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Standard 3


Standard 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment and Selectivity – The provider demonstrates that the quality of candidates is a continuing and purposeful part of its responsibility from recruitment, at admission, through the progression of courses and clinical experiences, and to decisions that completers are prepared to teach effectively and are recommended for certification. The provider demonstrates that development of candidate quality is the goal of educator preparation in all phases of the program. This process is ultimately determined by a program’s meeting of Standard 4. 

Plan for Recruitment of Diverse Candidates who Meet Employment Needs 

3.1 The provider presents plans and goals to recruit and support completion of high-quality candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and diverse populations to accomplish their mission. The admitted pool of candidates reflects the diversity of America’s P-12 students. The provider demonstrates efforts to know and address community, state, national, regional, or local needs for hard-to-staff schools and shortage fields, currently, STEM, English-language learning, and students with disabilities. 

Admission Standards Indicate that Candidates have High Academic Achievement and Ability 

3.2 REQUIRED COMPONENT- The provider sets admissions requirements, including CAEP minimum criteria or the state’s minimum criteria, whichever are higher, and gathers data to monitor applicants and the selected pool of candidates. The provider ensures that the average grade point average of its accepted cohort of candidates meets or exceeds the CAEP minimum of 3.0, and the group average performance on nationally normed ability/achievement assessments such as ACT, SAT, or GRE: 

 is in the top 50 percent from 2016-2017;
 is in the top 40 percent of the distribution from 2018-2019; and  is in the top 33 percent of the distribution by 2020.[i] 

[ALTERNATIVE 1] If any state can meet the CAEP standards, as specified above, by demonstrating a correspondence in scores between the state-normed assessments and nationally normed ability/achievement assessments, then educator preparation providers from that state will be able to utilize their state assessments until 2020. CAEP will work with states through this transition. 

[ALTERNATIVE 2] Over time, a program may develop a reliable, valid model that uses admissions criteria other than those stated in this standard. In this case, the admitted cohort group mean on these criteria must meet or exceed the standard that has been shown to positively correlate with measures of P-12 student learning and development. 

The provider demonstrates that the standard for high academic achievement and ability is met through multiple evaluations and sources of evidence. The provider reports the mean and standard deviation for the group. 

[Board amendment adopted February 13, 2015] CAEP will work with states and providers through this transition regarding nationally or state normed assessments. Alternative arrangements for meeting this standard (beyond the alternative stated above for “a reliable, valid model that uses admissions criteria other than those stated in this standard”) will be approved only under special circumstances. The CAEP 

staff will report to the Board and the public annually on actions taken under this provision. In all cases, EPPs must demonstrate the quality of the admitted candidates. 

Additional Selectivity Factors 

3.3 Educator preparation providers establish and monitor attributes and dispositions beyond academic ability that candidates must demonstrate at admissions and during the program. The provider selects criteria, describes the measures used and evidence of the reliability and validity of those measures, and reports data that show how the academic and non-academic factors predict candidate performance in the program and effective teaching. 

Selectivity During Preparation 

3.4 The provider creates criteria for program progression and monitors candidates’ advancement from admissions through completion. All candidates demonstrate the ability to teach to college- and career- ready standards. Providers present multiple forms of evidence to indicate candidates’ developing content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and the integration of technology in all of these domains.[ii] 

Selection At Completion 

3.5 Before the provider recommends any completing candidate for licensure or certification, it documents that the candidate has reached a high standard for content knowledge in the fields where certification is sought and can teach effectively with positive impacts on P-12 student learning and development. 

3.6 Before the provider recommends any completing candidate for licensure or certification, it documents that the candidate understands the expectations of the profession, including codes of ethics, professional standards of practice, and relevant laws and policies. CAEP monitors the development of measures that assess candidates’ success and revises standards in light of new results.


