Common Standards 4 and 5

(4) Demonstration of Need.

To be granted initial program accreditation by the Committee on Accreditation, the program proposal must include a demonstration of the need for the program in the region in which it will be operated. Such a demonstration must include, but need not be limited to, assurance by a sample of school administrators that one or more school districts will, during the foreseeable future, hire or assign additional personnel to serve in the credential category.

The program proposal at Fresno State has a demonstrated need for the program in the region as not all districts or county offices are offering a program. The largest district in our region, Fresno Unified School District did not write to the standards and needs a program for their teachers.  Fresno Unified often hires up to 40 new Education Specialist teachers a year. Fresno County Office of Education has also indicated that they will have some teachers attend the university program to expand teachers with expertise and knowledge related to MA programs.

(5) Practitioners’ Participation in Program Design.

To be granted initial program accreditation by the Committee on Accreditation, the program proposal must include verification that practitioners in the credential category have participated actively in the design and development of the program's philosophical orientation, educational goals, and content emphases.

The Clear program design, philosophy, goals, and content emphasis has been developed in partnership with practitioners. Practitioners work as adjunct faculty and have participated in program development. In addition, advisory board input was gathered. Faculty also met with Fresno COE, Madera COE, Clovis USD and other regional districts as the standards were addressed and some modules developed.  Programs are also shared at the President's Commission on Teacher Education, a committee lead by the university president with local district administrators that meets quarterly.

Common Standards Addendum – Education Specialist (M/M & M/S)

Standard 1

Who in the Unit will have leadership responsibilities for this program?

The Education Specialist programs (M/M and M/S Preliminary and Clear) are housed in the Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual and Special Education, within the Kremen School of Education and Human Development (KSOEHD) at Fresno State.  These basic credentials are overseen by the Director of Teacher Education (Dean of KSOEHD). The Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development reports directly to the Provost and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who is the chief academic, fiscal, and administrative officer for Academic Affairs in the University. The Department Chair of LEBSE provides the next level of leadership, as the Special Education faculty is housed in that department. The Education Specialists credentials have a Program Coordinator, but all of the faculty share in many of the leadership responsibilities. The Education Specialist faculty work closely with the faculty of the Curriculum and Instruction Department, the Office of Field Placements, the Internship Program, the Education Services Center, and local school districts to provide a cohesive credential program.

Standard 2

How will evaluation of this program fit into the Unit Assessment System?

The Kremen School of Education and Human Development (KSOEHD) on the Fresno State campus provides leadership for all credential programs on the campus.  The Associate Dean of KSOEHD meets regularly with Program Directors within the Unit, providing updates, support, and direction for the Unit.  KSOEHD leaders collect data from all credential programs and coordinate documentation in a system known as KLASSI (Kremen Learning Assessment System to Sustain Improvement). Some of the assessments are used across the Unit such as the Exit Survey; other assessments are shared by the basic credential programs including the California State University system’s SEPTA Survey and the Exit Survey; and finally some assessments are unique to the ES credentials. The Dean of KSOEHD meets with faculty at least once a year to review the assessment data and provide direction. The Education Specialist credential programs participate with and provide evidence of equivalent measures of all assessments of credential candidates within the Unit.

Standard 3

How will this program be supported with resources?

The Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, along with the Department Chair of the Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education department oversee financial resources.  Support from the program comes from the university annual budget, grants, and discretionary monies.  Physical resources for the LEBSE department are available in the five-floor Kremen building that includes student study areas, a graduate research lab, computer labs and classrooms, and INTRESC, which serves as a materials production and resource center for both education and counseling students and contains a wide array of text materials, instructional materials, games, and standardized assessment tools for elementary and secondary students. Programs offered in partnership sites are supported with technology, space, and other resources from both the district and the university. Each faculty member is provided funding for travel from the department and may request additional from the Dean’s office.  Resources are available to upgrade existing materials and technology, such as purchasing new assessments and iPads.

The Special Education credential programs are also supported by all the physical resources of the California State University, Fresno campus.  The Library(HML) recently completed a $105 million expansion and renovation and is now the largest academic library between Sacramento and Los Angeles, housing more than one million volumes and serving over 500,000 visitors a year. The library also provides access to government publications, access to databases (i.e. ERIC, PsychInfo, etc.), an Information Competence Center (reference librarians), inter-library loans, and an electronic reserves center so students can access reserved materials 24 hours a day.  Technology enhancements include an updated campus data network, a faculty laptop program, and SMART classrooms.

Faculty is supported with access to technology training and professional development.  Kremen School provides technology offerings multiple times a semester, which recently have included INTERSC’s technology training, UDL, Common Core, and multiple offerings by CVELI. Currently, Fresno State also provides support and resources for students through Advising Services, Technology Innovations in Learning, and Teaching (TILT) labs, the Learning Resource Center, and Services for Students with Disabilities.  Health services are available at the Student Health Center.

Standard 4

What will be the criteria for selection of faculty and instructional personnel for this program?

Faculty, including both instructors and university supervisors, for this program will have an advanced degree (M.A., Ph.D. or Ed.D.), have expertise in and/or advanced knowledge of course subject matter, and preferably be credentialed and experienced as a teacher in special education.  Faculty teaching methods classes and supervising student teachers will have a minimum of 3 years of experience teaching students in special education (M/M or M/S).  Faculty members are hired by the Provost, after the recommendation of Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, with the support of the department chair and program faculty.

Standard 5

Are there particular admission criteria for the proposed program?

Candidates applying for the Clear Education Specialist (M/M or M/S) must attend an orientation or be oriented by a faculty member and complete the application requirements (available here: . They must complete all application forms; have a 3.0 GPA in Preliminary Credential Coursework; provide a copy of their preliminary credential; submit a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and a medical clearance form; and complete an interview with the Program Coordinator.  All complete applications are evaluated and reviewed by the Graduate Technician Specialist who then forwards the recommendation to the program.  

