The institution ensures that candidates preparing to serve as professional school personnel know and demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to educate and support effectively all students in meeting state adopted academic standards. Assessments indicate that candidates meet the Commission adopted competency requirements as specified in the program standards.
Information is available through Program Review submission at http://fresnostate.edu/kremen/about/cctc/index.html
The unit and its programs evaluate and demonstrate that they are having a positive impact on candidate learning and competence and on teaching and learning in schools that serve California’s students.
As an institution, Fresno State prepares educators for nearly every facet of the education system, directly impacting schools and students throughout the region. We impact students at the classroom level through our preparation of Multiple Subject and Single Subject teachers, including those with advanced credentials as Agriculture Specialists, Bilingual Teachers, Early Childhood Educators, Education Specialists, and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Educators. But the impact of our work extends throughout a school site as we also prepare School Administrators, School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, School Nurses, Reading/Language Arts Specialists, and Speech-Language Pathology Specialists.
Fresno State’s education unit is housed within the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, which is home to many of our credential programs. As the largest preparer of educators in the region, and the second largest in the State of California, each year Kremen completers number nearly 800 graduates. The majority of these completers end up employed by Fresno Unified School District, the third largest district in CA. Clovis Unified, the next largest district in our region, also hires a significant number of our program graduates. Still, Kremen has graduates of our programs working in more than 40 school districts in our local region. Our graduates are also sought throughout the state. In addition, Kremen hosts the Central California site of Cal State Teach, the only distance education teacher certification program in California.
Many of the educational leaders in our region are also graduates of Kremen’s programs. In fact, our last inventory in December 2020 revealed that of all Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents serving in the nearly forty local districts, more than half of them received their masters’ and/or administrative certificate from Kremen. We also place leaders outside of school districts, including the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Fresno County Office of Education, clinical counselors, school nurses, school social workers, school psychologists, and speech and language pathologists. Additionally, the School Counselor and Rehab Counselor Education program produces highly desirable candidates boasting a 90% professional placement rate after 6 months and 100% job placement after only one year.
Fresno State also partners with local school districts for specific specialized certifications like Bilingual Education and Special Education. Fresno State boasts the second largest Deaf Education program in California and the only university offering an intern program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing credential. And for the past two years, Fresno State has graduated more Agriculture Specialist credentials than any other institution. Clearly our reach is large and our brand is known.
Formal data we review through Employment Surveys, including those formerly administered by the CSU Education Quality Center and surveys administered by specific programs, continually indicate satisfaction with graduates of our programs. In fact, of the 120 employers who responded to the CSU Education Quality Center survey about 2015-2016 graduates of our Basic Credential programs (last year for which data are available), 100% indicated they would hire a Fresno State graduate again. Additionally, 80% rated the teacher’s overall readiness to be a teacher as good or excellent. Anecdotally, we continue to hear the same message from district and county administrators throughout the region who attend our bi-annual President’s Commission on Teacher Education meetings and from individuals who serve on our Community Council and the Dean’s Advisory Board.
Though we continue to receive positive feedback from employers throughout the region about the quality of preparation our candidates receive, our programs continue to look for ways to innovate in order to positively impact the teaching and learning in schools in our region.
Residency Models for Teacher Education
Since our last accreditation, we have used feedback from partners to establish new supports and innovative responses to leverage a shared vision. We have revised programs in accordance to new state guidelines, sought external funding opportunities, convened multiple and regular partnership forums, and implemented strategic changes in order to be responsive both to local schools and to our Credential Candidates, while also continuing to maintain our traditional, three-semester program.
One of the primary ways we have responded to the calls for improving teacher education is through the establishment of Teacher Residency Programs in districts throughout the region (Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, and Madera, and soon to be added a rural residency initiative), work that has been highlighted in a publication by the Learning Policy Institute and other leading educational agencies. Additionally, the National Center of Teacher Residencies (NCTR) recognized Francisco Barajas as a Resident of the Year in July 2020.
First and foremost, Kremen’s Teacher Residency Programs are site-accommodating and district-serving teacher education programs that value apprenticeship practices involving mentors (teachers) and coaches (university) in specifically designed events and reflection to foster novice teacher incorporation of culturally responsive practices. Building on the medical residency model, residents learn the underlying theory of effective teaching. They then have the opportunity to put that theory into practice through a year-long, in-school “residency,” in which they practice and hone their skills and knowledge alongside an effective teacher-mentor in collaboration with university coaches. Kremen resident students spend the full academic year in a district school, developing under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher and the shared supervision with a university coach.
