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RIPA Addendum

RIDE Requirements - Initial programs - Advanced Programs: School Counselling, Reading and Leadership

RIDE Requirement

RIC Response

1.01

A chart describing the assessment system including assessment at admission, prior to student teaching/internship, and prior to recommendation for certification.

1.05
(a)
A chart describing how the program aligns the assessment system to professional standards and assures the assessment of all key professional standards within the system.

1.05
(b)

Additionally, evidence describing how the assessment system is communicated to candidates, how the assessment system uses a variety of assessment methodologies and sources of evidence, and how the system is designed to reduce sources of bias.

1.06

Evidence that details how the assessment system yields fair, accurate, and consistent evaluations; how evaluators are trained to make consistent judgments; and how programs use data to improve the consistency of decisions.

3.01

A chart describing the clinical experiences required by each program. Include in the chart the purpose of each field experience, the sequencing of experiences, the setting and duration, and any products that result from the experience.

3.02

A data base detailing the field experiences that assure that all prospective educators have the opportunity to work with students in a variety of schools, including those that serve culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students and students with a range of abilities. The data base should allow a reviewer to track student field experiences throughout the program.

4.03

Evidence that describes how the institution and programs make issues of sociocultural awareness, affirmation of diversity, and the preparation of culturally responsive educators central to their mission.

4.04

A chart describing the efforts the institution and programs have made to recruit hire, support, and retain faculty members who contribute to the diversity of the faculty.

4.05

A chart that describes the efforts the institution and programs have made to recruit, admit, support, and retain students that contribute to the diversity of the student body.

6.01

A two to four page narrative that describes how the programs are reviewing and improving the assessment system, program curriculum, field experiences, diversity efforts and other programmatic improvement efforts.

Points addressed in 2009 Interim Visit Report

Initial Programs

Response

1. The revision to the assessment system, particularly the Teacher Work Sample and the Classroom Observation Tool, appear to be effective means to revise the assessment system to make it more performance-based and better connected to the RIBTS. The work represents a systematic approach to the 2007 RIPA Report assessment recommendations. The challenge remains to continue to learn from the piloting of these efforts as they are brought to scale.

2. The RIDE interim team observed that although a 2007 recommendation identified the need to "ensure that there is a strong connection between candidate assessment results and candidate feedback and progress through the program" it was not clear what progress has been made to address this recommendation.

  • Candidates complete most unit and program assessments in their courses and therefore receive feedback on their performance within their courses through the scoring rubrics associated with the assessment. With electronic submission of unit assessment data, candidates are immediately provided with a copy of assessment scores and other feedback from evaluators. Additionally, candidates can view feedback on their progress at any time on assessments that are in Chalk & Wire. Those candidates who do not adequately meet the standards on a unit assessment meet with their faculty member to discuss standards/indicators that have not been met and what the candidate needs to do to meet those standards/indicators. They are not able to progress to the next stage in their preparation if required unit expectations are not met.

3. The campus-wide universal advisement system appears to have significantly transformed the advisement of candidates within the FSEHD. Evidence was provided to the RIDE interim team that the mandatory advisement sessions prior to allowing candidates to register for courses is making advisement an appropriately proactive, rather than reactive process. Adjustments to the advisement system may still be necessary for those candidates who have multiple advisors to ensure that all candidates receive accurate information as to their education studies.

  • The Universal Advisement System (UA) continues to be strengthened by the inclusion of online resources for faculty and students.  FSEHD has developed additional online resources to assist students to navigate through admission, preparing to student teach, graduation and licensure requirements. Students who are assigned two advisors (in the case of elementary education and special education) are instructed to meet with their elementary education advisor in the Fall and their special education advisor in the Spring. A similar arrangement will soon be in place for students who have a content advisor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a FSEHD advisor.

4. The future role of the Career Commitment Essay as part of the admissions process remains in question. It appears that the FSEHD is reviewing the purpose of this admissions instrument. Evidence was provided to the interim team as to its value in focusing on issues in teaching and learning and as a marker for candidate growth. If the Career Commitment Essay remains as part of the admissions process, clear guidance as to its purpose and scoring should be communicated to all candidates and faculty. Evidence was also provided to the interim team that the Elementary Program has revised its admission requirements to better ensure candidates have appropriate content knowledge as they enter the program.

