School of Education

Standard 5

Additional Navigation

Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.

5.1 Faculty Qualifications, Performance and Development

How does the unit ensure that its professional education faculty contributes to the preparation of effective educators through scholarship, service, teaching, collaboration and assessment of their performance?

5.2.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.

5.3 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.

Download Standard 5 (PDF 164KB)

5.1 Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development

The professional education faculty in the School of Education is highly qualified to fulfill their responsibilities in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service, mentoring, supervision, and advising. The institution and the SOE have established policies and procedures for recruiting, hiring, assessment, and professional development for its faculty. Exhibits 5.4.a (all faculty) and 5.4.b (clinical faculty) offer a cumulative view of the SOE professional faculty and clinical faculty rank, tenure track, scholarship and leadership in professional associations, and other professional experience in P-12 schools. The exhibit 5.4.a compilation of faculty scholarship and expertise illustrates that full and part-time faculty members have the relevant knowledge and experiences to prepare candidates to work effectively with all students. Expertise demonstrated through grant awards, presentations, creative works, and publications is reported in the institution's Faculty On-Line Activity Report, which is a self-reporting process used in part to evaluate faculty for promotion, retention, and discretionary salary increases based on merit.

As well, Exhibit 5.4.b shows qualifications of clinical faculty. Of significance, NYSED requires that teachers in P-12 schools must be licensed employees in the district and certified in the areas in which the candidates are placed. All P-12 cooperating teachers who work with teacher candidates are certified in the area in which they teach. Since New York requires teachers to earn masters degrees for professional certification, virtually all clinical faculty members - cooperating teachers and college supervisors - have achieved the professional certification requirement.

Qualified faculty who model best practices for all candidates in the SOE is a priority; and, having qualified clinical faculty who mentor candidates in capstone experiences is an equally high priority. Additional information with reference to selection, training, and support of clinical faculty and professionals who mentor our student teachers and interns is provided in our response to Standard 3 in this report as we approach target on that standard. Exhibit 5.4.c includes departmental handbooks that address teaching and learning and student feedback on teaching. Each of the program student teaching and internship handbooks reflects the policies and expectations for clinical faculty, e.g., college supervisors, site supervisors, and cooperating teachers.

Best professional practices that contribute to the preparation of effective educators and school professionals are modeled by professional education and clinical faculty as they demonstrate a thorough understanding of the content they teach, assisting candidates to develop the proficiencies outlined in professional, state, and institutional standards. With teaching as the primary responsibility for the SOE faculty, documentation of teaching effectiveness is demonstrated through observations by colleagues, development of teaching material or new courses, and student evaluations, all determined from surveys, interviews, and classroom observations.

Faculty members have their teaching reviewed regularly by department colleagues and department chairpersons; the results then become part of the recommendation affecting promotion or continuing appointment. Additionally, faculty members believe that the regular administration of student evaluations in courses is an important means to identify areas for improvement, as well as areas of teaching strengths. Course evaluations support the criteria for effectiveness of teaching as required by the institution. The SOE does not require a standard student course evaluation instrument; but rather, each department has adopted instruments particular to its programs. Exhibit 5.4.f includes evaluation forms currently in use in the six academic departments. Reflection, an essential element in our Conceptual Framework, is expected based on the results of course evaluations to increase relevance and rigor of content as well as to improve effectiveness of teaching. Classroom observations for un-tenured faculty members generally include at least one observation each term by peers (usually members of the departmental personnel committee) and one observation each year by the department chair for review during the probationary period.

Responsibilities outside the classroom, such as work with student organizations, clubs, and advisement, are also considered vital to effective teaching. Several faculty members serve as part of Oswego's First Year Advisement program. Each department provides advisors for the program (the number is determined by enrollment), and they are compensated with additional travel funds. This particular program has received national awards and recognition for advisement and for improving student retention rates. Faculty members have the opportunity to submit this involvement as well as scholarship, professional and community service, and award information through the Oswego on-line reporting system, enhancing eligibility for promotion and/or discretionary salary increase. This is a self-reporting procedure and results from the reports are used as examples of service, collaboration, and scholarship in this report. Exhibits 5.4.e and 5.4.f include these compilations.

