School of Education

Standard 1

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Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other school professionals know and demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

1.1 Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions

What do candidate assessment data tell the unit about candidates' meeting professional, state, and institutional standards and their impact on P-12 student learning? For programs not nationally/state reviewed, summarize data from key assessments and discuss these results.

1.2.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.

1.3 Areas for Improvement Cited in the Action Report from the Previous Accreditation Review

Summarize activities, processes, and outcomes in addressing each of the AFIs cited for the initial and/or advanced program levels under this standard.

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1.1 Candidate knowledge, skills, and dispositions

All programs in the SOE have undergone self-studies in part to respond to professional, state, and institutional standards alignment as well as to improve curricular contributions that support the mission of both the institution and SOE. Initial programs prepare candidates for the first teaching licensure (initial) while advanced programs prepare candidates for other professional school roles such as educational leadership, school psychology, and school guidance counselors, as well as second teaching licensure (professional). Documented reviews by the NYSED of registered programs are presented in Exhibit 1.4.a (NYSED Inventory of Registered Programs). Initial certification in NYS is an entry-level license; professional certification is advanced-level licensure for those candidates with initial certification who have met additional requirements, namely a master's degree and three years of teaching experience. Most of the Oswego initial programs also provide master's level study leading to the professional certification.

In order to achieve initial licensure, candidates must successfully complete three certification exams - Content Specialty Test (CST) (except those for languages other than English) consists of multiple-choice questions and a written assignment. The CSTs for languages other than English include recorded listening and/or speaking components and writing components. CSTs measure knowledge and skills in the content area of the candidate's field of certification. The Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST) consists of multiple-choice questions and a written assignment. Examinees are asked to demonstrate conceptual and analytical skills, critical-thinking and communication skills, and multicultural awareness. The test covers scientific, mathematical, and technological processes; historical and social scientific awareness; artistic expression and the humanities; communication and research skills; and written analysis and expression. The Elementary and Secondary ATS–W tests measure professional and pedagogical knowledge at the Early Childhood (birth–grade 2) and Childhood (grades 1–6) levels and Middle Childhood (grades 5–9) and Adolescence (grades 7–12) levels, respectively. Three years of Title II report summary data provide evidence that program completers passed the NYSED certification tests ranging from 81 to 100 percent across the unit's initial programs for Content Specialty Tests, 99 percent consistently for Liberal Arts and Sciences Test, 99 to100 percent for Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills – Written, and 98 to 100 percent for Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills - Written. School Building Leader tests show a 97 percent pass compared to 92 percent for all of SUNY. (Exhibit 1.4.b)

Oswego SOE’s Conceptual Framework aligns with unit learning outcomes and New York State Learning Standards and ensures that candidates meet professional, state, institutional standards, and Conceptual Framework principles. Exhibit 1.4.c provides key assessments across the programs. The six elements of the Conceptual Framework align with one or more of the key assessments in each program. Exhibit 1.4.d offers a summary of the data for the key assessments of both initial and advanced candidates' understanding of pedagogy, content knowledge, and scholarship including those that are unit-wide as well as the data disaggregated by program. All other key assessment data are available in SPA reports included in NCATE's Accreditation Information Management System (AIMS). Assessment instruments for C & I programs were revised for fall 2012 therefore AIMS data for spring 2012 reflects the older version while fall 2012 and going forward, the new versions will be reflected. 

Using the Teacher Work Sample (TWS) and key assessments that emphasize technology as the basis for evaluating candidates’ knowledge of instructional strategies, candidates in the initial programs met the benchmark on teaching students using comprehensible, significant practices while integrating technology. The TWS assignment and rubric also meet the criteria for a rational assessment of candidate impact on student learning. Oswego's version requires the analysis of high-level thinking skills in addition to pre- and post-tests for measuring students' comprehension of content knowledge. The skills and strategies required by the TWS are delivered in the content-specific methods courses in initial programs in the Curriculum & Instruction and Technology departments and in the assessment course in the Vocational Teacher Preparation programs, with the required Teacher Work Sample completed and assessed during student teaching for these initial programs. For example, the advanced Childhood initial candidates in spring 2012 shows a 100 percent met for the benchmark "Clear and appropriate rationale for selection of assessments" and 100 percent met for the benchmark "Analysis of student learning, data-based analysis with thoughtful, analytic interpretation of learner outcomes for whole and subgroups." Technology Education candidates showed 88.1 percent met with 9.52 percent outstanding for the benchmark "Multiple modes and approaches in support of authentic learning" and 85.71 percent met and 4.76 percent outstanding for "Evidence of impact on student learning." Exhibit 1.4.g offers a summary of assessment and analysis of student learning completed by candidates across the SOE in initial programs during clinical placements. Candidates use the student assessment data to guide instruction using significant, engaging approaches.

