The unit has the leadership, authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources, including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.
Element 1: Unit Leadership and Authority
Leadership within the unit, formally known as the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (CSB/SJU) Education Department, is invested in a full-time Department Chairperson (S. Ann Marie Biermaier, OSB), a full-time Director of Teacher Education (David Leitzman), and an Administrative Assistant (Maryjean Opitz). The unit is supported by an administrative staff member serving as both Director of Partnerships and the Departmental Advisor (Jeanne Cofell). Leitzman, Biermaier, and Opitz meet as needed to assess, plan for, and coordinate issues and matters relating to teacher education. The unit’s chairperson seeks input for agenda from these individuals as well as from key departmental committee chairs (curriculum, diversity, technology). All Education Department faculty members annually review the performance of the Departmental Chair and the Director of Teacher Education.
The unit’s chairperson also coordinates over-all operations within the department. The chairperson is the unit’s liaison with the Division Head for the Social Sciences, Dr. Joseph Friedrich, and the joint college Academic Dean and Associate Provost, Dr. Rita Knuesel. The chairperson initiates planning to support the unit’s mission, including budget, curriculum, and personnel. The unit’s Director of Teacher Education coordinates activities related to accreditation, licensure, and testing in consultation with the chairperson.
All teacher education licensure programs at CSB/SJU are coordinated by, and are under the direct leadership of the unit. Guided by its conceptual framework, “Teacher as Decision Maker,” the Education Department has designed each of its licensure programs to provide candidates with the pedagogical and professional knowledge delineated in the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice (MSEPT), the content knowledge described by Minnesota’s licensure standards, and the unit’s standards. Each of these teacher education programs, noted in Tables I.3 and1.4 in the Institutional Overview prepared for this report, has been approved by Minnesota’s Board of Teaching. This external audit conducted by the Board during the 2000-2001 academic year affirmed that candidates in each licensure program have opportunities to know, practice, and be assessed on each of the Standards of Effective Practice and requisite content standards.
Providing these opportunities requires significant cooperation and support from the faculty and staff of the Education Department and from the faculty teaching in those arts and sciences departments that support our licensure programs. Results of the Board’s review and descriptions of each program are available for review in portfolios maintained by the unit. The unit is preparing licensure program documentation for Board review in July of 2006.
The Board requires that a program’s documentation include course syllabi identifying learning, application, and assessment opportunities for pedagogical and content standards enjoyed by candidates as they complete daily assignments, examinations, and significant course tasks. Educators holding a license in the area they review are trained by the Board to examine these syllabi and any supporting information to affirm that such opportunities are congruent with relevant standards and appropriate for the licensure level.
Developing useful documentation to support the Board’s review of each licensure area begins with conversations among the unit’s Tier Two methods instructors, Arts and Science faculty, and P-12 educators. Unit and college faculty review those college courses and field experiences required of candidates to deliver the requisite content standards. The result of such meetings, begun in 1998 for review in 2000, determined course requirements for each of then newly required elementary 5-8 “specialties.” Since that time, content course requirements have been modified for licensure programs where the unit found that some candidates’ performances did not meet unit, state, and national standards. Weaknesses revealed through candidates’ formative evaluations in licensure courses or through their summative performance assessments in clinical settings have encouraged additional curricular changes. Results of licensure examinations provide additional support for efforts to improve candidate performance. During the past five years the unit revised its elementary specialty in Language Arts and Literature to increase candidates’ opportunities to advance their knowledge of literature and composition.
The unit’s faculty members collaborate with P-12 practitioners in the design, delivery, and evaluation of all CSB/SJU licensure programs through their participation in the Teacher Education Advisory Committee (TEAC). This committee usually meets once each semester. It is formed from all full-time Education faculty members, four college arts and sciences faculty, nineteen P-12 practitioners (teachers, counselors, principals, mid-level school leaders) and two of our candidates.
The unit’s TEAC invited legislative candidates to discuss issues of concern to all educators during its fall 2004 meeting. Spring 2005 TEAC meetings found smaller groups of unit methods instructors, arts and sciences college faculty, and P-12 instructors focused on the review of our licensure programs in social studies (9-12), reading and writing literacy (K-6), and general science (K-6). Each of these smaller teams reviewed their program’s content standards, partnership experience, and pedagogical concerns. Growing concern about the performance of candidates in the social studies licensure program, for example, encouraged closer examination of curricular opportunities devoted to helping candidates master a very wide range of complex subject matter. That review will encourage further analysis of candidates’ performance.
