AAQEP Accreditation 2022
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