In WV, 42 counties, have indicated teacher shortages for 8 of the past 10 years. Shortages included 34 certification areas of which SU provides programs leading to certification in 13 at the undergraduate level (Early Ed, Elementary, Middle School Social Studies, Middle School Math, Art, Biology, Chemistry, General Science, Secondary Math, Music, FACS, Spanish, Secondary Social Studies) with special education offered at the MA level. Comparatively nationwide, WV is among states with the most teacher needs. SU is located on the border of 3 counties in 2 states and is part of RESA 8 which oversees WV PreK and Headstart classrooms. Positions have been filled in the previous two years, but needs remain for PreK, elementary grades 4 and 5, math, science, art, and Spanish.  Additionally, four months into the school year, SU received multiple emails from neighboring counties in VA and MD inviting December graduates to apply for midyear job postings. (See Teacher Shortage)

The communities served by these school systems are comprised of roughly 300,000 people with a majority white population (83-88%) and median incomes between $55,000 and $66,000.  While not ethnically diverse, a significant percentage of the population (12-14%) live in poverty, more than 10% of households contain adults without a high school diploma, and only 20-28% of the population has a bachelor degree.
Concerted recruiting efforts at SU to increase diversity on campus are shown in the Ethnicity data for prospective students, however diversity enrollment more closely matches the surrounding community. SU seeks to create an environment that prepares all students to live, learn, work and succeed in a diverse society. To this end, a variety of programs are offered through the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Many initiatives at SU continue to target students from surrounding out of state counties including those bordering Washington DC where there is more ethnic diversity and from other countries.  Initiatives, include the Metro Scholarship which provides $4000 for out of state students and new articulation agreements with Montgomery College. Lord Fairfax College, and NOVA which are located in the DC metro area along with a 25% tuition discount for transferring students from these and 2 other colleges. Creating SES and educational diversity has been successful.  Numbers of students at SU, more specifically in education, coming from households in poverty or who are first generation college students is much greater than that represented by the surrounding community. This success is the result of active initiatives to bring diversity to campus, to create articulated programs at local colleges which have lower tuition (BRCTC and EWVCTC), develop a variety of scholarships at large and education scholarships in particular, and seek funds through grants that will help these students be able to bear the costs of a college education.   In addition, a variety of initiatives to bring diversity to campus are on going. (See Diversity Efforts)

The need for diverse highly qualified teachers combined with decreasing enrollment at SU and in education highlight the importance of additional efforts to recruit high quality teacher candidates.  The PEUC formed an ad hoc committee to study recruitment and potential barriers to enrollment. A recruitment plan was developed in conjunction with overall intuition recruitment efforts.  Specific things the PEUC could be involved in as part of this plan was presented, discussed, modified, and adopted.  Alongside institution recruitment efforts, the PEU:

1) Set up a central Folder on the PEUC Sakai site for faculty members who are in the field to document contacts made with potential candidates in their regular visits to area schools.

2) Piloted an Education Fair to introduce high school students to the SU education program on March 2, 2017 with 29 area high school students attending a day of candidate-led workshops, social events with current candidates, attendance in four education courses, and specialization-specific advising. Forty-three percent of students attending said the event increased their desire to become a teacher and 48% said the event increased their desire to come to Shepherd.  No participants indicated that the event decreased desire. We will continue to be in contact with these rising educators and collect data regarding future enrollment at SU as teacher candidates.  With it’s initial success, it is anticipated that this will become a yearly recruiting tool.

3) Establish/Update new advising pathways from community colleges. Thus far, in 2016-17, a new advising pathway has been established for elementary education candidates from Potomac State College, 2 new areas of certification (physical education and early education) have been added to the Blue Ridge CTC collaborative agreement and an advising pathway for physical education candidates from Montgomery College is nearly complete.

In addition to this effort, we anticipate notification on the NOYCE grant  (Submitted fall 2017) within the next month. If funded, it will provide scholarships for undergraduate math and science majors who enroll in courses that will allow them to complete their STEM-related degree while concurrently completing initial MAT coursework for teacher certification. This would lead to teacher certification at the graduate level one year beyond completion of their undergraduate degree. (See Recruitment Plan Document)

SU provides a number of supports to insure successful candidate completion.  These supports begin before students start the first day of classes.  Regularly scheduled two-day summer advising and registration sessions (A&R) for incoming freshmen and transfer/readmit days for transferring students provide detailed advising well beyond course selection.  At A&R, new students are guided in their first steps towards completion by a team comprised of DOE/specialization faculty members, a current teacher candidate (A-Team), and the faculty and staff from the advising center, admissions, and registration. Students are introduced to campus life with an overnight stay in the residence halls and participate in events campus wide.  During advising sessions, they are provided with an overview of their four year plan, engage in discussion about the various requirements for certification beyond coursework, and guided through the registration process so that they leave with a working shepherd email, access to Sakai, and carefully constructed schedules that meet their particular academic needs.

