Standard A.1

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Standard A.1.1 requires the EPP to demonstrate that candidates have a deep understanding of the critical concepts and principles in their field of specialization. Candidates should be able to use their knowledge to advance the learning of P-12 students. Candidates should demonstrate these proficiencies through data analysis, collaborative activities in schools, technology applications, and professional dispositions.

COEPD at the Advanced Level is committed to research and data literacy. As stated on page 6 of the CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK (CF), one of our goals is to implement and support a research and scholarly activity agenda that is focused on issues and concerns of the service region, state, and broader professional community. We are committed to developing candidates who are both researchers and consumers of research. A second goal listed on page 6 is to utilize innovative instructional models, service delivery, and support systems, integrating technology where applicable, which respond to the educational and community needs of the service region. COEPD’s main conceptual framework of Preparing the Professional Educator as Critical Thinker, coincides well with the CAEP guidance to create candidates who can use data literacy to advance the learning of  P-12 students. COEPD encourages candidates to determine the needs of schools and P-12 learners, research solutions, implement interventions, collect and evaluate data to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Data analysis guides decision making regarding modification to interventions. As stated on pages 12-13 of the CF document, by Preparing the Professional Educator as Critical Thinker, COEPD’s Advanced Level programs seek to develop candidates capable of functioning in a variety of specialized leadership roles as problem-solving oriented information seekers who make significant contributions in schools. Our candidates will possess the knowledge and skills needed to access information and to apply this information to the resolution of real-life problems.

CAEP’s emphasis on data literacy is also consistent with COEPD’s focus on training candidates to become reflective practitioners. Elder and Paul (2002) are cited on page 10 of the CF, “skilled critical thinkers are able systematically to analyze each part of their thinking, assess it for quality, and then improve it.” This is exhibited in the field when candidates evaluate incoming data from the classroom and community, reflect on the effect on student learning and make adjustments in practice that are informed by that analysis. This process helps to build the critical thinking skills of candidates.

In order to illustrate how COEPD at the Advanced Level is training candidates to obtain the important critical thinking skills, the CAEP categories (e.g. applying data literacy, understanding research methods, utilizing data analysis to support schools, supporting use of technology in the field and applying professional dispositions, ethics and professional standards) are listed by licensure area in the CANDIDATE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS. In this chart are examples of candidate assignments by licensure areas.

A review of the first column, data literacy, indicates that all 16 licensure programs ensure that candidates actively use research in graduate coursework and in schools. In Advanced Level programs, candidates are required to collect data on P-12 students. Depending on the specialty, candidates may implement an intervention, revise a lesson plan or consult with school administrators concerning needed systemic changes. For example, in the Autism licensure program, candidates analyze data to determine the functions of  behavior. In Literacy-Reading Specialist and Preschool Special Needs licensure programs, data are collected prior to and then after the intervention with children. Data are analyzed to determine student progress. In the Deaf and Hard of Hearing licensure program, data are collected then modifications and accommodations are determined for lesson plans. All of these assignments enhance the data literacy of the candidates.

All Advanced Level candidates are taught research methodologies. Many of the candidates in licensure programs enroll in the Master of Arts and Specialist degrees which require research classes such as Educational Research and Writing (EDF 621), Qualitative Research in Education (EDF 625), Statistical Methods (EDF 676), and Thesis Research (SPSY 750). Assignments for candidates vary by licensure program and include identifying and reading peer reviewed research articles, conducting research, or surveying school needs. Candidates enrolled in licensure programs are required to be knowledgeable about how to access the literature, critique research studies, and understand different data collection methods. Research related assignments listed in CANDIDATE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS include summarize and discuss research articles (Autism), write a disabilities research paper (Preschool Special Needs), conduct thesis project (School Psychology) and critique research studies (Special Education Multi-Categorical).

COEPD candidates utilize data analysis to develop supportive school environments. Examples are outlined in the CANDIDATE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS. In the  Elementary Math Specialist licensure program, candidates conduct an Action Research study to improve teaching. A school-wide literacy plan is developed by Literacy-Reading Specialist candidates after analyzing student assessment data. In the Principal-ship licensure program, candidates develop a strategic plan to monitor program development and implementation of the school’s goals. School Library Media Specialist candidates determine a need in a school, develop a plan, implement the plan, then evaluate the immediate and projected impact of the plan. School Psychology candidates conduct program evaluations in schools. Recent program evaluations have examined school dropout prevention efforts, alternative school environments, and newly implemented reading and math programs.

