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AAQEP Accreditation 2022

Standard 3

Conclusion and Next Steps

Looking across the findings from the self-study conducted by the preliminary administrative services, reading/literacy specialist, school counseling, and school nursing 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 four advanced 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. In doing so, faculty 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. They 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. Site-based supervisors are also critical to this process. As highlighted in their responses, faculty from both School Nursing and School Counseling have created orientations for site-based supervisors to ensure they have the necessary knowledge to carry out their role as supervisors and to open the door for ongoing communication and collaboration. 

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 highlighted 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, as highlighted by the School Nursing Program through their internal audit, faculty work with candidates to revise timelines or to provide additional support when unexpected challenges arise for candidates. Similarly, the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential responses highlighted that program faculty meet one-on-one with candidates who do not pass a portion of the CalAPA to provide them with the necessary support to ensure that the candidates do pass. Findings from the internal audits conducted by both School Counseling and Reading/Literacy Specialist program faculty also documented reports from students who discussed how faculty had supported them to be successful in their programs. 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 advanced credential programs and our students 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. This is especially true with faculty in our Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program and our School Nursing program. Other faculty continue to engage in research directly related to the programs in which they teach, as is the case with faculty in the Reading/Literacy Specialist program and the School Nursing program. 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.

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 know that we could be doing more to ensure that our programs truly are representative of the students in our region. Moving forward, each program intends to do a 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. One program for which this will be more challenging is School Nursing, as individuals who apply to the program are already employed as school nurses in schools and districts across the state. Still, the program will begin to do more targeted recruiting within Fresno State’s undergraduate nursing program to help potential applicants see school nursing as a viable option.

One of the primary ways that our advanced credential programs can begin to increase their recruitment efforts is through targeted work with partners. Across all four programs and the educational unit as a whole, a primary finding was the need to be more strategic in developing partnerships and then in using those partnerships to improve program practices. For some programs, like the Reading/Literacy Specialist and School Counseling programs, the first step is to develop an advisory board and to begin to hold regular meetings. In all cases, programs realized that they could be doing more to involve their strategic partners in informing the work of the program. Future plans include the sharing and analysis of data and seeking feedback on program practices. Overall, the goal is to build more collaborative partnerships where both sides see the relationship as mutually beneficial. 

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 this process on an annual basis, with a plan to review findings from the audit 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

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Formalize general and partnership recruitment efforts and implementation.  Based on the findings from analyses of Standard 3 evidence, increased attention to both general and partnership candidate recruitment is needed to increase enrollment. By end of 22-23 academic year:
General Recruitment:
  • Add an interest tab on the program website which takes prospective candidates to an interest survey to collect contact information and how they learned about the program
  • Contact the prospective student via phone call or email to provide a program overview, answer questions, provide application information, and support and/or direct to information sessions. 
  • Work with Kremen communication specialist monthly to maintain updated program website and plan social media campaigns.
  • Communicate and provide online and face-to-face orientation options for potential candidate recruits (Fall, Spring and Summer).
  • Begin Spring 2022 for recruitment for online cohort.
Partnership Recruitment: 
  • Coordinator will work with district liaison to set up partnership recruitment opportunities (i.e., special flyer, speaking to an administrator group) to suggest a program for teacher and support provider leaders, and hold special information session(s) at designated partnership location. 
  • Fall 2021: Begin recruitment for recruitment for Spring 2022 Sanger and Visalia Cohorts. 
Develop and utilize a candidate centralized database.  Based on the process of the internal audit within Standard 3, centralized datasets are needed in order to effectively monitor candidate program progress and experiences from recruitment through to completion.  By end of 22-23 academic year:
  • Develop, maintain and use a central program database to monitor the following steps for ongoing internal audit:
    • Recruitment: where, when, and how?
    • Admissions: What process and criteria were used?
    • Advising: Expectations for advancing through the program?
    • Monitoring: What criteria were used to monitor along the way? (Sample courses and/or benchmarks)
    • Final Site-Based Mentor and District Placement: Were criteria met? How? (Include sample of placements, partnerships, supervisors)
Develop a centralized location for candidate in-program communication by cohort.  Evidence in Standard 3 suggests that the program can improve communication of candidate timelines, important dates, and progress monitoring using a centralized format by cohort. By end of 22-23 academic year
  • Developed cohort Canvas organizations for centralized communication, reminders, and progress monitoring in one location. 
  • Provide Canvas organizations access to all cohort students and faculty to 
  • Communicate program updates and progress monitoring needs through the Canvas organizations each semester as appropriate.

