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STANDARD 4. DIVERSITY
4A. Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Curriculum and Experiences
4a.1. What proficiencies related to diversity are candidates expected to develop and demonstrate?
Shepherd University defines itself in the mission statement as "a diverse community of learners." Shepherd University's core values include the following: "Shepherd University strives to create a safe environment based on mutual respect and acceptance of differences" and "the University continually evaluates and assesses student learning. We recognize and accommodate diverse learning styles and perspectives necessary for global understanding." (See Shepherd University Mission Statement).
The conceptual framework, "Teacher as Reflective Problem Solver," reflects the mission statement of Shepherd University in that the PEU is committed to the principle that candidates believe that all students can learn and that candidates demonstrate the knowledge, dispositions, and performance skills that ensure they can teach all students. The PEU's commitment to diversity begins with the conceptual framework and is evidenced in its hiring practices (Attachment Z: PEUC Manual, 1999, pages 12-13 and Human Resources Affirmative Action Plan), curriculum, field placements, and student teaching opportunities. The conceptual framework, INTASC Principles (initial licensure), and the NBPTS standards (MACI), are the foundation for the PEU's diversity proficiencies. Candidates demonstrate these proficiencies and are evaluated through key assessments aggregated at the program and unit levels. The following diversity proficiencies for initial licensure (undergraduate and MAT) candidates come from the conceptual framework (See conceptual framework in the overview.):
Candidates in the MACI program develop the following proficiencies that come from the NBPTS standards.
4a.2. What required coursework and experiences enable teacher candidates and candidates for other school professional roles to develop:
Diversity and Social Justice is an important strand in the philosophical foundation in the Shepherd University teacher education program. The PEU elected to infuse this strand in every professional education course for initial licensure students as opposed to offering one stand-alone course (S1 Diversity Infusion Table). Diversity and Social Justice is a part of discussions and assignments in every course. In foundations courses, the topic is examined in relation to school policies/practices and student learning. Candidates learn strategies in methods courses to reach all the learners in their classrooms. One course that includes an extensive focus on diversity is the social foundations course (EDUC 200 for undergraduates and EDUC 581 for MAT candidates). This course examines diversity in relation to the history, philosophy, and sociological foundations of education. Course instructors seek to present a transformative curriculum through the text, readings, discussions, and the service learning experience.
To support candidate learning and skills acquisition in relation to diversity, the DOE chose to incorporate a service-learning experience in the social foundations course. Undergraduate candidates complete 10 hours of tutoring and MAT candidates complete 20 hours of tutoring with students at the local Job Corps Center in Harpers Ferry, WV. Students at Job Corps are predominantly African-American students who come from cities in the region. Shepherd University candidates' experiences with the Job Corps students often have a significant impact on their perceptions of diversity. For many of our candidates, this is their first real exposure to diverse students. Candidates complete a key assessment in the Social and Psychological Foundations of Learning Course (EDUC 320 for undergraduates and EDUC 582 for MAT candidates). Candidates describe the diversity of the context of the public school in which they are observing and learning, and how that setting influences the learning needs of diverse students. Candidates learn strategies that facilitate learning for diverse learners in elementary and secondary pedagogy courses as well as strategies specific to their content areas in content and methods courses.
Another significant strand in the program is Students with Exceptionalities. Every professional education course addresses and includes this strand (S2 Exceptionalities Infusion Table); in addition, because of changes in state policy requirements, all students in initial licensure programs complete six credit hours of course work related to students with exceptionalities. One of the courses is a traditional survey of exceptionalities and the other course focuses on inclusion strategies for students with all disabilities in the general education classroom. Candidates in art education and health and physical education complete a course that specifically addresses the unique needs of learners with special needs in those content areas in lieu of the survey course. Those candidates complete the inclusion strategies course along with the content specific course.
In addition to course based experiences, candidates for initial licensure complete field and/or clinical placements in designated diverse settings. All candidates must complete a minimum of two distinct placements in schools designated as serving higher than average numbers of minority students and students with exceptionalities. Candidates are also encouraged to complete placements in schools with a higher than average population of English Language Learners (ELL) and students from lower socioeconomic status. Because the population of ELL is increasing in the area, the course instructors now include strategies for teaching ELL in the required pedagogy courses for elementary education majors and the reading in the content area course for secondary education majors.
Coursework, field components of coursework and clinical practice contribute to the acquisition of appropriate knowledge, skills and dispositions related to diversity. Candidates must demonstrate their recognition that all students can learn and that they have ability to teach all students equally. Key assessments evaluate candidate proficiencies for this standard at the unit and program levels. 4a.3. What key assessments provide evidence about candidates' proficiencies related to diversity? How are candidates performing on these assessments?
