The School of Education
Teaching for the Next Generation
NCATE Standard 6 | Unit Governance & Resources
*** See 'Evidence of Standard 6' at www.northgeorgia.edu/soe/6evidence ***
6a. 1. How does the unit manage or coordinate the planning, delivery, and operation of all programs at the institution for the preparation of educators?
Up until 2005, the School of Education was organized into the Department of Health and Physical Education (including Athletic Training Education, Athletics, Exercise Science, Physical Education – Teacher Certification, and Physical Education – Leadership) and the Department of Teacher Education (including Early Childhood/Special Education, Educational Leadership, Middle Grades/Secondary/P-12, and Special Education).
The Teacher Education Department experienced significant personnel changes during Fall Semester 2004, at which time the faculty proposed a reorganization that aligned departmental structure and operation with its belief that program leadership should be the responsibility of the faculty. This approach also requires that faculty program leadership be as unencumbered as possible by administrative details. Thus, the focus can be on curriculum design, program evaluation, and faculty development.
This change in the structure in the School of Education resulted in the elimination of the department head position and establishment of program coordinators and Professional Development Community conveners, as well as two associate deans (Assessment; Administration). (See SOE Organizational Chart) A program coordinator or PDC convener facilitates work group activities for specific academic programs. The program coordinator/PDC convener is the primary liaison between the work group faculty, the Dean’s office and the School of Education Executive Committee, which reviews all curriculum and policy changes for final university approval. Each program coordinator receives one course reassignment per academic year (not including summer) and a stipend during each year of service as a coordinator. Each PDC convener receives one course reassignment per academic year, not including summer.
The responsibility for the management and coordination of the School of Education programs rests with the dean, in consultation with the faculty through their work groups, the School of Education Executive Committee and the newly-developed Program Review Committee and the School of Education Advisory Committee, established to replace the Professional Education Committee. This change received final university approval in the Fall 2011 and will become fully operational in the Fall 2012.
Currently, major curriculum and admission policy decisions involving teacher education programs emerge from the faculty through their work groups and are reviewed by the School of Education Executive Committee are presented to the Professional Education Committee for review and comment before they are presented to the next level of academic review and approval. This level of review is required for issues emerging from any department offering a teacher education program in the School of Education, the School of Arts and Letters, and the School of Natural and Health Sciences.
(An item may be presented to the next level with either a positive or a negative recommendation from the Professional Education Committee. Major curricular decisions involve addition or deletion of courses or hours to a teacher education program of study leading to a degree. They do not include elective courses in any undergraduate or graduate program or the content of endorsement programs.)
The Professional Education Committee is to be replaced with a Program Review Committee (PRC) and a School of Education Advisory Panel (SEAP). The PRC membership would consist of program representatives or coordinators from each academic program leading to a recommendation for certification. Program representatives or coordinators would generally be those faculty members who serve as the assessment and accreditation contact for the School of Education and can best represent the curricular matters for their specific programs. The PRC would meet once each fall and spring semesters, and the members would review and make recommendations (to the appropriate academic unit) on curricular and admissions policy issues presented by each program area. Although formal review and recommendation by the PRC is not required for an issue to move from the school level to the Deans’ Council and Academic Activities or Graduate Council, it can serve to identify any potential issues that could cause a delay in the approval of a proposal.
The School of Education Advisory Panel would consist of members of the PRC, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters, the Dean of the School of Science and Health Professions, the Dean and Associate Deans from the School of Education (who would also serve as conveners) and representative personnel from the area public schools. These representatives would include three superintendents and two principals from area elementary, middle and secondary schools in the NGCSU service area (thus, a total of six principals). This group would meet once each fall and spring semesters with the purpose of sharing new program developments both in teach education and in the area public schools, as well as local, state, national and international issues in education.
Once a proposed change has been approved through the School of Education Executive Committee (and, currently, the Professional Education Committee), it moves to the Deans’ Council for review and approval. (Any item not approved by the Deans’ Council is remanded to the School of Education for revision or other approriate action.) Undergradute program changes approved by the Deans’ Council are sent to the Academic Activities Committee for final approval. Graduate program changes approved by the Deans’ Council are sent to the Graduate Council for final approval. (As with the action by the Deans’ Council, any item not approved by Academic Activities or the Graduate Council are remanded to the School of Education for appropriate action.)
6a. 2. What are the unit's recruiting and admissions policies? How does the unit ensure that they are clearly and consistently described in publications and catalogues?
Recruitment – Recruitment of students is a university function conducted through the Office of Admissions. The School of Education works closely with this office in the recruitment of new students for all disciplines, as well as recruitment for pre-education majors. School of Education faculty and staff meet with University Admissions Counselors on an annual basis to discuss School of Education programs and new developments, such as the Professional Development Communities and the Accelerated Spanish Learning Community. School of Education personnel attend regularly-scheduled Admissions Open House events, as well as recruitment events for high ability students. Once students are enrolled at North Georgia, pre-education majors are advised through the School of Education Advisement Center. The SOE Advisement Center Coordinator, with the assistance of SOE faculty, works closely with the pre-education students to ensure that they are fully prepared and qualified to enter the Teacher Education program at the end of their sophomore year, or to select a major more suited to their interests and talents.
