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Nov. 7, 2001
GRANT TO HELP SUNY OSWEGO EVALUATE TEACHER EDUCATION
OSWEGO -- Developing a model to measure the effectiveness of teacher training programs is the goal of a recent grant to SUNY Oswego's School of Education.
A $14,670 State University Venture Fund Assessment Seed Grant will help create a practical, cost-effective and streamlined process to collect data on the performance of teacher candidates from three programs in the School of Education, said Dr. Suzanne Weber, director of the project and associate dean of education.
Once developed, the model -- which can point to ways to improve future performance of teacher training schools -- can be implemented throughout Oswego's School of Education and at other SUNY campuses, Weber said.
"Having performance assessment data always has been very important, but to date we have usually done it only within courses," Weber said. "It's more difficult to accumulate assessment information in a program-wide basis."
The grant, however, allows administrators "to harness the effort that is done within courses in a systematic way so that we can use it as a program evaluation," she said.
Weber said the process is already under way, with the grant providing stipends for coordinators who will collect performance data during the semester and write up an evaluation in the summer.
Taking up the data coordination duties are Marcia Burrell in the curriculum and instruction department, Dr. Wayne Whitfield in the technology department, and Dr. Susan Camp and Peggy Martin in the vocational teacher preparation department.
Weber noted that the project's goal of evaluating program performance is "not just a good thing to do, but it also is important to maintaining our NCATE accreditation." The School of Education earned accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education this fall.
"It's clear that accountability and standards are high priorities for SUNY," Weber said, referring to the $100,000 in State University venture grant funding awarded to projects throughout the SUNY system.
Weber credits Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost John Presley and Dean of Education Linda Rae Markert for identifying and prioritizing this funding opportunity to support the college's goals. The School of Education assessment committee contributed ideas on how to leverage the funding, Weber said, while Presley also submitted the grant on behalf of the program earlier this year.

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Once the model is in place, the School of Education intends to sustain a master assessment schedule allowing a coordinator to be paid during the summer to analyze already-collected data for each group of related programs on a three- to five-year cycle, Weber said.
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