Standard 5. Faculty, Qualifications, Performance and Development.
Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.
5.1 Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development
How does the unit ensure that its professional education faculty contributes to the preparation of effective educators through scholarship service, teaching and collaboration and assessment of their performance?
The WCE has 75 full-time tenure track faculty with doctoral degrees, and 43 part-time faculty with either a doctorate or master’s degree (5.4.a.2; 5.4.b.1). All faculty who teach in methods courses or who supervise interns at the initial or advanced levels are appropriately licensed to teach methods and supervise in the State of North Carolina. All clinical faculty in WCE and in the public schools are qualified with degrees in their respective fields and licensure. In addition, College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services faculty who teach in WCE programs have doctoral degrees (5.4.a.1). The WCE also has a unique program that sponsors a master teacher-in-residence who is a school practitioner and part of the WCE faculty for a three-year period.
The P-12 clinical faculty in the Professional Development System (PDS) who serve as partnership teachers for the internship are chosen based upon the following criteria: have demonstrated excellence in the classroom for a minimum of three years; hold the appropriate degree/licensure; have the recommendation of their building principal; complete partnership teacher training as part of their professional development with the WCE (5.4.b.2). Principals who serve as mentors of MSA candidates are selected based on the following criteria: have served with distinction as a building principal; are recommended by their superintendent; hold the appropriate degree/licensure; complete training and workshops with the WCE.
To adhere to the WCE Conceptual Framework, and ensure academically rigorous programs, syllabi incorporate instructional design principles that create innovative and engaging learning environments for candidates in campus-based, online web-ex, hybrid, and field-based courses infusing content, technology and diversity. Faculty knowledge of content is emphasized by the number of faculty holding terminal degrees; faculty-developed course syllabi; and student course assessment. Education faculty receives consistently positive ratings from candidates for their knowledge and clarity in conveying content, which is evident from the Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) Evaluation Instrument.
Annual reviews, reappointment, promotion and tenure are contingent upon measurable and observable evidence of strong success in teaching. WCE faculty is known for their excellence in teaching, exemplified by faculty who receive the annual UNCW Discere Aude Award from the UNCW Center for Teaching Excellence (4 in 2012-13), and recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Each semester many faculty members receive recognition from the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for their work with candidates.
Faculty use multiple forms of formative and summative assessments of candidates to evaluate candidate proficiency as evidenced in syllabi (1.5.b.), and also as a reflective tool as they revise courses, and reflect on teaching as an essential as part of the Promotion and Tenure process (5.4.f.1).
In alignment with the WCE Conceptual Framework, particularly inquiry which is regarded as transformative, faculty engage continuously in research and scholarship. Faculty members receive funding for research and to present at conferences. During the last year, faculty presented at state-wide, regional, national and international conferences. Faculty nurture candidates in advanced programs to present at major conferences; for example candidates in the literacy program presented at the International Reading Association with faculty members. Faculty publish a wide variety of articles; instructional materials, books, and book chapters, and engage in grant submissions and projects with faculty in other institutions both nationally and internationally (5.4.d.2; 5.4.a.1-2).
Faculty members seek grants for collaborative research and development from both internal and external sources, and WCE has a Grants Coordinator (2011). Many of these grants involved coalitions of faculty from UNCW and other universities, school districts, businesses, and professional organizations. Currently, WCE has over $3m in grant funding (5.4.d.3), and faculty engage actively in inquiry related to the generation of knowledge in their specific fields of expertise.
Service to schools and community aligns with the WCE Value Statements, in particular advocacy. WCE faculty value and contribute to service and consider outreach to public school and agency partners as central to their mission. As explained in Standard 3, WCE formalized collaborations with regional school districts and several districts have collaborated with the WCE in special initiatives and collaborative grants; for example, Columbus County (5.4.e.6). Faculty serve as chairs and committee members in community agencies, as well as collaborators with units across UNCW, schools, and business partners to support of education at all levels. For example, DC Virgo Program, and Drop Out Prevention Program (5.4.e.5). Faculty members are involved in leadership roles in their professional organizations, and assist in state-wide and national policy decisions to advocate for P-12 schools.
PDS coordinates opportunities for faculty to provide service to partnership teachers, and administrators, as they engage in professional development events, which address the design and delivery of instructional programs in WCE and in P-12 schools. These activities include grant-supported initiatives, technology institutes, and special programs such as those established for First Year Teacher Support and to assist National Board Certification candidates (5.4.e.7). Technology is a specific focus and workshops are offered by faculty and the Director of Technology. Faculty plan and facilitate conferences for teachers connecting with renowned international and national experts in the field (5.4.e.8).
Faculty data reported in the WCE Database and Collaborative Portal provide information about service through professional development and support to educators across the region on various educational topics (5.4.e.9). WCE has a partnership with the Southeast Education Alliance, which holds workshops for teachers, administrators and WCE faculty.