Candidates are collaborating  with peers, colleagues, teachers, administrators, parents and community organizations. All of the licensure programs distribute field experiences throughout the coursework. While in the schools, candidates collaborate with professionals from other disciplines to develop plans to improve student progress. For example, in Deaf and Hard of Hearing licensure program, candidates collaborate with Speech and Language Pathologists to develop improved interventions. Candidates also collaborate with peers to improve their skills. In Early Childhood Education and School Psychology licensure programs, candidates work collaboratively with peers by posting field experience videos on Blackboard and having others provide constructive feedback. In the Teaching English as a Second Language licensure program, candidates build partnerships with colleagues and student families in order to advocate for ELL.  Special Education Multi-Categorical candidates work collaboratively with staff and family to collect information when conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment on a child. Candidates from the  Visually Impaired licensure program work collaboratively with other professionals when examining a student’s level of skills across all domains. Candidates also collaborate with parents to collect data from the home setting. Several programs in COEPD collaborate to offer a field experience in the summer where children are brought in from the community to offer instruction in reading and math, build social skills and enhance emotional development. Candidates hone their skills while children benefit from the summer enrichment.

COEPD provides experiences to ensure that candidates develop the needed skills to use technology to enhance the learning of P-12 students.  Examples from candidate projects include accessing the Marshall University library databases for research, using digital media such as the OfficeMix to PowerPoints to create video presentations, using other digital tools such as to demonstrate knowledge of current issues, creating electronic newsletters to help P-12 learners understand how to assess quality digital content, learning about using technology to address the needs of English Language Learners, creating digital learning experiences and assessments using Google Sites and related tools, and using technology to assess students such as the Pearson Behavior Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS ) app for iPad and Renaissance tools for Reading, Language, and Numbers and Operations.

COEPD licensure programs provide opportunities for candidates to apply their knowledge of  laws, policies, ethics and professional standards appropriate to the field of supervision. Examples of how these experiences are assessed include field supervisor ratings, reflective essays in portfolios, written summaries of grievance procedures, reviews of current school policy, and coursework examinations on ethical standards and laws. The specific assignments can be seen in CANDIDATE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS.

In order to address the application of professional dispositions, COEPD has outlined on pages 16-18 of the CF our commitment to training candidates that have values, commitments and professional ethics that promote positive behaviors toward students, families, colleagues and communities. These attitudes or dispositions will positively affect P-12 students’ learning, motivation and development. COEPD has clearly identified the professional dispositions expected of candidates by developing a set of four professional dispositional commitments, which are consistent with these goals. The four broad areas are (1) Commitment to PreK-Adult students, (2) Commitment to the Profession, (3) Commitment to Diversity, and (4) Commitment to the Use of Technology.

The dispositions are defined in the CF. The Commitment to PreK-Adult Students encompasses the belief that everyone can learn. Students become the number one priority of education. By treating students equitably and exhibiting an ethic of caring for all students, a positive learning environment is created. Commitment to the Profession states that candidates see student learning as the first priority of the educational profession. By maintaining professional preparation in the field and gaining a sense of professional ethics, candidates become professionals who work cooperatively with parents, the community, and other professionals to enhance the classroom setting. Commitment to Diversity ensures that candidates value and celebrate cultural and other types of diversity and utilize community and family resources to provide culturally rich experiences for all students. It is also evidenced when candidates design a variety of strategies to meet regular and special needs of all learners so that all children learn. Commitment to the Use of Technology stresses that candidates integrate technology into professional and instructional practices and use technology to enhance all aspects of the educational experience. Commitment to the use of technology includes enhancement of the skills of students and educators alike. The technology disposition also includes delivery modes and system support as evidence of commitment to educational enrichment.

COEPD at the advanced level has annually assessed professional dispositions of program candidates by surveying candidates starting in 2005. The Candidate Self-Assessment of Personal Characteristics survey evaluated the disposition of candidates when they gained admission into a licensure program and again at program completion. Utilizing Survey Monkey, candidates were administered the survey from 2005-2017.  The DISPOSITION SURVEY DATA document shows the collected disposition data for all of COEPD and disaggregated for individual licensure programs from November 2015 to February 2017. Utilizing a college wide system permitted consistency in how dispositions were assessed; however, there were system-level implementation issues with the administration of the survey. Many more candidates took the initial assessment than the final assessment. As can be seen for some of the disaggregated licensure areas, no data were available at the completion of the program. Due to this and the concern that self-assessment was not always a valid method, the college wide disposition model was discontinued in February 2017. Data began to be collected at the program level.