Included in Exhibit 5.4.f are the types of evidence, submitted for review in consideration for continuing appointment or promotion to advanced ranks as well as for discretionary salary increase. Five criteria adopted by SUNY's Board of Trustees as published in the Policies of the Board of Trustees guide the documentation of accomplishments for personnel decisions that must be reflected in each of the following criteria: mastery of subject matter; effectiveness of teaching; scholarly ability; effectiveness in university service; and, continuing growth. These criteria for faculty personnel decisions are further explained and summarized in communications from the Provost's office to faculty at the beginning of each academic year.(Exhibit 5.4.f)

Scholarship is also evidenced through the large number of faculty holding terminal degrees; being recognized by special commendations, honors, grant awards; developing new courses; and, through publications and professional presentations. Review of SOE course syllabi in Exhibit I.5.b verifies that faculty members have in-depth knowledge and understanding of content and its relationship to the Conceptual Framework. Where appropriate, course objectives, assignments, and assessments are aligned with one or more of its principles: authentic learning, knowledge, practice, reflection, collaboration & leadership. SOE faculty members also reflect the consideration that teachers must be scholars who engage in life-long learning. Through significant scholarly work as demonstrated in their specialized fields and reported through the Oswego on-line system, 90 percent of full time faculty members have presented and 40 percent have published scholarly work within the past three years. Also notable is that part-time faculty also engage in similar scholarship. Exhibit 5.4.d demonstrates the variety and strength of scholarly activity within the unit. Also included is the summary of scholarly activities resulting from support for sabbatical research.

Additionally, an expectation of the institution is that faculty members show evidence of engagement in scholarly and creative activities that include students in faculty-student research. As one of the criteria from SUNY Board of Trustees for documentation of accomplishments, scholarly and creative activities are evaluated for impact on the community and intellectual vitality and knowledge. Exhibit 5.4.d includes samples of faculty-student scholarly collaborations.

An added criterion for modeling best practice is service to the institution and to the professional communities represented within the unit, both of which are consistent with the unit and college missions. Exhibit 5.4.e summarizes participation in service-related activities including collaborations, professional development, grants, etc. A review of on-line activity reports shows that more than half of the faculty contributed to university service, while at least half participated in some form of community service.

Critical issues in content knowledge as well as in best practices for the profession are reinforced through faculty participation in professional development opportunities. Each of the SOE standing committees - Diversity, Educational Technology, Field Placement, Professional Development Schools, and Assessment - have included in their charge: Coordinating professional development activities that will support faculty in each department and program in their efforts to accomplish goals. Exhibit 5.4.g not only illustrates the SOE professional development initiatives, but also shows university opportunities for faculty across all disciplines organized through the Committee for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). For example, workshops ranging in variety from pod-casting to assisting students with alcohol or other drug abuse issues to sustainable practices in course delivery were facilitated by SOE faculty. Attendance data are regularly collected by CELT. Workshops offered by CELT in spring, summer, and fall appeal to all facets of the college community and address topics such as advisement, educational technology, international students, writing across the curriculum, on-line teaching and various subjects as requested by faculty. A sample of workshops offered in fall 2012 is also included in Exhibit 5.4.g.

5.2.b Continuous Improvement

The departments within the SOE offer support and professional development opportunities to professionals in the field. Samples of these efforts are described below and more completely in Exhibit 5.4.e.

  • The CPS Department sponsors all day professional development workshops each semester for up to 150 participants per event.
  • The Educational Leadership Institute (ELI), a statewide provider of high quality professional development programs to serve the PreK-12 academic community in New York, is housed in the EAD department.
  • The School of Education is involved in numerous professional development school (PDS) initiatives in Oswego County. All are designed to promote authentic learning for P-12 students, promote professional growth among pre-service and in-service teachers, and use an inquiry approach to address the diverse learning needs of P-12 students.
  • Project CLIMB (Collaborative Link for Instructor Mentoring in Benin) involves School of Education collaborating with school inspectors and educational leaders in the West African nation of Benin.
  • Project SMART (Student-Centered, Multicultural, Active, Real-World Teaching) is a school/business/university partnership among the Oswego County Schools and Teacher Center, the Syracuse City School District, several New York City school districts, several regional business and community organizations, and SUNY Oswego providing high-quality and sustained professional development for in-service and pre-service teachers throughout the academic year.
  • Sheldon Institute for grades 2-10 offers small class sizes, projects chosen to engage young learners, and dynamic teachers that entice students to return summer after summer. It is co-sponsored by Team Sheldon and the School of Education.
  • The Technology Annual Fall Conference has been held every October on the Oswego campus for more than 70 years. It involves hundreds of faculty members, pre-service technology teachers, in-service technology teachers and school administrators, and technology education vendors from the northeastern states.