Our residencies continue to evolve in their structure, responding to guidelines established by the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR), of which Kremen is a member institution. The NCTR guidelines include providing 1) Targeted recruitment and selection of residents; 2) Rigorous selection and support of teacher mentors; 3) Intensive pre-service preparation within a culturally responsive program focused on the specific needs of teachers; 4) Aligned induction support; and a shared goal of eventual 5) Strategic hiring of graduates.
Impact of Teacher Residencies: Over the past seven years the enrollment of candidates in our Teacher Residency programs has grown from 20 residents with one district partner to that of 149 residents with four district partners. Given national trends in teacher attrition, the employment rates of our Teacher Residency graduates are impressive.
Within Fresno Unified, 220 Fresno Teacher Residency Program Graduates over the past seven years are still employed with the district. The program boasts a 94% 1-year retention rate, and an 81% 3-year retention rate compared to 33% nationally (Carver-Thomas & Darling-Hammond, 2017; Garcia & Weiss, 2019). Additionally seven residents moved into leadership roles in the district. According to the Learning Policy Institute’s Teacher Turnover Calculator, the residency graduates' high retention rates have the potential of saving a school district like Fresno Unified 1.1 million dollars each year.
From our Sanger Unified Teacher Residency Program, 49 graduates over the past three years are still employed within SUSD as teachers, for an 88% 1-year retention rate and an 87% 3-year retention rate.
Specialized Teacher Residency Programs. Our Teacher Residencies continue to evolve. In recent years, we have created residencies to support the development of teachers with high-demand credentials. Special Education and Bilingual Education are the first and second highest areas of need for teachers in California, and Kremen is proud to offer targeted teacher residencies that address each of these areas.
Bilingual Authorization Teacher Residency: Our Madera County residency is specifically fostering dual immersion and bilingual education in partnership with our status as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). As an HSI we hold a particularly special responsibility to foster university programming and student outreach to increase our support to students in districts with high Spanish speaking student populations. Through this residency we can directly impact the student learning in this district by providing pedagogical transformation and community level support. There has been a significant impact on the cultural context at this residency site as demonstrated by the newsletter, meetings agendas, and the media produced from the partnership. The following topics have been collected from these sources which demonstrate the various levels of impact on the learning context and student learning directly:
- Dialogue about pandemic conditions, safety, and protocols (Audience: K-12 students, Teacher residents, Mentor teachers, and Coaches).
- Anti-racist pedagogy webinars and creating teacher learning communities for culturally responsive teaching.
- Parenting and supporting children’s learning environment at home during the pandemic
- Safety and social gatherings for the holiday season
- School re-openings and safety for teachers and students
- Impacting students learning: Research and resources including tablets and cameras.
- Leveraging asynchronous learning opportunities at school and at home
- Wildfire impact responses: University Student Resources available through the Good Samaritan fund, Project Hope, Fresno State food pantry, and parent support for diapers and formula
- Bilingual and culturally responsive reading resources for teachers and students.
- Interventions for STEM and Math professional development
Education Specialist Teacher Residency: Another example of the way in which Kremen is using the Teacher Residency model to respond to the areas of teacher need is our Education Specialist cohort in Clovis, which also includes a focus on culturally responsive pedagogy. The Education Specialist residency at Clovis Unified and Dual Credential Programs (Multiple Subject / ES) Residency were established to support the need for Education Specialists in the local area. As is the case statewide, our region currently has a high rate of special educators serving students with specific learning and behavioral needs under provisional (i.e., temporary) credentials. In order to support both teachers and student teachers in the community, the Special Education residencies help to address this need by offering stipends for tuition in return for a commitment to teaching service.
Coursework in the program provides opportunities for candidates to identify issues and problems within the context of their current placements/job sites and seek solutions to those issues/problems within their placement/job sites to improve student learning and outcomes in local schools. Likewise, projects being completed in SPED 298 also address issues and real world problems within the context of schools in the Central Valley.
