Standard 3 Aspect D
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.
Recruitment and Admissions Process:
Teacher shortages remain a critical problem in California. The Learning Policy Institute (December 5, 2019), along with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, have been documenting this shortage in detail since 2015 (Learning Source). To fill vacancies, school districts hire under-qualified teachers working on waivers or on limited-assignment, short-term, or provisional intern permits. Because the short-term permits and provisional intern permits can be issued only if a credentialed teacher cannot be found, they are a strong indicator of teacher shortages (Carver-Thomas, 10-15-20).
The Fresno State Single Subject Teacher Credential Program works diligently to try to recruit teachers to fill these shortages (see Appendix A). Recruitment begins with the Academic Subject Matter Area Departments and the University’s Outreach and Career Centers by way of social media, mass mailings, public radio, advertising, educational fairs, and site visits locally, regionally, and nationally. Since Spring 2020, all recruitment efforts have been done virtually due to the pandemic.
All interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Single Subject Program website, attend informational sessions, take virtual campus tours, and listen and view recruitment materials and webinars. Current undergraduates interested in pursuing a Single Subject credential in their subject area are recruited by the Subject Matter Coordinator within their respective undergraduate majors (see links below).
- Social Science
- Science: Biology
- Science: Chemistry
- Industrial Technology
These academic subject matter area departments conduct regular recruitment campaigns through social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, in addition to emails, text messages, and physical mail in the form of postcards, brochures, flyers, etc. Potential applicants are also invited to attend on-campus recruitment events, such as the informational sessions hosted by Kremen. Off-campus visits are also made by academic subject matter area coordinators and/or university outreach counselors. In addition, these departments have long-term relationships with the guidance counselors at local middle and high schools..
Admission into the Single Subject Teacher Credential Program requires:
- a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university or 90 units towards a blended Liberal Studies degree or integrated program from Fresno State,
- a GPA of 2.67 or higher overall or 2.75 or higher in the last 60 units
- Live Scan/Certificate of Clearance
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- TB Risk Assessment & Mandated Reporter
- Admission Interview & Personal Narrative
- Candidate Commitment Statement
- Completion of a pre-admission entrance course
Additionally, applicants must provide verification of:
- meeting the Basic Skills Requirement;
- meeting Subject Matter Competency through completion of appropriate subject matter coursework or the California Subject Matter examinations appropriate to the credential type; and
- completion of 45 hours of pre-program field experience through December 21, 2021.
However, in April of 2020, California Governor Newsom suspended the Basic Skills Requirement and Subject Matter Competency under Executive Order (EO) N-66-20. Applicants wanting to be considered for admission under EO N-66-20 need to produce evidence of not being able to complete the examinations due to COVID-19. Credential candidates still need to meet the Basic Skills Requirement and be subject matter competent before they can apply for their preliminary teaching credential.
Potential applicants are directed to review the Single Subject Process Application Guide. The application guides the applicant through every phase of the application process. Once an applicant submits an application, they must be interviewed by the Academic Subject Matter Area Department advisor. The results of this interview, along with the application, are submitted simultaneously to the Admissions Office.
Applications are processed by the Admission Analyst, who works closely with the Program Coordinator and the Academic Subject Matter Advisors, to transition students who meet all the admission requirements into the program. Space permitting, applicants who have met all admission requirements are admitted on a first-come-first-served basis. Incomplete program applications are not processed.
Students who do not meet all the regular admission requirements can be admitted under Special Circumstances or Special Consideration. Students admitted under Executive Order N -66-20 are admitted under Special Circumstances; all others are admitted under Special Consideration. Special Circumstances and Special Consideration admissions are determined by application review and program capacity once regular admissions have been processed.
Monitoring and Support Process (see Appendix A)
Once Single Subject Program Credential Candidates are admitted into the credential program, they are expected to complete 17 units each semester for two semesters, for a total of 34 units. More specifically, that includes 12 units of professional preparation coursework and 5 units of field experience in the first semester and 6 units of professional preparation coursework and 11 units of field experience in the second semester.
As part of their teaching performance assessment, candidates must complete the Site Visitation Project in the first semester and the Teaching Sample Project in the second semester.
Additionally, candidates complete the Pre-disposition survey in the first semester and the Post-disposition Survey in the second semester.
Candidates must also maintain a 3.0 GPA and have successfully passed their first semester before they can enter their second semester.
Before the pandemic, credential candidates had to be subject matter competent before starting final student teaching.
Monitoring student progress begins with an initial orientation, led by the Single Subject Teacher Credential Program Coordinator, that all students must attend before they register for course. This orientation explains the sequence of courses and outlines the expectations for initial and final student teaching.
In their first semester, candidates enroll in a field placement seminar (EHD 154A), which accompanies their field placement course (EHD 155A) led by their coach (field placement supervisor). In this course, candidates receive instructions for completing their Site Visitation Project and are informed about completing the Pre-disposition Survey. Candidates also receive the Single Subject Handbook, which provides details about program policies, course sequences, etc.
At the end of the first semester, candidates complete both an End of the Semester Completion Checklist and an EHD 155B Clearance Form. The latter is signed by their Academic Subject Matter Advisor and indicates the candidates are ready to move into their final phase of student teaching. Clearance forms are processed by the Admission Analyst who screens for maintaining a 3.0 GPA, passing of all courses, and a current certificate of clearance. A progress letter (link) is also sent to all program candidates whose grades are lower than a “C”.
There’s also a checklist (link) at the end of the second semester to ensure that candidates have completed what is expected of them in their final phase of the program.
The Office of Clinical Practice works with the Program Coordinator to monitor candidates both semesters of their field-based experience. The adoption of the mid-semester evaluation during initial student teaching allows the office, through the university coaches, to communicate with the program coordinator any concerns that might need to be addressed before the first semester ends. This adoption of a mid-semester evaluation also occurs in the second semester of final student teaching; however, it is the Academic Subject Matter Area Advisors who communicate concerns to the Program Coordinator.
When a concern arises during coursework, program faculty are encouraged to reach out to the Program Coordinator, who in turn reaches out to the candidate. Program faculty, who must produce written documentation of the concern (e.g. copies of emails, notes from meetings, course work, etc.). If the concern is affiliated with student teaching or occurs during clinical practice, then a statement of concern and a performance contract is drawn up between the candidate, the university coach or the academic subject matter advisor, and the mentor teacher.
In order to complete the program, candidates must have successfully completed all coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA, along with their final student teaching, the Post-disposition Survey, and the Teaching Sample Project. Candidates must also have completed the correct number of clinical practice hours. Our university coaches help to monitor these hours each semester. Coaches and mentor teachers also are jointly responsible for providing support and assessing candidate competence in student teaching. To apply for their Preliminary Teaching Credential, candidates must also complete an Individual Induction Plan, submit a credential application, and complete an exit survey.
The Single Subject program uses TK20, an electronic data management system, to monitor student progress. Fully implementing this system was complicated for the Single Subject Program, as it was a complex system to learn, not to mention that the original design of the electronic portfolio within TK20 was not conducive to the Single Subject program. However, TK20 was adopted by the program in the Spring of 2020 after the redesign of the portfolio.
Candidate Tracking: Application to Completion
Cohort that entered 2019
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Cohort that entered 2020
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Cohort that entered 2021
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**Some candidates’ programs may still be in progress if they ended up taking an alternative pathway (i.e. internship)