Context and Unique Characteristics
Marshall University was founded in 1837 as Marshall Academy, named after Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall. It became Marshall College in 1858. Closed for a short time during the Civil War, it reopened in 1867 when the legislature of the new state of West Virginia created the State Normal School of Marshall College for the training of teachers. The institution attained university status in 1961. Thus the university has as its roots educator preparation. Educator preparation has continued to be an important part of Marshall, and has developed and maintained a reputation for strong programs providing high quality teachers for nearby school districts and the greater region.
In 1997 through an act of the WV Legislature, Marshall University merged with another institution, WV Graduate College (WVGC). At this point, the graduate education programs of the WVGC became a part of what was then known as the College of Education and Human Services. The programs from the WVGC were named the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development. In 2013 the administrative structure was revised as the College of Education and Professional Development (COEPD). The COEPD now operates with distinct but collaborative undergraduate and graduate programs with the undergraduate programs operating on the Huntington campus, and the graduate programs administered primarily from the South Charleston campus.
Marshall University is a public institution, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. From 2016 data, the university’s student body (13,654) is composed largely of in-state students (76%). Undergraduate students make up roughly 70% of the enrollment, graduate students 24% of the enrollment with 5% in First Professional programs. Minority students comprise 11% of the enrollment, with 4% of the student body classified as International. Students come from 49 states, 56 foreign countries and from every county in the state of WV. The main campus is located in Huntington, WV, with additional campuses and centers in South Charleston, Point Pleasant, Teays Valley and Beckley. The university offers 2 associate degree programs and 59 baccalaureate degree programs. At the graduate level, there are 38 different graduate certificates, 47 master’s degrees, 2 Education Specialist degrees, and 7 doctoral degrees.
The EPP of MU offers 3 baccalaureate degree programs, 14 graduate certificates, 6 master’s degrees, 2 Education Specialist degrees and 2 doctoral degrees. Incorporated within those degree programs are 38 programs which are approved by the WVBOE for educator licensure. The most recently available EPP enrollment data (fall 2017), show the EPP with 819 undergraduates enrolled (7.5% non-Caucasian) and 903 graduates enrolled (12 % non-Caucasian). There were 123 baccalaureate level and 343 graduate level program completers for 2016-2017, including non-Caucasian completers of 7.5% and 12% respectively.
Description of Organizational Structure
The COEPD is the EPP for MU; the dean serves as chief academic and administrative head. The dean reports directly to the Provost/Senior VP for Academic Affairs. (www.marshall.edu/president/files/MU-Org-Chart-2017-07-01.pdf )
The EPP Organizational Chart and role descriptions are available in the HANDBOOK. At the time of the previous accreditation visit, the “unit” consisted of two separate entities. The merger of these in 2013 brought together two disparate groups, separated by geographical and philosophical distances. Organizational characteristics reflect the challenges of building a collaborative relationship with strong communication. The two Associate Deans play a significant role in these efforts.
The Director of Assessment has primary responsibility for program evaluation. two individuals share the responsibilities of this office.
The Leadership Team, the dean, associate deans and others as needed, meets weekly to address daily operations, issues needing immediate attention. The Cabinet, including all program directors, serves as an advisory and decision-making group for issues with longer ranging implications. These bodies are described more completely in the HANDBOOK.
Licensure programs are shaped by the local and regional market for completers and are influenced by legislative mandates. In 2016, the WV Superintendent of Schools noted 718 teacher vacancies, positions for which a fully qualified individual was not available. Many of these vacancies were in typical shortage areas, but the complete list included all areas.
Legislative responses to the shortage resulted in Alternative Certification routes and Teacher in Residency opportunities. The WVBOE in 2017 (wvde.state.wv.us/policies) added more alternative routes for teacher licensure outside of the state’s requirements for national recognition. These changes have placed more pressure on EPPs to produce high quality new educators, and to provide efficient ways to provide endorsements for in-service teachers, while competing with other routes to licensure.
