Evaluation of Teacher Education Unit
Southwestern Christian University Department of Education is seeking initial accreditation and is currently identifying and implementing additional appropriate evaluation procedures. Until 2010, SWCU departments consisted of only one faculty member and have been adding approximately 4-6 faculty members each year. The first university Assessment Day was held in April 2013 which assessed each program of study with nationally validated instruments. The Department of Education is also a newly formed entity and additional unit assessments will be initiated after the approval process is complete. The addition of evaluation procedures has been approved by the SWCU Assessment Committee and the SWCU Teacher Education Council. The SWCU Assessment Committee is a committee that monitors the operations and programs of the College, but is not unit based; therefore, the Assessment Committee is a component of the unit evaluation system but does not specifically evaluate candidates or teacher education programs. Implementation of additional assessments will be incremental to ensure meaningful use of data for program evaluation and improvement.
SWCU Teacher Education recognizes assessment as a continuous process that underlies all excellent programs of teaching and learning. The unit has designed a systematic process for determining the extent to which its initial teacher preparation programs address the outcomes of the conceptual framework. Internal and external program assessment data are collected in order to help evaluate the work of the unit. This data is systematically reviewed and recommendations are made for unit improvement. The goal is to direct improvement efforts in order to ensure program quality.
Currently, the unit uses a variety of assessments to improve the operations and programs of the unit including faculty evaluations, course evaluations, candidate evaluations, and program evaluations. The SWCU Teacher Education Council, which is headed by the Department of Education Chair, has a subcommittee called the Education Assessment Committee which maintains a consistent cycle of unit, program, and candidate data analysis. Each teacher education program submits an assessment plan that identifies goals, intended candidate outcomes, and means of how to measure intended student outcomes with performance levels identified through the use of rubrics and other assessment instruments. Additional measures of candidates’ performance are based on Oklahoma competency exams (OGET, OSAT, and OPTE), course grades, portfolio, and clinical internship.
The unit’s conceptual framework themes are aligned with the Oklahoma General Competencies for Teacher Certification and the InTASC Standards 2011. The unit assessment process gathers multiple pieces of data at each Transition point and after graduation. The unit gets feedback from principals who hired SWCU graduates at the end of the first year of teaching. The unit Assessment Committee reviews all data. The process is designed to provide data and information to the appropriate faculty members or committees to make course or program changes. The process also assesses candidate proficiencies, as outlined in the conceptual framework and unit operations. The unit collects data and collaborates with the SWCU Office of Institutional Research and Assessment for statistical analysis. In addition to the assessment tools displayed here, the unit also relies on GPA and state testing scores to determine eligibility for admission to the program and internship. The testing data is shared with the Teacher Education Council.