AAQEP Accreditation 2022
Conclusion & Next Steps
The program has the capacity to ensure that its completers meet Standards 1 and 2
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, our programs have the capacity to ensure that our completers have the capacity support all students’ success and to adapt to working in a variety of contexts and grow as professionals.
Areas of Strength:
In fact, as our program faculty engaged in self-study related to the Standard 3 Aspects, they realized a number of strengths in the work our programs do, as was demonstrated in the responses to the aspects.
To begin, it is worth noting that all five preliminary credential programs highlighted here do align with the standards set forth by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, as documented by our ongoing unit-wide accreditation. Faculty within each program continue to work to ensure that the coursework and field experiences provided are aligned with the expectations set forth in their appropriate state program standards.
Additionally, faculty from all programs regularly work to provide high quality field experiences in a range of local contexts that support candidates in their development and that reflect the diversity of the region. As highlighted in the program responses, the schools in which candidates are placed for their field experiences have learners who are, overall, representative of the demographics of the region. This means that candidates have the opportunity to engage with learners in contexts very similar to the contexts in which they will begin their teaching careers. Faculty also work to ensure that fieldwork experiences are integrated with coursework so that candidates have the opportunity to apply what they are learning in a real-world setting. Candidates then have the chance to bring that learning back to the classroom and reflect on it with the support of their classmates and instructors, as demonstrated in the responses.
Across all programs, the responses to Aspect D demonstrate the ways in which programs work to establish clear admissions requirements with the goal of providing equitable access to all interested students. And in fact, the analysis of the demographics of candidates enrolled in our programs highlights the diversity of candidates who ultimately enroll in and complete our programs. Given the diverse range of cultural backgrounds of students in our region--students our completers serve in their roles as educational professionals--we see this finding as particularly noteworthy.
Once candidates are admitted, programs then employ a number of support systems to ensure all candidates are successful in completing the program, while still maintaining a high level of rigor. In fact, one of the findings from the audit processes was the way in which support staff--including faculty members, advisors, the admissions analyst, and the credential analyst--work together to support candidates through their appropriate programs. Additionally, findings from the internal audit conducted by the Bilingual Authorization Program highlighted the advising program faculty provided to candidates to ensure their success. These findings demonstrate our faculty’s ongoing commitment to ensure that all candidates are successful.
Finally, the responses to Standard 3 also document the strong institutional commitment Fresno State has to our preliminary credential programs and our candidates as a whole. To begin, each program documented the high qualifications of our faculty, who represent a wide range of cultural backgrounds and who bring with them a wealth of experiences. As documented, the majority of our faculty have experience serving in the roles they are now preparing candidates for. As a requirement, our program faculty must have experience as K-12 educators. Additionally, on an institutional level, Fresno State provides our students and our faculty with a wide range of resources to help ensure their ongoing success. Recent shifts to the Teacher Education Program as a whole, including the creation of the Office of Clinical Practice to oversee field placements and the creation of the Assistant Director of Teacher Education position, demonstrate the institution’s ongoing commitment to the work we do.
Areas for Growth:
While we believe that much of the work program faculty did in presenting the findings of their analyses in response to Standard 3 allowed us to document the overall strengths of the work we do, engaging in the self-study process also allowed us to uncover particular areas where growth is needed.
A primary take-away from our work on Standard 3 was the need to be more strategic in our efforts to link recruitment to admissions to enrollment to completion. One of our biggest findings was that programs do not record who attends recruitment events. Lack of data collection at these events is critical because we have no way of tracking whether or not the events are successful in assisting with recruitment efforts. As an educational unit, we are currently working with our Communications Coordinator to create a system that will allow us to more strategically collect data at recruitment events and then track who from each event applies, is admitted, and enrolls in our programs. At the program level, we then want to analyze this dataset on an annual basis in order to be more strategic in our recruitment efforts.
Related to this, while we do pride ourselves on the diversity of candidates we enroll, we would like to examine more closely sub-groups not represented in data collection in an effort to ensure that our programs truly are representative of the students in our region. Moving forward, each program intends to engage in more focused analysis of the demographics of who is admitted. In cases where the demographics are not representative of the region as a whole, the program will work to plan more strategic recruitment events to bring in candidates from unrepresented backgrounds. In particular, while our programs enroll a large number of candidates who identify as Latinx, the number of candidates who identify as black is very low. This is clearly an area where our programs need to consider more focused recruitment efforts. Additionally, our region is home to a large population of Southeast Asian individuals. While we do make an effort to recruit candidates who identify as Southeast Asian, including through our Hmong Bilingual Authorization Pathway, this is still an area where we could target additional recruitment efforts.
In response to Aspect C, our programs were able to document many ongoing partnerships with local schools and districts. However, within most of these partnerships, data has not been shared and analyzed in strategic ways--either from the program to partners about program practices or from partners to the programs about completer performance once they are in the classroom. Moving forward, each program articulated the goal to either establish an advisory board or to become more strategic in developing a true collaborative relationship with current partners.
Another key finding of all programs was the value of engaging in the internal audit as a way to evaluate the work of the program. Again, this was the first time programs had undertaken this process, and it led to authentic findings about where programs were excelling and where they might be able to do more to better support candidates. Moving forward, programs intend to formalize their processes and engage in an audit on an annual basis, with a plan to review findings at program meetings. These findings can then be used to support ongoing continuous improvement into program practices.
Finally, preparing the responses to Standard 3 allowed programs to realize their need to investigate the reliability, validity, trustworthiness, and fairness of the instruments they use throughout their programs on an ongoing basis. In future years, program faculty will continue to engage in these investigations, working together to evaluate tools such as surveys or focus group protocols and analyze student work in response to key assignments across different sections of courses. As a unit, we intend to support these efforts by making this a focus of future Data Summits.
Standard 3: Quality Program Practices Program Next Steps