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Establish a program advisory board that will meet 1/semester and will include:
  • two program completers who are local teachers (one K-3 and one 4-8)
  • a local district principal or assistant principal
  • a language arts director or administrator
  • a representative from the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project
  • a representative from the California Reading & Literature project
  • the Reading/Literacy program coordinator or program representative
Though members of the program are actively engaged with local educators, there is no advisory board with the explicit focus of informing program practices. Fall 2021: 
  • Discuss possible board members in program meeting
  • Begin to recruit potential advisory board members
Spring 2022:
  • Hold first advisory board meeting (discuss program goals, share program data, get feedback from stakeholders on program)
Fall 2022-onward:
  • Hold advisory board meetings each semester (discuss program goals, share program data, get feedback from stakeholders on program)
Review Comprehensive Exam and determine validity of use for program goals and objectives Comments from program completers who participated in internal audit 2021-2022: 
  • Program faculty will begin discussions about use of comprehensive exam and consider exploring other options
  • If program faculty decide to pursue other options, those options will begin to be developed and field tested

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Strengthen admissions decision-making process by incorporating an Admissions Rubric to evaluate students based on academic background, personal background and dispositions, counseling commitment, and tenets valued by our program (commitment to diversity, social justice, and advocacy especially within K-12 school settings)  While engaging in analysis for Standard 3d, we realized that we did not have a standardized process of evaluating applicants to ensure that all admitted candidates have the professional background, educational aspirations, and life’s vision aligns with our program’s focus on social justice, advocacy, and use of counseling skills to promote K-12 students’ academic success, socio-emotional wellbeing, and career development.   Summer 2021:
Spring 2022:
  • Pilot Admissions Rubric with fall 2022 cohort admissions
Summer-Fall 2022:
  • Analyze results of Admissions Rubric and reflect on process
  • Make necessary revisions
Collecting feedback from site supervisors after they completing the site supervisor training as a way to improve training offered and further strengthen partnerships with site supervisors While we continually work to revise our courses to align with accrediting bodies and changes in the field, we realized we need to strengthen our efforts in communicating these important revisions and student expectations with site supervisors. 
We began a site supervisor training after appointing an Internship Coordinator in Spring 2021, but we have not started collecting site supervisor feedback after the training. 
Fall 2021: 
  • Develop a survey to elicit feedback about program from site supervisors at completion of training 
Spring 2022: 
  • Administer the survey to site supervisors who participate in training
  • Administer survey to advisory board members 
Fall 2022: 
  • Analyze survey responses 
  • Revise the site supervisor training based on feedback
  • Continue to engage in this cycle of continuous improvement of site supervisors training presentation(s) and meetings.
To enhance our effective quality assurance system, program faculty will improve the internal audit system.  The first internal audit was an attempt to assess the program for this report. The process lacked quantitative data to validate qualitative findings.  Fall 2021:
  • Review internal audit system used for QAR to identify weak areas
Fall 2021-Spring 2022:
  • Develop new tools to aid in data collection about program
Spring 2022:
  • Pilot new tools
To improve communication with stakeholders, program faculty will host an advisory board members yearly While the program does a great job communicating with multiple stakeholders, there seems to be a need for a regular meeting to share and explore ideas and solutions Fall 2021: 
  • Discuss possible board members in program meeting
  • Begin to recruit potential advisory board members
Spring 2022:
  • Hold first advisory board meeting (discuss program goals, share program data, get feedback from stakeholders on program)
Fall 2022-onward:
  • Hold advisory board meetings each semester (discuss program goals, share program data, get feedback from stakeholders on program)

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Formalize faculty focus meetings to review curriculum and program effectiveness Although the faculty meet frequently, we do not have a formalized process. Fall 2021
  • Calendar regular meetings with faculty
  • Create formalized agendas for meetings
Devise formal system to collect demographic data for recruitment/visibility of program Currently demographic data is not collected. Spring 2022
  • Add demographics to Candidate End of Program Survey
Review prerequisites to simplify program application and entry.  Reduce needed units for program completion. Program meets CCTC standards without counseling coursework. Fall 2021
  • Petition Graduate committee/SON/CSUF to reduce counseling coursework
Spring 2022
  • Revise application requirements
  • Pilot for Cohort 2022 application
Affiliation agreement needs simplification and to be streamlined Affiliation agreements need to be online and a seamless process. 
Timelines are too long for completion.
Currently the process is outside the program's control.
  • Speak with the School of Nursing and Procurement department to see what improvements can be made. 
  • Create a plan to streamline process