All Education Department clinical and methods faculty work continuously with their P-12 partner school colleagues to determine best practices that candidates working in the P-12 classrooms should employ. Planning occurs prior to the field experiences associated with methods courses, with review of those experiences following their conclusion. Planned experiences are often modified to better fit the emerging needs of candidates in clinical settings.
The Education Department provides professional development on effective teaching for faculty and staff in other units of the institution. Dr. David Leitzman, prepared as an instructional developer and program evaluator, frequently consultants with faculty, departments and administrators on teaching and assessment. Most recently he advised the Provost on ways to encourage assessment of learning in the absence of a specialist working with departments in that area. He also advised Dr. Vera Theisen from Modern and Classical Languages on the design and use of rubrics used to score the oral and written work of fourth year students completing senior projects.
Element 2: Unit Budget
Education Department’s budget allocations permit faculty extraordinary opportunities for teaching, scholarship, and service that extend beyond the unit to P-12 education and other programs in the institution. During the past three years, several of the unit’s faculty members have had opportunities to engage in exceptional professional work beyond regular responsibilities.
In addition to these examples of budgetary support for extraordinary faculty opportunities, the unit’s budget for curriculum, instruction, faculty, clinical work, and scholarship supports quality work both within the Education Department and with our partner schools. With greater demands for increased support from all departments and programs within the colleges, the unit has enjoyed comparatively high levels of fiscal support to strengthen all aspects of its teacher education program. In addition to the Study Tour grants previously noted, Faculty Development and Research grants for each of the past four years helped us reach our Diversity Plan goal to “increase faculty and staff knowledge about minority groups and their cultures and build greater understanding of diversity in our local and our urban partnership schools (Minneapolis and St. Paul).” Unit faculty are also eligible to apply for institutional Learning Enhancement Services (LES) grants on a regular basis. Recent changes in our curriculum that improve candidates’ field experiences and their introduction to the profession were supported by stipends for creating or revising courses. All of these examples sustain the vitality of a dynamic Education Department that enjoys a high level of institutional support.
Element 3: Personnel
The unit enjoys workload policies and practices that permit and encourage faculty to be engaged in a wide range of professional activities including teaching, scholarship, assessment, advisement, work in schools, and service. Again, the best evidence in support of this claim is the wide range of professional activities in which Education Department faculty engage.
Teaching. As liberal arts colleges, vital and effective instruction is the heart our mission. The unit’s full-time faculty teach three four-credit courses each semester (3/6ths) for a total load of six courses during a typical academic year (6/6ths). Full-time Education Department faculty who teach two 4-credit pedagogy classes in a given semester also receive a 2-credit release for supervision of students in school based field-experiences. This year the Education Department has a total of ten full-time, four part-time/shared-time, and five adjunct faculty members. The unit is also supported in its mission by two experienced P-12 educators who, as Directors of Student Teaching, and hold administrative staff appointments.
Scholarship. The unit’s faculty meet their teaching, advising, and service responsibilities along with supporting our pending state and national accreditation reviews. In doing so they have not neglected their scholarship. Highlights of their scholarly work and recognition include…
Assessment. All Education Department faculty and staff members have been deeply involved in assessment activities over the past several years. Those who serve on the unit’s Assessment Committee, working with their colleagues, continued to refine the design and use of our comprehensive performance data base that is designed to document candidate performance at each phase of their preparation for licensure. We have examined licensure test data shared with us by the Educational Testing Service to discover areas of curricular strength and weakness. We have continued to administer our colleges’ longest continuing assessment of college students’ writing, the Education Department Writing Assessment, to affirm the skills of all prospective elementary majors and minors. A comprehensive study of prospective candidates writing performance was completed in July of 2004 supported by annual summary reports.
We gathered and explored perceptions of those students enrolled in our elementary “diversity block” during the fall and spring semesters for the past three years. We have made revisions based on their evaluations and will continue to use this information to improve the block experience for the elementary teacher education candidates.
Elementary and secondary student teaching performance profiles were revised to incorporate changes introduced by the unit’s Directors of Student Teaching. Standards identified in the assessment plan and used in the performance database were revised to reflect current practices. The Student Teaching Directors continue to revise their procedures in response to concerns from cooperating teachers and student teaching supervisors about the complexity of the reporting process.
