Response to Findings: Changes that have taken place since the last review

The School of Education at Valley City State University has responded to the analysis of its data and listened to best practices identified by K-12 partners, research, or collaborative higher education partners. The goal is to respond in ways that improve teacher preparation. Unit decisions do impact program changes. The following list includes Unit responses to VCSU data as well as changes brought on by research, feedback from K-12 partners, or collaborative efforts with other education preparation providers.

Analysis of data, research, feedback from a K-12 partner, or from the sharing of ideas from collaborative education preparation provider has led to:

 

Program response for improvement:

VCSU research on relationship of GPA and student teacher ratings from cooperating teachers (research was also conducted to compare VCSU GPA requirements with those across the state of North Dakota)

  • GPA requirement for admission to Teacher Education was raised from 2.50 to 2.75  (2.50 is the state minimum)
  • Follow-up research continues to show similar findings using the new student teaching form

Survey of areas cooperating teachers, student teachers, VCSU unit faculty about the length of student teacher time in weeks (research was also conducted to compare the VCSU length of student teaching experiences with the requirements across the state as well)

  • VCSU extended the length of its student teaching experience from 10 to 12-weeks. (10 weeks is the state minimum)
  • Follow-up research was conducted, VCSU student teachers with 12-week placements scored consistently higher in their cooperating teacher final evaluations

 

Multiple data sources indicated ratings in the area of Differentiated Instruction were not among the top VCSU ratings

  • Workshop was held with K-12 educators to develop a strategies booklet for VCSU methods teachers and students that included a section on differentiated instruction
  • Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC) units for student teachers have a required section on differentiating instruction

 

Multiple data sources indicated ratings in the area of instructing English Language Learners  (ELL) were not among the top VCSU ratings

  • Workshop was held with K-12 educators to develop a strategies booklet for VCSU methods teachers and students that included a section on working with ELL students
  • Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC) units for student teachers have a required section on strategies for working with ELL students

 

Multiple data sources indicated ratings in the area of assessment were not among the top VCSU ratings

  • Workshop was held with K-12 educators to develop a strategies booklet for VCSU methods teachers and students that included a section on formative assessment
  • Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC) units for student teachers have a required section on developing pre-, post-, and formative assessments
  • Workgroup of VCSU faculty and K-12 educators selected a text and designed a curriculum for preparing future educators in the area of assessment

 

Analysis of data, research, feedback from a K-12 partner, or from the sharing of ideas from collaborative education preparation provider has led to:

 

Program response for improvement:

 

The InTASC standards were modified in 2011. VCSU also listened to K-12 feedback for a more common student teacher evaluation to be used by candidates the Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo area.

  • VCSU collaborated with 20 area K-12 educators and field experience representatives from North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) to develop a new student teacher evaluation
  • VCSU shares data with these institutions each June

VCSU researched the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) instrument to strengthen the rigor of the student teaching experience and to establish a way for teacher candidates to assess their K-12 students' learning (Bush grant partners in Minnesota begin using the TPA model, now called the edTPA)

  1. VCSU developed it own version of the edTPA and called it the Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC) unit to be completed by all teacher candidates with the purpose of strengthening teacher candidates':
    1. Unit and lesson planning skills.
    2. Ability to implement of lessons effectively.
    3. Development of strategies to formatively assess student learning and share feedback that is timely and descriptive.
    4. Ability to reflect on what they have done well and how they can improve teaching and learning in the future.
  • VCSU representatives attended conferences with TPA sessions in Minnesota, Washington, D.C. and Chicago
  • VCSU gathered area K-12 partners and VCSU representatives from each program (including several Elementary Education methods teachers) to revise the TPA model for VCSU
  • Elementary Education volunteers implemented pilot TPA units (spring 2012)
  • TLC component pieces began to enter the curriculum in the fall of 2012
  • TLC lab sessions and an online organization were developed to help candidates with samples and resources in the fall of 2012
  • VCSU and NDSU on-campus students began completing TLC units in the fall of 2012
  • Distance and on-line student teachers began completing TLC units in the fall of 2013
  • All student teachers have been required to complete a TLC unit as of the fall of 2013

 

 

The Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC) units need to be assessed through the senior portfolios as part of the Education Abilities

  • edTPA rubrics were modified by a workgroup of VCSU Unit faculty in the summer of 2012, those faculty not in attendance met in the fall of 2012
  • the TLC rubrics are used formatively to assess pilot TLC units
  • methods teachers from all programs are invited to assess a TLC unit using the rubrics in the spring of 2013 (adjustments to the TLC and its rubrics are made)
  • TLC units will be assessed again in the summer of 2014

Analysis of data, research, feedback from a K-12 partner, or from the sharing of ideas from collaborative education preparation provider has led to:

 

Program response for improvement:

Multiple data sources indicated ratings in the area of "Engaging students in higher level thinking skills" was not among the top VCSU ratings

  • The TLC unit requires written planning and a video clip through which teacher candidates practice engaging students in higher level thinking skills
  • Opportunities in methods courses and student teaching attempt to strengthen candidates in this area

 

 

Multiple data sources indicated ratings in the area of classroom management were not among the top VCSU ratings

  • More practicum time and a Classroom Management course (EDUC 351) were established for secondary majors, while the Elementary Education majors received additional content and rigor involving classroom management through the EDUC 350 practicum course and field experience.
  • EDUC 400 has candidates about to student teach develop a classroom management plan

Data sharing workshop with K-12 partners

  • K-12 educators worked hand-in-hand with VCSU faculty members to view VCSU data and provide feedback for improvement. The assessment data shared included:
  • Exit Survey Data (student teachers)
  • Student Teacher Evaluations (cooperating teachers)
  • 1st-Year Teacher Surveys
  • Employer surveys

Support of 1st-year teachers

  • VCSU provides summer workshop opportunities for its graduates entering their first year of teaching (the new teachers join other new teachers who graduated from NDSU and MSUM in the workshops)

Co-Teaching

  • VCSU has attended workshops, led numerous pairs training sessions, led cooperating teacher and supervisor training sessions
  • Co-teaching strategies have been taught to the teacher candidates

Data sharing and common metrics

  • VCSU representative have been actively involved in developing common assessments with 13 other institutions
  • The assessment instruments have undergone factor analysis for reliability and validity
  • Data has been shared among the institutions (the data can be reviewed internally for program improvement, but not released publicly)

Upcoming workshop proposals to be held in collaboration with K-12 educators

  • RTI
  • Common Core
  • Assessment Data Sharing (annual summer event)

Analysis of data, research, feedback from a K-12 partner, or from the sharing of ideas from collaborative education preparation provider has led to:

 

Program response for improvement:

Transition-to-Teacher Survey Data (1st year teacher survey) and research on state job market demands in the field of education impacted a VCSU decision to develop a Special Education Endorsement

  • VCSU has worked with Special Education specialists to add coursework and faculty expertise
  • Special Education Endorsement coursework begins at VCSU in the fall of 2014

 

 

Embedded Field Experiences

  • Field experiences aligned with courses are becoming more frequent
  • EDUC 351 Classroom Management in 7th-12th grade classrooms for secondary majors
  • EDUC 315 Math Methods implements a "Math Field Day" in local elementary schools
  • EDUC 355 Science Methods implements a STEM field experience in local elementary schools