Induction Standard 1: Program Rationale and Design

The induction program incorporates a purposeful, logically sequenced structure of extended preparation and professional development that prepares participating teachers to meet the academic learning needs of all students in each of the categories under IDEA including birth to age 22 and retain high quality teachers. 

The induction program at California State University, Fresno incorporates a purposeful, logically sequenced structure of extended preparation and professional development. Participating teachers complete 6-semester units of coursework that combines discussions and applications of research to practice, online Learning Communities for peer discussion and support, in-class meetings with Learning Communities, and school site application and supervision. The course content is sequenced to align with the FACT modules (http://ca-btsainduction.org/formative-assessment-california-teachers ; FACT User Guide) – Context for Teaching and Learning, Assessment of Teaching and Learning, Inquiry into Teaching and Learning, and Summary of Teaching and Learning. Students complete each module with support from their District Support Provider and University Supervisor.

The design is responsive to individual teachers’ needs, and is consistent with applicable sections of the Education Code.

Through completion of FACT modules, participating teachers develop an IIP, aligned with the individual teacher’s needs. The FACT modules are part of an inquiry-based formative assessment system that is built upon the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTPs) and Induction Standards. Through the FACT modules, students engage in a plan→teach→reflect→apply process. As they complete the modules, participating teachers collect evidence and self-assess to reflect upon and improve their teaching. Clear Credential participating teachers participate in collaborative experiences with colleagues and resource personnel, and the design of coursework is responsive to individual teacher needs as participants select professional development opportunities aligned with their IIP and personal interests.  The courses and experiences prepare the Clear participating teachers to meet the academic learning needs of all students in each of the categories under IDEA (including birth –  22) through a variety of  activities, including discussions and applications of research to practice, online Learning Communities for peer discussion and support, and in-class meetings with Learning Communities where individual issues are discussed and  students engage in problem-solving.  The university collaborates with the region’s districts to provide the clear credential program as well as professional development opportunities to retain these high quality teachers.

In addition to completing the FACT modules, Clear Credential participating teachers participate in collaborative online Learning Communities Screenshot 1, 2, 3. In these communities, students read and summarize chapters in Research-based Practices in Special Education (Cook, Tankersley, & CEC Division of Research, 2013), then pose questions to their learning community members that prompt critical thought and application/reflection. Topics in the text cover a range of practical and contemporary issues in Special Education, including improving academic outcomes, improving behavior outcomes, approaches for assessment, and improving outcomes for targeted groups of learners. These communities promote collaboration and life-long learning and are an opportunity for these new teachers to form a support community through which individual needs to be addressed.

It is relevant to the contemporary conditions of teaching and learning and provides for coordination of the administrative components of the program such as admission, advisement, participant support and assessment, support provider preparation, and program evaluation.

The Special Education faculty, Credential Analyst, and Graduate Program Technician at CSU, Fresno, coordinate the administrative components of the Clear Credential program. Student admission requirements are listed at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/kremen/graduate/ma-spedreq.html. Admission requirements are differentiated for continuing and new students. Student advisement for the Clear Credential program is provided by the Program Coordinator, in consultation with the Special Education Faculty and Credential Analyst. Advisement is provided through 1:1 meetings, orientations, and in courses where participating teachers are transitioning from the Preliminary credential.

Throughout the Clear Credential program, participating teachers are supported by faculty, university supervisors, support providers, and other teachers (both in the Clear courses and at their school sites). Students engage in a plan→teach→ reflect→apply process, throughout which they collect evidence to build a professional portfolio, have their teaching observed by university supervisor and support provider, and reflect upon and self-assess their teaching practices. Students receive feedback from their university supervisors and support providers, and have the opportunity to participate in Learning Communities with their peers.

Support providers will be selected from those trained some will have been trained by their districts and support provider credentials will be verified through the CTC website. Many of the support providers in partner districts have been previously trained to provide support for BTSA participants. The training these support providers receive prepares them to support and supervise Clear Credential students, as many of the requirements for BTSA are the same as those for the Clear Credential (i.e., many partner districts districts utilize the FACT modules/system for BTSA or similar process/forms). At the beginning of each course (within the first 2-3 weeks) these support providers review requirements via a PowerPoint presentation and are given various support provider materials (handbook and conversation guide). Support providers who are not previously trained by their districts/county offices of education participate in an online training module and are given a support provider handbook at the beginning of each course, as well. All support providers consult regularly with the University Supervisor, and additional support/training is provided as needed.

Student portfolios are used for program evaluation (completion of FACT modules), as well as participating teachers’ application of research to practice through their participation in online learning communities. Program exit surveys will collect data on participating teacher perceptions.  Employer surveys will be sent to district employees (supervisors/employers) at the end of each academic year to get feedback on their perceptions of the program.

