Standard 4

Conclusion & Next Steps

Program practices strengthen the P-20 education system in light of local needs and in keeping with the program’s mission.

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 program engages in work to strengthen the P-20 education system in light of local needs and in keeping with the program’s mission.

Areas of Strength:
Findings from the responses to the Standard 4 aspects helped program faculty to realize a number of areas in which our programs excel. We view these as strengths on which our programs can build as we move forward.

In particular, all programs highlighted the ongoing collaborations they have with local schools and districts, as also highlighted in Standard 3 responses. These collaborations begin with the bi-annual President’s Commission on Teacher Education, which has been in place for over 10 years and brings together campus leaders, including the Fresno State president, and P-12 leaders to have conversations in order to support education in our region. Our ongoing collaborations are also evident from the multiple residency partnerships our Multiple Subject program has with local school districts, in addition to the Education Specialist residency programs and the Bilingual Authorization residency program. Developing residencies like these takes careful and thoughtful collaboration on both the part of our programs and their district partners. Additionally, the faculty who teach in these residency programs are able to stay grounded in day-to-day experiences of educators and to develop firsthand knowledge of challenges in our region. They are then able to bring that knowledge back to their programs to inform their instruction and the overall program practices. In this way, they are working to address challenges in our regional P20 system. 

Our Agriculture Specialist program also maintains strong partnerships with both agriculture educators throughout the state and the statewide network of agriculture educators. Again, the knowledge gleaned by program faculty from the collaborations afforded by these partnerships only strengthens the program for our Agriculture Specialist candidates.

Another strength demonstrated in the responses to the Standard 4 aspects is the work our programs do to recruit diverse candidates who are, overall, representative demographically of the P-20 system and who seek to return to the local region to serve students and communities. In all programs except the Agriculture Specialist, the majority of our candidates identify as Latinx. Data from the Agriculture Specialist Program indicate that the number of Latinx candidates enrolled is continuing to increase, and the program is making a concerted effort to support ongoing increases. We do recognize that we have additional work to do to continue to recruit candidates from all backgrounds, particularly those identifying as African American. Still, given that the vast majority of our candidates return to the local region to begin their teaching careers, we are proud of the fact that we are preparing educators who are representative of the diversity in our area. 

Within the responses to Aspect E, our programs were also able to highlight their long history of being accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Maintaining these accreditations requires ongoing attention to shifts in state-level policies, including changes in specific program standards, as the state continually works to better prepare all educators to serve the needs of students within the state. Once shifts occur, program faculty then act, first, to ensure the work they are doing with programs aligns with those shifts, and then to document that alignment. As an educational unit, we take pride in the efforts of our faculty to stay on top of these shifts and to continue to prepare educators who are equipped to meet the educational needs of our region and state.

Finally, in the work they do, our programs absolutely reflect the mission of our university and our school. The university mission is “to boldly educate and empower students for success,” while the vision is that students will be prepared to become our next generation of leaders. Similarly, the Kremen School of Education and Human Development's mission is the recruitment and development of ethically informed leaders for classroom teaching, education administration, counseling, and higher education. As documented throughout this QAR, we absolutely believe that our programs carry out both missions and the university’s vision as we actively recruit and prepare our initial/basic credential candidates to take on leadership roles in the P20 education system of the region and state.

Areas for Growth:
After reflecting on the areas identified within Standard 4, we believe that our areas for growth fall primarily in two areas.

The first area we believe we need to focus on is being more strategic in our use of advisory boards, as we also discussed in our response to Standard 3. As we highlighted above, faculty across the educational unit are engaged in numerous community organizations and do make an effort to use what they learn to inform program practices. But we believe that we can leverage those collaborative relationships to bring more focused outside attention to the work we are doing within our programs. Within the next year, each program aims to develop more strategic collaborations with P12 partners that will include joint data sharing and analysis--us sharing programmatic data with them and inviting their insights and them sharing data with us to gather our insights and to inform the work we do. We believe that developing these types of partnerships are critical to our ongoing success.