Candidates for all School of Education programs, including those not leading to initial certification, must apply for admission into the program of their choice within the School of Education. All applications are submitted to the Coordinator for Admission for the School of Education, who maintains the admissions data base. IF students meet the program admissions requirements, they are admitted without provisions. Students may appeal a negative admissions decision only if it is based on a grade point average that does not meet the admission requirement. A student who has a GPA between 2.65 and 2.74 may appeal a negative decision. Appeals are reviewed at the end of each semester by the SOE Admissions and Retention Committee.
Admissions policies for these programs are listed in brochures, academic bulletins and on the NGCSU web pages. The undergraduate and graduate bulletins are reviewed annually, with approved program changes implemented in the fall of each academic year. Web pages, flyers and similar materials are reviewed and updated as needed, usually precipitated by major program changes approved for fall implementation.
6a. 3. How does the unit ensure that its academic calendars, catalogues, publications, grading policies, and advertising are accurate and current?
School of Education calendars, publications and policies are reviewed regularly by a variety of offices to ensure that they are current and accurate. The undergraduate and graduate academic bulletins are maintained by the Office of Academic Affairs, which conducts an annual review of these documents. Catalogue copy is sent to each academic unit for review and editing during this review cycle. The Coordinator for the School of Education Advisement Center manages the revision process for the School of Education under the supervision of the Associate Dean for Administrative Services. Bulletin sections are sent to appropriate program coordinators and conveners for review and editing. Final review is conducted by the Dean and the Associate Deans before the edited copy is returned to the Office of Academic Affairs. (The Registrar’s Office also reviews all catalogue copy to ensure that academic revisions approved during the preceding academic year are included in the revised copy.)
The School of Education web site is maintained by the assistant to the Associate Dean for Assessment. This staff member, who has direct editing access to the SOE web site, ensures that the SOE web site and print material are accurate and current. Print materials are especially valuable for Open House events and for Admissions Office distribution to prospective students. The Coordinator of the SOE Advising Center maintains the web site for the SOE Advising Center, and works in collaboration with the assistant to the Associate Dean in the revision of SOE web sites. In addition to monitoring and updating policy changes, these two staff members also develop additional web-based materials to enhance communication (e.g., SOE Faculty Blog, Field Placement Blog).
Approximately three years ago the SOE hired a consulting staff member in another unit to conduct a complete SOE web site remove, including site navigation and critique by undergraduate to provide a potential client perspective. This review led to significant revisions and elimination of broken links and outdated program materials. Web site management is decentralized to the departmental and program levels for any materials that are not university-wide. Basic web site design and policy oversight is the purview of the Office of Information Technology.
6a. 4. How does the unit ensure that candidates have access to student services such as advising and counseling?
All students in the School of Education have full access to the wide array of student services offered both by the university in general and by the School of Education in particular. This is the case for whatever location or delivery type (e.g., online, face-to-face).
Of particular note is the establishment of the School of Education Advising Center in 2010. Prior to the SOE having its own advising center, all students with less than 40 hours completed in the core curriculum (excluding nursing) were advised through the university’s Advising Center, which is staffed with a director, an assistant director, and faculty volunteers. As enrollments and the complexity of the curriculum have increased, the SOE determined that our students could be better served on a consistent basis if we could establish our own Advising Center. In 2010, the university Advising Center director was hired by the SOE to establish the SOE Advising Center to provide complete academic advising services to all SOE students.
All North Georgia students are apprised often of the variety of services and activities available, such as counseling, financial aid advice, student government association, and Greek life. The School of Education is particularly proactive in guiding students toward special financial and psychological counseling services whenever a need arises. For example, when an education major is identified by a faculty member or self-discloses a personal concern that is affecting her/his performance, faculty work closely with the student and the appropriate campus office, such as Counseling and Financial Aid, to ensure that the student makes contact with the appropriate support personnel and the student’s confidentiality and dignity are maintained. The faculty’s concern for the welfare of their students is remarkable, and they will spend whatever time and effort needed to help a student resolve a problem that interferes with completion of the program. (An indication of this is the establishment of The Providence fund by a School of Education faculty who retired December 2010. This fund provides emergency funding to any university student who has a financial crisis that needs immediate attention. Previously administered by the SOE, this fund is now administered by the Office of Regional Engagement.)
6a. 5. Which members of the professional community participate in program design, implementation, and evaluation? In what ways do they participate?
Members of the professional community participate formally and informally in the design, implementation and evaluation of SOE programs. The most direct involvement has been as members of the Professional Education Committee (PEC).
Major curriculum decisions involving teacher education programs are presented by the SOE to the Professional Education Committee (university-wide committee of the School of Education) for review and comment before they are presented to the next level of academic review and approval.
In Fall 2012, the PEC will be replaced with a Program Review Committee (PRC) and a School of Education Advisory Panel (SEAP). The PRC will consist of program representatives from each academic program leading to a recommendation for certification. The PRC will meet once each fall and spring semesters, and the members will review and make recommendations on curricular and admissions policy issues presented by each program area.
The School of Education Advisory Panel will include members of the PRC, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters, the Dean of the School of Science and Health Professions, the Dean and Associate Deans from the SOE and representative personnel from the area public schools (three superintendents and two principals from area elementary, middle and secondary schools in the NGCSU service area). This group will meet once each fall and spring semesters to share new program developments in teach education and in the area public schools, as well as local, state, national and international issues in education.