  • The Career Commitment Essay requirement was eliminated due to long-standing validity and resource concerns. In its place a new requirement of a grade of B or better in Writing 100 was instituted.

5. Due to the substantial changes under development in the assessment system, the RIDE interim team was not able to determine specific plans for ensuring the validity and reliability of the revised assessment system. It appears initial plans are in place to test for content validity and ensure necessary training for consistency of scoring of candidate work within the revised system. Both efforts will be important as the revisions are brought to scale.

6. Based upon the evidence provided to the RIDE interim team it does not appear that the Special Education Program is fully engaged in or connected to the collective work to revise the assessment system as it may have focused its efforts in other areas. As such, the Special Education Program may not be well prepared to implement the revised assessment system according to the FSEHD's established timeline. The interim team was further concerned that the program's revised observation rubrics were inconsistent and not connected to clear criteria for candidate performance or the expectations of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards.

7. The RIDE interim team did not request evidence of revision to the program curricula. However, evidence was provided that suggests that appropriate revisions are underway including expanding the Middle School Program through the addition of a fourth course and further integrating technology and state initiatives in programs such as Art Education, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Music Education.

8. The FSEHD has received approval to hire an Assistant Dean for Partnerships and Placements to lead the effort to oversee the revision and implementation of the field placement system. Although limited work was completed to address the field-based recommendations from the 2007 RIPA Report prior to the interim visit, the FSEHD has a plan to utilize this position to address issues such as ensuring a variety of sites, effective sites, and clear criteria for cooperating teachers as well as working to develop meaningful partnerships with school districts.

  • The Assistant Dean directs the Office of Partnerships and Placements and works closely with Department Chairs and program coordinators for the placement of teacher candidates, internship candidates, and practicum students. She has been active and visible in the partnership districts and has developed meaningful partnerships with past and new PK-12 districts and charter schools. She worked with the Director of Assessment to offer four workshops for cooperating teachers during 2009-2010. A systematic training for all cooperating teachers has now been established; two trainings each fall and two each spring are offered. She developed an online course for cooperating teachers and is reworking the contents of the course to be more user friendly with a free online platform (instead of using the college's Blackboard site for enrolled students). The Assistant Dean has been effective in moving the data collection system for clinical field experiences from paper to an all-electronic system. Electronic databases are also used for all placement requests, evaluations, payments, and the tracking of teacher candidates in multiple and diverse settings.
  • Timeline of Past and Present Practices With Field Experiences and Clinical Experiences

9. Evidence was presented to the RIDE interim team that the following actions have been taken to begin to address the field recommendations including meeting with district superintendents to identify their needs and how the FSEHD might better meet these needs, revising the FSEHD's strategic plan to increase the emphasis on partnerships, and continuing to work with current partner districts such as Central Falls, Newport, Pawtucket, and Providence to ensure urban placements for all candidates.

10. Evidence was also presented to the RIDE interim team that the FSEHD's field and partnership efforts have identified future work that will be necessary to ensure an effective field component for all candidates. These efforts include establishing clear criteria for the assignment and evaluation for all placements and cooperating teachers, providing professional development options for cooperating teachers including training them in the revised assessment system, working to identity and support teacher leaders, and revising and developing field placement monitoring systems. A specific recommendation from the 2007 RIPA report, ensuring that professional development is provided to all cooperating teachers, has not yet been addressed.

11. The Special Education Program has initiated efforts to address some of the field-based recommendations that were specific to this program including developing supervised practicum experiences, establishing criteria for field sites and cooperating teachers, and monitoring the quality of both. These efforts are in the early stages; it was not clear to the RIDE interim team that these efforts represent an appropriate, purposeful or systematic response to the 2007 RIPA Report recommendations or will be sufficient to ensure that all candidates experience field placements that are varied and effective. The Special Education Program should consider more closely aligning its efforts with the work of the FSEHD and the incoming Assistant Dean for Partnerships and Placements to meet these recommendations.

