The first of these five assessment questions guides our search for information affirming that our students possess the academic skills and values that will sustain their learning in our program of study and practice when accepted as candidates preparing for licensure as teachers. Such skills include the ability to write well, to draw inferences from reading complex information, to use mathematics to solve everyday problems, and to share ideas with others through formal speech and discussion.
Embedded within our belief in the necessity of a broad liberal arts education is an emphasis on the basic skills of reading, critical thinking, and writing. Therefore, we seek to provide experiences throughout our program that enhance the development of these skills. Further, we attempt to emphasize the Benedictine values of openness to change and lifelong learning as essential to continued teaching effectiveness" (Unit Conceptual Framework, 2012)
Our expectation that candidates for teacher licensure possess academic skills and values consistent with the opportunities revealed through their liberal arts education is also consistent with related state and professional standards. The Minnesota Board of Teaching's rules for the approval of teacher preparation programs require that "the institution recruits, admits, and retains candidates who demonstrate potential for professional success in schools (Minnesota Rules: Institutional Program Approval, 8700.7600.5.D.1). Furthermore, those approved programs use "multiple criteria and assessments...to identify candidates for admission who have the potential to become successful teachers" (5.D.2).
While such skills are not explicitly noted in the Professional Standards developed by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, we might presume that they would be needed by all who seek to "know and demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn" (Professional Standards, 2008, p.12). Toward that end, our review and affirmation of prospective and accepted candidates' academic skills is consistent with institutional, state, and professional standards. The matrix for this first assessment question integrates sources of information available at each phase in candidates' progress through our program with unit, state, and professional standards. The plan for the unit's assessment system includes a detailed review of information sources selected for this and subsequent assessment questions appears (Unit Assessment System).
Click the link below to access Assessment Question 1.