The Professional Development Communities provide a model for integrating our professional community colleagues into our work. School based personnel, SOE personnel, and preservice teachers work together in a variety of teams to create, manage and evaluate unique site-based adaptations of the SOE academic programs so that they are as fully integrated as possible into all aspects of the partner public schools.
For the past two years, the SOE sponsored Educator Roundtables for area P-12 and post secondary educators. The SOE currently is partnering with Gainesville State College and Pioneer RESA to develop a regional approach to the roundtables. (The SOE also represents NGCSU on the Pioneer RESA Board of Control.
6a. 6. How does the unit facilitate collaboration with other academic units involved in the preparation of professional educators?
The governance structure at North Georgia College and State University, as well as the activities and programs of the various academic centers (e.g., Center for Language Education, Center for Global Engagement, Appalachian Studies Center, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence), is such that collaboration is essential for the efficient and effective functioning of the university. The SOE ensures collaboration of other academic units through the Professional Education Committee (to be replaced by the Program Review Committee (PRC) and the School of Education Advisory Panel (SEAP)). Major curriculum and admission policy decisions involving teacher education programs reviewed by the School of Education Executive Committee are presented to the Professional Education Committee for review and comment before they move to the next level of academic review and approval.
PRC membership will consist of program representatives from each academic program leading to a recommendation for certification. Program representatives would generally be those faculty members who serve as the assessment and accreditation contact for the School of Education. The PRC will meet once each fall and spring semesters, and the members will review and make recommendations on curricular and admissions policy issues presented by each program area.
Once a curriculum or policy matter emerges from the SOE, it moves to the Deans’ Council for review. Consisting of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the three Associate Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, and the deans of each of the four schools, the Deans’ Council either approves and item for review at the next committee level or remands the item back to the SOE for further development. All curricular and academic policy matters approved by the Deans’ Council are sent either to the Academic Activities Committee (undergraduate) or the Graduate Council for review.
The Academic Activities Committee (university-wide membership) reviews and recommends academic policies that affect undergraduate programs; the Graduate Council (university-wide membership) does the same for graduate programs. All actions described above are submitted as recommendations for the VPAA for final action.
*** See 'Evidence of Standard 6' at www.northgeorgia.edu/soe/6evidence ***
6b. 1. What is the budget available to support programs preparing candidates to meet standards? How does the unit's budget compare to the budgets of other units with clinical components on campus or similar units at other institutions?
Fiscal Year 2012 data indicate that of the three schools (Business, Education, and Science and Health Professions) with professional programs, the SOE has the largest budget. Number of faculty and staff, as well as cost per credit hour production, are used in reviewing programs in terms of productivity and viability, especially during the summer term. Because of the collaborative nature of the budgeting process, each unit on campus is given ample opportunity for presenting its fiscal needs. Among the four schools, the VPAA and the deans work very closely together to develop a prioritized budget list that can best meet the needs of as many programs as possible without sacrificing quality. On not too rare occasions, the schools will also work together to share positions or to help meet unanticipated needs. For example, the SOE shares a faculty position with the School of Arts and Letters, and the credit hour production for the accelerated Spanish program was funded by the SOE but credited to Arts and Letters through a prior arrangement with the dean of the School of Arts and Letters.
Through its strategic planning and budgeting processes, the university is extremely diligent to ensure that all professional programs receive the financial support necessary not only for the programs to meet national standards and benchmarks, but also, most importantly, to meet the needs of their students, faculty and staff. While the financial climate in Georgia has not been favorable for the past several years, the institution has protected its resources and programs so that they can continue to thrive. For example, the institution conducts a salary benchmarking survey every year, with the focus on faculty salaries for one year and staff salaries for the next. Units receive salary equity adjustment funds each year to distribute to faculty and staff based on the benchmarking data, as well as other local favors (e.g., time in position).
All clinical programs can charge special fees for lab, clinical and field courses. The SOE charges a $25 lab fee for the science education courses and a $150 per term field placement fee. The science education faculty use these funds to purchase equipment and new technology, as well support student and faculty professional development activities. The field placement fee supports supervisor travel and any special costs associated with the field placement courses. Other discretionary funds are garnered by the SOE through on line course tuition differentials, as well as grants and contracts. In addition, each school receives an allocation (based on school size) from the NGCSU Foundation and Aramark (campus food service) to support its professional development activities.See Table - NGCSU Department Budgets Chart (pwd-protected pdf)
6b. 2. How adequately does the budget support all programs for the preparation of educators? What changes to the budget over the past few years have affected the quality of the programs offered?
The budgeting process at NGCSU ensures that all units have the financial support necessary, which has been remarkable during the past several years of significant reductions in state funding. All schools have the fiscal flexibility and accountability to manage their budgets to meet program demands. decline in graduate enrollments over the past few years.
The budgeting process in the SOE is open for input for all faculty and staff through their work groups. In the annual budget process, input from the work groups is collated for the SOE budget presentation the Deans’ Council and the Leadership Council. Before the SOE budget request is presented to these groups, however, the School of Education Executive Committee reviews the request to determine its accuracy and well as the prioritization of items requested.
