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CCTC Accreditation 2022

Standard 2

Candidate Recruitment and Support

Candidates are recruited and supported in all educator preparation programs to ensure their success.

(2.1) The education unit accepts applicants for its educator preparation programs based on clear criteria that include multiple measures of candidate qualifications.

On the Kremen website, potential applicants access information about all preliminary credential programs. From the main page, potential applicants are able to access the specific requirements of each program, including the application details. 

If/when the PK-3 Credential program is approved, the page will include the specific application requirements for admission to this program, which are included here.

As documented here, candidates to all preliminary credential programs must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited university or 90 units towards a blended Liberal Studies degree or integrated program from Fresno State.
  • A GPA of 2.67 or higher overall or 2.75 or higher in the last 60 units.

Additionally, applicants must provide the following:

  • Demonstration of meeting the Basic Skills requirement (except for PK-3 credential applicants)
  • Demonstration of meeting Subject Matter Competency
  • Certificate of Clearance
  • Pre-Program Field Experience
  • Two completed recommendation forms
  • Complete Admission Interview
  • Personal Narrative
  • TB Risk Assessment
  • Mandated Reporter Certificate
  • Signed Program-Specific Advising Sheet
  • Signed Candidate Commitment
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Verification of meeting the US Constitution Requirement

Once applicants apply to the PK3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction credential program, this google survey will be used by the credential admissions analyst as the checklist for the application/admission process. This survey is based off the checklist used for other Fresno State Teacher Credential programs. (Response to First Review)

(2.2) The education unit purposefully recruits and admits candidates to diversify the educator pool in California and provides the support, advice, and assistance to promote their successful entry and retention in the profession. 

The Kremen School of Education and Human Development has developed multiple structures to support and retain candidates from diverse backgrounds in an effort to diversify the educator pool in California. Across all programs, efforts are made to recruit individuals who represent the diverse student populations served in our region. Worth noting is that Fresno State serves a population of students that largely comes from the region which we serve and thereby reflects the region’s diversity: Over 60% of our students are first-generation college students and over 53% identify as Latinx. Within our Preliminary Credential Programs, over two-thirds of our candidates identify as a race/ethnicity other than white.

In recent years, our Liberal Studies program has developed a number of initiatives to support the pathway from undergraduate into and through the credential program. The program has worked to develop cohorts of students who take all of their upper-division courses together and complete the program requirements--including MS program prerequisites--within two years. From there, they are equipped with both the academic knowledge and the support network to enter the MS credential program. Additionally, the Liberal Studies program has developed the Integrated Teacher Education Program, in partnership with College of the Sequoias, to create a two-year integrated Bachelor’s and Multiple Subject credential program available to students transferring into the university. 

Two additional efforts come in the form of targeted residency programs for Multiple Subject candidates. Both of these also provide stipends to candidates to offset their expenses during the credential year.

The Madera Residency Program includes the opportunity to earn both a Multiple Subject credential and a Bilingual Authorization in Spanish, with the goal of supporting more educators who are multilingual in earning their bilingual authorization to expand the number of dual language immersion classrooms. The candidates enrolled within this program all identify at Latina.
The Rural Residency Program, a collaboration of four rural districts, specifically targets individuals who are interested in teaching in a rural context. The majority of the candidates within the Rural Residency also identify as Latina. Additionally, many are from rural districts and have the desire to return to the communities where they live to educate the next generation of children.
Although the PK3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction program is not currently offering a residency option, we hope that this will be a possibility in the future. We know that the stipends offered by residencies help to offset the costs associated with completing a credential, which is often a barrier for first-generation students. We also know that the support provided through the residency model leads to higher levels of retention in the profession.

Program-Specific Recruitment Efforts:

The proposed PK3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction program has developed multiple recruitment materials and engaged in numerous recruitment efforts in order to advertise the proposed program. In particular, the program is targeting existing early childhood education professionals who will be potentially displaced by the creation of universal TK.