The other area that we need to continue to develop is in supporting our completers’ entry into their professional role and continue to collaborate with them to provide ongoing professional development. In preparing our responses to Standard 4, we realized that we actually do very little to track our completers after they leave our programs, let alone to support them as they make this transition. As we move forward, our first steps will be to create a system to collect data from our completers that allows us to learn more specifically about where they are employed when they leave our program and then to follow up with them to learn about successes and challenges they experience in those placements. We envision this beginning with our internal survey that we administer to completers at the time they leave our programs that will collect contact information along with details about their places of employment. Beyond that, we intend to follow up with them on an annual basis in order to continually update our database. Within the next year, we intend to pilot these instruments to see how effective they are in gathering the data we are seeking. Once we do so, we will evaluate their effectiveness and then make any necessary revisions in order to ensure that we gather the information that is most meaningful to us. That said, our hope is that this process will be mutually beneficial for both us and our completers. As we learn about particular challenges our completers are facing in their new roles, our intent is to be able to provide ongoing professional development opportunities to address these challenges, while also making changes to our program practices so that future completers will not face the same challenges. Long term, we hope that our completers will go on to serve as mentor teachers and even coaches for candidates in our programs.

As with everything, we view both our need to strengthen and be more strategic in our P12 collaborations and our need to better support our completers as part of our ongoing engagement in continuous improvement. We recognize that, if we continue to ensure that boldly educating and empowering our candidates to become the next generation of ethically informed leaders in our region and our state, we must continue to investigate the work we are doing and look for ways to continue to grow and improve.

Standard 4: Program Engagement in System Improvement Program Next Steps

Multiple Subject

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/Proposed Timeline
Measure health of partnership collaboratives Data from Standard 4A suggests that  maintaining partnership relationships with districts is time intensive and challenging. It is easy to lose sight of the importance of ongoing regular meetings, perhaps in different stakeholder configurations for different purposes. 

Spring 2022: 

  • Review different data collection tools that measure partnership collaboration and make decisions about which to implement

Spring-Fall 2022:

  • Collect data from partners
  • Analyze results and make changes based on findings
  • Evaluate tool and make any revisions

Ongoing:

  • Continue process of collecting and analyzing data
Collaborate with Fresno County Superintendent of Schools and Central Unified in the development of a Black Teacher Pipeline.  Data from Standard 4B indicates that we must also address the educator diversity gap specific to our local Black Tk-6 student populations.

Fall 2021

  • Hold an initial meeting with the FCSS coordinator of the Black Teacher Pipeline in order to build relationships and map on goals for the next 18 months. 
Recognition for program completers who become mentor teachers; develop a space on the website to share good news. Reflecting on how we currently support program completers for Standard 4C led us to realize that we need to do more to honor the good work many of our program graduates are already doing to lead in our region and prepare future teachers. 

Spring 2022

  • Provide mentor teachers with a certificate and small token of appreciation. Spring Set up the website to have a form where program completers can submit good news
  • Work with district partners and the Office of Clinical Practice to communicate with our program completers the opportunity to share good news. 

Bilingual Authorization

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/Proposed Timeline
Support program completers  This will be the first time that the BAP will reach out to program graduates who are in the profession for 1+ years. It is important for the program coordinator to maintain a culture of community among new, current, and alumni so structures to maintain support for alumni is a priority.  During the 2021-2022 academic year, program advisory board will begin brainstorming and creating methods to support program alumni. 

