Unit assessment is 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.
The Elementary Education major and Secondary Education minor unfold in 3 Steps. The 3 Steps of the unit’s programs (Step 1, College General Education Requirements and Introduction to the Profession, Step 2, Professional Studies and Content Preparation, and Step 3, Integrated Studies) provide structure and cohesion as candidates progress.
The unit’s learning outcomes are aligned with the Indiana P-12 Developmental Standards as well as the 10 InTASC standards.
The unit assessment process gathers multiple pieces of data at each STEP and after graduation. The unit receives feedback from principals who hired SMC graduates at the end of the first year of teaching. Additionally, the unit now participates in the College surveys of graduates 1 and 5 years out. The unit added links for Education graduates whose questions, aligned to the 8 unit learning outcomes and INTASC, ask how well prepared she was.
All data is reviewed by the faculty at department meetings as well as bi-annual assessment retreats. 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.
Assessment Retreats are held at the beginning of each semester where the entire unit reviews assessment reports. The unit also relies on GPA and Core Academic Skills Assessment (CASA) to determine eligibility for admission to the department (see application to the department). In Indiana, the student's ACT composite score of 24 or combined SAT score of 1100 (Critical Reading and Math) allow the student to substitute that score for CASA. Additionally, candidates must pass the Indiana Core Assessments (Content and Pedagogy) in the respective area(s) in order to earn their Indiana license(s). These trends, as well as other secondary assessment data, is shared with the Teacher Education Council.
Title II of the Higher Education Act requires three annual reports on the quality of teacher preparation. Schools of education are to report to states the pass rates of their graduates on state certification assessments and other program data in April. States in turn are required to report to the U.S. Department of Education information on certification and licensure requirements, pass rates on state assessments disaggregated and ranked by institution, and other information in October. The U. S. Department of Education is making the state reports readily accessible through the Web.