The program has shared flyers advertising information sessions about the proposed program with current Fresno State Liberal Studies and Child Development undergraduates and with early childhood education partners throughout the region. At the information sessions, information is presented about the proposed PK3 program through this slideshow. At the end of the information session, attendees complete a survey where they provide details about their background and indicate if they would like to receive additional advising. Program advisers then review the responses and meet one-on-one with those individuals who indicated they have specific questions or would like additional advising. 

Currently, program advisers are visiting undergraduate courses in both the Child and Family Studies department and in the Liberal Studies department to advertise the program. Liberal Studies students are encouraged to consider the PK-3 ECE Specialist credential, and will receive advising on how to ensure they complete the 24 units of early childhood coursework while undergraduates. 

Additionally, our ECE faculty have been working to build connections with both local community colleges and faculty from the Child and Family Science Department in hopes of developing a pathway from community college to a Fresno State undergraduate degree and then into the PK-3 credential program. 

Most recently, program leaders have been providing information sessions (slidedeck) about the proposed program at local community colleges, each of which serves students from a range of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds:

  • Clovis Community College (demographics) • April 3, 2024
    • Attendees:  Child Development and Early Education major students and staff/faculty from CCC including academic counselor and Dean
  • Merced College (demographics) & Fresno City College (demographics) • April 5, 2024
    • Attendees:  7 Merced College students (perhaps up to 9); 2 Merced College Faculty 
      7 students from Fresno city college; 2 Fresno City Faculty
  • Fresno City College (demographics) • date to be determined

(Response to Second Review)

Upon program approval and into the future, the program intends to continue with these efforts in order to ensure that all potential program candidates have knowledge about the program.

Structures and Practices the Unit has in Place to Provide Support, Advice, and Assistance to Promote Candidates’ Successful Entry and Retention in the Profession

The Kremen School of Education and Human Development partners with Fresno State’s Career Development Center to support candidates in the Teacher Education Programs as they transition into the profession. In particular, the Kremen Teacher Education leaders and the Career Development Center partnered to provide a one-day interview and resume workshop for candidates in their final phase of the credential programs. The event included a morning session where candidates learned how to effectively prepare their resumes and had the opportunity to practice their interview skills. In the afternoon, Human Resources representatives from local districts spoke to candidates about their hiring processes.

Coaches also support candidates as they prepare to transition into the profession at the end of their final semester of clinical practice by guiding them through the development of their Individual Development Plans (IDP). The completed IDP is shared with the district that employs the candidate and provides an outline of areas for the candidate’s ongoing growth and development once they have entered the profession.

PK3 Specific Efforts

Within the PK3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction program, structures are being created to support program completers transition into the profession.

  • Field experts, or early childhood educators identified as experts, will be invited to visit courses 5-6 times per semester to share their experiences from the field with candidates. The hope is that, by hearing first hand about some of the challenges experienced by early childhood educators and then hearing how they have navigated these challenges, completers will be better equipped to navigate the challenges themselves when in the profession.
  • Additionally, program faculty will collaborate with local/regional district Induction leaders to help them better understand the specific aspects of the PK3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction credential so that they are better equipped to support program completers through the Induction process. 
  • Early efforts have already been started in this area. On February 13, 2024, the program hosted a one-day conference for administrators throughout the region and state to educate them about the PK3 credential and about developmentally-appropriate practices, with the hope that they will be better informed for how to support their future PK3 teachers. (Response to First Review)
(2.3) Appropriate information and personnel are clearly identified and accessible to guide each candidate’s attainment of program requirements.

The Fresno State Teacher Education Programs are in the process of revising the Teacher Education handbook so that all programs use the same handbook. Having a common handbook will help to ensure consistency in policies across programs.