This level of advising support continues throughout their time at Shepherd.  Students are required to meet with trained advisors assigned by specialty area a minimum of one time each semester to monitor course progression, answer questions, and provide support for areas of concern.  The advisor regularly tracks, GPA and other program requirements. “What if” analysis has been possible through RAIL but will become easier as SU begins using Degree Works, Spring 2017.  Additional advising support is also available through the advising assistance center which is staffed by professional advisors and graduate assistant advisors.

All candidates are required to take a first year experience education course that includes a review of program requirements and campus wide resources for support. It also requires students to access the published four year plan in their specialization handbook (available on the DOE webpage) and create their own personal plan for graduation which they must present to their advisor.  Additionally this course teaches them about portfolio assessment and requires them to meet with their advisor to review portfolio requirements.

If students experience academic difficulty, individual and small group tutoring is available at no extra cost.  This free tutoring extends beyond coursework to include tutoring for PRAXIS exams. Additionally, first generation college students are also eligible for additional individualized supports through the TRIO program which provides a range of services and resources.  For example, a TRIO advisor may provide one on one assistance in learning how to set up a study schedule or provide tutoring in study skills needed across a range of classes.

Tuition also includes access to medical services at the Student Health Center. In addition to typical doctor’s office care, for a small fee students can obtain flu shots or get a public school required TB test for field placement.  Counseling services are also provided free of charge to students and advisors often refer students who are having difficulty coping with the stresses of a rigorous program, experiencing depression, or who suffer from test anxiety. More recently, small ’emergency’ scholarships have been made available for students who would might drop out because of an immediate financial need under $200.

Additionally, SU provides supports for completion by actively providing inservice training to faculty members campus wide to improve teaching methods and capacity to support student success both face to face and through technology  use. (See Supports for Completion Documentation)

Shepherd University establishes goals for student retention persistence, and completion in documents such as the institutional compact, a statewide planning document required by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WV-HEPC). This document links institutional targets and goals to those outlined by the Commission in its master plan for higher education entitled Leading the Way. Shepherd has consistently worked closely with the WV-HEPC during the compact planning process to develop goals that are both aspirational and realistic. Targets were developed through a collaborative process that involved all segments of enrollment management, and where appropriate, academic, academic support and administrative units. Some highlights include:
. Development of new retention strategies (Beacon, Retention Interventions Team);
. Usage data for Academic Support and Career Services;
. Curricular developments in the RBA programs and graduate studies;
. Increased financial literacy and counseling efforts, resulting in a five percent drop in our cohort default rate
to 7.6%;
. Targeted efforts for international and transfer students in the admissions process;
. Assessment results and gap analyses from the program review process;
. Increased numbers of grant applications and funding, as well as number of peer-reviewed publications,
indicating higher research and scholarship outcomes for faculty.

Beacon is a retention-software program that enables faculty to identify students at risk. Beacon also allows the institution to assess student survey responses (SSI) in a number of cognitive areas, in addition to demographic areas that might cause the student to be at risk. As a result, Shepherd has data based on a national norm. Shepherd has recognized the need to increase its retention rates across all student populations and has invested in a system that allows it to obtain different data to ascertain why students are not returning. RamPulse is an events software and application (app). This initiative was rolled out last year to students, who are the main target audience, in an effort to boost student engagement in on-campus activities by providing reminders of events that are tailored to the students’ interest. Several departments, such as art and music advertise events through this program.

SU is dedicated to promoting the growth of all candidates. Many students enter SU without ACT/SAT scores and are underprepared for the rigor of college coursework.  Consequently, a cohort system has NOT been adopted by the PEUC in order to allow differentiation and to give promising students an opportunity to prove themselves in their first 2+ years at Shepherd.  Formal admission to education, referred to as Juncture 1 (requirements are outlined in the PEUC Policy Manual), generally takes place at the end of the sophomore year or beginning of the junior year with many factors dictating timing.

July 1, 2016 WV state policy adoption of CAEP standards resulted in an ad hoc committee assigned to study WV policy, CAEP expectations, and SU data for the past three juncture groups. In addition to GPA, a combination of ACT, SAT, and PRAXIS CORE scores were used to demonstrate academic excellence.  Discussion of their findings took place in Fall 2016 PEUC meetings.