Single Subject

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/Proposed Timeline
Work with the Academic Subject Matter Area Departments to increase our lowest Single Subject Teacher Credential minority demographic categories. The data from Standard 4B showed that the credential candidates within the Single Subject Teacher Credential Program are primarily Caucasian. The Single Subject Coordinator will work with all the Academic Subject Matter Area Departments to focus on our under-represented minority groups in each of the academic subject matter areas (Fall 2021).
Establish a Single Subject Conglomerate Representative Committee The data from Standard 4A demonstrated minimal to no “external” stakeholders participation in data improvement discussions of the Single Subject Teacher Credential Program
  • Discuss possible board members from each of 7-12 school districts partners and/or junior college groups with the current SS Advisory group, SS Program Faculty, and SS Caches (Fall 2021).
  • Invite the identified members to the first SS Conglomerate Representative Committee (Spring 2022). 
  • Continue to hold these committee meetings semi-annually to discuss SS program improvement
Institute a Single Subject (SS) Teacher Credential Program Summit for our SS Program Completers The data from Standard 4C shows that the SS program does not have a platform for inviting Single Subject Program Completers to return as SS Credential Teacher Program Alumni.
  • Work with the SS Program Faculty to host an Annual Single Subject Program Completer Summit (theme, key-note speaker, breakout sessions) (Fall 2021).
  • Apply for IRA funds in October (2021) to host the event in the Spring of 2022.

Agriculture Specialist

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/Proposed Timeline
Review and revise the Agricultural Education Student Outcomes Assessment Plan (SOAP). Because our university-approved SOAP includes many of the data sources documented in this review, changes in our data sources and data analysis will need to become part of our SOAP.
  • During 2022 we will begin work on SOAP revisions and aligning our document with the data sources we will be using for the accreditation process. 
  • We will begin making adjustments to the SOAP during 2023 and have alignment completed in 2024.
Identify opportunities and develop strategies to recruit a more diverse student population. Although the Fresno State student population is very diverse, the JCAST student body and the Agricultural Education students are primarily white. The challenge for us is to develop strategies to recruit students from minority groups that have a negative perception of agricultural occupations.
  • We will work through our JCAST Ambassador program to increase the focus on recruiting minority students into our Agricultural Education undergraduate program. Efforts will begin in 2022-23 to develop strategies and seek opportunities for recruiting minority students. 
  • We will identify influential minority students in our undergraduate program and advise/mentor them to increase their participation in our outreach program and in conducting our recruitment efforts. 
  • This work will begin during the 2022-2023 academic year with the goal of increasing minority enrollment by 2024-2025.
Engage the Agricultural Education Advisory Committee in reviewing and updating the program completer and employer follow-up surveys. Our current practice has been for faculty to review our surveys before they are distributed to our graduates and their employers. We believe changes are now needed to upgrade our questionnaire. Involving our advisory committee in making these revisions will improve validity of the surveys.
  • We plan to continue to conduct these surveys every five years. 
  • Faculty will review our recent survey questionnaires and begin the revision process. This item will be added to our advisory committee agenda for our 2021-22 meeting for them to review the questionnaires and to help us determine the process and procedures for making major changes in the survey questions. We will also seek their input regarding how often the surveys should be conducted and any other recommendations they may have for obtaining this data.

Education Specialist

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/Proposed Timeline
New program with deeper focus on social justice issues in the area of special education. i.e., over identification of minority and marginalized groups in special education Reviewing the current syllabi of current Education Specialist program, and the requirements of the new (CCTC) program standards, as well as the demographic data of schools in the region of students in special education programs highlights a deeper focus on social justice using current research is needed.

Fall 2021: 

  • New program outline delivered to CCTE 

Spring 2022: 

  • Review of program by CCTE and Fresno State faculty and staff

Fall 2022: 

  • New program goes into effect, with revisions as necessary
Recruiting a diverse pool of candidates to reflect students in local P-12 system Looking at demographic data points to our candidates being overly represented as white, mono lingual students without identified disabilities. This is not reflective our local school districts

Spring 2022: 

  • Resources toward a dedicated faculty or staff member toward recruiting and outreach programs
Completer follow up, placement, retention The survey data currently existing from EdQ and Fresno State does not break out Education Specialist information

Fall 2021:

  • Begin working with Fresno State and Educator Quality Center to change surveys and completer data to break out Education Specialists