The handbook includes a list of and contact information for all key personnel who support candidates in all TE programs, including the program coordinators, the admissions analyst, the Center for Advising, the credential analyst, the Office of Clinical Practice, the Residency Coordinator, and the department chairs, among others. (Response to First Review)

The Teacher Education Program, as a whole, has recognized the need for clear and explicit guidelines for students that detail who to contact at what point in their journey to becoming a credentialed teacher. The Teacher Education Program is in the process of preparing this Draft Teacher Credential Support document, which will be included in the revised Teacher Education Handbook and included on the Teacher Education website. Additionally, moving forward, this document will be included in the Opening Session of the Teacher Education Program’s Induction/Orientation event, held for new candidates at the beginning of each semester.

Recognizing that many candidates in the PK3 program may be returning to the university setting after time away, the program leadership has created two positions to provide additional support for candidates:

Early Childhood Education Navigator: 

The Early Childhood Education Navigator will serve as a support to both those students transferring from area Community Colleges and CSUFresno students that are working to obtain an ECE Specialist PK-3 Credential and/or a MA in Early Childhood Education. The ECE Navigator should be a clear communicator and willing and able to speak to large groups as well as work with individuals providing information needed for the advance of their education. He/she will need to have a working knowledge of the transfer process and the application process into the credential program or graduate program. He/she will be willing to work with the individual to gain all needed information to assist the student in a smooth and successful transition to CSU Fresno.

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Establish rapport with ECE staff/administrators on Community College Campuses.
  2. Promote the pathways available to the ECE Specialist PK-3 Credential at CSU, Fresno
  3. Schedule and facilitate information sessions both on site at the campuses and over zoom that will provide both general and specific information regarding the pathways that can be taken to obtain the PK-3 Credential and/or a MA in Early Childhood Education.
  4. Hold one on one information sessions to help candidates navigate the admissions/application process.

PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction Credential Program Advocate

Rationale:  Many individuals who have expressed interest in this credential are women who have worked in the ECE field for several years.  They have earned a Bachelor’s degree but have not been a “student” at a university for a period of time.  They have families and have a need to continue working as much as possible while completing this credential program.

What kind of support will these credential students need to succeed?

  1. Study Skills/tutoring
  2. Support in many areas
    1.  organization/time management
    2. social emotional support (encouragement, self care techniques, dealing with feeling overwhelmed, burn out)
    3. locating needed resources: financial aid, tutoring, help in navigating “school work”: writing, technology, research
    4. someone to listen
    5. next step: transition to teaching

Advocate Job Description

  • Experience in education field (relatable to the demands of the teaching profession)
  • Understanding of the requirements of the PK-3 Credential program (Teaching Standards, Teacher Performance Expectations, Clinical Practice Placements and Equivalency Options, etc.)
  • Open communication skills: ability to listen and discern what support the individual may need.
  • Ability to work with individuals, in small groups and large groups
  • Knowledge of resources available to promote social emotional health of educators
  • Excellent planning, organization, and time management skills
  • Experience in facilitating support/learning groups such as groups that meet to explore social emotional supports, completing a book study, other study groups.
  • Experience as a mentor/master teacher, supporting teachers through the induction phase.

(Response to Second Review)

(2.4) Evidence regarding progress in meeting competency and performance expectations is consistently used to guide advisement and candidate support efforts. A clearly defined process is in place to identify and support candidates who need additional assistance to meet competencies.

The Fresno State Teacher Education Programs are in the process of revising the Teacher Education Handbook so that all programs, including the PK3 ECE Specialist Instruction credential, use the same handbook. Having a common handbook will help to ensure consistency in policies across all Teacher Education (PK3, MS, SS, and ES) programs.

The Teacher Education Handbook includes a section that describes how candidates who need additional support will be identified and supported. (Response to First Review)

The Fresno State Teacher Education Programs monitor and support candidates using assessment rubrics that provide qualitative descriptions of differentiated expectations related to the TPEs at each level of performance. For candidates who are not successful on the activities/assignments/ assessments, program faculty provide additional support focusing on understanding the activities/assignments/assessments and grading policy or rubric(s) on which the candidate was not successful as well as understanding what needs to be revised and resubmitted. 