Continuing budget shortfalls in the state have led to cuts over the past 3 years, with annual and mid-year cuts reducing higher education funding by 16%. This includes reduction in operating budget, funding for retirement and resignation replacements, support for professional development and student recruitment. With declining enrollment in teacher preparation across the country and declining high school graduation numbers in WV, challenges in recruiting students for traditional educator preparation have also increased.
Recruitment and retention of faculty is a challenge with a salary structure that is not competitive. A number of faculty (many in program leadership) have retired, leaving open positions and inexperienced leaders. The university’s expectation is to increase revenues through increased enrollment, including broadened access to online programs, while increasing section size and reducing dependency on adjuncts.
Vision, Mission, and Goals
Marshall University’s vision statement provides the framework within which both the institution and EPP operate. The University Mission Statement articulates in greater detail the commitment of the institution, faculty, staff, students, and administrators. The complete statement can be found at (see: 2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog, page 7: www.marshall.edu/catalog/undergraduate-catalogs/)
The university mission and vision statements provided the parameters for the development of Marshall University’s strategic plan, entitled Marshall 20/20, which delineates specific directions and outcomes for the institution and university community. (www.marshall.edu/mission)
The COEPD mission and goals are consistent with the institutional mission. A commitment to provide education that contributes to the development of society through public service; a commitment to appreciate and cultivate diversity in students, faculty, staff, and programs; and to the integrity of the curriculum through the maintenance of rigorous standards and high expectations for student learning and performance are intrinsic elements of the University mission.
The mission of the EPP is to provide creative teaching and challenging learning opportunities for its students, faculty, community and staff in a supportive environment. These opportunities will emphasize quality, authenticity, critical reflection, collaboration, ethical behavior and diversity. This mission is advanced by providing an array of programs leading to degrees, licensure, and professional development for initial and advanced candidates and working professionals.
This mission evolved from a set of beliefs and values that have been articulated by EPP faculty as strategic commitments. The values include a commitment to academic excellence, integrity, responsibility and accountability, diversity, technology integration, and continuous improvement. (Strategic Commitments).
Prior to the 2013 merger, the COE and the GSEPD maintained separate CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS. Although the conceptual framework is no longer required, the EPP chose to continue to define itself through this document using a common framework, “Preparing the Professional Educator as Critical Thinker.”
The STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS are consistent with the Marshall Creed (www.marshall.edu/ucomm/marshall-university-creed/), a statement of beliefs that all who are part of Marshall University are expected to embrace (CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK). Also embedded in the initial and advanced programs are dispositions reflecting commitments to PreK-Adult students, to the ethical and responsible conduct as part of the educational profession, to the importance of understanding diversity and meeting the special needs associated with diversity, and to technology that improves and enhances learning.
EPP’s Shared Values and Beliefs for Educator Preparation
The EPP has formalized shared values in the form of STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS. These were originally structured for the previous accreditation visit, and have been revised and updated to reflect renewed commitments as well as an additional emphasis on the integration of technology.
The EPP’s commitments include:
- Academic Excellence: the commitment to promote high expectations for (quality academic and scholarly) performance for candidates and faculty.
- Integrity: the commitment to foster the highest level of honesty, trustworthiness, and fairness in candidates, faculty and staff through clear expectations and modeling professional ethics.
We are committed to:
- Responsibility and Accountability: the commitment to promote a culture of shared ownership and commitment for success and achievement.
- Diversity: the commitment to attain and maintain a broad perspective and representation of candidates, colleagues and community in all EPP efforts.
- Technology Integration: the commitment to promote the integration of technology in all areas of preparation.
- Continuous Improvement: the commitment to systematically improve all aspects of the college through an evolving assessment process that incorporates reflection, data-based decision making, and collaboration.
These commitments are in the form of an ongoing strategic plan (STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS). This plan has been revised with input from faculty and staff, and including discussions with external members of EPPAC, school partners, clinical supervisors, among others. Moving forward, Cabinet members (HANDBOOK) will continue to evaluate the current status of each of these commitments, and monitor progress.