Additionally, candidate knowledge and skills demonstrated in samples of candidates' work from professional courses and clinical experiences at different proficiency levels from across the unit are offered in Exhibit 1.4.h. Feedback, evaluation, and assessment of the work has led to improved candidate performance and ultimately improved program quality. Such assignments also provide qualitative evidence of discipline content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn.

Since the last accreditation, dispositions have been reviewed and re-aligned to course objectives and to the Conceptual Framework. Assessment of dispositions has been reviewed by the SOE Assessment Committee, and after much deliberation, a new rubric with appropriate benchmarks has been developed. The Assessment Committee provided two public opportunities for SOE faculty to give feedback. Following that process, the final document was presented to the Dean for approval. The document was uploaded to the Tk20 system and to the SOE Web site in spring 2012 and piloted in fall 2012. Dispositions are infused in courses throughout all programs, and appear in the SOE Policy Handbook and the Student Teacher and Internship handbooks. They are introduced at program entry, assessed during field experiences and student teaching or internship placements, and upon program completion. Exhibit 1.4.e offers the candidate dispositions assessment tool for all programs including the belief that all students can learn, as well as Assessment Committee minutes supporting the development process.

For example, data from the piloted professional dispositions evaluations show Adolescence English initial candidates, n=7, for collaboration 85.71 percent met, 14.29 percent developing; critical reflection 100 percent met; integrity 85.71 percent met, 14.29 percent developing; socially conscious responsibility 85.71 percent met; socially conscious respect 85.71 met, 14.29 percent developing; authentic learning 71.43 percent met, 28.57 percent developing; advocacy 71.43 percent met, 28.57 percent developing. (Only socially conscious responsibility revealed 14.29 percent not met.)

From the advanced program, Art Education, n=14, 91.67 percent met expectations in collaboration with 8.33 percent developing; critical reflection = 92.31 percent met, 7.69 percent developing; integrity = 84.62 percent met, 15.58 percent developing; socially conscious responsibility = 76.92 percent met, 15.38 percent developing; socially conscious respect = 76.92 percent met, 7.69 percent developing; authentic learning = 84.62 percent met, 15.38 percent developing; and, advocacy = 66.67 percent with 16.67 percent developing. More complete candidate disposition assessment data from 162 responses out of a possible 212 candidates in clinical experiences is provided in Exhibit 1.4.f.

Follow-up studies of graduates and employer feedback on graduates have been difficult to obtain. For the last accreditation, the unit contracted with the Educational Benchmarking Teacher Education Exit Survey and the EBI Alumni and Employer Survey as data sources. After reviewing limited numbers of responses to these surveys, the Assessment Committee researched other sources of data and resolved to create its own document to be presented to candidates at completion of programs and to school districts in the central NY region. Exhibit 1.4.i and Exhibit 1.4.j include the instruments approved by the Assessment Committee and data from those instruments.

1.2.b Continuous Improvement

Activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality include:

  • At an operational level, appointment of an Interim Dean, an Associate Dean of Assessment and Accreditation, re-aligning duties of the Associate Dean, and appointment of a Director of Field Placements have collectively impacted improvement in candidate performance and program quality and added stability to the process of continuous improvement.
  • In an effort to continuously improve knowledge and skills of SOE candidates, the SOE has made changes in curricula that have been based on review of assessment data since the last NCATE review. Exhibit 2.4.g offers a summary of changes in programs and the process for change in courses and programs; however, examples of change that have led to continuous improvement follow here.
  • All candidates graduating from preparation programs in Educational Leadership after February 1, 2009 were required to achieve satisfactory scores on the appropriate SLA(s) to qualify for a certificate. During the first year these assessments were administered (2008-2009), 46 SUNY Oswego candidates completed both the SBL and SDL examinations with an overall pass rate of 98 percent. In subsequent years, slightly fewer SUNY Oswego candidates completed the SBL/SDL exams (n=26 for the SBL & n=28 for the SDL in 2009-10; n=32 for the SBL & n=27 for the SDL in 2010-11), but their pass rates consistently exceeded those reported by other SUNY institutions and all other IHEs in New York State.
  • NYS-approved rubrics (for teachers and leaders) for the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process were incorporated into the EAD 641 (Supervision) course.
  • NYS’s adoption of the Common Core Learning Standards and emphasis on twenty-first century skills led to major revision of the EAD 652 (Curriculum Administration) course to include work related to: standards-based instruction, data-driven progress monitoring, ISTE Standards, and the use of formative, interim and summative assessments to inform curriculum planning, design, development and implementation.
  • The adoption of Common Core Learning Standards led to increased collaboration between C & I faculty and PAGs with the support of the Provost. Content for the English and mathematics programs is completed in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences whose faculties must also work within the NYSED regulations to deliver the content for education majors.
  • In the past, Vocational Teacher Preparation had only one degree area in which applicants could enter as freshmen (Business & Marketing Education). Currently a second such program has been added in Family and Consumer Science Education, which can be completed on campus and is open to incoming freshmen.
  • In response to an increasing number of individuals seeking Transitional A certification through the NYSED, the VTP department is developing course work that would be more in line with the SED guidelines for such individuals.
  • As a result of the efforts of the Technology department faculty, 16 laboratory and content-specific courses have undergone significant updates, and 6 new laboratory courses have been developed in response to needs for additional engineering education, educating all students, and biotechnical content needed by graduates to meet professional standards and new NYS certification requirements. Additionally, data from the CST exams were reviewed and considered when updating the program content courses.
  • The faculties of the C & I and Mathematics Departments have developed the Master of Arts in Teaching – Mathematics 7-12. The program will help address the need for certified teachers in the area of Adolescence Mathematics 7-12 that exists on a national and state basis. Through the combined resources of the Curriculum and Instruction and the Mathematics Departments, graduate applicants seeking initial/professional teacher certification in mathematics will be offered courses in mathematics content that the current Master of Science in Education – Adolescence Mathematics 7-12 does not require. Both faculties will continue to work together to develop a program that will be consistent with the School of Education Conceptual Framework as well as national and state standards namely those of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Common Core Mathematics Standards, and NYS teacher certification requirements respectively.
  • Within the school counseling (SC) program, coursework is more relevant to school counselors and enhanced by a full-time faculty with significant school counseling experience. Prompted by feedback from the field, from PAG meetings, and other personal contacts, changes included making the introductory SC course (CPS 530 - Orientation to the Counseling Profession) more focused on school counseling. This process began when we specifically hired a school counselor as an adjunct to teach this course and has continued with the new full-time faculty member. We are also aligning the internship to more closely parallel the national SC professional standards (American School Counseling Association).

As illustrated by the highlights above, the SOE strives for continuing improvement in candidate knowledge, skills, and dispositions. And, the plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement include:

  • Continued efforts to improve writing skills, a recognized need in all SOE programs as evidenced in performance on the extended response segment of the NYSED certification exam, Liberal Arts and Sciences Test. Need for more extensive writing assignments and revisions of departmental writing plans has also been identified by the institution's Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) committee.
  • Continued efforts to distribute the alumni and employer surveys to secure more responses to guide program development. Online efforts and use of focus groups are being considered as well as continued work with Institutional Research to regularly gather data through institutional efforts.
  • Continued work on renovation of School of Education facilities, which began with design phases in 2008. Relocation will begin in fall 2014 to be completed by fall 2015. A white paper detailing the intended purposes and prospective donor funding opportunities was created in May 2011. (Attachment 1.B - Conceptual Intent and Use) Continued work toward updated, expanded state-of-the-art facilities will facilitate enhanced performance by SOE candidates.
  • Continued efforts toward strengthening the use of educational technology by candidates as well as more concerted efforts to collect data on use of technology. The Educational Technology committee worked closely with the Campus Technology System and the SOE Renovation Steering Committee to ensure twenty-first century technology skills and applications will be addressed in the new classroom and laboratories. (Attachment 1.C - Ed Tech Report and Addendum)
  • Continued efforts to address APPR, Common Core Standards, and teacher evaluations that exist in P-12 schools to better prepare candidates for these initiatives as they enter the profession.
  • Continued progress to make a major improvement in our TESOL Education program with BRIDGES, a TESOL Education partnership with Syracuse City School District (SCSD). Race to the Top funding of $553,448 for an intensive teacher preparation program in high-need schools will enhance the college’s model of undergraduate teacher education. The main goal is to deliver a two-semester, full-time teaching experience for undergraduates in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
  • Continued assessment plan and self-study for Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, CACREP, to support CPS program quality.
  • The introduction of edTPA is increasing the need to crosswalk all standards - CAEP, SPAs, InTASC, all NYSED standards, NBTPS, Conceptual Framework principles and SOE learning outcomes. These documents will be uploaded into Tk20 for universal access among faculty, staff, and candidates in the School of Education.