The Education Specialist Residency at Clovis Unified and the Dual (Multiple Subject/ES) residency at Fresno Unified are designed to support families with students who may be struggling, through a service commitment by the resident candidates to teach in special education within local communities for a minimum of three years. In doing so, Fresno State, Clovis Unified, Fresno Unified, and resident candidates make an active commitment to train and teach in local communities. The Education Specialist residencies offer a close partnership with the Education Specialist and the Multiple Subject credential and curriculum content, faculty, teachers, and students so that teachers in training or residents are able to connect with their students more closely, offer more one on one instruction and connect with the students’ families to offer them support and information.
Rural Residency Initiative: Keeping aligned with our mission to “educate leaders for participation in a diverse society,” we have begun efforts to place students more intentionally into communities of high need or those too often underrepresented by the standard teacher candidate. There exists such a high demand for teachers in the Central Valley that rural communities are often not able to recruit Kremen graduates to accept jobs in outlying, small, agrarian communities. Our largest school districts host hiring events and often get the first pick of graduates, often leaving rural districts to hire temporary or out-of-state candidates who may not know the region or the high commitment to culturally responsive teaching approaches. To that end, Kremen is launching in the 2021-2022 academic year a rural residency initiative serving four partner rural districts. Kremen faculty have collaborated with the Fresno County Office of Education to reach rural and underserved schools to offer virtual and face-to-face instruction, stipends for residents, coaching and mentoring for faculty and students, as well as a promise of a “first look” as a prospective teacher candidate upon completion of the program. Funded in part by the generous contributions of four districts, this residency initiative is an example of the legacy of Kremen to provide high impact practices through our partnership as well as a clear fulfillment of the commitment to equity Kremen demonstrates throughout the region.
External Funding to Support Efforts:
External funding has been fundamental to helping Kremen support and establish these new teaching models. In recent years, Fresno State has worked to expand the number of educators authorized to teach in bilingual programs, both through a residency program in partnership with Madera Unified and through a restructuring of the on-campus Bilingual Authorization Program. These efforts have also been supported through the Enseñamos en el Valle Central, a five-year, federally-funded Developing Hispanic Serving Institution (DHSI) collaboration focused on expanding pathways for future bilingual and Latina/o/x teachers beginning in high school and continuing through community college.
Grants affiliated with our Preliminary and Advanced Credential Programs and which contribute to improving the pedagogy and developing knowledge of the cultural context to support teacher preparation include:
- California Mathematics Project – CSMP State Funds, University of California Office of the President (UCOP) $64,596.
- San Joaquin Valley Writing Project – CSMP State Funds, University of California Office of the President (UCOP) $56,185.
- California Reading and Literature Project – CSMP State Funds, University of California Office of the President (UCOP) $31,768.
- Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)-- California State University – Chancellor’s Office, $24,000
- Wayfinders--United States Department of Education (USDE) $356,000.
- Fresno State Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS). United States Department of Education (USDoE) $1,500,000.
- Fresno Family Counseling Center. Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, $6000.
- Regional STEM Hub project. Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, $40,000.
- STEAM. PI: Steve Vaughn, Agriculture Education. $3 million.
- A Longitudinal Investigation of Soft Skill Development of California Agricultural Education Students. PI: Sharon Freeman, Agriculture Education. $1 million
- CDE Agricultural Education Regional Office. California Department of Education. $28,000
Our Multiple Subject and Single Subject Programs have also benefited from additional funding received by district partners that continue to support and innovate our Teacher Residency Programs.
- Pathways for Teachers and Equitable Access to STEM Resources in the COVID era. Funding source: State of California (via Fresno K16 Collaborative) at $197,000.
- Clovis USD School Climate Transformation. Funding source: US Department of Education (via Clovis Unified School District) at $80,000.
- FUSD Teacher Residency Program. Funding source, Fresno Unified School District at $75,000.
- Madera Bilingual Teacher Residency Program. Funded by Madera Unified School District at $28,647.
- Education Specialist Residency Program Funding source: State of California (via Clovis Unified School District) at $65,500.
- Rural Teacher Residency Program project. Funding source: Fresno County Department of Education at $65,000.