  • All Special Education faculty have readily incorporated supervised placements into all practica courses utilizing policies and protocols aligned with the Office of Placements & Partnerships (OPP).  For example, faculty arrange for school placements with special education teachers who have been teaching for at least three years and meet all practica requirements established by the OPP.  Additionally, an experienced retired special educator has been assisting the department in the identification of varied and well-regarded placements named by school-based personnel in numerous districts throughout the state.
  • The Teacher Candidate Observation and Progress Report, an OPP protocol used during student teaching/internship, has been modified for use during practica placements by all department faculty and practicum teachers. Both observers provide candidates with timely and responsive feedback about varied teaching strategies, unit/lessons that are designed and implemented, and formal/informal assessments administered.  Each practica course provides a developmental sequence that promotes candidate learning from introductory to more advanced level skills in special education throughout each of the programs.
  • It also must be noted that during the recent SPA accreditation process, the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) cited field-based experiences as meeting CEC standards without condition.

12. Evidence was provided to the RIDE interim team that the FSEHD continues to successfully recruit, support, and retain a diverse student body. Evidence was also provided to the visiting team that the FSEHD recognizes the need to continue efforts to achieve similar successes at the faculty level.

13. Cultural competency assessment was piloted as part of the student teaching experience and found to provide a valuable lens for supporting candidate growth in this area. Results from the pilot implementation suggested the need to introduce this assessment earlier in the candidates' experience. The cultural competency assessment holds potential as one important means to address the 2007 RIPA Report diversity recommendations.

14. The Art and Music Programs have initiated work to revise courses and course curriculum to better integrate issues of diversity and varied learning needs. The Teacher Work Sample proposed for all initial candidates also holds potential to support candidates to identify and learn issues of diversity as they connect course learning, reflection, and their beginning practice. The Foundations of Education course that is required of all candidates has been redesigned to include a greater focus on cultural competency; this is also an important step to address diversity recommendations. The FSEHD will need to continue this work to ensure that these initial learnings continue as integral parts of each program's curriculum design and field experiences.

15. Evidence was provided to the interim team that all candidates engage in diverse placements as part of their field experience through service learning projects, observations, practicum experiences, and student teaching. The FSEHD should continue this work to ensure effective and diverse placements while looking to expand opportunities for all candidates to engage issues of working with English Language Learners. An additional area for future work is to develop systems so that candidates can build upon and integrate what they learn from their diverse placements.

16. Several recommendations in the area of resources have been addressed that represent important areas for ongoing improvement. These include the impending addition of the Assistant Dean for Placements and Partnerships, a new faculty mentoring program, and increasing the release of faculty for candidate supervision. Resources were also made available to support the appointment of a data collector in each program who is responsible for gathering, organizing, and supporting a focus on the use of data to drive program improvement. One recommendation that was not addressed is needed improvements to the Art Program facility; this should remain a priority area.

17. The FSEHD has undertaken several important efforts at continuous program improvement as suggested by the above observations. A notable example is the Assessment and Program Improvement Committee's use of backwards design to envision the educator candidate RIC would like to graduate and then to begin to construct an assessment system that would lead to the development of that candidate. Evidence was provided to the RIDE interim team of efforts to crosswalk NCATE, SPA, and RIPA recommendations to guide comprehensive reform. Additional evidence was also provided of the aforementioned data collector and an employer survey that has been developed to help inform ongoing improvement efforts. These initial efforts should provide important momentum as the programs continue to meet the full range of recommendations from the 2007 RIPA Report.

Advanced Programs

 

School Counseling Program

 

1. Evidence was provided to the RIDE interim team that some revisions have been made to the assessment system and curriculum for the School Counseling Program. Among these are adopting the full ASCA performance standards and the CACREP curriculum standards as the basis for the assessment system and program curriculum. Work has begun to implement these changes in the program design and curriculum. The program has also worked through the advanced program F ACAS Committee to revise advanced competencies for all programs. Emerging from this work is a planned Program Intervention Project for all advanced candidates. While these actions represent responses to the 2007 RIPA Report recommendations, it is not clear that the work of the School Counseling Program has resulted in significant progress toward meeting these recommendations. As such, substantial work remains to be done prior to the 20 II on site visit.