1.3 Areas for Improvement Cited in Previous Accreditation Review

Areas for improvement are enumerated and addressed in the following segment.

1. Candidates are not required to demonstrate appropriate professional standards in Adolescence Foreign Language grades 7-12, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Literacy Education birth-grade 5 and grades 5-12, and Building and District Leadership.

All initial and advanced rubrics across all teacher candidacy and educational leadership programs have been more clearly aligned to respective SPA standards and to activities/assessments for the Embedded Signature Assessments (ESAs) to better highlight demonstration of professional standards.

Foreign Languages

Beginning in 2009, Adolescence Modern Language programs implemented the Oral Proficiency Interview and show fluency at the advanced-low level. Freshmen and transfer students are now required to submit an ACTFL Advanced Level Check Certificate as part of their application for student teaching. A notation is placed on the candidates' official college transcripts when this requirement has been satisfied.

Adolescence Modern Language Education candidates’ content knowledge is now formally assessed by faculty in the Modern Language and Literature department through the Simulated Proficiency Assessment of Oral and Writing Skills. This is a multi-part examination of oral and writing proficiency that is carried out each spring. Modern Language faculty members provide candidates' ratings and feedback based on criteria found in the ACTFL Oral Proficiency rating scales. The Adolescence Modern Language Education program has created a modern language-specific version of both the Teacher Work Sample and the Student Teaching Evaluation. The Teacher Work Sample for Adolescence Modern Language Education has well-developed task descriptions that require candidates to design instruction aligned with National Standards for Foreign Language Learning (NSFLL). The new rubric criteria for evaluating the Teacher Work Sample for Adolescence Modern Language Education and the Modern Language Student Teaching Evaluation were taken directly from recommended rubric criteria found in the ACTFL program standards document, Program Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers. All assessments are now clearly aligned with and able to measure candidate performance on the targeted standards.


TESOL candidates continue to be engaged in K-12 settings as tutors and observers in urban classrooms. The Teacher Work Sample completed by TESOL student teachers was modified to be more student-specific in its clarification of learning content, goal development, assessment, and instructional planning and sequencing. TESOL standard 1-A ‘language as a system’ is addressed in the linguistics sequence (LIN100, 200, 201 & 300). TESOL standard 1-B ‘language acquisition and development’ is addressed in Psychology 310, Linguistics 100, and, on the pedagogical side, Literacy 311. TESOL Standard 2 ‘culture as it affects student learning’ is addressed most rigorously in the combination of Linguistics 345, the modern language sequence, and the language not previously studied, and, on the pedagogical side, EDU 380 and EDU 301. EDU 360 and ADO 320 are the obvious courses in which to assess the candidates on parts of the new TWS-TESOL. TESOL standard 4-A ‘issues of assessment,' standards 4-B ‘language proficiency assessment,’ and 4-C ‘classroom-based assessment for ESL’ are certainly addressed in courses. Also to be noted, the TESOL program has been nationally recognized through the most current SPA review in 2012.


The Literacy program has implemented a number of revisions including a new required course in Literacy Coaching, LIT 519, with embedded performance assessments. The course provides documentation that program completers are well qualified and possess necessary skills to assist classroom teachers and paraprofessionals to effectively use a wide range of instructional approaches and curriculum materials as delineated by IRA standards. The faculty is continuing to revise remaining course-based assessments to clarify relationships between rubric criteria and specific elements of the IRA standards. The Culminating Exam has been re-articulated to more clearly define assessment criteria.


In preparation for state exams, School Building Leader and School District Leader candidates present their work before professional panels that assess student performance utilizing rubrics that are aligned with ELCC standards. Revisions to all key program assessments were completed in order to align with ELCC standards. The most robust assessment of candidate performance in schools, the Internship Evaluation, is based on exact language of the ELCC standards and indicators.

2. Assessment results from C & I MSED program are not collected nor aggregated at the program or unit level.

The MSED program, an advanced degree leading to professional certification, was revised and fully approved by NYSED. In the content-related courses and pedagogical electives, data is aggregated from key assessments employed in each specific course which align with candidate performance in content, knowledge, and skills. The MSED program has aligned all assessments to NBPTS standards. C & I faculty in the MSED program compared the NBPTS Propositions 1-5 and NCATE Standards identified assignments to assess the Propositions; developed rubrics to evaluate candidate performance positions; collected assignments via Tk20; and began evaluating candidate knowledge and skills according to those Propositions. Additionally, a pedagogical elective, a sixth required course completed this assessment process and the NBPTS Propositions.