Program-Specific Impact on Region
Education Specialist: According to a 2017 report, nearly 8 in 10 California schools were looking to hire special education teachers, and 87% of principals reported that finding them is a challenge. Our Education Specialist (ES) program impacts student learning by increasing the number of qualified Education Specialists who have the skills to teach students with disabilities. Over the past five years, our ongoing recruitment efforts have resulted in a 300% increase in admissions for ES and Dual programs combined. With more qualified Education Specialists and an increasing number of ES student teachers in the classroom, there is more opportunity to assess and teach individual students.
The need for well prepared ES teachers is also demonstrated by districts naming this as a focus for two of our residency programs: Clovis and Fresno Unified. Additionally, the ES program provides embedded support by University faculty and clinical practice coaches to the Mentor Teachers who have ES student teachers. As they support our candidates, the Mentor Teachers also learn, in partnership with University faculty, the most up-to-date pedagogy to support all learners.
Finally, our ES Candidates also support students with special needs and their families. Teacher candidates in the ES program conduct research to address parent education and training regarding the IEP process. Projects like these support families by adding to their knowledge base and supporting them to become active members of the IEP team. Other projects being conducted seek to address issues regarding student learning, increasing communication supports, and providing spaces for individuals with disabilities to add their voice to lines of research intended to improve their lives.
Overall, completers indicate that their experiences in the program prepare them for their time in the classroom. Of 171 Education Specialist candidates who completed the program between Fall 2016 and Spring 2020 to the CSU Educator Quality Center Completer survey, 41% indicated the program was effective, while another 41% indicated the program was very effective.
Once our completers are working in schools in our region, their impact continues to be recognized. Each year, our ES program gives the Carolyn Dobbs Special Education Teacher of the Year Award recognizes the importance of the work of special education professionals. Moreover, alumni provide leadership in schools and districts with one alumni even winning the prestigious Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association.
Multiple Subject: Annually, Fresno State graduates over 500 Multiple Subject candidates, the great majority of whom serve in regional Title I schools upon hire, making a direct impact on children from low-income, under-served communities in our region. These include teachers who teach in bilingual contexts and individuals who serve as middle school math and science teachers; all of which are high need hiring areas for our local region. Credential completion is an indicator of teacher quality, with educational research further confirming that teacher quality has a direct relationship to closing persistent opportunity and achievement gaps (Carter & Welner, 2013). As such the Multiple Subject credential program preparation of teachers plays a role in increasing teacher quality.
According to the 'Teacher Supply in California - A Report to the Legislature Annual Report 2018-2019', Kremen continues to be the leading CSU and public institution in preparing teachers to teach in elementary schools. The size of the multiple subject credential program has a direct impact on reducing the need for temporary credentials in our region. So much so that our local district partners are reporting that they finally have a fully credentialed, highly qualified teacher placed in each of their classrooms.
The CSU Educator Quality Center’s survey of completers of our Multiple Subject Program indicated that, overall, completers were pleased with the preparation they received from the program. Of the 754 completers who graduated from the program between Fall 2016 and Spring 2020 and responded to the survey, 81% indicated the program was Effective or Very Effective in preparing them to be Multiple Subject teachers. Additionally, 92% indicated they had taught in at least one school that was a good environment for student teaching; 83% indicated faculty had introduced core elements of the California Content Standards; and 77% indicated faculty modeled good teaching practices.
Bilingual Authorization Program: Upon reaching our credential program, BAP candidates serve TK-8th grade students in our region via placement in general education and/or dual immersion classrooms. By design and aligned to state standards, the BAP program aspires to provide pre-service teachers with opportunities to teach in both English and Spanish or Hmong. Program candidates accomplish this by serving recent immigrants/refugees--all emergent bilingual students--and validating and celebrating the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of school children and families. For example, candidates serve as language brokers for children and their families and support them through the process of learning English and acclimating to the school system.
The impact of BAP candidates and graduates in our region's schools is strengthening the multilingual/multicultural community of learners. The number of BAP graduates has directly impacted the number of Bilingual Education Programs our region has been able to provide, including multiple Spanish bilingual programs in schools in Fresno, Sanger, and Madera unified school districts, among others, and a Hmong bilingual dual immersion program in Fresno.
Single Subject: According to Title II Data for 2018-2019, 35.6% of our completers graduated from one of our Preliminary Single Subject Credential programs, which include English, Math, Science, History-Social Science, Physical Education, Art, Music, Spanish, Agriculture, and Industrial Technology. Just like with graduates of the Multiple Subject Program, the majority of these individuals take positions teaching in Title I schools in our region, providing students in these schools with highly qualified teachers in a full range of content areas.