The PRAXIS II: PLT Exams address knowledge of diversity in Sections 1, 4, and 6. PLT scores indicate that candidates scored below average on part 1 of the exam that includes multiple-choice questions; however, candidates performed above average on section 4 - students as learners: short answer. All candidates scored above average on Section 6. The Pro-05 (disposition) evaluation for initial licensure candidates includes an indicator to assess candidates' dispositions toward diversity. Portfolios require that artifacts demonstrate diversity proficiencies. Candidates cannot move forward in the program unless they receive positive Pro-05 and portfolio evaluations from their advisor. The unit plan assignment requires that candidates describe accommodations provided to students with disabilities. This demonstrates candidate proficiencies in relation to designing instruction for students with diverse abilities. The student teaching evaluation (ST76) includes an indicator that specifically addresses diversity (Indicator 5). The TWS requires candidates to examine diversity in their clinical experience. Candidates identify and profile a struggling learner in the class. Monitoring this student's learning, using a variety of assessments, determines whether the student has learned. Candidates examine the progress of all students to determine strategies that support increased learning for all and reflect on what they can do to improve learning outcomes for all. See SPA/CAR reports for specific assessment data. Surveys, developed for the initial licensure program, address diversity proficiencies. The survey administered to graduating candidates asks them to rate their preparation in two areas: 4. Creating instructional opportunities for diverse learners, and 5. Accessing appropriate services/resources to meet exceptional learning needs. The alumni survey and the principal's survey evaluating recent graduates include indicators addressing diversity proficiencies. Survey data indicate that candidates and alumni feel prepared to teach all learners and that they believe that all children can learn. Principals indicated that they believe that candidates know and practice strategies that meet the learning needs of all learners.
4a.4. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to diversity proficiencies and assessments may be attached here. [Because BOE members should be able to access many exhibits electronically, a limited number of attachments (0-5) should be uploaded.]
* Attachment Z: PEUC Manual
4b. Experiences Working with Diverse Faculty
4b.1. What opportunities do candidates (including candidates at off-campus sites and/or in distance learning or alternate route programs) have to interact with higher education and/or school-based faculty from diverse groups?
Shepherd University's equal opportunity policy states that, "Shepherd University commits itself, morally and legally, to take affirmative action to recruit and employ excellent faculty and non-faculty candidates and to ensure that all present faculty and non-faculty members receive education, training, compensation, promotion, tenure, transfer, and all other benefits of employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, physical disability, ancestry, familial status, or ethnicity or national origin, except where a bona fide occupational qualification exists (HR Affirmative Action Policies). Based on this commitment to equal opportunity, Shepherd University strives to create a campus with highly qualified faculty, staff, and administrators who represent all diverse groups. A review of institution data will document how the diversity of Shepherd University has increased over the past five years (Human Resources Data, HEPC Data). The PEU follows the equal opportunity policies of Shepherd University when hiring faculty and staff for teacher education. The PEU seeks a highly qualified community of diverse faculty and staff (PEUC Manual). The Office of Human Resources monitors all personnel searches to ensure compliance with equal opportunity policies (Faculty Handbook for Faculty Search Procedures).
Candidates interact with most PEUC faculty members as they complete professional education courses. As candidates complete general studies and content specialty courses, they interact with many faculty members across campus who identify as ethnic or racial minorities; however, it is important to note that not all faculty members chose to identify their ethnic and/or racial identity. Some faculty members identify as LGBT, and other faculty members identify as having disabilities. Since 23% of full-time PEU faculty members self-identify as racial minorities and others identify as diverse for reasons other than race or ethnicity, it is likely that candidates will have at least one professional education course with a diverse faculty member.
The local public schools reflect the limited diversity of the surrounding region. There are a limited number of diverse mentor teachers in the local schools. In fact, according to the WVDE, less than 1% of teachers in West Virginia are teachers of color and many of those teachers are at or near retirement age. The qualifications of mentor teachers are based on possession of licensure in the content area of the class taught and sought by the candidate, a minimum of three years of teaching in the license area, and approval of the school administrator. Shepherd University does not collect and compile data on the demographics of P-12 mentors; the PEU makes every good faith effort to place candidates with diverse mentor and cooperating teachers.
The recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and mentor teachers is a long-term goal and must continue to be a priority to make the personnel reflective of the children that today's teachers serve in public schools.
4b.2. What knowledge and experiences do faculty have related to preparing candidates to work with students from diverse groups?
Faculty members have professional preparation working with diverse students and extensive experiences working in diverse settings in the United States and the world. DOE professors have experience working with diverse students from lower socioeconomic status and students with exceptionalities living in rural, suburban and urban poverty. Professors have educational preparation, professional experiences, and published related to social justice and foundations, and working with diverse students.