WCE continues to support the military and military families, and provides professional development to Marine Base Trainers on effective teaching. WCE joined the Coalition to Support Military Families (2012) and collaborates with the School Military Liaison for Camp Lejeune. In 2013 a panel presentation was provided for WCE graduating candidates at their Transition to Teaching Seminar and Celebration on working with military families, as well as other sessions offered by faculty (5.4.e.10). Further support and service is offered by a faculty member from WCE who is the Director of the Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM). As a unit of UNCW, CESTEM assists to fulfill the University's mission to encourage public access to its educational programs and its commitment to regional service.
UNCW has as its primary focus the quality and effectiveness of teaching, and this a critical part of the criterion for RPT decisions. The WCE is concerned especially with instructional performance since its purpose is to produce teachers and administrators responsible for the development of future students. Similarly, the outcomes, including such data as student and peer evaluations of teaching and documentation of research, and service productivity, provide a basis for the annual evaluation of performance, as well as recommendations on promotion, and tenure. For full and part-time faculty, performance evaluations by Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) data of courses, and peer reviews of teaching are required. The peer review process requires observation by another faculty member as detailed in the Peer Observation Report Process in III-17 of the WCE Policies and Procedures Manual (2.4.a.16).
A Professional Development Plan (PDP), which outlines focus areas and development activities, is submitted in September each academic year and a Professional Development Report (PDR) is submitted at the end of the academic year. The PDR is based upon the university’s RPT format and documents activities and accomplishments in Teaching, Scholarship, Research, and Service. After review of the PDR, the Chair shares a written evaluation of the performance with the faculty member (Section II 35-38 of 2.4.a.16). The Dean of the WCE monitors the overall evaluation, reappointment, promotion, tenure and merit, to provide unit support to faculty for Promotion and Tenure (5.4.f.2) (Section III 1-30 OF 2.4.a.16).
The professional development of faculty is one component of the WCE commitment to assurance of program quality, and academic rigor. Expectations in teaching, scholarship, research, and professional development, service, and organizational contributions are delineated. Support processes include mentors for new faculty members. Full-time faculty can request one course release for a semester to allow additional time for scholarship or special projects. Research reassignments are awarded for one semester to allow faculty to focus on writing, research projects or a major scholarship effort (6.4.h.4).
Faculty are involved in leadership roles in professional organizations, assist in state-wide policy decisions, and work together as teams on teaching and scholarship. Several collaborative grants listed (5.4.d.3) enabled faculty to participate in research related to their content areas and also focus on aspects of the WCE Conceptual Framework (e.g. globalization of teacher education). Travel support for professional development (conferences and workshops) was maintained even during state budget cuts. Additional resources are available for professional development through the UNCW Office of International Programs, Instructional Technology Services Division, Graduate School, and the Center for Teaching Excellence (5.4.g.2).
5.2.b Continuous Improvement
- Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality.
- Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement as articulated in this standard.
A summary of faculty resources provided for course release and buyouts through grants and other funding to support research, scholarship, teaching and professional development from both WCE and from UNCW, shows the WCE commitment to enhancing faculty expertise and professional development (6.4.h.4). Through the resources, and maintenance of a 3/3 teaching load in WCE, the benefit to candidate development and success is evident in the initial licensure programs through the aggregated, and disaggregated data from the Intern Performance Scale (1.4.d.22-1.4.d.30), and the State required Evidences Folio proficiency data. Similarly, candidate proficiency is evident in the exit surveys, and capstone projects of graduate programs (1.4.d.67;1.4.d.21).
The opportunity to invest time in research and projects is beneficial as faculty increased the field experience components in their respective programs in 2009. The increase provides opportunities for faculty engagement in P-12 contexts as they work with candidates in schools. Due to the increase in the number of schools in the Professional Development System (PDS) (currently 145) and hence the number of teachers has grown to over 2,017, there has been an increase in the number of professional development requests of faculty to work in schools to support P-12 students. PDS continues to increase professional development opportunities for teachers by engaging faculty through facilitation of professional development for teachers, faculty and administrators in the schools. During 2012-2013, through PDS, faculty provided professional development to educators, such as 17 professional development conferences and 15 PDS professional development initiatives (5.4.e.1.-4). During candidate internship clinical faculty site coordinators provided a total 332 site seminars across the schools to candidates to ensure they are prepared for P-12 classrooms.
In WCE such programs as CESTEM strengthen the connections with schools and provide a context for our candidates to be placed with master teachers who continue to seek professional development, which ultimately benefits P-12 students. Through increased grant funding for schools related to the preparation of Science and Math, CESTEM provided twenty-eight activities that served over 850 teachers and students. Teachers received over 8,600 contact hours of instruction and were awarded either licensure renewal or graduate credit hours. In addressing its goal to serve new teachers in our service region, this year the Center added 127 new elementary, middle and high school teachers’ names to the database of over 2,627 teachers.
