G. Standard 6. Unit governance and resources
Leadership and authority - Budget - Personnel - Facilities - Resources/technology
6.a. Unit Leadership and Authority
The Unit has a well-established governance structure (organizational chart) for effective planning, delivery, and coordination of coherent programs of study for all teacher preparation programs. This structure enables professional education program decisions to be made collaboratively and at the appropriate level. The Dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) is the Unit leader, appointed by the President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and reports directly to the latter. The Dean is not only not only
The Dean's Leadership Committee of (DLC) is advisory to the Dean and meets bi-weekly. It includes Department Chairs, the Associate Dean for Teacher Education, the Principal of Henry Barnard School, the Assistant Dean, Office of Partnerships and Placements (OPP), and the Director of graduate Programs. The committee coordinates policy and curriculum development, and ensures program quality control. DLC minutes are published to ensure transparency and faculty participation. The faculty, including clinical faculty, take active role in program design, delivery, and evaluation of the unit and its programs. Program coordinators and faculty, guided by their Department Chairs, are responsible for designing, implementing, and assessing professional education programs in the unit. It is done through several main channels:
- Program and course changes are initiated by faculty, with the support of Chairs, and move through the approval process: the home Department, other affected Departments, DLC, the Dean of the FSEHD, other affected Deans or Directors, the College Graduate Committee or the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the College President.
- A clear committee structure brings representatives of all departments together to address the most important issues. The charge for each committee is specified in the Governance Document.
- Each department holds monthly faculty meetings, open to adjunct and clinical faculty and their decisions are communicated to the Deans Leadership Committee
- Clinical faculty, both cooperating teachers and college supervisors (FT and PT), provide evaluation and suggestions on program and operations improvement through the required survey every semester.
- A number of our program have advisory committees involving practitioners. See, for example the work of Art Education Advisory Committee.
In in December 2007, the Unit organized the process of strategic planning, which resulted in creation of the FSEHD Strategic Plan, which provides the direction for the Unit's development.
The Unit's recruiting and admission practices are described in websites and printed materials. Candidates have access to a variety of student services. The Unit provides a robust mechanism for collaboration between unit faculty and faculty in other units.
Despite significant budgetary challenges, the Unit receives fair and sufficient budget to maintain quality programs. Resources are allocated by the administration upon recommendation from the Deans, the College's central administration, and members of the staff of the Board of Governors for Higher Education. The FSEHD budget increases yearly to meet the demands of enrollment, salaries, technology, and professional development.
The Unit is fortunate to have access to supplemental funds
- Feinstein Endowment funds generate about $40,000 a year. The funds are expended on support of the Unit Assessment system, partnerships, professional development of the Unit faculty and partner organizations, and support of diversity initiatives on campus.
- The Dean's Discretionary Account generates about the same amount per year from the indirect cost recovery mechanism from external grants. The funds are expended to support additional staffing needs and on professional development of faculty.
Workload policies and class size are clearly specified in the RIC/AFT Agreement, Chapter X. Normally, a full time faculty member is expected to teach an equivalent of 12 credit hours per semester. However, "For each different course preparation after the second,
faculty shall add one (1) formula hour to their teaching load credit (page 33)." There are several opportunities to apply for reassigned time and sabbatical leave to advance one's scholarly agenda, administrative responsibilities, and service commitments. For example, only in 2010/11, the Unit full-time faculty were reassigned for the total of 331.5 faculty load hours, excluding the extra-preparation hours. For the 81 full-time faculty in the academic departments, the de-facto average teaching load is about 10 load hours per semester; less if the extra-preparation hours are added. The actual load including reassigned time is close to 24 credits per year in load, and ranges 3.5 to 5.3credits a year in overload.
The College recognizes the special needs of their Unit and there are several provisions in the Agreement and compensation practices. For example, practicum courses are compensated at 3-6 faculty load hours, depending on enrollments. Student teaching is compensated as one credit hour for each three candidates. Many methods courses with a significant field component are compensated with an extra credit hour to allow thoughtful placements and building partnerships with cooperating teachers. The combination of these policies and practices allow faculty to be engaged in a wide range of professional activities including scholarship, assessment, advisement, collaboration with practitioners, community, and professional organizations at regional and national level.
