Standard 5: Curricular Individualization

The curriculum of the program provides for specialization and individual development based on an assessment of each candidate’s needs, interests, and career goals.

Rationale

A range of curricular offerings within the university and non-university component of the program to effectively meet the needs of beginning administrators in a variety of contexts. Specialization and individualization may occur by providing a variety of coursework, specialized strands, or by individualized learning opportunities within a specific course or professional development experience.

Factors to Consider

The following factors serve as a guide for initial program design and ongoing program evaluation:

• Areas of curricular specialization and a range of options within these specializations are available and clearly defined for candidates in the program.

• Candidates have opportunities to select and pursue specific areas of interest within the curricular offerings.

• Assessments of student needs and interests result in careful planning and selection of appropriate coursework and other professional development opportunities.

• Consideration is given to the new administrator’s work responsibilities in planning the timing of coursework and professional development experiences.

• The curricular plan is outlined in the candidate’s clear credential induction plan.

• The program meets other factors related to this standard of quality brought to the attention of the team by the program sponsor.

As mentioned previously, the curricular options for candidates offer flexibility, not only in the specific activities or courses, but also in the provider of the activities or courses.  Candidates that graduated from the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program at California State University, Fresno, have five courses in the Clear Administrative Services Credential Program that are required, since these courses have been specifically designed to complement their learning.  Candidates who choose to do the required coursework through the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State (DPELFS) may choose alternative, related courses in the doctoral program.  However, all candidates are afforded the opportunity to provide evidence
of mastery of any material, techniques, knowledge, or skills that would fulfill the requirements of any course or activity in the program, with the exception of the mentoring component.  Indeed, candidates are encouraged to seek specialized offerings to meet their particular needs identified in the initial assessment.  Candidates may seek offerings through other universities, professional organizations, school districts, and any other means.  For non-university activities, the district mentor and university mentor make the decision jointly to authorize such activities, once again, based on the candidate’s needs as demonstrated in the initial assessment and induction plan and/or later revisions to the plan.  In the case of California State University, Fresno, courses, the program coordinator authorizes in writing any alternative activity.  To ensure quality control, the candidate is required to provide evidence in the portfolio of ALL activities undertaken during the program.  Please see Standard 1 for the portfolio guidelines.

More specifically, candidates seeking approval for non-university activities for the professional development component must obtain authorization from the district mentor and university mentor.  Candidates seeking approval to substitute a course requirement with a non-university activity must obtain written authorization from the district mentor, university mentor, and program coordinator.  In all non-university activities, the candidate is required to submit to the district mentor a written reflection of how the activity has enhanced understanding and use of one or more of the CPSELs.

In non-university activities that have received written authorized for substitution of a required course, the candidate must submit the written reflection to both the district mentor and university mentor for final approval after the activity is completed.  Non-university activities may include, but are not limited to school or district professional development, ACSA academies or conferences, reading of selected books, courses or workshops from other universities, and any other acceptable means of meeting the needs of the candidates.

Additional professional development opportunities shall be undertaken through any appropriate means including university coursework, school or district professional development, ACSA academies or conferences, reading of selected books, and any other acceptable means of meeting needs of the candidates.  Approval of these opportunities shall be accomplished collaboratively by the district mentor and university mentor and will be included in the Induction plan.  The candidate shall write a short reflection based on the CPSELs for all activities and these reflections will be filed in the professional portfolio.

In general, non-university activities should be directly related to the goals and objectives of the candidate’s Induction plan, specify outcomes relating to the CPSEL area or principles of administrative practice, include components that include goals, expected outcomes, learning activities, expected performance standards, and evaluation design, and utilize knowledge and presenters/participants familiar with effective professional development practices for adult learners.

Although the induction plan for each candidate is individualized, the specific curricular components of the plan are specified.  Please refer to  Appendix 14 for the induction plan.

As in all program activities, ongoing evaluation, as well as an annual review, serves to ensure that the program not only meets the standards as required by the CCTC, but by the local school districts that depend on our program to prepare their educational leaders.

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