The program design provides systematic opportunities for the application and demonstration of pedagogical knowledge and skills acquired in the preliminary credential program.

The program design provides systematic opportunities for the application and demonstration of pedagogical knowledge and skills acquired in the preliminary credential program through the development of the IIP, as well as collaborative online Learning Community discussions. The faculty/instructors for the Clear Credential courses also teach in the preliminary credential and have strong knowledge of the standards and those assignments used to assess the knowledge and skills and will be observed in their teaching setting.  Each participant has an assigned University Supervisor and a District Support Provider, each of whom provides intensive individualized support and assistance to each participant. Participants are required to have 4 observations during the Clear Credential coursework (2 University Supervisor; 2 District Support Provider). The observation sequence includes pre-observation communication, an on-site classroom observation, and a post-observation reflection and debriefing session with the observer.

The program design includes intensive individualized support and assistance to each participant, collaborative experiences with colleagues and resource personnel, and an inquiry-based formative assessment system that is built upon the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.

The induction program collaborates with birth to 22 special education services and agency organizations and P-12 to integrate induction program activities with district and partner organizations’ professional development efforts.

The individualized nature of the FACT system, the alignment of support and inquiry to the CSTPs, induction standards, and configuration within the Master’s Degree course sequence ensure that the program is responsive to individual participating teacher needs and relevant to contemporary conditions of teaching and learning, as well as contributes to furthering participating teacher’s personal and professional educational goals. Participating teachers are formatively assessed throughout the completion of coursework and the FACT modules, an inquiry-based formative assessment system built upon the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. Professional development is individualized based on participating teachers’ IIP goals; participating teachers select PD opportunities through their districts county offices of education and/or related agencies. The induction program collaborates with local birth to 22 special education services and agency organizations and P-12 to support participating teacher induction program activities with district and partner organizations’ professional development efforts, as needs identified by participating teachers arise. Contact and collaboration with special education services, agency organizations, and P-12 will occur throughout the Clear Credential program as students identify areas of focus for their IIPs. Students will consult with their university supervisor and support provider to identify professional development opportunities that match their specific goals. The university supervisor and/or support provider will facilitate collaborative relationships between participating teachers and organizations identified to assist candidates in meeting their professional development goals. Participating teachers, with guidance from their University Supervisors and Support providers, can self-evaluate their teaching practices (with regard to the CSTPs, using the Evidence of Practice forms in the Continuum of Teaching Practice document: http://www.btsa.ca.gov/resources-files/Final-Continuum-of-Teaching-Practice.pdf. This will help participating teachers refine their IIP goals and select appropriate professional development opportunities.

Education Specialist:
The design involves collaboration between the approved clear credential program and the employer, offering multiple opportunities for support and professional development of Education Specialist participating teachers in their early years of teaching.  Education Specialist teachers shall select appropriate professional development and/or preparation program-based coursework to expand skills and to pursue advanced study with consideration of assignment and Education Specialist authorization.  These skills should be designed to enhance the participant’s teaching abilities and reflect inquiry based methodology and reflective practice.

The Clear Credential program at CSU, Fresno is designed to support participating teachers in their early years of teaching through multiple opportunities including professional development experiences and reflective practices that ensure they meet induction standards and are prepared for success within their teaching context. Support includes selection of a support provider with the same credential and authorization support provider experience form and support provider qualifications form. Face-to-face meetings and online Learning Communities provide opportunities for collaborative problem-solving and professional and goal development. The IIP guides selection of additional appropriate professional development opportunities; support providers, administrators, and university personnel support participating teachers in selecting appropriately aligned opportunities for professional development, including local, state, and national conferences, district-provided professional development or inservices, webinars, and online training modules opportunities, such as those provided by the IRIS Center (http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/), CEC (http://www.cec.sped.org/webinars), and STEM Education Resource Center (http://www.pbs.org/teachers/stem/professionaldevelopment/). Professional development options are determined based on their alignment with each student’s IIP and opportunities available during a given semester. A variety of professional development options are considered and provided to ensure an individualized and relevant induction experience designed to enhance each participating teacher’s teaching practices, expand their skills, and facilitate inquiry-based, reflective practices (see non-university professional development forms. Please see revised Non-University Activity Form (renamed to Professional Development Menu of Options and Approval Form).

This program is aligned with the MA in Special Education allowing participating teachers to pursue advanced study and apply knowledge with consideration of their employment assignments and Education Specialist authorization.  Courses, experiences, fieldwork application, and professional development are designed to enhance the participating teachers teaching abilities through research-based programs/strategies, inquiry-based methodology and reflective practices.

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