Standard 4. Diversity
The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates can demonstrate and apply proficiencies related to diversity. Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse populations, including higher education and P-12 school faculty; candidates; and students in P-12 schools
4.1 How does the unit prepare candidates to work effectively with all students, including individuals of different ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and/or geographical area?
The EPP is committed to preparing candidates to develop and to demonstrate a strong knowledge base about diversity in order to utilize best practices for 21st century children 4.4.a-5. NC State Board of Education (2002) defines diversity as including "exceptionalities, race, ethnicity, religious backgrounds, gender, language (linguistic differences) socio-economic levels, and any ways in which our society defines human differences (age, geography, sexual orientation, and national origins)" (p. 2-1). The EPP's CF is guided by the CF's statement of purpose, which reinforces its commitment to diversity: "The School of Education prepares knowledgeable, reflective, and caring school executives and teachers who demonstrate leadership in their schools and classrooms, use research to inform practice, communicate effectively with all students and parents, and work diligently to prepare students to live and work in a diverse, global, and technologically advanced society." (SOE CF)
CF Diversity components align with the NC Diversity Standards and provide a framework for candidates KSD for valuing differences, adapting curricula to meet individual needs, and providing a respectful environment for a diverse population of students. Initial and advanced candidates develop and demonstrate this essential knowledge base. Specific indicators of the CF themes are aligned to measures of diversity and are evaluated during capstone assessment. These indicators are: (1) Demonstrate a belief that all students can learn and that student learning is the primary responsibility of the teacher and school stakeholders; (2) Display respect for the world views of diverse people, wide-ranging family structures, different ability levels, varied economic groups, and different perspectives; (3) Implement long and short term plans to accommodate cultural and ability differences when teaching, assessing, and evaluating learners; (4) Establish and maintain a positive climate in the learning environment; (5) Maintain high expectations for learners and practice responsive pedagogy; (6) Collaborate with a range of support specialists to meet the diverse needs of all students.
The CF guides the curriculum, field experiences, and clinical practice promoting candidates' development of KSD components and based on well-developed knowledge bases for, and conceptualizations of, diversity and inclusion so that candidates can apply them effectively in schools. Candidates learn to contextualize teaching and draw effectively on representations from the students' own experiences and cultures. The diversity components encourage candidates to demonstrate cognitive complexity and engage all students, including English language learners and students with exceptionalities, through class discussions and activities. Candidates and faculty regularly review candidate assessment data on candidates' ability to work with all students and develop a plan for improving their practice and the institution's programs.
All programs, revised to meet state mandates and capstone evidences, are evaluated using common rubrics aligned by CF themes. Candidates complete course assignments that provide opportunities to develop strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners. In EDUC 211, the gateway course to teacher education for pre-candidates, diversity in learning styles is a focus area. Presentations by principals that occur in this course also address issues of diversity in the LEA 4.4.b1. All initial candidates also complete a course that addresses strategies for classroom management and SPED 320, Education of the Exceptional Child, in which areas of diversity are covered 4.4b2. Birth through Kindergarten, teaching and non-teaching, candidates also complete: EDUC 311: Foundations of Multicultural Education; EDUC 361: Child, Family and School. At the advanced levels, candidates complete EDAM 651: Organizational Development and Diversity for School Leaders (MSA); EDLE 701: Cultural Diversity in American Schools (Ed.D.); EDUC 610: Planning and Implementing Instruction for Diverse Learners (M. Ed.). All programs offer courses or assignments that involve ethics and legal issues 4.4.b3. Curriculum components address diversity proficiencies as reflected in the Curriculum Matrix 4.4.b. The matrix highlights initial and upper level course descriptions with an in-depth focus on developing the knowledge base needed for diversity pedagogy.
Prior to admission, programs except the M. Ed. require candidates to participate in an interview process. Interview questions are developed from the CF and allows faculty to evaluate responses to diversity questions and assess what candidates need to support the diversities of 21st century students 4.4.b4. Student teaching (ST) at the initial level provides candidates with experiential learning to document the ability to interact with, motivate, and lead diverse learners to success. The EPP's Observation of Candidate Performance rubric specifically measures the level to which candidates establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students. The criteria are based on two strands from North Carolina Standard Course of Study state standards. 2b.3: candidates embrace diversity in the school, community and in the world and 2d.1: candidates adapt their teaching for the benefit of students with special needs. Results show that each semester, most candidates earn a "proficient" or higher rating on DPI Professional Teaching Standard 2. Candidates are evaluated at least three times, in addition to initial and exit visits, by the University Supervisor (US) and four times by the Cooperating Teacher (CT) and are aware of progress towards meeting each measure on the rubric, including diversity measures. Candidates must earn a "met" rating on each measure of the Certification of Teaching Capacity (CTC) to obtain state licensure. The CTC measures classroom climate/culture, instruction, and impact on student learning, among others and require signatures to denote accuracy and agreement (US, CT, Principal) and review of the ratings (candidate) upon completion of the semester-long student teaching experience.
