multiple Subject Credential Program is grateful for the dedication of the Kremen School staff, there is still a need for organizational capacity to sufficiently support the largest credential program in Kremen (i.e. 3 times the size of the next largest program) as well as the largest non-virtual credential program in the state of California (only second to National University which is 100% online). This is one area that Kremen leadership is working to address with the development of the Assistant Director of Teacher Education position held by a tenured faculty member. Although this is a positive start to building capacity, the Multiple Subject Credential Program would benefit from additional supporting faculty and/or staff roles.
Description of 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.
Coursework Embedded within Clinical Placement Sites
Kremen engages with partner schools as collaborative ventures between schools, school districts, and teacher preparation programs in universities, which are designed to improve student learning, to strengthen teacher education, to promote professional development, and to support collaborative inquiry. Partner Schools are an enhancement of the Professional Development School (PDS) model to which teacher residency programs within the Multiple Subject Program emerged. The Teacher Residency Programs are collaborations formed through partnerships between professional education programs and P–12 schools and are often compared to “teaching hospitals.” As practicing professionals, both teaching and medicine require a sound academic program and intense clinical preparation. The teaching hospital was designed to provide such clinical preparation for medical students and interns; PDSs serve the same function for teacher candidates and in-service faculty. Both settings provide support for professional learning in a real-world setting in which practice takes place. Our residency district partners provide space in their districts to host our residents along with the faculty who teach their coursework. As such, Multiple Subject Credential Program faculty meet the residents where they are in the district and plan for classroom experiences that present opportunities for rehearsals as the residents and faculty are on the TK-6 school site. Currently, five school sites from our residency district partners host our residents and program faculty as described in Appendix C: Facilities.
Description of Mechanisms to Collect Student Feedback and how data are used:
Multiple Subject Credential Program 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. One program-level goal is to seek aggregated, de-identified SRI coach data with the goal of looking for broad themes and ways to support the ongoing development of our coaches and continuously improve student’s clinical experiences.
- CSU Educator Quality Center Surveys: Program completers and year one completers/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.
- Journey Maps: During the final two weeks of the program, program faculty who teach LEE 169s build in a reflective activity where the students are asked to provide feedback on their experience in the program by completing a Journey Map. The Journey Map gathers information about the program completer’s perceptions of the major milestones while in the program and the extent to which they felt positively or negatively about those experiences. A focused coding scheme is applied to develop counts and additional themes emerge from the written components of the maps. During Multiple Subject Credential Program meetings, the analysis is shared with program faculty along with the qualitative data to determine to what extent the findings corroborate with what feedback they receive from students and to inform what areas to focus on for improvement.
- Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) Inquiry Cycles: An improvement science approach employs inquiry to deploy and test focused changes in short, rather than protracted, cycles of planning, doing, studying, and acting (PDSA) (Langley, et al., 2009). In addition to traditional research tools (e.g., surveys, interviews), the Multiple Subject Credential Program utilizes specialized research tools for understanding the problem and the system behind it, focusing on defined aspects of the system, generating change plans, and building evidence for the effectiveness of the change idea (Grunow, Park, & Bennett, n.d.). Empathy interviews and journey maps are used as tools for understanding the system and identifying puzzles from the user perspective. Process maps and fishbone diagrams are also used to better understand the system and how that system gets the results it is designed to get. Data generated from these improvement science tools: process maps, fishbone diagrams, empathy interviews and journey maps help identify user-centered levers for program change. Depending on the problem, the PDSA and the tools used are different. During Multiple Subject Credential Program meetings and during district partner meetings, PDSA inquiry cycles are discussed to determine whether a change idea needs to be adopted, adapted, or abandoned.