Three years ago the SOE faculty went through an exercise to develop plans for a significant budget reduction, as the institution was mandated to develop reduction scenarios for approximately 6% - 10% in state funding. All budget information was discussed, including faculty lines, travel and supplies, and program viability. Fortunately, through institutional contingency funding and a special tuition assessment required by the Board of Regents, the institution has remained fiscally sound.
The SOE also has funding sources other than tuition that provide support for professional development and additional faculty and staff positions, as needed. For example, the assistant to the Associate Dean for Assessment is funded from the SOE’s partnership with Valdosta State University in the delivery of a fully online masters degree in middle grades math and science. Also, funding from the post baccalaureate program provides funding for the program coordinator and one staff member.The SOE is the only school at North Georgia that has its own budget officer. Five years ago it became clear that the complexity of the budgeting demands of multiple funding sources, including grants and contracts, required a full time budgeting officer. Through the rearrangement of personnel lines/vacancies, the SOE was able to establish the position and hire the senior budget officer from the Office of Business and Finance at NGCSU. The addition of this position has allowed the SOE to remain fiscally solid and anticipate funding needs long before they occur.
*** See 'Evidence of Standard 6' at www.northgeorgia.edu/soe/6evidence ***
6c. 1. What are the institution's and unit's workload policies? What is included in the workloads of faculty (e.g., hours of teaching, advising of candidates, supervising student teachers, work in P-12 schools, independent study, research, administrative duties, and dissertation advisement)?
SOE funds are allocated through two processes – requests for funds at the beginning of the academic year and in the fall in preparation for the annual budget hearings, and on an ad hoc basis.
At the annual SOE retreat in the fall, faculty work groups develop their annual funding requests, focusing primarily on professional travel, technology needs, and scholarship support (e.g., reassigned time, materials/supplies). These requests are prioritized within the work group and then reviewed by the Associate Deans, the Dean and SOE Budget Officer to determine the extent to which they can be funded. The SOE has been able to fund the majority of the requests, in part because the success of the SOE faculty in securing external funds and in part because of the extra funding from online course fees. For example, over the past two years the SOE has purchased a server to support the Moodle project for course delivery, a new software program (StudioCode© for teaching video analysis), new video cameras for faculty and student checkout, and a 24-station mobile Apple computer cart. In addition, we have used these funds to support faculty participation in the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Development Schools, and faculty active in their professional organizations receive support to attend the annual conference of their professional organization. (Most of the recent purchases have been to enhance the instructional technology components of our programs, including the use of Smart Board© technology, assistive technology, and laboratory equipment.)
In addition to SOE funds, faculty and students have access to a variety of university funding sources to support faculty professional development and student participation in undergraduate research and travel to professional conferences. These funds are awarded both competitively and on an as-available basis. For example, faculty can apply for research support through the Faculty Scholar Award Program, as well as through the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA). SOE faculty have been awarded funding through CTLE and CURCA, and they will apply for the Faculty Scholar Award when the program begins this spring.
The NGCSU Foundation provides discretionary funding to each of the four schools at NGCSU. The SOE uses the majority of its funding ($12,000 in FY 2012) each year to support the annual SOE retreat, as well as any other work group retreat that might be held during the year. Aramark, the university’s dining and catering provider, has allocated $150,000 per year to the university for dining expenses related to university functions. Last year the SOE received an allocation of $2,000, and this year the allocation has increased to $5,000. This dining allowance of used by the faculty for meetings with campus and public school colleagues, as well as for student events.
What is included in the workloads of faculty?
Institutional Policy: Full time tenure-track faculty are expected to teach 12 hours per semester plus the equivalent of 3 hours of other responsibilities (advisement, committee service, etc.). Non-tenure track faculty are assigned 15 hours of teaching per semester or 12 hours of teaching plus the equivalent of 3 hours of other responsibilities. (In the SOE, non-tenure track faculty have the same workload as tenure-track faculty.)
SOE Policy: The SOE has developed its own workload policy to clarify the special requirements of field supervision. The School of Education’s workload policy for its own faculty is consistent with the unit’s unique and specific needs and obligations. The SOE Faculty Workload Policy is consistent with the University Workload Policy and with University, School, and program accreditation standards and requirements. More specifically, faculty workload standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education are adopted as guidelines for the assignment of faculty workload for faculty in the School of Education.
Consistent with the guidelines set forth in the University Faculty Workload Policy, the SOE Faculty Workload Policy is used as the basis for assigning workloads to individual faculty members or for equalizing workloads among faculty members in the School. Additionally, the Policy provides a means for recognition and documentation of the work that is done by the SOE faculty.
The SOE Faculty Workload Policy is intended to serve as a general recommendation for the assignment of faculty workloads in the School. Each faculty members’ workload should be assigned and subsequently evaluated within the following parameters:
1. The requirements and allowances stated in the contract that the faculty member signed with the University and the University System of Georgia;
2. The provisions of the faculty member’s job description and annual plan;
3. The workload guidelines specified by the SOE’s accreditation agencies, with special attention paid to supervision requirements and online instruction.;
4. The context and normal operations of the academic unit to which the faculty member is assigned;
5. University and School policies for promotion, tenure and merit raises.
Consistent with the University Faculty Workload Policy, distribution of individual faculty time and effort may be adjusted through agreement between the work group supervisor (e.g., program coordinator, department chair) and the faculty member with approval of the dean.
