AAQEP Accreditation 2022
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 Administrative Services Credential||