Part-time Faculty and Clinical Faculty
We have no teaching assistants. Despite intense budgetary pressures, only 26% of all courses are taught by part-time faculty. Student teaching supervision in Elementary and Special Education is done mostly (but not exclusively) by adjunct faculty, while a great majority of Secondary and K-12 student teachers are supervised by full-time faculty. Clinical faculty are included in the unit as valued colleagues in preparing educators. An important recent development is the unionization of adjunct faculty, which allowed them meaningful representation in the academic departments, and certain protections. A part time instructor receives $1147 per work load hour; or $500 for supervising one student teacher. The Unit invests significant resources in compensation of cooperating teachers (a flexible pay scale):
- Spring 2009: Cooperating Teachers - $84,350.33; Practicum Instructors - $26,880.00
- Fall 2010: Cooperating Teachers - $50, 025.00; Practicum Instructors - $23,625.00
||N of Student teaching supervisors
||N of candidates supervised by
||% of FT
|| FT faculty
||% by FT
Each of the five academic departments has a full-time secretary, with the exception of Health and Physical education that has a half-time, and the Educational Studies with two secretaries. The Dean's office has four full-time support staff: student teaching coordinator, dean's assistant/office manager, graduate school secretary and the associate dean's assistant in charge of admissions to FSEHD. we usually have one or two graduate assistants working on administrative assignments, but no teaching GA. 7-8 work study students help with clerical duties. In addition, the Dean's office has a full time data coordinator, and the Coordinator of Special Projects. These staff members are highly qualified; the Unit provides periodical training for them in the use of information technology.
6d. UNIT FACILITIES
The unit has excellent facilities on campus and with partner schools to support candidates in meeting standards. FSEHD departments are located in several buildings on campus—Horace Mann Hall (Elementary Education, Special Education), the Henry Barnard School, (Educational Studies), Adams Library (Counseling and Educational Psychology), and The Murray Center (Health and Physical Education). These buildings provide office and meeting space, machines, and storage space for all full-time faculty. Additionally, a number of joint appointments in FSEHD and FAS are housed in other campus buildings with excellent facilities, such as Gaige Hall and the John Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts.
The library and the User Support Services provide a wide array of instructional technology. USS supports 1,800 college-owned computers and a wide variety of printers, scanners, and multimedia devices. Several classrooms
contain mobile computer carts, and five Tablet PC carts and two Apple laptop carts are in service. In fall
2010, 72% of RIC classrooms were equipped with computers, multimedia projectors, DVD players, and
audio speakers. As of the start of the spring semester 2011, 106 of the 118 rooms designated as general purpose classroom or seminar rooms have been electronically equipped (90%). The campus has 11 computer labs and a number of electronic classrooms.
FSEHD candidates have access to the James P. Adams library , a unit that is quickly evolving into the 21-st century information center. Library resources are described in detail in the Report on the James P. Adams Library. The Curriculum Resources Center, dedicated to serving the needs of FSEHD candidates and located in Adams Library, offers print, non print and electronic resources used in American schools from preschool through grade 12. The focus is on traditional and innovative methodologies found in curriculum guides and teaching material from local, state, and national sources. Particular emphasis is given to materials related to teacher education programs at the College. Elementary Education candidates also regularly use the Henry Barnard School library as a source for children's literature. The library is open 80 hours/week in the spring and fall semesters, fewer hours in the summer, and, in fall
2010 and spring 2011, 24 hours/day during final-exam weeks. The Reference Desk is staffed most of the
hours that the library is open, including evenings and weekends. Reference librarians also provide
assistance by e-mail through the "Ask a Librarian" link on the website. Staffing of public services is
supplemented by student assistants. A new
library instructional classroom opened in September 2008 with 30 PCs.
6e. UNIT RESOURCES INCLUDING TECHNOLOGY
- The unit is an important partner in the massive development program for informational infrastructure and facilities.
- The unit faculty are proud of its sophisticated assessment system; it includes support of assessment director, data coordinator, and one part-time technical support individual. The assessment activities are funded, in part by the supplemental funds. The funding goes to support workshops, data collection and storage, data processing and reporting back to the programs. One of the prime examples of deliberate adoption of new information technology is in the Chalk and Wire Implementation report.
- The unit has adequate information technology resources to support faculty and candidates. Faculty and candidates have access to exemplary library, curricular, and electronic information resources that serve not only the unit but also a broader constituency. See the Report on Information Technology. Candidates and faculty have access to a wide arrays of technological resources; including software, individual help, on-site consultations, and other services. See the list of USS workshops.
- While distance learning has not been a primary focus for the unit, we have built sufficient resources if we chose to provide reliability, speed, and confidentiality of connection in the delivery system. The main course management platform is Blackboard, for which the unit offers extensive support to both faculty and candidates. However, as HOLC experience shows, faculty members have been experimenting with other platforms: Wikispaces, yahoo groups, WorkBench, etc. The Chalk and Wire digital portfolio and assessment system has also been extensively supported; we have built our own Chalk and Wire support resources for both candidates and faculty.