6c. 2. What are the faculty workloads for teaching and the supervision of clinical practice?
SOE fulltime faculty, both tenure track and non-tenure track, are expected to teach 12 hours per semester plus the equivalent of 3 hours of other responsibilities (advisement, committee service, etc.). Supervision of interns by fulltime faculty generally follows the 18 interns for a 3 semester hours course equivalency guideline. Up until this year (2010-11), many of the SOE interns were supervised by adjunct faculty members who are paid on a per capita basis. As the SOE moves to the Professional Development Community model, we are pilot testing (in 2011-12) a yearlong assignment of 12-field placement students (a combination of juniors and seniors) to one faculty member for an entire year. This assignment is the equivalent of one 3-semester hour course per term, and the faculty members are assigned to the same students for both semesters. This allows for much greater depth of supervision and involvement of the faculty member of the life of the school in which the preservice teachers are working (furthering the attempt at full integration of academic and field requirements).
Faculty members in the departments with content fields (e.g., English, Art) who supervise interns are provided extra compensation or their supervision requirements are counted as part of their workload. The SOE Field Placement Coordinator works closely with these departments to ensure that appropriate supervision for the interns is provided and that all internship requirements of the SOE are completed satisfactorily.
6c. 3. To what extent do workloads and class size allow faculty to be engaged effectively in teaching, scholarship, and service (including time for such responsibilities as advisement, developing assessments, and online courses?
In addition to following the university and SOE workload guidelines, the SOE faculty, staff and administration regularly review workload assignments not only for meeting the letter of the guidelines, but also for meeting the intent. With increasingly more time required for field supervision and the travel demands involved, as well as promotion and tenure requirements, faculty time for full engagement in teaching, scholarship and service is at a premium.
At the beginning of each academic year, SOE work groups are given the calendar of regularly scheduled university and SOE events, such as Open House events, advising periods, and graduations. The work group members provide representation at university-wide events, and all faculty are expected to provide service in the SOE advising center.
Class sizes are held at approximately 25-30, depending on the type of class (e.g., pre-education introduction class, field-based class), the delivery (e.g., fully online), and enrollment and staffing trends. For example, in 2010-2011, there was an extraordinary increase (~125%) in new admissions into the Middle Grades and Secondary Education programs. Before this increase was finalized, the faculty were consulted about their ability to make appropriate adjustments in class sizes and the use of adjunct faculty to ensure that program integrity and quality would not be compromised. (Because this enrollment pressure has a two-year effect, at minimum, SOE project funds were used to hire a one-year fulltime faculty member, whose position will be part of the SOE FY 2013 budget request for permanent funding.)
Reassigned time is provided to faculty through a variety of mechanisms. Faculty can apply for special assignments as a faculty fellow at the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), or they may be awarded reassigned time for chairing university-wide committees, such as the Assessment Committee. Many SOE faculty obtain reassigned time through their grants and contracts or through SOE-sponsored activities, such as the Appalachian Studies Center of the Center for Language Education. In addition, annual personnel evaluation sessions are used to help faculty assess their workload demands so that appropriate adjustments can be made to ensure full engagement in teaching, scholarship and service.
6c. 4. How does the unit ensure that the use of part-time faculty contributes to the integrity, coherence, and quality of the unit and its program?
The SOE has an excellent group of part-time faculty who make invaluable contributions to the coherence, quality and integrity of our programs. These faculty serve in two main areas in our preparation programs: 1) course instruction and 2) field supervision. These instructors and supervisors use the syllabi, assessment management system (LiveText) and supervision instrumentation required of all faculty. In addition, they are included in the student evaluations of instruction at the end of each term.
All part-time faculty who serve in a teaching role meet with either the program coordinator or the course manager for the course that s/he will be teaching. In this meeting, the course syllabus is reviewed, particularly in terms of the learning outcomes and assessment requirements, including the major assessments that must be completed in LiveText (SOE assessment management system). Throughout the term, the part-time faculty member may meet with the course manager or program coordinator to discuss the progress of the course, particularly if it is the first term that the instructor has taught the course.
At the beginning of each term, part-time instructors receive instruction on the use of LiveText by the Coordinator of Assessment (assistant to the Associate Dean for Assessment). This coordinator works with the faculty to ensure that their course materials are properly housed in LiveText and also serves as the point of contact for any troubleshooting that needs to be handled during the term.
All supervisors receive annual training on the use of the Teacher Performance Record, the formal observation instrument used by the SOE. The Field Placement Coordinator provides this instruction, as well as an overview of the SOE Metacognitive Model and the process of field supervision.
The data from LiveText, TPR and student evaluations of instruction are all reviewed at the end of each term to determine the relative strengths and areas for improvement for all faculty. Program coordinators meet with the faculty to discuss any concerns or issues in order to ensure that instruction and supervision continue to improve for all faculty – not just part-time faculty.
Part-time faculty are an integral part of the SOE programs, and they are often included in program area meetings. This is especially the case in the Professional Development Communities in the Early Childhood/Special Education program.
6c. 5. What personnel provide support for the unit? How does the unit ensure that it has an adequate number of support personnel?