Additionally, our Single Subject program currently partners with Fresno Unified to host the Fresno Teacher Residency Program (FTRP). The overarching goal of the FTRP is to improve student achievement in science, technology, and math in grades K-12 through an innovative cutting edge teacher preparation program coupled with outstanding professional support. Currently, the program prepares teachers in the high-needs areas of Math, Science, and Industrial Technology, areas all too frequently serviced by uncredentialed teachers.
To examine the level of preparation provided by the Single Subject Program, Fresno State uses data from the CSU Educator Quality Center. The Program has a 100% participation rate on the EdQ Center’s Completer survey, due to the efforts of our Credential Analyst. The results of this survey indicate that, overall, completers provide a positive evaluation of the program. Of the 622 respondents who completed a Single Subject Credential between Fall 2016 and Spring 2020, 82% indicated the program’s overall effectiveness as effective or very effective. Additionally, of 52 measures in the Subject-Specific Pedagogical Skills for Single Subject Teaching Assignments, 90% of completers indicated a positive perception of 46 of the measures, while 80% indicated a positive perception for an additional eight of the measures.
According to the CSU Completer Survey, 45% of our students establish Subject Matter Competency through the CSET and 55% through coursework at Fresno State (53%) or another campus (3%). Moreover, internal data collected in our content areas also reveal the successes we have in preparing students to connect content to the classroom. As an example, in our English Education program, students must complete a set of coursework approved by the CTC, but they must also create a portfolio which includes artifacts that demonstrate their learning in 8 standards developed by the CTC. They then participate in a portfolio interview where two faculty members ask a set of questions related to their knowledge of content and how they will use what they’ve learned as an undergraduate in the teaching field. In place for more than 10 years, this process has created a shift in the preparation of our students who make connections between coursework and teaching, begin developing their teacher identities as undergraduates, and display professionalism within this process.
Completers of our Single Subject programs have taken on leadership roles in professional development organizations and within districts. Examples include Jesus Renteria, who is an Associate Director of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project; Thomas Soto who is the Director of Educational Services in Sanger Unified, and Flo Cheung, who is currently the Career and Technical Education Coordinator at Sunnyside High School and the 2018 recipient of a Fulbright fellowship to teach architecture and English at a vocational school in Indonesia.
Agriculture Specialist: As one of the largest Agriculture Specialist credential programs in the state, for the second year in a row, Fresno State has graduated more candidates for the Ag Specialist credential than any other university in California, averaging 28 program graduates per year. With the university situated in the heart of California’s agriculture center, this means that we are able to provide students in the region with greater access to teachers with expertise in agriculture education.
Once graduates of the program begin their teaching career, they are invited to attend a New Professionals Conference, which is hosted by the Agriculture Education program and held annually to provide support and technical assistance to new professionals in agricultural education in their first through third years of teaching. Alumni have provided leadership in agricultural education.
Fresno State’s Agriculture Education program also supports state high school students involved in Future Farmers of America. The program has a student organization titled "FFA Field Day Committee," which consists of 20-25 students that coordinate the Fresno State Field Day. They register contestants, arrange for facilities and awards, provide training for contest tabulations, provide news releases, field day programs, provide lunch for contestants, conduct awards programs, publish online results, and provide overall coordination for all contests. The Field Day events allow approximately 3,000 high school FFA students to apply knowledge and skills they have obtained in the classroom to the agricultural industry. Dr. Avery Culbertson, Dr. Sharon Freeman, Dr. Steve Rocca, and Dr. Rosco Vaughn, all faculty in the Agriculture Education Specialist Program, serve as faculty advisors to these events.
Deaf Education: Fresno State is one of only three universities in California that offers a Deaf Education program. As of August 2020, Fresno State is the only university to offer an intern program to candidates pursuing a Deaf and Hard of Hearing credential. As such, our program provides a direct service to students in the region--and throughout the state--who are deaf and hard of hearing by giving them access to teachers with the unique qualifications to best support their learning needs.