The DEPS taught Native American and Latinos in New Mexico and graduate courses in Jamaica, WI. The DTE worked in public schools in Ohio and worked for the past five summers teaching school aged children in China. The DAA completed a career teaching and serving as an administrator in the NYC Public Schools. Faculty members have worked with diverse children in Japan, Cleveland, OH, Prince George's County, MD, Richmond, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Madison, NJ, Tacoma, WA, Austin, TX, Bulloch County, GA, Fairfax County, VA and Shaker Heights, OH, and counties in West Virginia. Three faculty members are experienced special educators, and three professors have extensive experience and preparation in literacy education and working in Head Start and Title I schools. Shepherd University is fortunate to have a professor with literacy expertise who serves on the IRA National Language Diversity Committee for 2010-2012. Her public school teaching experiences include Austin, Houston, and San Antonio Public Schools, TX in majority minority schools and with high percentages of students with exceptionalities. She also developed and coordinated a six-year federal "Gear Up" grant for education majors and created and directed a mentoring program for inner-city low-income African American seventh graders. Candidates receive a wealth of content knowledge and practical experiences from PEU faculty members. Experiences reach across many public school districts in many states and beyond (Faculty Curriculum Vitae in AIMS).
4b.3. How diverse are the faculty members who work with education candidates? [Diversity characteristics in addition to those in Table 8 can also be presented and/or discussed, if data are available, in response to other prompts for this element.] Please complete Table 8 or upload your own table at Prompt 4b.5 below.
*This table includes only full-time professional education faculty, and these faculty members teach courses in both initial licensure and the MACI advanced programs.
4b.4. What efforts does the unit make to recruit and retain a diverse faculty?
When advertising faculty vacancies, Human Resources posts advertisements in typical places such as the Chronicle of Higher Education; however, additional advertisements are in other journals/forums where there may be greater exposure to minority readers/applicants. One full-time faculty line is dedicated to meeting the mission of maintaining a diverse faculty. In fact, the last four out of five School of Education and Professional Studies faculty members hired have been minority candidates.
Retention of new faculty is a priority for Shepherd University, and especially the PEU. The deans for each school meet with new faculty to facilitate their transition at Shepherd University. Department chairpeople maintain open-door relationships with new faculty members and assign new faculty members a mentor from their departments. The Center for Teaching and Learning provides new faculty with a three-day orientation each year. In addition, the Center provides monthly workshops for new faculty over a two-year period covering topics such as academic advisement, using RAIL and Sakai, preparing for Third Year Review, preparing for teaching, scholarship and service. These workshops provide faculty with opportunities for sharing, establishing peer friendships, and learning opportunities that facilitate faculty success.
4b.5. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to faculty diversity may be attached here. [Because BOE members should be able to access many exhibits electronically, a limited number of attachments (0-3) should be uploaded.]
Shepherd Mission Statement: http://www.shepherd.edu/university/about/mission.html
4c. Experiences Working with Diverse Candidates
4c.1. What opportunities do candidates (including candidates at off-campus sites and/or in distance learning or alternate route programs) have to interact with candidates from diverse groups?
The Shepherd University student population as a whole has shown a gradual increase in diversity over time (See data from the Office of Institutional Research, HEPC Student Data 205-2009); however, the population of Shepherd University reflects the population of the region. The student population of Shepherd University as of the fall semester of 2009 (College Portraits) is:
less than 1% identify as international students (19),
Candidates have the opportunity to interact with diverse candidates in class and field placements, residence and dining halls, and during student activities. Candidates serve as members of the Shepherd University Multicultural Leadership Team and serve as campus leaders to educate and improve relations for all students at Shepherd University. They also serve as leaders of the Student Government Association and as Residence Halls Assistants. Shepherd University Education Association represents all candidates and Kappa Delta Pi has a diverse membership based on a minimum 3.2 GPA and 30 credits completed. Music performance groups are diverse in composition yet unique in talent. Students are given numerous opportunities to interact with all students on campus. In the spring semester of 2010 Graduating Students Survey, 42% of respondents indicated satisfaction with the "extent to which they experienced interactions with people of all races, languages, and/ or traditions different from their own;" 13.95% indicated dissatisfaction, and 11.63% indicated having no opinion.
4c.2. How diverse are the candidates in initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation programs? [Diversity characteristics in addition to those in Table 9 can also be presented and discussed, if data are available, in other prompts of this element.] Please complete Table 9 or upload your own table at Prompt 4c.4 below.
4c.3. What efforts does the unit make to recruit and retain candidates from diverse groups?
The DOE formed a committee to examine how to recruit additional minority candidates into the teacher preparation program. The committee decided to focus on recruiting candidates internally by working with current candidates who identify as members of diverse groups, and with the Office of Admissions specifically to address this shortage area when recruiting students to Shepherd University. Diverse candidates serve as members of student ambassadors with admissions to facilitate this recruitment process. The Director of Admissions selected candidates to encourage minority candidate applications to the teacher education program. Faculty members attend open houses and high school college fairs to encourage attendance at Shepherd University. In addition, the DOE offers a scholarship that is designated for minority teacher candidates (Education Scholarships).