The continual revision of programs and courses is essential to provide the current educational practices to candidates. Faculty members revise courses based on their research, scholarship, and increased knowledge through attending professional development meetings at and conferences at the state, national and international levels. To respond to curricular development trends in P-12 schools, for example the Common Core and the Essential Standards, faculty members revise courses on a regular basis. The Teacher Education Council assists faculty in maintaining standards in program and course development. The broad representation on the committee in policy and curricular matters related to undergraduate and graduate teacher education is essential to maintain quality and the continual development of programs and courses. The Chancellor selects the members of the Teacher Education Council, and ensures representation from P-12 schools, and faculty from WCE and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Teacher Education Council is part of the governance structure for the WCE and must recommend to the Dean approval of course and program changes in order for them to be implemented. Teacher Education Council serves as a liaison between the WCE and the departments which recommends graduates for licensure. Revision of courses and programs relies on examination by faculty of current research and scholarship (5.4.d.4).
To sustain and enhance performance the Coordinator for Grants conducted a series of workshops for faculty in fall 2012-spring 2013 and will continue to increase support for resources and grant seeking for faculty to access funds to partner and support schools with professional development and other initiatives. Grant support provides faculty with time, and also resources for research into the most current practices in education, to generate new knowledge that will better prepare candidates for the future (5.4.d.3).
The PDS evaluates, through surveys, all professional development sessions that are conducted by the faculty for the teachers on the professional learning days in WCE. However, in collaboration with the WCE Assessment Director the PDS Director is developing a more intense process to include focus group interviews with teachers (June 2013). The increase in both interviews and increased survey data collection process will ensure that the professional development presented by faculty is current and meets the needs of teachers in schools, and ultimately improves instruction for P-12 students. The close monitoring of professional development is critical to make sure faculty members are current on educational issues and instructional practices which is critical in the preparation of candidates to meet the needs of all learners in P-12 schools.
The doctoral program has increased enrollment and added another track and will continue to expand off-campus sites. Working with the doctoral programs provides the opportunity for faculty to increase research projects with candidates to examine practices on teacher development, which informs faculty and assists in candidate development in initial licensure programs.
The new M.Ed.in Elementary Education program, which is being promoted and advertised by an outside company (Academic Partnerships), has the opportunity to provide an inclusive sustainable model for online programs. The online environment ensures that faculty members are current with new technologies for communication, which enhances their practice for preparing candidates to teach 21st century learning skills in the P-12 schools. Faculty are receiving stipends for course development and training in effective online course delivery methodologies. Other benefits to WCE include an increase in the diversity of candidates, globalization through the diversity of candidates, accessibility in rural areas, and further enhancement of the practice of teachers who will remain in their community.
Faculty in the initial licensure programs continues to revise the Evidences for the NCDPI to meet the McREL Rubric, which is currently used by the NCDPI to evaluate the folios of evidences for each program. This revision process includes close examination both of the content of courses, and the assessment process of candidates, which will further enhance candidate growth to meet the NCDPI standards. The change at NCDPI from the Praxis II to the Massachusetts Test for Educator License (MTEL), for both initial licensure in Elementary Education and Special Education, in summer 2014 will involve faculty aligning coursework both with the assessments and also the processes used in teaching Math and Literacy skills at the state level.
To provide more meaningful information from student evaluations of courses, UNCW has adopted the student ratings of instruction from the IDEA Center instead of the Student Perception of Teaching (SPOT) instrument. IDEA as a tool for course evaluation was implemented as a pilot in spring 2012, and was approved by the faculty senate in spring 2013 to replace the SPOT for faculty evaluation by students. The adopted tool factors out extraneous circumstances, and focuses on student learning of 12 specific objectives. Because of its complexity, the tool can be manipulated to fit the instructor's selected learning objectives and offers recommendations for improvement based on a vast national database. This move, to a more reflective teaching assessment tool, aligns with the Conceptual Framework of enhancing reflection on teaching for faculty.
Beginning July 2013, the Departments of EYC and Special Education will be part of the larger Department of Elementary, Middle Level, and Literacy, which will become the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education to provide the opportunity for more effective communication and collaborations across disciplines. The cross- program collaborations have the opportunity to provide smaller program areas with the ability to seek grant resources, engage in interdisciplinary research, and enhance teaching.
To monitor their professional development, faculty members are required to maintain Digital Measures input that is a university-wide system to track productivity in all the areas of teaching, research, scholarship and service. The Assessment Director in WCE piloted a program this year to better facilitate the collection of professional development experiences for WCE faculty. The tool within the WCE Collaborative Portal will continue to be developed so that it captures more specific information about the types and content of faculty professional development initiatives.