An exceptionally valuable personnel resource in the SOE is our support personnel who significantly enhance the effectiveness of faculty in their teaching and mentoring of candidates. These support personnel also serve an important role as liaison to other units of the university, schools, and the community. They are the first contact for most individuals as they communicate with or visit the School of Education. Support personnel also have important responsibilities for the delivery of student services and management of our electronic databases. Staff assignments and SOE workflow process are reviewed regularly, especially during budget preparation.
SOE Admissions Officer
Manage the SOE admissions processes;
Assist with class scheduling and room reservations
Staff support for all SOE faculty Scheduling;
Coordinate class scheduling and room reservations
Secretary – Dean’s Office
Staff support for the Dean’s Office; Coordinate Human Resources Activities for the School of Education
Serve as the School of Education Certification Officer
SOE Budget Officer
Manages all SOE fiscal affairs
Mary Elizabeth Pirkle
Secretary to the Post Baccalaureate Program
Staff support for the Post Baccalaureate program
Assistant to the Associate Dean for Assessment; coordinator for SOE online degree program
Staff support to the Associate Dean; coordinates/supports LiveText for both faculty & students; coordinates online degree program administrative requirements
Coordinator of SOE Advising Center
Manages the SOE Advising Center
Field Placement Coordinator
Coordinates all SOE Field Placements (except Athletic Training Education and Exercise Science)
Program Coordinator for Appalachian Studies Center
Develops outreach programs and activities of the Center; assists the center director
Carol Meeks (half time)
Secretary for the Appalachian Studies Center
Provides staff support for the center
Note: This does not include the Athletics Division, which has it own director, assistant director, budget manager and compliance officer.
6c. 6. What financial support is available for professional development activities for faculty?
Financial support for faculty professional development activities come from three basic sources: 1) SOE support from agency or grant funds, 2) Grants and contracts in which faculty are the principal investigator or support personnel, and 3) university-wide funding sources and activities. SOE faculty are actively engaged in providing professional development and evaluation services to area school systems. While faculty serve in a principal investigator or technical assistant role in these activities, the faculty involvement also provides valuable access into area schools and serve as professional development in its own right. Additionally, many of the school systems include our faculty in their professional development activities, especially in those systems that serve as Professional Learning Community sites.
The SOE also funds a significant amount of faculty development activities, based both on the specific faculty research ad development activities and agenda, as well as work group or SOE-wide initiatives requiring professional development. Individual faculty members or teams of faculty members from the same work group often attend regional conferences as presenters and attendees, and they sponsor student attendance (funded through the VPAA and/or the SOE). For example, Middle Grades faculty members take at least 10 students each year to the annual Georgia Middle Level Association, in which faculty often serve as statewide officers. This past year, the Middle Grades faculty also took a group of students to the National Middle School Association Conference in Kentucky.
Similarly, Science Education faculty are funded to attend regional and national science educator meetings at which they are either attendees or, more likely, presenters. This year, all four-science deduction faculty members will attend the national conference of the science educators association.
Of particular importance for the past two years and this year, the SOE has funded the attendance of 5-8 faculty and 5-8 Professional Development Community (PDC) partners at the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Development Schools. Many of the SOE faculty and PDC partners also are presenters at this annual conference, which provides significant support for the SOE PDC initiative.
*** See 'Evidence of Standard 6' at www.northgeorgia.edu/soe/6evidence ***
6d. 1. How adequate are unit -- classrooms, faculty offices, library/media center, the technology infrastructure, and school facilities -- to support teaching and learning?
The SOE is experiencing a bit of a “space crunch,” as is the rest of the university as university enrollment grows 4%-6% annually. The Deans’ Council and the Leadership Council are sensitive to campus space pressures, and university resources are readily available to modify classroom and office spaces to meet growth demands. In addition, the university has had an aggressive building and renovation program for the past several years, resulting in new classrooms, faculty offices, residence halls, and a dining facility.
All SOE faculty have adequate office space to meet their needs. The SOE has systematically replaced all SOE faculty computers with laptops and shared printers, and all SOE faculty recently received iPads for their professional use. All classroom technology is regularly upgraded by the Division of Information Technology, including Smart Boards © and supporting computers and projectors.
On campus, the SOE is located in three buildings: Dunlap Hall (Teacher Education), Memorial Hall-including a fully equipped instructional wellness center, the gymnasium, and a pool-- (Health and Physical Education, Athletics, Athletic Training Education, Exercise Science), and the Chestatee House (Dean’s Offices and the Center for Language Education). Dunlap Hall and Memorial Hall have classroom space that serves as the primary teaching sites for the SOE. Each building also has conferencing space for secure and confidential meeting space, in addition to faculty offices.
The Appalachian Studies Center is located in the historic Vickery House, which was deeded to the university for historic and educational uses. The Vickery House has offices for the director, program manager, secretary and student interns, as well as learning and exhibit space. The Georgia Appalachia Center for Higher Education is located at Pioneer RESA (Cleveland, GA) because of space limitations on campus and, more importantly, because of its outreach work in the northern counties.
Three years ago the university opened a state-of-the-art Library Technology Center, with an incredible array of services and technology for student and faculty use. (The LTC also houses the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, which provides technology and instructional services for faculty development to improve classroom instruction.) The LTC has computer labs, a technology-rich classroom, meeting space and a distance conference room, all of which the SOE uses regularly for professional development activities.