Through the Provost's Office as well as other non-teaching units on campus, several opportunities for professional support and faculty assistance exist and are described below. SOE faculty members continue to take advantage of these opportunities.

  • New faculty orientations provide support particularly through the campus New Faculty Orientation Committee whose charge is to provide new faculty with the information and social support necessary for a successful transition to campus. The committee plans, coordinates, and implements new faculty orientation programs prior to the beginning of classes; provides ongoing opportunities for professional development through Committee for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; and, remains responsive to changing needs of new faculty as they arise. Membership includes representation from each school, Office of Human Resources, and new faculty from the preceding year.(Exhibit 5.4.g.)
  • In addition to external grants and other types of support for scholarly and creative activity and for curriculum innovation, campus-based resources are available for course development and revision, new program development, professional travel and training, conference participation, and project collaboration.(Exhibit 5.4.g.)
  • International travel grants are available to faculty for travel outside the U.S. and require approval from the Office of International Education.
  • UUP Professional Development Grants are available, when they are announced by United University Professions, to all faculty and professional staff.
  • Penfield Library provides liaison personnel for each department on campus to support faculty research. Technology in terms of electronic journals, e-reserves, e-book collections, and virtual reference services are available to faculty.
  • Campus Technology Services maintain current technologies and provide training and assistance in their use as well as provide training and user support for online and hybrid instruction through the SUNY Learning Network.
  • The Office of the Associate Provost for Multicultural Opportunities and Programs offers a mentoring program for new faculty focusing particularly on the needs of faculty in underrepresented populations.
  • The institution continues to support fair and equal faculty assignments allowing time for service and research. Release time for institution, unit, and department service is also supported.
  • Institutional internal funding support monetary incentives to faculty willing to assume overloads such as extra sections of courses, student teaching supervision, and intern supervision. For example during academic year 2011-2012, forty-nine faculty members, FT and PT, received extra service payments. An additional fourteen faculty members who wrote SPA reports received extra service compensation.
  • Institutional external funding support for research and scholarly services is processed and administered through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). External grants and awards to the SOE as shown in Exhibit 6.4.f for academic year 2012-2013 represented 33% of the total awards to the institution.

Plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement are presented below and follow the lead of recommendations from the Middle States Report for the institution as well as recommendations from SOE standing committees:

  • The SOE will maintain innovative curricular changes through professional development, implementing documentation of the impact on student learning outcomes.
  • The content methods faculty for C & I in collaboration with PAGs (math, science, social studies, literacy, English, TESOL, and fine arts) will develop more robust content assessment for core curricular areas.
  • Scholarly and creative activities will continue to serve as the core of the intellectual and cultural vitality of the unit.
  • Emphasis on funding and showcasing faculty/student research will continue to provide candidates an opportunity to become part of world challenge solutions.
  • The SOE will review the evaluation process for clinical school faculty in terms of candidate learning outcomes and professional dispositions.
  • The Dean's office will continue multiple opportunities for Tk20 training conducted by the Technology Support Professional for faculty and students. (Exhibit 5.4.g)
  • The Dean's office will continue to maintain work with New York's Statewide Teacher Education Network (S-TEN). As part of the campus network (C-TEN) Oswego was awarded funding to promote one or more of the focus areas -Common Core Standards, Clinically Rich Teacher and Leader Preparation, Performance Assessments as in edTPA, new framework SBK and NYSTCE exams, and Data-Driven Instruction and APPR. The C-TEN push-in to facilitate professional development for part time and full time faculty will begin in fall 2013 on the Data-Driven Instruction focus area.

Faculty qualifications, performance, and development evidence within the unit reveal qualified individuals performing in clinically rich environments and providing as well as participating in on-going continuing growth opportunities.