Due to its proximity to Ft. Bragg, more than 20% of FSU enrollees are military dependents, and FSU has been recognized in NC as the top University that is most supportive of veterans 4.4.f. Military enrollees have a webpage within the FSU website. Since nine partnership schools serve a 25% or higher population of military dependents 4.4.f1-3, the EPP made it a priority to prepare candidates to serve the special needs of the military child. Each program has an assessment designed to serve the military child 4.4.b5. Results show that all candidates have performed above average on these assessments.
Candidates interact with diverse faculty across the campus during matriculation. The FSU 2013 FSU Fact Book 4.4.d indicates that a "total of 899 individuals worked at [FSU] as of October 1, 2013. Sixty-three percent of the employees were black, 23% white, 6% Asian, 3% Hispanic, 1% Amer. Indian, and 2% Non-Resident Alien. Fifty-five percent of employees were women, and 45% were men" (p. 51). FSU has "a total of 339 teaching faculty (270 full-time and 69 part-time). Of the 270 fulltime faculty, 87% held the doctorate or 1st professional degree. Of this number, 66% had earned tenure, while 32% were on track. Fifty-six percent of faculty members were male, and 44% were female. Forty-three percent of the faculty body were black, 36% white, 13% Asian, 3% Hispanic, 3% Non-Resident Alien, and 1% were Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, American Indian or of an unknown race. Twenty-three percent of faculty are assistant professors, while close to 42% are associate professors" (p. 51). The work force provides candidates with the opportunity to learn from and interact with a diverse faculty and staff population 4.4.g-1. Within the EPP self-reported faculty data reveal: 79% black, 19 % white, 1% American Indian, and 1% other and 44% male and 50% female, and 6% other 4.4.d-1. EPP candidate data reveal: 54% black, 35% white, 1% American Indian, 2% Hispanic, 3% Asian, and 5% other and 19% male, 81% female 4.4.e.
In addition, candidates may be involved in the Foreign Student Exchange Program and interact with Global Fulbright Scholars. This year, four Global Scholars are teaching assistants in Chinese, Arabic, and African dialects. The Scholars give presentations to classes, as requested. Other activities include Global Awareness Day and cultural arts and music events.
FSU provides diverse experiences so candidates can build their awareness for cultural competence, develop tolerance skills, and become appreciative of similarities and differences. Enrollees with special needs have access to campus facilities such as the Center for Personal Development and alternative lifestyles through the SafeZone office for LGBT enrollees. The EPP Dean is a SafeZone Ally 4.4.k.
The EPP offered an Interactive Television (ITV) core course, led by a SOE faculty, to Mongolian education candidates at a partner university in Inner Mongolia, China. Course requirements included group projects and enrollees collaborated on assignments that required understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and resulted in learning each other's language 4.4.l.
FSU is home to the Cumberland International Early College, where high school students interact with different cultures through projects, visits, and presentations. Pre-candidates or candidates complete field experience requirements at this on-campus site. Candidates complete field experiences, including capstone experience at partner sites that included 19.3% DOD sites, 49.1% Title I schools, and 31.5% non-Title I schools 3.4.b3. Candidates are supervised during capstone experiences by a diverse population of cooperating teachers and intern supervisors 4.4.c1.
4.2. B Continuous Improvement
•· Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality.
•· Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement as articulated in this standard.
EPP data driven changes are primarily gathered through the Taskstream assessment system or through surveys, many of which are processed through Qualtrics. To assess the need for continuous improvement for candidate performance and program quality, instructors assessed student learning outcomes through various course assignments. The ability of beginning teachers to meet the needs of diverse learners in a respectful environment, standard 4 of the NC PTS, is measured annually through principals' evaluations. For 2012-2013 the FSU rating on this measure was 95%. In 2013 the average rating for EPP prepared teachers was 95% 4.4.c. The EPP continues to review the results of administrator evaluations to determine strategic priorities and areas for growth during the next academic year.
Although NC PTS diversity data were relatively high, currently enrolled initial licensure candidates expressed concerns with regards to their belief in readiness and level of comfort to meet the needs of diverse learners. As a result, faculty members collaborated to administer the Diversity Survey 4.4.a3 to all candidates. The goal was to assess candidate knowledge in the areas of General Knowledge, Supporting Child Learning, Assessment, Family, and Community with regards to diversity. Results indicate that on a 4.0 scale with 4 as most knowledgeable and 0 as least knowledgeable, candidates' responses to the Crosswalks Diversity Survey ranged from 3.03 to 3.63 respectively in the areas of General Knowledge, Child Learning, Family Assessment, and Collaboration 4.4.a4-5. The EPP considers 3.0 or higher as proficient. Based on these results and in order to enhance and sustain performance, an intervention was implemented in the form of a Classroom Diversity Checklist to ensure candidates are aware and active in building pedagogical knowledge bases during field experiences and course assignments. Candidates respond to each criterion on the checklist through field experiences and instructors can infuse the checklist in class assignments. In spring 2014 the Classroom Diversity Checklist was provided to chairs for faculty to utilize in courses. The survey will be re-administered to candidates in fall 2014 to assess continuous improvement in the areas measured. Results will be reviewed by the Principals' Advisory Council for future applications.