Fresno State faculty and alumni from Deaf Education Program continue to be actively involved in California Educators of the Deaf. This state-level organization hosts an annual conference to share the current trends in Deaf Education and educational excellence for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children and youth. Faculty both attend and present at this conference in order to further develop the field of Deaf Education, thereby impacting the education of students who are deaf and hard of hearing throughout the state.
Locally, the Deaf Education Program hosts two events to support educators of deaf and hard of hearing students and the students themselves and their families. The Silent Garden Lecture Series addresses a variety of topics and includes a diverse group of Deaf Education students, teachers, professionals, and community members. Additionally, the Program hosts the Scarlett’s Park Annual Conference, which addresses a variety of topics with a focus on Deaf Children with additional disabilities. Fresno State is the only university in CA to offer professional development and workshops for all educators, administrators, students, teachers about DHH children and DHH children with additional disabilities.
Early Childhood Education: The Early Childhood Education Program prepares elementary teachers with special expertise and experience in grades TK-2. As such, the program provides field experiences at the preschool, kindergarten, primary, and upper elementary levels. The program works in close collaboration with the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center, which is housed in Kremen and provides services for children of university students, faculty and staff, ages 3 months to 12 years.
The Huggins Center also supports the education of candidates across the Fresno State campus through the use of its one-way mirror observation rooms that are equipped with speakers which allow observers to make detailed observations of daily interactions. Students in the College of Social Sciences Child Family Program and the College of Health and Human Services Graduate programs have the opportunity to complete observations based on the assigned syllabus requirements. If in-class observations are required students complete the required immunization and background clearance to work with young children. By providing this space to connect theoretical understandings with their real-world application, the Center is supporting the knowledge development of educators throughout our programs, educators who then go on to serve in our region’s schools.
Upon completion of the program, alumni have won awards for their teaching practices as others have taken on leadership roles in the community and statewide. Connie Mosher was named the National Child Care Teacher of the Year and was also a recipient of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Foundation's Child Care Teacher award in the same year. Another program graduate, Christy Macias is currently developing the SECREd Garden Demonstration Program, an interdisciplinary demonstration garden and outdoor classroom space located on the Fresno State Campus. The SECREd Garden will address interdisciplinary research, play-based learning, early science experiences, teacher training, and community food scarcity issues, providing educational opportunities on campus but also within the community. Lastly, Courtney Berk was selected to serve on the ECE CalTPA Design Team at the state level.
Education Administration: The P-12 PASC program at Fresno State supports credentialing administrators mostly within the four major counties surrounding Fresno State (Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Kings). To understand the context of administrative need in the region, respective county office of education data reporting on Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) credentialed administrators was reviewed for trends by year from 2015-2019. Three of the four major counties reported a steady increase in administrative services positions over the four-year range (Fresno, +10.7%; Madera, +9.0; Tulare, +8.3%), while Kings county has seen a minimal decline (-1.8%) during the same time period. The Fresno State PASC program is one of six regional institutions providing candidates to meet this overall need.
As another form of impact, the John D. Welty Center for Educational Policy and Leadership (formerly CVELI) seeks to elevate educational leadership and eliminate the achievement gap for students in the Central Valley. Several Fresno State Department of Educational Leadership and PASC emerita and FERP faculty support the work of the Welty Center to impact region school districts including training and coaching for teachers and administrators on Building Coherence and the Positivity Project among other customized partner specific services. The center is also a provider for the CCEE Rural Network initiative providing regional rural Superintendents engagement in professional learning and networking focused on innovative ideas, improving achievement, and closing the achievement gap. Additionally, the Welty Center hosts the annual Exemplary Practices in Educational Leadership Conference which highlights local educational leadership initiatives in a variety of breakout sessions and keynotes from international experts in the field on topics relevant to Central Valley school needs.
The new director of the Bonner Center for Character Education and Citizenship is currently faculty for the PASC program and three other PASC faculty currently serve on the center’s advisory committee, which also includes other KSOEHD faculty, local school district leadership, and administrators from Fresno, Kings and Madera County Offices of Education. Beyond the impact of the annual Conference on Character and Civic Education as the longest-running character education conference in the U.S. (designed specifically for students in the teacher education credential programs at both Fresno State and a neighboring university), the Center connects with elementary and secondary schools throughout the Valley through school character and civic education validation team visitations. Teams led by advisory faculty include PASC and KSOEHD faculty and invited administrative program candidates and graduates visit schools who showcase the exemplary programs for character education and citizenship. These visits allow program faculty to meet with school community stakeholders (i.e, students, parents, teachers, site administrators and district office personnel) in focus group sessions and classroom observations. In 2020, 37 elementary schools representing schools throughout Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Madera counties received the exemplary award. In 2021, ten secondary schools earned the award.