Standard 6

How will candidates be provided with timely and accurate information about the program? How will candidates requiring additional assistance be guided and supported?

Candidates who are interested in the Education Specialist credentials can find information about the program on the California State University, Fresno website, can request information by phone or email, and can make an appointment with either the Education Service Center Advisors or faculty in the program. Information regarding a variety of opportunities, orientations, meetings, etc. are emailed to the teacher candidates. Flyers are also posted in the building.

Students needing additional assistance will first be encouraged to meet with faculty during office hours and with their assigned faculty advisor.  If additional support is needed, candidates will be referred to the Learning Resource Center for tutoring, the Graduate Division for support in writing, and the Health Center for physical or mental health support or to Services for Students with Disabilities. If a student is required to repeat an experience, they petition the Admissions and Standards Committee of the Kremen School through Special Considerations. The Committee reviews the request and the students are often provided another opportunity.

Students who are enrolled in the program/program coursework, receive ongoing information about the program in a number of ways, including, but not limited to: informational flyers, advising sheets, email, in-class presentations and question/answer sessions, online (through course Blackboard sites and the program website), individual advising sessions with the Program Coordinator or their faculty advisor, and meetings with their support providers and/or university supervisor.

Standard 7

What will the field experiences and clinical practice include? How will sites be selected and evaluated?

Education Specialist Clear Credential Candidates have field experiences in special education, in settings aligned with their preliminary credentials.

The Clear Credential program at CSU, Fresno is designed to support participating teachers in their early years of teaching through multiple opportunities including professional development experiences and reflective practices that ensure they meet induction standards and are prepared for success within their teaching context.

Through completion of FACT modules, participating teachers develop an Individualized Induction Plan (IIP), aligned with the individual teacher’s needs. The FACT modules are part of an inquiry-based formative assessment system that is built upon the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTPs) and Induction Standards. Through the FACT modules, students engage in a plan→teach→reflect→apply process.  As they complete the modules, participating teachers collect evidence and self-assess to reflect upon and improve their teaching.

Participants are required to have a minimum 4 observations during the Clear Credential coursework (2 University Supervisor; 2 District Support Provider), which provides the opportunity for participants to demonstrate skills and knowledge and to receive feedback and support, as well as engage in a process of inquiry and reflection to improve teaching practices. The observation sequence includes pre-observation communication, an on-site classroom observation, and a post-observation reflection and debriefing session with the observer.

Clear Credential participating teachers take part in collaborative experiences with colleagues and resource personnel, and the design of coursework is responsive to individual teacher needs as participants select professional development opportunities aligned with their IIP and personal interests.  The courses and experiences prepare the Clear participating teachers to meet the academic learning needs of all students in each of the categories under IDEA (including birth – 22) through a variety of  activities, including discussions and applications of research to practice, online Learning Communities for peer discussion and support, and in-class meetings with Learning Communities where individual issues are discussed and  students engage in problem-solving.  The university collaborates with the region’s districts to provide the clear credential program as well as professional development opportunities to retain these high quality teachers.

Most of the candidates in the Clear credential program are employed by districts in our region. The positions are reviewed to ensure it matches the credential they are seeking. For candidates without employment sites are selected in partnership with our district partners. The primary match is made with the support provider’s credential authorization and needed experience and strength as a role model and mentor. We also look at the entire school environment related to inclusive activities and strong RtI models.  At the end of each semester the Clear Credential candidate, Support Provider, and University Supervisor provide evaluative input for the program, and the evaluative feedback is reviewed by the program faculty; programmatic changes are made accordingly.

Standard 8 

What will be the criteria for selection of district-employed supervisors?

Currently district-employed supervisors are not used for fieldwork or student teaching in the Clear credential.  We work with district-employed personnel as support providers for Clear Credential candidates, but they are not assigned as the supervisor.

Each participating teacher enrolled in a Clear Credential program is assigned a District Support Provider.  A participating teacher’s support provider must be a person other than the participating teacher’s principal or immediate supervisor.  The District Support Provider supports the participating teacher’s induction activities throughout induction and Clear credential coursework.  The District Support Provider plays a significant role in the professional development of the new special education teacher. Support providers are assigned through collaboration with district administrators and based on agreement to fulfill the requisite responsibilities and meet qualifications. Support providers are credentialed teachers, selected/assigned based on the participating teacher’s assigned classroom teaching position/responsibilities and relevant credential. They typically have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience and have been trained to be support providers by district personnel.

Standard 9

What will be the program assessments used to determine candidate competence as they move through the program?

The Clear Credential program at Fresno State employs the FACT modules at which explicitly follow a plan→teach→reflect→apply process and are based upon CSTPs and Induction Standards, and are aligned with academic content standards. California Common Core instructional shifts including increased use of content area texts, making arguments/stating a case, and problem-based curriculum and assessment are taught, practiced and assessed through class activities and classroom observation. Throughout the process, students build a professional portfolio to demonstrate knowledge, skills, reflection, and improvement of teaching practice. In their portfolios, students provide a variety of evidence, including self-assessment, observation, analysis of student work, and planning and delivering instruction.

In addition to completion of the FACT modules and forms, participants are required to have 4 observations during the Clear Credential coursework (2 University Supervisor; 2 District Support Provider). The observation sequence includes pre-observation communication, an on-site classroom observation, and a post-observation reflection and debriefing session with the observer. The on-site observation tool evaluates multiple levels of teaching performance based on the CSTPs and IPSs (e.g., classroom environment, engagement, instructional design and delivery, assessment, technology, support for diverse learners, etc.).

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