Fresno State’s Teacher Education Programs use TK20 to monitor candidates’ progress on their completion of their clinical practice hours and their Teaching Performance Assessment tasks (Freno Assessment of Student Teachers Site Visitation Project and Teaching Sample Project). Throughout the semester, candidates track their hours in TK20 and upload all documentation related to their clinical practice. These are verified by their coaches. Coaches also use TK20 to provide feedback to candidates throughout the semester. Candidates also submit their completed FAST components and receive their scores through TK20.

Program personnel use reports from TK20, along with course grades housed in PeopleSoft, to determine if a candidate is eligible to move from one phase to the next and/or to be recommended for a credential. 

Support for Candidates who are Not Making Successful Progress

In certain situations, a Teacher Candidate may face difficulties and need additional support to be successful. Difficulties may include–but are not limited to–the following: discrepant expectations, excessive absences, inadequate performance, breach of professional ethics, and insurmountable discipline problems. In the event of a placement challenge, all Teacher Candidates, coaches, and mentor teachers should follow the procedures outlined in this section. 

At the first sign of a Teacher Candidate experiencing a challenge with program expectations, university coursework, and/or clinical placement, the university representative (coach, faculty member, program coordinator, etc.) who first becomes aware of the situation will explicitly address the challenge area with the Teacher Candidate in either written or verbal communication. The university representative will schedule a meeting with the Teacher Candidate and the Program Coordinator to review the situation and work together to develop an Individual Plan of Assistance. The Individual Plan of Assistance includes, at a minimum:

  • the areas of concern related to the TPEs
  • recommended actions
  • resources to support the Teacher Candidate
  • date to review progress/outcomes

The Teacher Candidate, University Coach, and Program Coordinator must sign and date the Individual Plan of Assistance. All pertinent evidence must be submitted with the Plan of Assistance, including copies of all evaluations, Teacher Performance Assessments (FAST-SVP & TSP), weekly block plans, competency logs, lesson plans, and any pertinent paperwork. Copies will be given to the Teacher Candidate, University Coach, and Program Coordinator and kept on file in the department office and the Office of Clinical Practice. 

The University Coach will monitor the Teacher Candidate’s progress on the Individual Plan of Assistance and, in consultation with the Mentor Teacher, will document the Teacher Candidate’s progress toward identified area(s) of concern. The University Coach will conduct weekly formal observations and evaluations. Additionally, a conference to review progress will be conducted with the university coach and/or program coordinator, as stipulated in the Individual Plan of Assistance. 

Clinical Practice Support:

The TE Handbook also details the support systems in place for candidates during their Clinical Practice. 

Included within this section is also a link to the protocol for teacher candidates, which provides guidance for students in a clinical practice course. Teacher Candidates may experience or cause difficulties which present themselves during the semester(s). These difficulties might be in academic work, interpersonal relationships, work with public school students in classroom settings or other circumstances. When these difficulties are identified, faculty members meet to consider the nature of the problem, possible avenues of improvement, and procedures for notifying persons concerned. The Team Leader will inform these Teacher-Candidates in person and/or in writing about the decisions and recommendations of the faculty team. This process will provide Teacher-Candidates with timely information so that they may respond positively and successfully complete the credential program. If progress is not satisfactory, these Teacher- Candidates may be removed from the program.

Informing Candidates:

All candidates will be sent a link to the Teacher Education Handbook prior to the beginning of their program by the PK3 ECE Specialist Instruction coordinator prior to the beginning of the program.

In addition, as with all of our Teacher Education programs, PK3 ECE Specialist Instruction program candidates will participate in a program orientation. At this event, they will again receive a link to the Teacher Education Handbook. They will also attend sessions led by the PK3 program coordinator, the Office of Clinical Practice, and the FAST Coordinator, providing them opportunities to meet key personnel and learn more about the specific expectations of the program (Fall 2023 Induction & Orientation Program). (Response to First Review)

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