Reading/Language Arts Specialist Credential: Graduates from our program go on to be literacy leaders in their schools and districts and often become reading specialists and literacy coaches in local schools. In 2020, the program began to administer an exit survey to learn more about where alumni are placed and their perceptions of the program. The 10 recent graduates who responded indicated they worked in seven different school districts situated throughout Central California. On all measures of the survey, the graduates indicated they highly agreed the program had prepared them to effectively support the literacy development of students in their context.
Several recent graduates have been Fellows in the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project’s (SJVWP) Invitational Summer Institute, going on to become Teacher Leaders with SJVWP. In this capacity, they have provided professional development workshops for pre-service and in-service educators throughout the region focused on supporting students’ literacy development, including through partnerships with the Fresno State Teacher Internship Program, the Teaching Fellows program (for undergraduates working in high-needs schools as literacy tutors), and the Fresno Teachers Association.
Other alumni have taken on leadership roles in literacy education across the region. Ashley Henderson, who completed the program in 2017, now serves as an English Language Arts Consultant with the Fresno County Office of Education, offering professional development focused on supporting students’ literacy development to teachers throughout the county. Jessica Galvan, who completed the program in 2016, now teaches in disciplinary literacy courses in our Multiple Subject Program. Additionally, she was the 2017 recipient of the California Association of Teachers of English Classroom Excellence award for Elementary Teaching. Kristie Leyba, another graduate, has supported our Single Subject Program by serving as a mentor teacher for several Candidates.
School Counseling: The Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in Counseling program is deeply embedded in the community, logging literally hundreds of hours per student in schools, clinics, and even our own funded Fresno Family Counseling Center in the region. Students have clinical experiences, intentionally structured into their coursework and work closely with mentors and are directly supervised by university faculty in their training. The outcome of this rigorous and rich program is a 100% placement rate of all graduates seeking professional employment for more than a decade.
In our coursework and clinical placements, counseling credential candidates learn in our schools to meet K-12 students individually or in groups to support their social emotional, academic, and college/career exploration. For example, as one Site Supervisor shared, that she, working with a recent candidate, "created a comprehensive college and career module for our 8th grade students, which included options, career selection process and how to access information for career and college readiness...and we developed a support group used as an intervention with our high-risk behavior students. The intervention is planned for weekly implementation over a span of 6 weeks via zoom or in-person support."
Counseling candidates also hosted events at their school sites for parents on focal topics such as parenting skills, structuring the learning environment at home, and sharing resources information. They also called and met parents to discuss student needs and provided information on services that may be helpful to K12 students.
In addition to the work of our Counseling Credential Candidates, Counseling faculty also provided extended support for credentialed teachers and credential candidates in our community by educating/consulting with them where needed and providing curriculum in key areas, including social emotional skills, staying on tasks, and other skills that are needed to pay attention in class.
School Nursing: At the beginning and end of the School Nurse Services Credential Program, candidates complete a questionnaire, indicating their level of knowledge on a scale of 1-5 in key areas of School Nursing. For candidates in the 2019-2020 cohort, the overall mean response increased from a 2.5 (50%) to a 4.8 (93%) at the end of the program. These results clearly demonstrate the impact of the program on candidates’ knowledge of school nursing services.
Once they complete the School Nurse Services Credential program, alumni have a huge impact on school nursing in the Central Valley. Approximately 50% of the current School Nurse Program Coordinators/Health Services Administrators in the Central Valley graduated from the School Nurse Credential Program at Fresno State.
Among the distinguished group of School Nurse Leaders and Administrators we count as alumni, we have California School Nurse Organization (CSNO) State School Nurse of the Year recipients (3), CSNO State and National School Nurse Administrator of the Year recipients (2), CSNO Above and Beyond Awards (2), and Employee of the Year candidates and recipients from various Central Valley school districts. Additional awards earned by alumni include The Clovis USD Crystal Award, Central San Joaquin Valley Nursing Hall of Fame recipient, The Fresno State College of Health and Human Services 2020 Human Services Hero Award, and the California Teachers Association/NEA "Who Award in Education."
