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Standard 2: Communication and Collaboration

Sponsors of the preliminary teacher preparation program establish collaborative partnerships that contribute substantively to the quality and effectiveness of the design and implementation of candidate preparation. 

Partnerships address significant aspects of preliminary preparation, and include collaboration between (a) subject matter preparation providers and pedagogical preparation providers; and (b) these pedagogical preparation providers and at least one local education agency that sponsors aninduction program for beginning teachers where program completers are likely to be hired.

In each partnership, collaboration includes purposeful, substantive dialogue in which the partners contribute to the structured design of the preliminary preparation program and monitor its implementation on a continuing basis. These partnerships would include developing program policies and reviewing program practices pertaining to the recruitment, selection and advisement of candidates; development of curriculum; delivery of instruction; selection of field sites; design of field experiences; selection and preparation of cooperating teachers; and assessment and verification of teaching competence.

Participants cooperatively establish and review the terms and agreements of partnerships, including (a) partners’ well-defined roles, responsibilities, and relationships; and (b) contributions of sufficient resources to support the costs of effective cooperation.

The program-based fieldwork component offers opportunities for purposeful involvement in collaborative partnership(s) for the design and delivery of programs by parent and community organizations, county offices of education, educational research centers, business representatives, and teachers’ bargaining agents.

The Kremen School of Education and Human Development (KSOEHD) has a long history of collaboration with local education agencies and other members of the education community. In its 2009-2010 annual report, the school described numerous special partnerships with K-12 districts and/or schools. The KSOEHD’s Dean meets regularly with his Council for Professional Education composed of K-12 personnel, business and community leaders, and others interested in teacher preparation programs. The Single Subject Coordinator sits on this council. He conducts occasional focus group sessions throughout the region concerning teacher preparation. He also regularly attends county superintendents’ meetings to get input on districts’ needs relevant to teacher preparation. The Dean holds program coordinator meetings regularly each semester to share this input with program coordinators. All school districts who receive student teachers or interns have a formal partnership agreement with the KSOEHD.

Decision-making regarding every major aspect of the Single Subject Program is based on a lively dialogue among subject matter faculty and administrators, professional education faculty and administrators, and K-12 faculty and administrators.  These issues include candidate admission requirements, curriculum, qualifications of instructors, nature of field experiences, selection of cooperating teachers and field sites, qualifications of university supervisors, methods of candidate assessment, and methods of program assessment.  Currently, for example, new methods of student teaching placement are under discussion. Decisions regarding this issue will be made with input from all the program’s constituents.

A program governance committee (which is chaired by the Single Subject program coordinator and made up of faculty who teach courses within the program, including faculty from the KSOEHD as well as faculty from each of the academic departments associated with a Single Subject credential offered by the University) makes recommendations concerning curriculum and other matters related to the program to the Associate Dean and the Dean of the KSOEHD, who is also the Director of Teacher Education. Administrators, teachers, business leaders, and other community members provide input regarding the program via the Dean’s Council on Professional Education (See Appendix D for description of the Dean’s Council on Professional Education.)

Collaborative efforts in which university faculty and K-12 administrators and faculty share their expertise are numerous. Teachers and administrators from K-12 teach courses in the KSOEHD on both a part-time and temporary, full-time basis. For example, the science methods course has been taught by a science teacher on temporary assignment to the university.  In addition, the early field experience has been staffed by a teacher “on-loan” from a local district.  Our K-12 partners not only teach in the credential programs but also help plan the curriculum for these programs as members of advisory committees. University faculty members from the subject matter departments, who teach the subject matter methods courses, as well as professional education faculty from the KSOEHD, have played leadership roles in the subject matter projects in English, social science, mathematics, and science.