During this past academic year we made some progress toward developing a useful process for gathering the perceptions of recent graduates who are teaching or working in educational settings. The survey used for many years, not fully reflective of our conceptual framework, consistently produced highly favorable responses from too small a portion of our graduates and their teaching supervisors (principals or department leaders). We have elected to draw on Dr. Bruce Dickau’s experience interviewing recently licensed science teachers as a model for how we might revise our approach to gathering graduates’ perceptions. Brother Doug Mullin’s sabbatical research on “Identifying and Learning from Teachers of Promise” offers further guidance on how we may proceed with this next facet of our assessment system. Use of an internet-based survey may ease collection and analysis of information provided by our graduates while improving their response rate.
Troubling results from both elementary (grade 5-8 specialists) and secondary (9-12) candidates on Praxis II social studies examinations provoked a closer review of ETS test data and the development of a set of proposals for the department’s consideration. Those proposals, tempered by the May 2005 TEAC meeting focused on the preparation of social studies teachers, will be released to encourage discussion and action in the coming year.
We responded to requests from others for assistance with assessment, including the Art Department and the Monastery’s museum, and participated with others in the search for useful student portfolio software that might meet institutional, unit, and candidate needs.
Advisement: Because of the complexity of teacher education programs and the significant investment students make in their liberal education through work in our colleges’ Core Curriculum, student advising is demanding role for the unit’s faculty. After the first year of full-time teaching, all faculty members are invited to accept advisees. Working with faculty advisors, the unit employs an Education Advisor in an administrative staff position to reduce the faculty’s advising load by assisting first-year students as they plan their four-year journey to licensure. At present the unit’s full-time faculty guide from four to 28 candidates.
Work in P-12 Schools. Unit faculty teaching pedagogy courses work collaboratively with P-12 practitioners in schools as they design, implement and assess field experiences for candidates in their courses. A number of faculty members have also taken on noteworthy projects over the past three years with our P-12 partners.
Professional Service. All members of the unit contribute professional service within the department, the colleges, and in the larger community. All Education Department faculty and administrative staff serve as members of the Teacher Education Committee (TEC) and the Teacher Education Advisory Committee (TEAC). As such, they serve on one or more of the various standing subcommittees including the Admissions Committee, the Hearing Committee, the Reading/Writing Committee, the Scholarship Committee, the Assessment Committee, the Diversity Committee, the Partnership Committee, the Technology Committee, and the Curriculum Planning Committee. They also serve various ad hoc committees and on search committees for the hiring of new faculty and staff as needed.
Education Department faculty members also serve our colleges through their work as members of the Joint Faculty Assembly. Over the past three years, individual members of the Education Department faculty have served on various faculty governance committees.
Members of the unit have also served the colleges over the past three years in more diverse ways.
Education Department faculty members also contribute professional service beyond the colleges on community, state, regional or national levels.
All members of the Education Department faculty also contribute professional service through their individual professional affiliations, including,
● Adult Aging and Development Association (AADA) ● American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) ● American Association of University Professors (AAUP) ●American College Counseling Association (ACCA) ● American Education Research Association (AERA) ● American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) ● The Association of College and University Housing Officers (ACUHO) ● The Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) ●Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) ● Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) ● Benedictine Musicians of the Americas ● Central Minnesota Community Arts ● Central Minnesota Reading Association ● Delta Kappa Gamma ● International Reading Association (IRA) ● Midwest Human Relations Association ● Minneapolis Institute of Art ● Minnesota Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE) ● Minnesota Human Relations Association ● Minnesota Association of Teacher Educators ● Minnesota Minority Education Partnership ● Minnesota Writing Project ● Music Educators National Conference (MENC)● National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ● National Association of Bilingual Educators (NABE) ● National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) ● National Art Education Teachers Association ● National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) ● National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) ● National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) ● National Council of Teachers of Mathematics ● National Council on Family Relations ● National Education Association (NEA) ● National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) ● Organization of the Teacher Educators in Reading (OTER) ● Pax Christi ● Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) ● Speech Communication and Theater Association (CTAM) ● Stearns County Historical Society ● Twin Cities Area Reading Council ● Upper Midwest Ethnic Studies Association
Faculty members are encouraged to use on-line resources and formats as appropriate to support their instruction and student learning. The colleges have encouraged the use of the internet to present facets of selected courses, such as enhancements to “discussion” through the use of interactive messaging and journaling or the review of rare documents that could not be experienced directly. As residential liberal arts institutions, supporting an extensive catalog of on-line courses that would encourage distance learning is not within our colleges’ coordinate mission. No formal policies or procedures have been established to include on-line course delivery in determining faculty teaching loads.