To ensure that candidates have educational experiences that foster skills when working with 21st century children, the Department of Elementary Education presented a symposium, Just Good Teaching: The Need for Culturally Relevant Teaching Practices for pre-candidates and student teachers. According to participant feedback, the experience provided them with strategies for infusing diversity components into the curriculum, including building social justice skills. As a result, the EPP seeks to expand the offering of EDUC 311: Foundations of Multicultural Education for all initial program candidates by fall 2015.
Further, the EPP provides opportunities for candidates to hone skills in working with special needs learners. All general education candidates are required to complete a course in special education SPED 320, designed to assist them in meeting the diverse needs of the classroom. The course also address topics related to exceptionalities, culture, language, ability, socioeconomic, region, and racial differences. Candidates are exposed to the history that shape special education in the U.S. and develop the knowledge base needed to participate on an IEP team and collaboratively implement the IEP. Candidates discuss high and low-incidence exceptionalities and identify the principles of inclusion in the general education curriculum for children with exceptionalities. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards are interwoven in this course and candidates complete activities that are aligned to the CEC standards, NC PTS, and the EPP's CF. This course continues to evolve to retain currency 4.4.b2 and prepares candidates to conduct formal and informal assessments of behavior, learning, achievement, and environments to design learning experiences that support the growth and development of individuals with disabilities. Candidates develop long-range and short-term individualized instructional plans anchored in both general and special reading curricula and design appropriate learning and performance accommodations and modifications for students with exceptional learning needs in the general curriculum through use of systematic, explicit, multi-sensory methods to teach reading. In addition, candidates develop unit plans, lesson plans and assessments, case studies, and leadership projects across a range of curriculum areas.
Special educators participate in training through the North Carolina Comprehensive Exceptional Children's Assessment System (CECAS) 4.4.b7. This training informs pre-service teachers on the use of online IEP development software currently in use in most NC school systems. Special education candidates complete multiple, intensive, and supervised field experiences. This resource gives essential tools for assured candidate use and practice
Currently, candidates and pre-candidates receive information pertaining to effective instruction of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students in several ways. LEP student content is integrated into courses and most texts provide chapters or sections devoted to teaching students with diverse needs, including LEP students. Candidates in elementary education are introduced to the Sheltered Instruction Model for teaching LEP students. In addition, candidates in the advanced reading program study LEP strategies in a module in READ 623 - Remediation of Reading Disabilities. The EPP will continue to monitor internship/field experiences placements to guarantee that candidates are placed in diverse settings throughout multiple field placement opportunities. In order to support continuous improvement and advance effective instruction for LEP students, an LEP concentration/minor is being developed with the Department of World Languages and Culture and proposed for fall 2015.
The teacher education recruiter recruits from community colleges in the surrounding 11-county service area and seeks to increase the number of minority candidates, including Hispanics and males. Recent data on recruiting shows 28% minority (non-black) pre-candidates and a total of 91 military-affiliated pre-candidates. Scholarship funds, including the Federal TEACH Scholarship, UNC college funds, and the quality of our teacher education program are effective recruitment strategies for attracting non-black candidates to the EPP 4.4.h.
Further efforts demonstrated for continuous improvement include FSU's EPP partnerships with universities in Inner Mongolia, China. Professors from partner institutions in Inner Mongolia, China where the EPP has signed agreements 4.4.o have asked for stronger collaborations that include the offering of courses via ITV as well as offering courses or PD activities on site in Inner Mongolia, China. These partners want to sponsor EPP faculty to lead these activities. In addition, our Chinese partners seek to enroll candidates in the Ed. D program. The EPP plans to continue to offer courses with China and other foreign nations where candidates have the opportunity to share educational experiences and learn pedagogical strategies from other cultures. By fall 2016, plans will be developed to create exchange activities that will strengthen the global and diverse experiences of candidates.
Since 2011, in order to increase efforts to internationalize and expand cultural experiences for candidates, EPP faculty participated in the Internationalization of Teacher Education workshops, participated in round-table discussions, and made presentations on EPP strategies towards this goal at state-wide conference forums 4.4.n. In addition, SOE representatives serve on the state International Education Committee 4.4.m.
All FSU students also have an opportunity to participate in the Study Abroad Program, completed during intercession or summer courses. Further, the EPP will continue its fundraising efforts to support candidates' interest in study abroad opportunities. FSU has revisited core courses and all candidates are required to complete a Global Literacy course 4.4.b6. The EPP will continue to seek a variety of diverse experiences for all candidates at all transition points so that they are able to reflect and effectively serve diverse populations in ways that enhance their development and growth as professionals.