In addition to the previously discussed avenues for participation in development and review of program policies, practices, curriculum, instruction, and field experiences, several other mechanisms are in place. The program coordinator and other faculty meet on a regular basis (six or more times each year). These meetings include not only KSOEHD faculty members, but also one or more faculty members representing each of the academic departments associated with a Single Subject Credential area. Program faculty members participate in making decisions with regard to every aspect of the program from admission through evaluation. Representatives of this group serve on the Admission and Standards Committee that formulates policy with regard to admission for the basic teaching credential programs and reviews individual applications for special admission.  Each candidate is advised by both a professional education faculty member (usually the program coordinator or a specially designated program advisor) and a faculty member in the academic department associated with the credential.  Subject area faculty also teach the subject-specific methods courses. With reference to field experiences, the selection of field sites and cooperating teachers is coordinated by the Single Subject program coordinator in consultation with the KSOEHD director of professional field experience.  Formal criteria for selection of field sites and cooperating teachers have been developed by the program faculty in consultation with participating school districts.  Some districts in the CSUF service area designate one individual to work with the Single Subject program coordinator and university supervisors in the placement of student teachers. Other districts have delegated this responsibility to site administrators. In some districts this process is being revised. In Clovis Unified and Fresno Unified School Districts, a list of approved cooperating (master) teachers is being developed for use by the university.  Direct responsibility for placement in the initial student teaching semester rests with the Single Subject Program coordinator. In final student teaching it rests with designated faculty members in the various subject matter departments.  KSOEHD faculty members supervise students in the initial student teaching semester. Subject matter faculty members supervise in the final student teaching semester. A professional development day for university supervisors and cooperating teachers is held each year. Professional education faculty, subject area faculty, and secondary teachers jointly plan the day, and serve as presenters. University supervisors and cooperating (master) teachers are jointly responsible for assessing candidates’ competence in student teaching.  (See student teacher evaluation forms in the Student Teaching and Internship Handbook.)

Because subject-matter preparation providers also serve as faculty for the subject-specific pedagogy course and supervise final student teaching, it is very natural for them to relate the teacher preparation curriculum to the subject matter curriculum. This transition is also facilitated in several other ways. The KSOEHD governance policy calls for the Single Subject Credential program coordinator to review all subject matter preparation programs before they are submitted to the CTC for approval. Additionally, because general methods faculty members use the K-12 content standards and frameworks in their course ( CI 159 Methods and Materials in Secondary Teaching), they are familiar with at least some of the concepts, principles, and values of the respective disciplines.  As previously mentioned, representative subject matter faculty and KSOEHD professional education faculty meet together on a regular basis, which promotes communication in this area. Also, some of the subject matter faculty have addressed Single Subject supervisors of the initial student teaching experience, who are all generalists, regarding important subject-specific issues.  For example, in the past, English faculty members have addressed these supervisors regarding contemporary approaches to grammar instruction in the secondary English classroom.

The KSOEHD has formal agreements with each of the districts in which it places student teachers. Also, as previously noted, there are several avenues for most of the constituents named in this standard to have input regarding the design and delivery of the Single Subject program (e.g., Dean’s Council on Professional Education, master teacher meetings). Currently school site administrators, department chairs, and master teachers each play key roles in the selection of master teachers, the design of field experiences, and/or the assessment of candidates.

The Director of Field Experiences for the KSOEHD currently serves on our regional BTSA Council.  Program input from BTSA coordinators is received via the Director of Field Experiences.

The KSOEHD has a strong record of supporting partnerships with K-12 schools. The KSOEHD plans to continue providing the necessary resources for full participation in these types of relationships. The university has also identified K-12 partnerships as a university-wide priority in the coming years.

Integrated/Blended Program Delivery Model:

The overall design and implementation of an Integrated/Blended Program result from demonstrated, fully supported collaboration based on shared decision making among faculty and administrators in the academic units responsible for subject matter preparation and teacher education.  An Integrated/Blended Program includes the involvement of K-12 educators in curriculum development and program implementation. Where appropriate, the four-year institution works jointly with selected community colleges to develop a seamless transfer program.

All of the structures and processes for communication and collaboration described above apply to the blended program in physical education. The Director of Teacher Education (the Dean of the KSOEHD) and the Coordinator of the Single Subject Credential program reviewed and approved the proposal for this blended program before it was submitted to the CTC.

Intern Program Delivery Model:

Intern programs are joint programs of employing school districts and approved program sponsors and require ongoing collaboration to ensure effective operation of the program. It is important that the partners ensure that the program is operating in a manner to further the educational goals of the district and meet the goals and purposes of the preparation program. Partnerships with school district bargaining agents address the availability, selection, preparation, and services of mentor teachers.

The Teacher Internship Program (TIP) was developed for the purpose of providing greater assistance to school districts in the University’s service area. In 1991-92, faculty of the KSOEHD developed the TIP approval document in cooperation with school district representatives and teachers’ bargaining agents. Since then, continued collaboration has been maintained in the modification and update of the program’s organizational structure. Four special Saturday training sessions for interns have been added, grade level clusters for this training have been implemented, and courses have been modified. These modifications have been a result of input from the external evaluator’s survey of participating school districts, school district representatives serving on the TIP Advisory Board and TIP staff.  All modifications have been implemented to meet the needs of participants in the TIP. The intern program office has on file letters of agreement from each partnering school district in order to ensure effective operation of the program.

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