  • The School Counseling program has elected to align curricular content and training requirements to the counseling professional identity standards and the school counseling program area standards of the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  • The Professional Impact Project has been fully incorporated into the Internship Experience.  This capstone project evaluates FSEHD advanced competencies and spans the two semesters of the Internship year.  The PIP encompasses the entire process of needs assessment, program planning, implementation, evaluation, and reflection upon a student initiated intervention at the school level.  Candidates conceive, design, and implement interventions and solutions to real needs that have been identified in their internship site and then assess the outcomes of their efforts.  Ongoing reflection serves to further refine their learning.

2. The RIDE interim team reviewed an evaluation/observation form for candidates that is aligned to the ASCA Standards as well as revised rubrics for School Counseling Program projects. The RIDE interim team also saw evidence of changes that have been made to the comprehensive exam. These appear to be initial efforts to ensure that candidates are evaluated against rigorous standards and content-based expectations.

  • Consistent with the decision to align the School Counseling program with CACREP standards, site supervisor evaluation forms now reflect both the CACREP core professional identity counseling standards and the program area specific school counseling standards.  In addition, the PIP is now used as the capstone assessment project replacing the comprehensive examination.

3. The School Counseling Program has developed two additional courses for the program curriculum, Foundations of Counseling and Counseling Children and Adolescents, to provide candidates with a more expansive and developmental focus on issues directly related to School Counseling. This appears to be an important effort to support the development of candidates for school counseling.

  • The courses that were newly developed at the time of the last visit (CEP 549 Foundations of School Counseling and CEP 553 Counseling Children and Adolescents) have now been fully incorporated into the official plan of study for the school counseling graduate degree.  In addition, another new course is currently in development with an expected launch in the summer of 2012.  This course will be called CEP 656 Crisis Assessment and Intervention.  It will address topics relevant to crisis treatment of individuals and groups as well as protocols for institutional (e.g., school-wide) responses to crises.

  • The two-course internship sequence has been substantively revised with emphasis on the professional role of school counselors as educational leaders who advocate, consult, and collaborate on behalf of all students. This emphasis reflects the dramatic shift in the field over the last decade toward pro-actively supporting the healthy development and high academic achievement of all students rather than merely providing responsive services to a small subset of the student population.  These changes are consistent with the ASCA National Model, CACREP standards, and evidence-based best practices in the field.

4. The addition of the two courses, Foundations of Counseling and Counseling Children and Adolescents was also identified by the School Counseling Program as important efforts to expand the focus of the program's curriculum on issues relating to diversity.

  • Both of the new courses described at the previous visit have now been offered on a consistent basis for the past two years.  Diversity, in its many forms, remains embedded in the curriculum and is highlighted throughout the courses through case examples (adolescent, late childhood, early childhood), assignments, and group discussion.

5. The School Counseling Program provided evidence that it has increased program and course technology requirements to increase candidates' interaction with technology in their field placements.

  • The incorporation of the Professional Impact Project (PIP) into the two-course internship sequence ties this important field-based training experience directly to the Advanced Competencies of the Feinstein School.  Embedded within the advanced competencies are knowledge expectations around information literacy and practice expectations involving the use of technology.  As a capstone project, the PIP ensures that candidates are capable of utilizing technology in performing professional duties and reporting on the impact their work has on students.

6. The School Counseling Program discussed plans to address RIPA recommendations regarding field placements and internship supervisors that were consistent with clear criteria and standards-based expectations for school counseling. Upon candidate entry into the program, the School Counseling Program plans to assess the effectiveness of the candidates' field placement to provide targeted support in order to ensure the placement and internship supervisor are consistent with the program's expectations. The plan appears to be an innovative response to the recommendations. The interim team cannot comment upon its potential to meet the recommendations as the plan appears to be in the early stages of development.