The SOE offers classes and full programs at two off campus locations—at Gainesville State College and in Forsyth County. Both locations provide full technology and logistical support through partnership agreements between the university and Gainesville State College and the Forsyth County Schools. Because of the rapid growth in Forsyth County, North Georgia has partnered with Gainesville State College to open (Fall 2012) a 25,000-30,000 square foot classroom building in which GSC will teach core curriculum classes and North Georgia will offer upper division courses and full graduate programs. As with the LTC, this Forsyth academic center will have state-of-the-art technology in the classrooms, as well as a full array of student and faculty support services. The SOE will offer its Education Leadership degree program at this location, as well as masters level courses. (PDC courses are taught in professional development classrooms in each partner school.)
*** See 'Evidence of Standard 6' at www.northgeorgia.edu/soe/6evidence ***
6e. 1. How does the unit allocate resources across programs to ensure candidates meet standards in their field of study?
Program faculty develop formal resource requests three times a year: at the annual SOE retreat in August, during the development of budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year, and in the early spring for the year end allocation of remaining institutional funds. Requests made at the annual retreat are submitted by each work group and generally address professional development needs or student technology or professional travel plans (e.g., student attendance at professional conferences). The associate deans, the SOE business office and the dean review these requests to determine fund availability. For the past several years, the vast majority of these requests have been filled from either regularly allocated institutional funds or discretionary funds obtained through special program charges or grants and contracts.
Budget allocation requests made for the annual budget cycle include program area resource needs, such as assessment materials, science laboratory equipment, and exercise and athletic training education equipment. The majority of the requests, however, are for new faculty and/or staff positions essential for meeting program instructional and field experience needs. For example, the FY 2013 SOE budget request includes a request for permanent funding for a science education position that the SOE funded for FY 2012 in order to meet the growth in science education and anatomy and physiology course enrollments that will continue for the foreseeable future.
Year end funding requests are primarily in the area of equipment and supplies, including special site licenses (e.g., Studio Code©) or replacement equipment and supplies for such areas as exercise science, health and physical education and course material, such as assessment demonstration kits. Of particular note for this current year is the reallocation of part time faculty funds used to pay for the field supervisors in the Early Childhood/Special Education program. With the development of the Professional Development Communities, the need became apparent for supervision and instructional coordination among the 3-4 elementary schools in each Professional Development Community. Part time funds were reallocated to one half time position for each of the PDCs, with one of these positions being shared with the school system that provided the other half of the position. This resource allocation has helped to make the PDC initiative extremely successful in its first full year because it demonstrates to the partner schools the level of commitment on the part of the SOE to ensure that the program objectives and standards are fully met.
6e. 2. What information technology resources support faculty and candidates? What evidence shows that candidates and faculty use these resources?
The university and the SOE have committed significant resources--including equipment, infrastructure and personnel—to provide the latest technology for instructional and administrative purposes. In addition to the open computer labs available to students across campus, the SOE maintains three mobile computer carts for faculty use in classes so that students do not need to bring their own computers to class. These carts are being phased out, however, because a survey of SOE pre-education majors showed that less than 5 out of 170 respondents to a technology survey indicated that they did not own a laptop. The computers from the mobile cart will be repurposed for the SOE Advising Center and for student checkout. The SOE also has a variety of video equipment for faculty and student use. This equipment is generally housed in the SOE offices and checked out to faculty and students. Each SOE faculty member is provided with a laptop computer and an IPad, and all faculty can request specialized equipment and software through a variety of university and SOE funding sources, particularly technology funds available through the student technology committee.
The most evident use of technology resources is in the area of classroom observations and course assessments. Candidate observations are conducted using the Teacher Performance Record (TPR), a web-based low-inference classroom observation instrument used to provide supervisor feedback of instruction. The TPR system includes an extensive video training library used by both faculty and students to ensure that all constituents understand the purpose and content of the TPR. The SOE is working with Bob McNergney at the University of Virginia to improve the responsiveness and utility of the instrument in preparation for a new version to be pilot tested this spring. In the area of course assessments, LiveText is the SOE assessment management system used in all initial certification programs. LiveText provides extensive warehousing and analysis capabilities, and all students are required to purchase a user license in the first education course that they enroll in prior to admission into an education program.
The university has a robust instructional technology program that has provided for the installation of a variety of instructional technology equipment in university classrooms. This equipment includes presentation computers and projectors, as well as up-to-date SmartBoard© technology. The university’s Information Technology Division works closely with all faculty and staff to ensure that information technology needs are anticipated and met in a timely manner. Additionally, the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence provides a variety of faculty and student workshops on instruction technology, with most notable recent sessions addressing social media and IPads.
6e. 3. What resources are available for the development and implementation of the unit's assessment system?
The SOE dedicates extensive resources to its assessment system. At the core of the SOE assessment system are the university system’s Banner System for student data, the LiveText assessment management system, the Teacher Performance Record for field placement observations and evaluations, and university system and third party provider services for surveys related to program and graduate effectiveness.
Banner is the primary student information data system utilized for admission, scheduling, grading and evaluation of instruction. Faculty have access to the extensive Banner reports, and specialized reports are developed as needed.