A review of the DISPOSITION SURVEY DATA yields some usable information. A review of the data indicate that the majority of dispositions showed some improvement. When evaluating the four items with the largest positive change, three of the items were under the Commitment to the Use of Technology. Candidates felt more confident in providing a challenging environment utilizing technology, in incorporating technology to support student learning, and demonstrating that effective use of technology promotes learning. The fourth area was under the Commitment to the Profession and indicated an ability to demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of research in education. This demonstrates that after receiving degrees at COEPD, candidates felt more prepared to use technology and research. Four items showed a decrease when evaluated upon program completion. One of the items was related to Commitment to PreK-Adult Students and indicated an ability to provide the same level of care for all students regardless of background or ability (-0.07). One item was under the Commitment to Diversity and concerned the ability to create a safe and non-discriminatory environment for students (-0.11). The two other items that decreased were under the Commitment to Profession area and concerned following the ethical standards of one’s profession (-0.13) and a strong belief that education is a critical profession in our society (-0.08).  Although the decreases were small, these items indicate the need to provide our candidates with additional training and experiences with diverse P-12 students.

As explained above, assessment of candidate disposition is now completed at the program level using the four commitment areas as a framework. See DISPOSITIONS ORGANIZATIONAL CHART ADVANCED LEVEL for a disaggregated list of how licensure programs are currently evaluating dispositions. The method for assessing dispositions varies by licensure programs. Methods include self-assessment, field supervisor ratings from clinical experiences, reflective writing graded by faculty and examination of course content for dispositions.

Three examples of disposition data at the licensure level are provided in PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS DATA FOR ADVANCED LEVEL. The data came from the School Psychology Program, Post-baccalaureate Program, and Principal-ship Program. For School Psychology, dispositions are evaluated by having field supervisors rate the candidates during their second year (Practicum II) and third year (internship) clinical experiences. Disposition items are selected from two documents that comprehensively evaluate the candidates: Site Supervisor Evaluation of Practicum Students and the Intern Performance Assessment System. Overall, School Psychology candidates are rated highly by field supervisors with mean scores ranging from 2.46 to 3.8 for practicum candidates and ranging from 3.42 to 3.93 for interns on a four point scale.  In each of the areas, scores improved from the second to the third year. None of the practicum or intern candidates have been rated as unsatisfactory for any of the areas.

In the Post-baccalaureate Program candidates are rated by faculty and field supervisors. Disposition ratings were collected from three courses, EDF 537, EDF 637 and EDF 677 for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 as shown in PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS DATA FOR ADVANCED LEVEL. Candidate scores are not currently tracked from one course to the next making comparisons between courses difficult. Only group scores not individual candidate scores could be evaluated over time.  Also EDF 677 used a 1-3 point scale while EDF 537 and EDF 637 utilized a 2-4 point scale making collation of results more complicated. Overall ratings were very high with mean scores ranging from 2.85 to 2.93 for EDF 677 and 3.1 to 4.00 for EDF 537 and EDF 637 indicating dispositional scores in the targeted range. Faculty are currently discussing the best way to assess candidates’ dispositions so results can be compared more easily.

For the Principalship Program, candidates do reflective writings as part of their capstone assignment. The writings are scored by faculty for each of the disposition areas on a three point scale. Data are available for 2014 to 2016 as seen in PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS DATA FOR ADVANCED LEVEL. The lowest ratings were for the Commitment to PreK-Adult Students. The overall mean scores were lower in this area due to a small percentage of candidates being rated as unsatisfactory.  For the other three commitment areas, the scores were comparable (Total Mean Scores ranged from 1.60-1.68). No candidates were rated as unsatisfactory. Mean scores in these areas were in the acceptable range.

As can be seen from the examples, each program is evaluating dispositions for candidates in a different manner yet all are using the four commitment areas to frame the assessment. For two of the three programs, disposition scores were above average. The Principalship licensure program had scores in the acceptable range. Other programs are still in the process of developing assessment systems or are working on analyzing the data.

A review of the current disposition data resulted in a decision by the COEPD to make some changes. The variance in data collection when dispositions were evaluated on the program level, made comparisons on a college-wide basis difficult. The previous college wide system at the Advanced Level had difficulties with implementation due to issues with systematic administration. Some programs do not have a set course sequence, candidates can choose from a menu of courses after admission. Consequently, the survey could not be placed in one course and obtain the needed data for all candidates new to the program. COEPD has developed a plan to deal with this issue and will begin college wide assessment of dispositions at the Advanced Level starting Fall 2018.