  • A number of specific measures have been taken to ensure the high quality of field placements and on-site supervision.  Supervisor support and development begins with initial contact with potential internship supervisors is now made in the year prior to internship placement.  Initial contacts with potential supervisors (including discussion of supervision needs) are made in the fall semester concurrent with candidate enrollment in CEP 549.  During the spring semester, while candidates are enrolled in CEP 540, an in person meeting is arranged.  At that meeting an orientation is provided regarding the expectations and requirements of the internship classes and the developmental supervision model that has been adopted by the program.  Expectations for quality and range of internship experiences are made clear and the commitment of the field supervisor to these expectations is garnered.  The goal is the creation of an extended relationship with site supervisors that prepares them for their role and provides ongoing support and open communication in the service of the candidate learning experience.  Additionally, involvement of the program director at the state level with RISCA has facilitated the creation of a pool of potential sites and supervisors for those graduate students who are not currently working in a school and who, therefore, require a site placement. 

7. The School Counseling Program also discussed plans to increase partnerships with selected Providence schools and Child Opportunity Zones to support field placement and partnerships with the PK-12 community. Again, this appeared to be at the discussion stage and its potential for program improvement was unclear to the RIDE interim team.

  • A recent and fruitful partnership in which the School Counseling program has engaged is a collaborative effort involving the Preparatory Enrollment Program (PEP) at Rhode Island College.  Initially an effort to increase opportunities for candidates to develop sensitivity and skill working with diverse students, this collaboration also benefits PEP students by providing needed support services before, during and after the transition from high school to college. The PEP collaboration has ensured that school counseling candidates have direct experience in providing academic skill development and social/emotional support to first-generation college students, most of whom are students of color from varying socioeconomic backgrounds.  This experience also provides a window into the variety and nature of the challenges faced by students who are considered at-risk as they attempt to navigate the post-secondary transition.  Candidates, as a part of the course requirements in CEP 540 Practicum with Children in Schools, provide academic skills development training to PEP students in the spring of their senior year once they have been selected to the program.  The following fall candidates lead small groups focused on supporting PEP students through the social/emotional transition to college as a part of the internship course.  Throughout this year-long experience candidates gain valuable skills as well as insight and understanding enabling them to support the post-secondary transition for students who are considered at-risk of not attending or completing college.

8. The School Counseling Program provided evidence that it conducted outreach efforts during its recent hiring process for program faculty including historically black colleges, targeted contacts, and other recruitment efforts although the selected candidate did not increase the diversity of the program faculty. The program did not identify any substantial new efforts that were undertaken to increase the diversity of program candidates.

  • In the spring of 2011 the counseling programs conducted a successful search resulting in the addition of a full-time faculty member.  This new colleague is a woman who is originally from India.  She is a professional from a traditionally underrepresented group among the ranks of full-time, tenure-track professors.  This, combined with her excellent training and considerable skills make her an outstanding addition to our faculty.

9. The School Counseling Program provided evidence that several on-campus forums such as colloquia, conferences, and workshops are held to contribute to a curriculum and campus environment that values diversity and supports program candidates to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to support diverse students.

  • The collaborative effort with the PEP program described previously affords candidates the opportunity to provide direct support services to diverse students in both the academic and personal/social domains.excellent models and skilled supervisors for our candidates.

  • An ongoing partnership with the PEP program provides candidates with the experience of helping to facilitate the transition to college for students that are diverse and could be considered at-risk for not persisting or graduating from college.
  • A new relationship has begun with the Henry Barnard School.  In the fall of 2011 the first school counseling student engaged in activities related to fulfilling course assignments in this setting.  This represents a valuable training experience in an elementary-level school setting with a diverse student body.  It is anticipated that this relationship will continue to provide opportunities for candidates to gain valuable practice experience.
  • New courses have been added to the program strengthening the curriculum and bringing it into greater alignment with recognized national standards.  This work is ongoing, with new courses being developed and ongoing refinements being made to existing courses.  Such activity is aimed at ever more fully demonstrating the standards of CACREP in preparing graduate candidates for professional service as school counselors.

Reading Specialist

 

1. The Reading Specialist Program provided evidence that it added a tutoring requirement to program curriculum, courses ELED 685, ELED 686, and ELED 629, to increase candidate opportunities to work with students from diverse backgrounds. As the students who are tutored come from Project Goal, many of whom will be participants in the summer reading clinic, this appears to be an appropriate effort to expand candidate opportunities to support diverse learners.