LiveText is used for student course performance beginning in the first course taken prior to admission to the SOE and continuing throughout the teacher preparation programs, culminating with the Teacher Work Sample and student portfolio. All grading of major assessments in SOE courses is completed in LiveText, and the LiveText reports are used to monitor the use and utility of the SOE assessment system and its components, as well as faculty use of the system. These reviews occur at the end of each semester, and assessment results are reviewed at the annual SOE retreat. SOE representatives attend the annual LiveText users’ conference in Chicago to obtain system updates and to share unique system uses and challenges with other institutions. A recent addition to the LiveText system introduced in Chicago and undergoing initial implementation in the SOE is the Field Module, which allows for extensive tracking and analysis of placement sites and students, including important demographic data ensuring that all SOE students have appropriate experiences in diverse settings and with diverse students.
The Teacher Performance Record (TPR) serves as the primary field placement observation instrument to record low-inference data on candidate performance in teaching situations. SOE faculty and supervisors receive annual training and updates on the TPR conducted by the Field Placement Coordinator.
The SOE uses a variety of third party providers to assess graduate effectiveness and employer satisfaction. These assessments are provided by the university system, the Professional Standards Commission, the Educational Benchmark Indicator, and Eduventures.
6e. 4. What library and curricular resources exist at the institution? How does the unit ensure they are sufficient and current?
The institution ensures that its library and curricular resources are sufficient and current in a variety of ways. Whenever a new course or academic program is proposed, it must be reviewed by the Library Technology Center (LTC) staff to determine what resources will be needed to meet professional library standards. Once this determination has been made and the course or program has been approved, the the LTC initiates the purchasing process as funds become available. Additionally, each month the SOE representative on the LTC staff sends all SOE faculty the CHOICE review of books, media and periodicals for faculty recommendations for purchase. The CHOICE system is extremely efficient, and all faculty can see who has requested what new resources.
The Library Technology Center is a new, state-of–the art building that is one of the hubs of academic life on the North Georgia campus. The LTC is open over 95 hours per week to provide a variety of services and technology, among which are research assistance, Interlibrary Loan, wireless internet, a Mac lab, Scanners, Color & B/W printers, 200+ PCs, and 25 group study rooms. Print and media resources include 200+ databases, digital archives, leisure books, government documents, journals and magazines, 180,000 print and online books, and 30,000+ online journals, many accessible through GALILEO. GALILEO (GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online) is an initiative of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. A World Wide Web-based virtual library, GALILEO provides access to multiple information resources, including secured access to licensed products. Participating institutions may access over 100 databases indexing thousands of periodicals and scholarly journals. Over 2000 journal titles are provided in full-text. Other resources include encyclopedias, business directories, and government publications.
New programs and courses are required to undergo review by the LTC director and her staff to determine new resources needed to support the courses or programs. Special requests for books, periodicals or media can be submitted at any time by SOE faculty and are filled through interlibrary loan or as new purchases.
A variety of professional development activities and curricular resources are available through the academic centers at the university. The SOE sponsors the Center for Language Education, the Georgia Appalachian Center for Higher Education, and the Appalachian Studies Center. University-wide centers include the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and the Center for Global Engagement.
One of the most effective methods for remaining current on curricular and technology resources used in the area public schools is the SOE faculty involvement in professional development activities of our partner schools. These activities are generally focused on new curriculum and technology developments, including the implementation of Response to Intervention for the identification and student needs requiring specialized programming, new evaluation systems developed through the Race to the Top initiative in Georgia, and new literacy research and programs being adapted by local schools.
6e. 5. How does the unit ensure the accessibility of resources to candidates, including candidates in off-campus, distance learning, and alternate route programs, through electronic means?
A variety of academic support services are provided to students through offices on campus as well as to students at off-campus centers either through personnel at those sites or through internet web access. Some of these services include tutoring, academic advising, Student Success Program, Testing Office, Counseling and Psychological Services, Career Services, Student Health Services, Multicultural Services, and Student Disability Resources. A Writing Center, a Math and Computer Science Lab and a language laboratory are available for student assistance.
Information Technology (IT) maintains approximately 850 student computer workstations and laptops in academic and co-curricular labs and learning spaces on campus. Each student is given an email account, web collaboration tools, and personal storage space on a networked drive accessible both on campus and remotely through the university’s virtual private network. Also supporting student learning and development is the IT Help Desk, where students can get help with all of their personal and academic computing needs.
The Writing Center helps students, faculty, and staff with all writing projects. Services offered by the office of Student Disability Resources extend beyond simply ensuring academic program access for students with disabilities. The coordinator works with individual students to develop advocacy skills and assists students in making mentoring connections on campus.
The Office of Multicultural Services exists to help multicultural student achieve success. The office also administers the Minority Advising Program (MAP), which provides a range of services to minority students, including tutoring service.
Support for online or distance learners is offered through personal faculty interaction and resources to facilitate educational experiences and learning. NGCSU provides library and various media programs and IT provides software programs for students. The institution provides free technical support for online learners through the IT Helpdesk or by phone. All students have access to the LTC and to GALILEO, a web-based virtual library with extensive online database access and full text e-documents. Students outside the institution's home county may request books and journal articles through the Interlibrary Loan service.