Many of these School Nurse Administrators have served and/or are serving on the California School Nurse Organization State Boards and Local Central Valley School Nurse (CSNO) Boards, work on Pandemic Committees with the Fresno County Department of Public Health, and lead SARS COVID-2 implementation teams to assist in the opening of safe schools.
School Psychologist: : The program provides a strong grounding for students in the history, roles, and function of our profession. Our focus is on training future practitioners in technically solid assessments and empirically based-interventions facilitated by home, school, and community consultation and collaboration. Diversity training, including bilingual assessment, is interwoven into much of our coursework. This knowledge is necessary to effectively serve the needs of our culturally, socioeconomically, and linguistically diverse population of the Central Valley is blended into all coursework and prepares our graduates to have a positive impact on the region.
Alumni of our Program serve in schools and districts throughout the Central Valley, from Bakersfield to Modesto. One-third of the local school psychologists graduated from the Fresno State School Psychology program. Many of the lead school psychologists and program specialists are graduates of our program. Additionally, many of the school administrators within the region are also graduates of the Fresno State School Psychology program.
In order to gather information about the impact of Fresno State’s School Psychology Program, a survey was emailed to field supervisors, local administrators/ employers, and alumni of the program. Of the 54 responses (54% response rate); three-fourths were Fresno State alumni ranging from 1991 to 2017, with the majority graduating during this review period (2011-2017).
Over half (56%) of the respondents served as field supervisors for practicum students or interns. Eight (15%) were administrators / employers. All had maintained their school psychology credential; 50% were also nationally certified (NCSP). Seven percent had the BCBA certification and 13% an administrative credential. The vast majority (81.5%) were located in Fresno County, with 9 (16.5%) elsewhere in California and one outside California.
According to the survey respondents, our program's areas of strength were preparing
our candidates in data-based decision making, consultation, academic interventions,
diversity, research, legal and ethical knowledge, and special education eligibility.
In order to continue to improve our program's impact, based on survey responses indicating areas for growth, we added additional theory and training in implementation of the Patterns of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) model of identification for specific learning disabilities as several local districts have adopted this model and are working towards incorporating systematic assessment for autism into our coursework. We also continue to support training and practice related to supporting students' mental health, including at the systems level with social emotional learning (SEL) curricula and system wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS).
School Social Work: There has been a significant increase in the hiring of school social workers across many Central Valley school districts over the past 10 years. Consequently, graduates of our PPS School Social Work program are now employed in numerous districts throughout the region, including Fresno Unified, Central Unified, Parlier Unified, Kings Canyon Unified, Dinuba Unified, Woodlake Unified, Hanford Joint Union High School District, Central Union, Visalia Unified, Tulare City Schools, Visalia Unified. The impact of our graduates in these districts is significant and far-reaching. For example, in Fresno Unified, we have alumni working in the Department of Prevention and Intervention; in Parlier Unified, we have alumni working to oversee the implementation of the district’s MTSS plan; in Kings Canyon Unified, we have alumni working to support the district’s efforts around social emotional learning; and in Tulare City Schools, and Dinuba Unified, we have alumni working in the districts’ Student Services Offices. Alumni of this program have been honored as the California School Social Worker of the Year (Mark McAleenan honored in 2017) and as the PPS Graduate representative on the Board for the California Association of School Social Workers (Jesica Uriostegui Pavon in 2019-20 academic year).
Speech Language Pathology: The Speech and Language Pathology (SLP) program is associated with a Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic that includes the following services: diagnostics, individual therapy, a bilingual clinic, and preschool services. Students within the SLP program are able to provide services under the supervision of faculty and contracted speech-language pathologists. This hands-on experience results in successful student preparation. The SLP program had a 97.96% pass rate on the Praxis for 2016-2019, demonstrating the effectiveness of the curriculum in preparing practitioners. 100% of Program graduates from this time period were employed in the profession according to exit and alumni surveys. Some of our alumni have been regional leaders in the California Speech Hearing Association, co-own their own speech therapy practices, and become practitioners at local schools. In 2018, the Program sponsored a workshop series for students and professionals focused on swallowing disorders.