Standard 4

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 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 how faculty are actively engaged in the local community in ways that directly relate to their programs. For example, members of the School Counseling program faculty serve on a  number of regional boards, allowing them to interact with local school counselors. Dr. Jessica Hannigan from the Preliminary Administrative Services credential regularly connects with superintendents of major districts in our region. Dr. Juliet Wahleithner, from the Reading/Literacy program, serves as the director of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project, connecting her with regional P12 educators on a regular basis. And Professors Barbara Miller and Patricia Gomes from the School Nursing program are actively engaged in the regional School Health Advisory Panel, in collaboration with Valley Children’s Hospital. Through all of these collaborations, faculty 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.

Another strength demonstrated in the responses to the Standard 4 aspects is the work our advanced credential 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 particular, the demographics of recent completers from the School Counseling program very nearly align with students in our local P-12 schools. The fact that the data represented are from our completers also highlights that our programs actively work to support all enrolled candidates so that they will go on to be successful educators in our region. We do recognize that we have additional work to do to continue to recruit candidates from all backgrounds, particularly those identifying as African American and particularly in the Reading/Literacy and School Nursing programs. But we believe strongly that we have a solid foundation in place on which to continue to build. 

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 work, 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 work our faculty do 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 advanced 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 continuing to work 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, we intend to create a system to collect data from our completers that allows us to learn more specifically about where they are placed 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 that 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 advanced credential candidates are facing in their new roles, our intent is to be able to provide 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. 

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 3: Quality Program Practices Program Next Steps

Preliminary Admin Services Credential

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Continue to develop structure for data partnership with Fresno and Madera Counties and work to expand county Clear Administrative Service Credential (CASC) partnerships to include both Tulare and Kings.  Standard 4 evidence indicates that data partnerships are needed in order to understand and monitor progress of service area PASC completers in the field.

By end of 22-23 academic year:

  • Obtain data on the CASC participants in those regions who are completers of the FS PASC program and contact information for continued alumni engagement. 
  • Monitor progress of FS PASC completers in CASC program.
  • Create system to effectively log FS PASC completers who have been hired in an administrator position and where hired.
  Data from Standard 4 highlights the need to develop new and re-establish previous district partnerships that are inclusive of a mutual agreement toward working together to support  school administrator candidate success. 

By end of 22-23 academic year: 

  • Develop a common definition of district and university partnership. 
    Set formal meetings with university program leadership and potential district partner leadership. 
  • Develop a memorandum of understanding between district and university for the established partnership. 
  • Develop a partnership specific candidate recruitment plan. 
  • Set up follow-up dates for progress monitoring partnership agreements and student success. 
    Improve communication structures to inform superintendents of who are enrolled in the program from each district and what project/research topics they are working on.
Develop and establish online cohort option. As a result of evidence collected and analyzed in STandard 4, a need surfaced to meet the rural and mountain schools’ needs as well as provide an option for candidates who prefer this mode of instruction.

By end of 22-23 academic year:

  • Obtain university approval for online instruction following APM 206 policy in Spring 2022 (Courses to include 261, 262, 263, 273).
  • Recruit for Fall 2022 online cohort during Spring and Summer of 2022

Reading/Literacy Specialist

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Meet with Advisory Board to learn about how the program can better support the needs of teachers and students in local schools While the work the program has done aligns with CCTC standards for literacy professionals, little effort has been made to ensure that the ways in which completers are prepared also align with the needs of local communities 2021-2022:
  • Recruit for and convene advisory board (see Standard 3 next steps)
  • During meeting and in follow-up, work with advisory board members to determine specific strengths and challenge areas of program graduates and of educators in the region
Expand recruitment efforts to ensure candidates reflect needs of local schools To date, recruitment efforts have been general and not targeted towards educators who work in any specific regions or with any specific populations Fall 2021:
  • Determine specific schools or regions to begin to target recruitment efforts based on conversations with advisory board members and analysis of local data
Spring 2022:
  • Create plan to actively recruit candidates from those areas
  • Implement recruitment plan

School Counseling

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Strengthen our support for program completers by creating an event that is dedicated to supporting alumni and helping them build a strong sense of community and achieve consistent professional development.  We do not have a method of assessing the effectiveness of the numerous methods of completer support we engage in. Some current support systems include connecting with our alumni as present site supervisors for students pursuing internship at their sites, inviting alumni as guest-speakers, engaging in mentoring sessions with alumni to help them prepare for future interviews and doctoral program, co-authoring on publications and presentations, and engaging alumni as our adjunct faculty and consistently seeking their feedback and suggestions to strengthen the program. But we do not have a special event dedicated to inviting program completers and supporting them with their professional success.  Fall 2021: 
  • Collaborate with CSI and other student organizations to discuss potential events dedicated to supporting alumni. 
Spring 2022: 
  • Revise existing program completers survey to include their feedback on school counseling program and gather insights on how they would like to be supported after graduation. 
  • Administer revised survey
Fall 2022: 
  • Hold an event in which we invite alumni to share their expertise areas with current students and further engage with school counseling faculty in seeking any resources or encouragement they might be looking for. 

School Nursing

Action to Take Rationale for Action Steps w/ Proposed Timeline
Alignment needs strengthening with Kremen programs and assistance. Partner with Kremen to improve program visibility and development of End of the Program Survey/Collection of program effectiveness 2021-2022
  • Kremen will schedule meetings with our program
  • Make an effort to attend all meetings and stay connected with Kremen
Current SNSC program not aligned with Masters Program in Nursing/Leadership Begin formal process to develop an aligned Masters track for SN credential candidates for future professional options 2021-2023
  • Meet with School of Nursing to determine necessary steps to establish a Masters in School Nursing program
  • Begin process of establishing program with goal of admitting first cohort in Fall 2023
Develop an End of the Program candidate focus group. While preparing QAR responses, we realized we would benefit from holding an annual focus group discussion with program completers to learn gather their feedback on the program  Fall 2021:
  • As a program faculty, create a completer focus group protocol
Spring 2022:
  • Hold focus group discussion
  • Analyze data collected
Annually:
  • Continue to hold annual focus group discussions