Current SU policy for juncture 1 dictates an education and overall GPA of 2.75 along with a list of key courses which require a minimum of a C and passage of the PRAXIS CORE.  The possibility of changing this policy was discussed with particular attention paid to the impact of required GPA on students who entered SU underprepared or who had a past academic record of failure. Because GPA at juncture for the aggregation of these groups was 3.35 and ACT, SAT, or PRAXIS Scores on all three tests exceeded minimum expectations, a decision was made to maintain the current policy which allows for individual differentiation.  Due to small numbers in most specializations, analysis of these academic indicators by specialization was then aggregated across the three cycles of data.  Two specialization areas (Biology and Early Education) did not meet the minimum GPA.  Early Education also did not meet the top 50% requirement for Reading and English did not meet the top 50% on SAT but did meet it on all subtests of the CORE which double counted some students.  It should be noted that each represents a small n (1, 2, and 7 respectively). Current data base design made collection and analysis of this data very difficult and time consuming.

Academic excellence data from the initial students entering SU from our new (2014) collaborative program with BRCTC was analyzed separately to determine differences, trends or patterns between the two groups of students. GPA for these students was higher but test scores were the same for the 8 students .  As these students move into post juncture 1 coursework, additional analysis will be able to determine if there are differences between the SU and the CTC students. (See Academic Excellence Documentation)

SU uses two primary methods to assess and monitor attributes and dispositions other than academic ability, the portfolio and the Pro 05 Disposition Assessment.
The portfolio is evaluated at Juncture 1 (Admission) and Juncture 2 (Progression to Student Teaching) by each student’s advisor.  While specific portfolio requirements vary from program to program and among advisors, all include artifacts that represent disposition in addition to knowledge and skills.  An ad hoc committee studied the current use of portfolios and submitted a recommendation to the PEUC. Discussion has begun regarding development of a core set of portfolio requirements to be used unit-wide. As an assessment, development of a common portfolio foundation will be developed following CAEP criteria for Validity and Reliability with individual SPA requirements in mind.

Instructors in each education course use the Pro05 to assess 12 personal and professional characteristics on a 6 point scale.  Advisors address any issues highlighted by the Pro 05 as part of regular advising and before recommending a candidate at juncture 1 and 2.  While the Pro05 was developed before CAEP guidelines for establishing validity and reliability were in place and initial steps have been taken towards developing a new assessment, the Pro 05 has been used to help advisors support development of professional dispositions and does appear to have some ability to predict characteristics separate from academic ability as is seen in the case study presented in the selectivity factors documentation.

The SU Code of Conduct for field placements also supports development of appropriate teaching dispositions by clearly identifying expectations and outlining procedures for addressing problems. (See Additional Selectivity Factors Documentation.)

Formal review and progression through the program takes place at juncture 1, 2 and 3.  Procedures associated with juncturing insure that candidates have met all WV requirements for certification including ability to teach to state standards, have strong content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and use of technology in all of these domains.

At completion, SU students demonstrate overall GPAs, Professional Education GPAs, and Specialty Studies GPAs above the 3.0. Praxis Content test averages are well above the WV required scores in nearly every subject area, and initial performance on the assessment and impact on student learning tasks of the WV TPA demonstrate abilities equivalent to those expected of first year teachers in all but one area with all areas above this level on a second attempt when given clarification regarding task directions. (See Selection at Completion Documentation)

During their final semester, SU requires student teachers to engage in a variety of professional  activities that extend beyond their immediate classroom.  The Student Teaching Activity Task list is used by student teachers and supervisors to document development of understanding of WV Professional Teaching Standards 4 and 5 which address Professional Learning, Collaboration and Contribution and professional responsibilities for school and community through school wide initiatives in a variety of areas including ethics.  Resulting ratings on the ST-11 (See data presented for CAEP Standard 1) demonstrate that when SU recommends a completing candidate for licensure, that candidate fully understands the expectations of the profession.

Additionally, average overall GPA, average professional studies GPA, and average specialty studies GPAs at completion for all specialty areas for the past three graduating cohorts exceeds 3.0. Additionally, passage of content praxis and PLT is strong overall.  Detailed analysis showed the effectiveness of a curriculum change in elementary math and highlighted a need to continue to monitor passage rates in some low enrolled secondary programs.

Analysis of WVTPA (piloted by this year’s student teachers) data showed weaknesses in assessment design but with the exception of general science (n=1) overall all specializations in the graduating cohort demonstrated a positive impact on student learning. Continued revision of noted weaknesses in the instrument are expected to make this data more meaningful in the future. (See Selection at Completion Documentation)