Standard 4: Aspect D
The program is committed to and invests in strengthening and improving the education profession and the P-20 education system. Each program’s context (or multiple contexts) provides particular opportunities to engage the field’s shared challenges and to foster and support innovation. Engagement with critical issues is essential and must be contextualized. Sharing results of contextualized engagement and innovation supports the field’s collective effort to address education’s most pressing challenges through improvement and innovation.
Description of program use of available data on completer placement, effectiveness,
The Education Specialist program uses a number of sources to evaluate completer and employer assessment of our programs. Since the CSU system administers surveys to both and has done over a number of years, the survey results have been key to our understanding of completer and employer assessment of the readiness and efficacy of our completers. As we’ve engaged with the AAQEP Standards, however, we identified that there were a number of aspects not addressed through the CSU surveys. As a result, we created an internal completer survey which we’ve administered three times over the last year. This survey has provided us with additional information to consider in our review of our program, yielding insights into areas that need to be addressed. The timing has been especially relevant since we are currently redesigning our program in response to changing CTC expectations. As we move forward, we have several plans to develop and refine additional surveys to augment and complement the information we already have been gathering.
CSU Educator Quality Center Program Completer Survey
Type of Data: Completers’ responses to survey questions about the program’s preparation of candidates
How to use data to inform program practices: The data collected from the CSU Educator Quality Center Completer Survey from the previous three years provided the program with a ‘snapshot’ of candidates’ perceptions of program preparation, based on the survey questions asked. The data were analyzed by year to determine trends over time. We looked at the questions asked of completers and selected fewer, focused questions to analyze across time. See recent data collected here on selected survey items. What we saw was that many survey items targeted the Multiple and Single Subject Program standards and academic language, and did not include terminology and standards from special education. That may have influenced our completers’ responses in several questions, so we will incorporate more language from those programs more frequently in our courses across all three phases. We will continue to analyze the results of this survey in program faculty meetings.
Fresno State ES Program Survey of Candidates, Completers and Alumni
Data Source:Program survey
Type of Data: A fifteen-item Likert survey, based on the overarching themes in the Education Specialist standards and practices, was developed by the Fresno State Special Education Program faculty and distributed to all current candidates and program completers at the end of each semester. Candidates and completers were asked to rate, on a four-point Likert rating scale, the extent to which they would like, or would have liked more information on specific areas of focus in special education, as well as the extent to which they use professional practices. The response choices included:
- 1= none
- 2= a little
- 3= somewhat
- 4= a lot
How data informed program practices: The eight professional practice responses were disaggregated into groups: current candidates, completers in that semester, and alumni. Data were analyzed and compared to gather information on completers’ and alumni perceptions of their own professional practices. The data were discussed at a program meeting to determine possible focus areas for program improvement. We also compared the program survey data to the CSU Exit Survey data, however, there was little crossover between the two surveys.
Based on what we learned from this data, the program will consider the following actions:
- Create a separate survey for alumni with additional or different items.
- Refine the vocabulary in the items to more closely align with vocabulary used in our profession
- Add examples of each professional practice to the questions
- Collaborate with the Alumni Association to distribute the survey to a wider range of alumni
- Develop a social media website in 2021-2022 for our program completers and alumni
to join. They can share information with one another and faculty, who can invite participants
to engage in focus groups and a longitudinal study.
Employer Survey (planned)
Data Source: Survey
Type of Data: Responses to survey items
How intend to use data to inform program practices:
The Special Education Program has historically experienced much turnover in tenure/tenure track faculty and program coordinators due to resignations and retirements. At the same time, the number of teacher candidates in our traditional cohorts increased dramatically. In addition, two special education teacher residencies started as a result of state service grant funding to districts. These factors and opportunities have delayed our plans to develop systems to collect data each semester. Further, we were unable to to develop a survey of the employers of our completers/alumni. By the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, we will have developed an employer survey to distribute every semester. The data collected will be discussed in program meetings to inform our practice and shared in future program advisory board meetings.
Program Improvement Survey (planned)
Data Source: Partner Districts
Type of Data: Responses to survey questions
How intend to use data to inform program practices:
High turnover of permanent faculty, increasing numbers of candidates who are admitted to the program and the opening of two special education teacher residencies have delayed our plans to establish regular communication with our partner districts. By the end of the 2022-2023 academic year, we plan to have developed a survey to gather input from our partner districts regarding strengths and areas of improvement in our program--and also completer placement, effectiveness, and retention in the profession. The data collected will be discussed in program meetings for continuous improvement and to inform our practice, as well as to identify areas of needed support for our candidates.