  • In addition to tutoring diverse learners in READ 685, Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties, READ 686, Treatment of Reading Difficulties, and READ 629, Reading Clinic, two new Reading courses were added to the program.  READ 507, Teaching Reading and Writing to ESL Learners and READ 667, Reading Coaching require candidates to work in multicultural settings.  Finally, every course in the M.Ed. in Reading Program has a field-based component.

2. The Reading Specialist Program provided evidence that it initiated Diversity Dinners to create an environment that values diversity. It was also indicated that these dinners were suspended due to funding issues. While the dinners may have been one effort to contribute to an environment that values diversity, it is not clear that this was a sufficient response to meet the 2007 RIPA recommendations.

  • While funding limitations have curtailed the Diversity Dinners, the addition of two new courses to the Reading Program have enhanced candidates work with diverse populations.  All candidates now enroll in READ 507, Teaching Reading and Writing ESL Learners.  All candidates tutor a minority student as part of this course.  In addition, candidates tutor Hispanic adolescents in both READ 685, Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties and READ 686, Treatment of Reading Difficulties.  Finally, all courses in the M.Ed. in Reading Program integrate diversity elements in their content since the newly established 2010 IRA Standards now have a diversity strand of standards that must be measured and met.

3. The Reading Specialist Program provided evidence that it conducted outreach efforts during its recent hiring process for program faculty including historically black colleges, targeted contacts, and other recruitment efforts although the selected candidate did not increase the diversity of the program faculty. The program did not identity any substantial new efforts that were undertaken to increase the diversity of program candidates.

  • A new faculty position was filled during the fall 2010 semester.  Two candidates from a pool of five applicants were self-identified minority candidates.  Invitations to interview for the position were extended but both individuals accepted positions at other institutions.  The Rhode Island College position was filled with a female candidate.

4. Evidence was provided to the RIDE interim team that the Reading Specialist Program has identified additional resources to support the program faculty including reassigned time for research, additional technology resources, and travel allowances.

  • The administrators in the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development continue to support the M.Ed. in Reading program.  Faculty members are off-loaded to conduct research, publish, and to direct the program.  The administration, furthermore, supported refinements in the program, which were formally instituted in the Fall of 2011. 

5. The Reading Specialist Program received limited recommendations from the 2007 RIPA Report. It was evident that some of these recommendations have begun to be addressed. The program is encouraged to continue this effort prior to the 2011 RIPA on-site visit to address all of the recommendations including those that focus on issues of diversity.

  • In August of 2011, NCATE and the International Reading Association issued its review of the Rhode Island College M.Ed. in Reading Program.  Earlier in the year, the faculty and administration responded to the nineteen standards required for IRA review.  The program received a perfect score (i.e. “Met”) on every one of the standards. 

Educational Leadership

Leadership program RIPA report, addressing the RIDE 2009 Report on the program

Since the last RIPA visit in 2009, the LEAD Program has submitted the LEAD Initial Review by ELCC in February 2010 for continued national accreditation.  In July 2010, we received the NCATE Final Report National Recognition, making it the only Nationally Recognized Educational Leadership Program in Rhode Island.  In March 2011 the LEAD Response to conditions was submitted with the resulting NCATE Final Report National Recognition in July 2011.

   
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4. Evidence was provided to the RIDE interim team that the Reading Specialist Program has identified additional resources to support the program faculty including reassigned time for research, additional technology resources, and travel allowances.

5. The Reading Specialist Program received limited recommendations from the 2007 RIPA Report. It was evident that some of these recommendations have begun to be addressed. The program is encouraged to continue this effort prior to the 2011 RIPA on-site visit to address all of the recommendations including those that focus on issues of diversity.

Educational Leadership

Leadership program RIPA report, addressing the RIDE 2009 Report on the program

Since the last RIPA visit in 2009, the LEAD Program has submitted the LEAD Initial Review by ELCC in February 2010 for continued national accreditation.  In July 2010, we received the NCATE Final Report National Recognition, making it the only Nationally Recognized Educational Leadership Program in Rhode Island.  In March 2011 the LEAD Response to conditions was submitted with the resulting NCATE Final Report National Recognition in July 2011.