Departmental Assessment Report
Department Name: English
Major: ENGLED MA
Student Learning Goals: Graduates of the M. A. in English, English Education Emphasis, will:
|1.||Read, interpret, and explicate literary texts and take into consideration their historical, social, and cultural contexts.|
|2.||Plan and teach reading and literature effectively to secondary school students.|
|3.||Write proficiently and understand the nature of the composing process.|
|4.||Plan and teach writing (composition in print and non-print media) to secondary school students.|
|5.||Understand fundamental principles of linguistics.|
|6.||Plan and teach secondary language lessons consistent with the principles of linguistics to secondary school students.|
|7.||Understand the process and stages of growth in language use and critical thinking and recognize levels and signs of growth.|
|8.||Plan and use multiple instructional strategies.|
|9.||Effectively sequence and integrate the teaching of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and language study.|
|10.||Construct and use a variety of formal and informal assessments for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing.|
|Assessment Measure:||Goals Addressed:(list by number)||How is the information used?|
|Praxis II exam scores (test of English content knowledge)||1, 3, 5||Admission to student teaching requires passing score (minimum 158). The Office of Teacher Education will collect sub-scores from students applying to student teach and report those as well as students’ holistic scores annually to the Director of English Education. If scores indicate that changes are needed in content instruction, the Director will bring concerns and suggestions to the English department faculty.|
|Unit plans created in ENGL 580 for teaching a unit of instruction of literature, writing, and language||2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10||Student performance on this large-scale synthesizing project not only documents how well students are able to meet professional standards but also signals to faculty any areas of English teaching preparation in need of more attention and instruction. Course instructor reviews units by the end of each semester; results discussed in English Education program review meeting at least twice per semester and communicated with other faculty when appropriate.|
|Mentor teacher evaluations of student intern & student teachers||2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10||Used to evaluate individual student and program strengths and areas in need of improvement. Results of mentor teacher evaluations in English, administered by the Office of Teacher Education, will be given to English Educators in February and September following student teaching semesters. Results will be discussed in English Education program review meetings at least twice per semester. English Educators may also interview teachers or students, and the Director of English Education will bring recommended changes to the Office of Teacher Education.|
|Student teachers’ final evaluations of their preparation, including content knowledge, pedagogy, technology, field experiences, and quality of supervision||2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10||Used to evaluate program strengths and areas in need of improvement. Results of student teacher evaluations in English, administered by the Office of Teacher Education, will be given to English Educators in February and September following student teaching semesters. Results will be discussed in English Education program review meetings at least twice per semester. English Educators may also interview teachers or students. The Director of English Education will bring recommended changes to the Office of Teacher Education.|
|Surveys of program graduates in their third year of teaching||1-10||To identify areas of program strength and need for program improvement from our students with a perspective of some teaching experience. Administered by the Office of Teacher Education, the surveys begin in spring 2006. Results will be discussed in English Education program review meetings at least twice per semester, and the Director of English Education will pursue needed program modifications or changes.|
|Employer satisfaction surveys of our program’s alumni||1-10||Responses from school principals to be surveyed by the Office of Teacher Education after our students’ first year of teaching will be used to identify program strengths and areas in need of improvement from the employer’s perspective. Results to be sent to the Director of English Education each November. Results will be discussed in English Education program review meetings at least twice per semester, and the Director of English Education will pursue needed program modifications or changes. In addition to overall program evaluation, these results may initiate further faculty work with individual alumni or school administrators.|
|Comprehensive examination, project, or thesis||1-8||Performance of the culminating activity demonstrates not only graduate students’ synthesis of English teaching theory and practice but also identifies areas of program strength and areas in need of improvement. Trends will be considered by English Education faculty in program meetings at least twice per semester. Director of English Education will pursue needed program modifications or changes.|
What do the assessment results tell you?
- Praxis II exam scores are one indicator of student preparation in English content knowledge and may signal areas in need of improved instruction in the English curriculum.
- Unit plans indicate students’ readiness to plan and teach English lessons, synthesizing and applying past and current instruction. Weaknesses in an area or aspect of a class’ unit plans will initiate problem-solving work to strengthen the indicated area in need of improvement within the course or across the program.
- Mentor teachers’ evaluations should tell us how ready our students are to student teach and indicate areas in need of program improvement. Student teachers’ evaluations should indicate what students found valuable or useful in their university preparation and what they think we need to do better to prepare them to student teach successfully. These responses will be used to evaluate program strengths and areas in need of improvement.
- Surveys of program graduates with two years of teaching experience should indicate overall program strengths and areas in need of improvement from the perspective of a teacher with some experience, a potentially different viewpoint from a recent student teacher.
- Employer satisfaction surveys help triangulate our assessment data and help us see the results and even reputation of our program of teaching preparation from an important perspective outside the student. These response may help us see how employable our graduates are and what we can do to improve the likelihood that our graduates will find teaching jobs. They should also help us see how to shape the program to better ensure employer satisfaction and likely workplace success of our graduates.
- Graduate program culminating activity indicates students’ synthesis of content knowledge, pedagogical theory and practice and provides information about program strengths and areas in need of improvement particularly at the graduate level.
What are some examples of changes made over the last two years based on assessment findings?
- The current action of raising of the minimum g.p.a. in the major from 2.50 to 2.75 is a result of program evaluations.
- In ENGL 381 we have increased focus on assessment, especially standardized assessment, to better fit changes interns encounter in schools facing policy changes demanded by No Child Left Behind legislation.
- The English Education emphasis was established two years ago, and the comprehensive examination was invented. As a result of student performance on the exams and defenses, we continue to refine the process for examination preparation and assessment, as well as identify areas of program strength and areas in need of improvement based on students’ assessments. A part of the exam preparation directly discusses individual and program strengths and areas for improvement with the student candidate, and this information feeds reflection about possible program changes.
What recommendations do you have for improving the assessment process?
Plans for surveying graduates after they have become teachers, as well as their employers, are being made now as an initiative of the Office of Teacher Education, in cooperation with teacher education programs across the university and the Teacher Education Coordinators Council. These surveys, which will include English Teaching majors, should provide valuable information we have not had in the past.