Standard A.1.2 requires the EPP to ensure that advanced program completers have opportunities to learn and apply specialized content and discipline knowledge contained in state approved or national discipline specific standards. These met standards are evidenced in SPAs. As shown in the SPAs document, COEPD has two fully approved Advanced Level programs, Literacy Reading Specialist and Leadership Studies Principalship. Three programs were submitted in March 2017 and Recognized with Conditions (School Psychology, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Special Education Multi-Categorical). Problems noted in the SPA reports included lack of alignment of rubrics with standards, clarification of types of clinical experiences, inadequate number of assessments linked to standards, and assessment instruments with insufficient items for some standards. The issues delineated in the Program Reports were corrected for School Psychology, Teaching English as a Second Language and Special Education Multi-categorical and they were resubmitted in September 2017. Three additional programs (Special Education Preschool Special Needs, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Visually Impaired) were submitted for the first time in September 2017. Three other programs were submitted in March 2017 and will be resubmitted in March 2018 (Early Childhood Education, Math through Algebra I, and School Library Media Specialist).  Concerns noted for Early Childhood Education (Recognized with Conditions) included rubrics not clearly aligned with specific standards, clarification of types of interaction with diverse children, and concerns about the use of reflection for and performance based assessment. The corrections are being made for Early Childhood Education and the SPA will be resubmitted in March 2018. The School Library Media program was Recognized with Probation. Concerns in the Program Report were lack of delineation of activities, no clear assignment details, advocacy and leadership were not addressed, rubrics were not aligned to standards, little evidence of teaching strategies/knowledge of learners/skills, assessments too broad and unfocused, assessments not aligned to standards, and data not connected to program improvement. Changes to the School Library Media program are being made and the SPA will be resubmitted in March 2018. General Math through Algebra I was rated as Further Development Required. Concerns in the Program Report indicated lack of disaggregated candidate data, lack of alignment with current standards, course descriptions did not sufficiently address course content, rubrics not clearly aligned to specific standards, and rubrics had generic language that did not address standard elements or sub-elements. Revisions are being made for the General Math through Algebra I program and it will also be submitted in March 2018. The Elementary Math Specialist Program is also undergoing extensive revisions and will be submitted in March 2018.  A table summarizing the submitted and pending changes to SPAs can be found in the chart Status of Programs Not Fully Recognized in the SPAs document.

Four Advanced Level program areas have written Program Review with Feedback Reports ( Post- Baccalaureate, Autism, Social Services and Attendance and Reading Endorsement). These are attached to the Self-Study Report.

In addition to national and state review, Marshall University reviews programs on an annual basis. Every five years programs are reviewed by the Board of Governors. Areas reviewed include entrance standards, course enrollment, exit abilities, graduate satisfaction, student learning outcomes, program strengths, program weaknesses, and program plans for improvement. Samples of Program Reviews and Five Year Program Reviews can be found in the PROGRAM REVIEWS document.  All of our program reports for the last five years have been accepted by the Board of Governors without plans for improvement. Faculty have been praised for the quality programs offered in COEPD. More information about this process can be found in the QAS.

As part of the Annual Program Reviews, each program reports Praxis II scores. As shown in PRAXIS II SCORES, Advanced Level programs have a very high passing rate on the Praxis II Exam. Sixty-three percent of the advanced programs had a 100% passage rate for the 2015-2016 school year and 56% has a 100% passage rate for the 2016-2017 school year. Special Education Multi-Categorical is the only program each year reporting below 100%, yet these scores range from 94.35% to 97.22% indicating passage for the majority of students. When comparing our Praxis II exam scores to the national mean, we are slightly above or below the national mean for all programs. Our differences range from 5.2 above the mean in Early Childhood Education to 15.22 below the mean in Pre-School Special Needs. All of the differences were within the National Standard Deviation except for School Psychology and Pres-School Special Needs.  If a program has fewer than five students, Educational Testing Service does not provide summary data. COEPD is working on a system to collate the data for small programs ourselves.


COEPD Advanced Level programs are committed to enhancing the data literacy of candidates. This is outlined in the CF where the theme of Preparing the Professional Educator as Critical Thinker is explained. CANDIDATE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS demonstrates how COEPD trains candidates in each of the licensure areas to utilize data for improving the educational performance of P-12 students. COEPD works to improve the knowledge, skills and dispositions of candidates. COEPD has a four commitment area structure for addressing dispositions. Data collected for dispositions college wide and in individual programs indicate average to above average disposition scores. When pre and post scores are utilized, growth is seen in the commitment areas. Changes are planned for the assessment of dispositions and will be implemented Fall 2018. Two SPA reports are currently fully approved, several more were submitted in September 2017. The remaining will be submitted in March 2018. Program Review with Feedback Reports accompany this Self-Study. University assessment reports and Praxis II data all support the high attainment of knowledge, skills and professional dispositions of our COEPD candidates.

Evidence Applys To
PROGRAM REVIEWS A.1.2 Professional Responsibilities
CANDIDATE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS A.1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
DISPOSITION SURVEY DATA A.1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK A.1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
PRAXIS II SCORES A.1.2 Professional Responsibilities
DISPOSITIONS ORGANIZATIONAL CHART ADVANCED LEVEL A.1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS FOR ADVANCED LEVEL A.1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
SPAS A.1.2 Professional Responsibilities

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