The DEPS recruits candidates for the graduate programs during the visits to Jamaica. A practicing art teacher from Jamaica recently graduated from the MACI program. The DGSCE attends open houses at colleges and universities across the region and works to increase enrollment of diverse candidates in both the MACI and MAT programs.
A DOE committee identified middle schools and high schools in the District of Columbia that offered a teacher academy program or a Future Teachers of America Club and contacted them to see if there was interest in teacher education at Shepherd University. In addition, the committee contacted the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), which was closing its teacher education program, to seek student consideration of transferring to the teacher education program at Shepherd University.
The DAA serves on the Advisory Board of the Teachers Academy of Frederick County, MD Public Schools. Activities include an annual visit by diverse high school students to Shepherd University to participate in classes and school activities in hopes of increasing attendance by diverse students.
4c.4. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to candidate diversity may be attached here. [Because BOE members should be able to access many exhibits electronically, a limited number of attachments (0-3) should be uploaded.]
Data from the Office of Institutional Research: http://www.shepherd.edu/ir/data.htm
Education Scholarships: Office of Financial Aid
4d. Experiences Working with Diverse Students in P-12 Schools
4d.1. How does the unit ensure that candidates develop and practice knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions related to diversity during their field experiences and clinical practice.
Candidates, during EDUC 150, the introductory seminar course, learn the philosophy and conceptual framework of the PEU. This includes initial exposure to the programmatic strand, Diversity and Social Justice, and the Pro-05 qualitative assessment tool for dispositions. In order to support candidate learning and skills in relation to diversity, the PEU elected to incorporate a service-learning experience in the social foundations course. Candidates complete 10 hours of tutoring with students at the local Job Corps Center in Harpers Ferry, WV. The students at Job Corps are predominantly African-American students who come from cities in the region. Experiences with Job Corps students often have a significant impact on candidates' perceptions of diversity. For many Shepherd University candidates, Job Corps is their first real exposure to diverse students. Coursework and field placement components of courses continue to develop knowledge, dispositions, and performance skills related to diversity throughout all subsequent courses. Candidates write summative reflections of field experiences during the experience and at the end of each field based course. This continues throughout the candidate's progression through the program (S1, S2, and S3 Infusion Tables).
Candidates for initial licensure complete field and/or clinical placements in diverse settings. All candidates must complete a minimum of two distinct placements in schools designated as serving higher than average numbers of minority students and students with exceptionalities. (Attachment X). Candidates are also encouraged to complete placements in schools with a higher than average population of English language learners and students from low socioeconomic status homes. PEU faculty members receive a list of the diversity designations of the partner public schools and are encouraged to place candidates for field placements in diverse schools first.
4d.2. How diverse are the P-12 students in the settings in which candidates participate in field experiences and clinical practice? Please complete Table 10 or upload your own table at Prompt 4d.4 below. [Although NCATE encourages institutions to report the data available for each school used for clinical practice, units may not have these data available by school. If the unit uses more than 20 schools for clinical practice, school district data may be substituted for school data in the table below. In addition, data may be reported for other schools in which field experiences, but not clinical practice, occur. Please indicate where this is the case.]
* See Attachment X
4d.3. How does the unit ensure that candidates use feedback from peers and supervisors to reflect on their skills in working with students from diverse groups?
Candidates use feedback from peers when working in reflective pairs in pre-clinical practice classes to improve practice working with all P-12 students. This occurs when the candidates work with individuals, small groups, and deliver class lessons. In addition, reflective pairs offer feedback when peer teaching and discussing accommodation strategies for students with diverse learning needs. Methods classes require candidates include accommodations for diverse learners in unit plans. The student teaching evaluation form (ST76) includes indicators to evaluate candidates' abilities to effectively teach diverse learners. This form is used in the two field experiences prior to student teaching. Candidates working in reflective pairs in these field placements are evaluated together for co-teaching experiences. This evaluation provides the opportunity for candidates to discuss and reflect with their partner.
University supervisors and P-12 mentor teachers use this same evaluation form (ST 76) to evaluate candidates' work with diverse students. Candidates receive feedback from the university supervisor and P-12 mentors using this form and candidates complete a self-reflection using this form. Candidates are encouraged to discuss their self-evaluations with the university supervisor and P-12 mentor.
4d.4. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to the diversity of P-12 students in schools in which education candidates do their field experiences and clinical practice may be attached here. [Because BOE members should be able to access many exhibits electronically, a limited number of attachments (0-3) should be uploaded.]