The unit has six part-time faculty members, each of whom provides added content strength and perspective to the teacher education courses they teach. Dr. James Johnson, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is a full-time employee of one of the colleges but teaches less than 6/6ths in the Education Department. While his initial preparation was in education, he holds a doctorate in mathematics. Four part-time, adjunct faculty members have their primary employment outside the colleges in P-12 schools but teach a limited number of the unit’s courses each year. The fifth, who serves as the unit’s instructor of the state-mandated “Drug Use and Abuse” course, is a youth counselor in a local drug rehabilitation center. These members of the unit bring additional community and school connections to the teacher education courses they teach. They actively participate in the life of the unit given the demands of their P-12 roles.
The Education Department has two full-time clinical education faculty members. Ms. Melisa Dick serves as the unit’s Director of Elementary Student Teaching. Mr. Delbert Brobst is our Director of Secondary K-12/5-12 Student Teaching. Both are valued members of the department, serving on the Teacher Education Council, various subcommittees, and the Teacher Education Advisory Committee. The unit also employs P-12 master teachers as student teaching supervisors.
The Education Department supports professional development activities of faculty members through departmental in-service programs and through the allotment of travel funds for each faculty member. These activities engage faculty in dialogue and skill development related to emerging theories and practices in teaching. Departmental in-service programs over the past three years have focused on diversity issues. Each full-time faculty member is allocated $500 in travel funds each year for professional development activities. Some faculty members use these funds to attend state and regional conferences or workshops each year. Others allow their allocated funds to accumulate over several years to attend national conferences.
Element 4: Unit Facilities
The Education Department has outstanding facilities to support candidates in meeting standards. The unit is housed on the ground level of the Henrietta Academic Building (HAB) on the CSB campus. The HAB is at the hub of campus life and is in close proximity to the services most used to support the work of the unit: the library with 40 station computer lab, the Campus Center, the bookstore, and the Student Services building. Within the HAB, the Education Department manages its own up-to-date and well-organized curriculum library, including the special collection housed in the Rosemary Lang Roehl Reading Room. The Education Department shares the HAB with and has ready access to the Media Center, the Writing Center and the Learning Enhancement Services Center. The Department’s staff and faculty have private offices and use a networked computer system never more than three years old. Education Department faculty and all students have access to all classrooms as well as the instructional support spaces and services of both college campuses.
The Education Department also works with partner schools that are resource rich in facilities, teaching materials, and especially strong mentor teachers. These schools provide candidates exceptional learning opportunities in fieldwork and clinical experiences.
The facilities used by the Education Department include the most recent technological tools that allow faculty members to model the use of technology and candidates to practice using it for instructional purposes. All classrooms are wired for computer network accessibility in “presentation classrooms” and with the use of a computer-on-wheels (CoW). The fall 2005 semester will find eight such classrooms in the HAB among a total of 54 on both campuses. The building will also offer three “CoW” projection systems. Faculty members and candidates using presentation classroom equipment or a CoW have instant access to high speed Internet connections and all the networked software and data files that they can access from their offices, residence halls, or from the computer lab. Presentation classrooms added in the summer of 2005 will provide projection of computer-managed images in nearly one-half of classrooms. Future installations will reflect annual review and updates of classroom technology planning. All classrooms used by the unit have a television receiver with VCR/DVD and the option for large screen video projection. In the coming years the college will begin to supplement, then replace its wired network with a wireless system. During the coming academic year portable labs in the Academic Skills Center (CSB) and Simons Hal (SJU) will include notebook PCs, projectors and printers in a cart that can be delivered to classrooms.
Element 5: Unit Resources including Technology
The Education Department aggressively and successfully secures resources to support high quality and exemplary programs and projects to ensure that candidates meet standards. The Education Department has secured several institutional commitments of resources to support program development. Approximately $14,800 in new one-time funding resources was secured by the Education Department during the past fifteen months to support summer work on the following projects:
The Education Department has enjoyed the development and implementation of an assessment system that is well funded. One of the major tasks for our Director of Teacher Education is to guide the development and use of Unit Assessment System. Using information technology provided by our colleges, we are gathering, aggregating, exploring, and sharing candidates’ assessments to improve the licensure programs we offer.
The Education Department serves as an information technology resource in education beyond education programs to assist the institution, community, and other institutions. Several Education Department faculty members lead and mentor others in information technology.
Finally, Education Department faculty members and candidates have access to exemplary library, curricular, and electronic information resources that serve the unit as well as a broader constituency.
Revised 24 August 2005