Induction Standard 2: Communication and Collaboration

The induction program articulates with preliminary teacher preparation programs and P-12 organizations in order to facilitate the transition from teacher preparation to induction and build upon and provide opportunities for demonstration and application of the pedagogical knowledge and skills acquired in the preliminary credential program.

The Preliminary and Clear Credential programs at California State University, Fresno were carefully sequenced to support participating teacher transition from teacher preparation to induction (sample advising sheet). Faculty attend BTSA area meetings in the region and one faculty member participated in some meetings with local districts and universities to develop the Clear Credential.  The SPED Advisory board is also used to facilitate transitions for participating teachers.  For example, a local County Office of Education Administrator shared that our university-based Clear Credential program will be encouraged for those teachers seeking a Master’s degree and they will assist with the facilitation.  Participating teachers have the opportunity to apply pedagogical knowledge and skills (including those aligned with CSTPs and IPSs) in educational settings. Participants are required to have 4 observations during the Clear Credential coursework (2 University Supervisor; 2 District Support Provider), which provides the opportunity for participants to demonstrate skills and knowledge and to receive feedback and support, as well as engage in a process of inquiry and reflection to improve teaching practices. The observation sequence includes pre-observation communication, an on-site classroom observation, and a post-observation reflection and debriefing session with the observer.

The induction program collaborates regularly with partner school district personnel. These may include: human resource professionals for identification, eligibility, requirements for participation, and completion; educational services personnel regarding curricular and instructional priorities; and site administrators for site support of the participating teacher and the program.

Collaboration with a variety of partner school district personnel occurs throughout the Clear Credential program. Once approved, information about the program will be shared with regional districts’ HR offices and local BTSA providers.  BSTA area meetings are attended and information will be shared there, as well.  Individual meetings are held with students and support providers wherever participating teachers are employed/completing their Clear Credential requirements. Both site personnel and/or district services personnel (program specialists, curriculum specialists, etc.) will be encouraged to share instructional priorities that may be included in the IIP or as part of the participating teacher’s professional development. Participating teachers are observed teaching, in collaboration with designated support providers and appropriate personnel, as relevant to participant’s assignments and goals. Site administrators are included as collaborative partners in supporting the participating teachers through induction and the university supervisor will meet with them individually.

Collaboration between the induction program and administrators establishes a professional, educational community, ensuring structures that support the activities of induction and coordinating additional site district professional development opportunities.

Currently, email, phone, and/or face-to-face meetings are utilized for communication and coordination between the program and school/district administrators. Online tools (such as Blackboard Organization and Google Groups) are currently being explored/piloted to facilitate collaboration between the induction program and administrators. Each of these online options provides a flexible forum for collaboration between entities that are geographically diverse, where in-person collaboration presents a challenge. Through the utilization of the FACT modules, which are currently used in most district multiple and single subject induction programs, common language and expectations allow ease of communication and establishes an educational community through common interactions.  The Blackboard or Google organization can be used to post and coordinate additional university and district professional development opportunities.  Through these online tools, we can also offer professional development resources for all participants in the induction process.

Programs offer professional development for site administrators that emphasizes the importance of new teacher development, identifies working conditions that optimizes participating teachers’ success and implementing effective steps to ameliorate or overcome challenging aspects of teachers’ work environments, and the foundations and processes of induction, in order to effectively transition the new teacher from induction to the role of professional educator, and which also includes collaboration between general education induction and special education induction to allow for participating education specialist teachers to be part of the larger education community.

Professional development opportunities (see Support Provider Training Guide) will be targeted to the various groups involved in induction – site administrators, participating teachers, support providers, etc. – and will emphasize factors important in new teacher development (including, but not limited to optimal working conditions, overcoming challenges within the work environment [relationships, collaboration, co-teaching, working with families, etc.], and the foundations and processes of induction), as well as offer opportunities targeted to each participating teacher’s IIP goals. The focus of the PD is the roles leaders play in enhancing and supporting a new teacher through induction to become a professional educator that participates in the larger education community through team teaching, inclusive teacher supports, Response to Intervention/Multi-tiered Systems of Supports (RtI/MTSS) interventionist, and PLC/Accountable Community members. 

Many students in this university’s Clear Credential program will have earned two credentials (Multiple Subject and Education Specialist). As such, it’s imperative that induction includes opportunities for collaboration between general education and special education to support education specialist teachers in being part of the larger education community at their school sites and within their districts. The University does not currently have a Clear Multiple Subject credential program; however, students who are dually credentialed typically participate in their employing district’s BTSA program (where available) to meet the Multiple Subject induction requirements. In these instances, the University Supervisor and Support Provider work in concert to support the participating teacher through the induction process for both credentials. In addition, a representative from CSU, Fresno (e.g., Program Coordinator and/or Director of Field Placement) attends regional induction meetings that involve personnel from various local education agencies. This provides an opportunity for university faculty/personnel to collaborate with district partners and facilitate collaborative relationships for both SPED-only and dually credentialed students. The university supervisor and support providers also help students establish and maintain collaborative relationships within the context of their specific school sites, for example, by supporting Professional Learning Communities in identified areas of need and facilitating opportunities for co-teaching/co-planning between general and special educators.

In addition, in the preliminary credential program, participating teachers received training and implemented co-teaching strategies in their practicum placements; this is one area in which Clear Credential participating teachers may elect to focus their IIP. It is also an area in which the university offers seminars to teachers in the region’s school districts. Other examples of collaboration include consultation with site administrators to determine and support the professional development needs of staff, which often results in targeted professional development provided by program faculty. The university also sponsors various other conferences, extending invitations to districts/teachers to be participants and presenters, in an effort to collaborate and establish foundations/relationships for collaboration (e.g., Master Teacher Conference, Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI), Character & Civic Education, Chavez/Dual Language, etc.).

Also, Clear Credential participating teachers engage in professional learning communities as part of the credential program and at their school sites (grade level or based on teaching context).

Education Specialist:
The program demonstrates the capacity to offer an induction program for one or more of the education specialist authorizations by verifying the special education expertise within the program and/or through collaboration with other entities, e.g. institutions of higher education.   

As a university based program our capacity to offer an induction program for one or more of the education specialist authorizations (M/M and M/S) is demonstrated through our approved preliminary programs in each area, faculty with advanced training and experience in the areas, and through relationships with district staff who have the special authorizations. Clear Credential students submit support provider information at the beginning of SPED 235 (support provider experience form and support provider qualifications form, and the University Supervisor verifies the support provider’s credentials by looking up the teacher on the CTC website http://www.ctc.ca.gov/lookup.html.

Induction for the Education Specialist includes collaboration between general education induction and special education induction to allow for participating education specialist teachers to be part of the larger education community.

The FACT modules, which are used throughout the Clear Credential program are also currently used in most district multiple and single subject induction programs. As such, common language and expectations allow ease of communication and establishes an educational community through common interactions.Many students in our Clear Credential program will have two preliminary credentials (Multiple Subject and Education Specialist). Because of this, it’s imperative that induction includes opportunities for collaboration between general education and special education to support education specialist teachers in being part of the larger education community at their school sites and within their districts. In addition, in the preliminary credential program, teacher participating teachers received training and implement co-teaching strategies in their practicum placements; this is one area in which Clear Credential participating teachers may elect to focus their IIP. Also, Clear Credential participating teachers participate in professional learning communities as part of the credential program and at their school sites (grade level or based on teaching context). The University does not currently have a Clear Multiple Subject credential program; however, students who are dually credentialed typically participate in their employing district’s BTSA program (where available) to meet the Multiple Subject induction requirements. In these instances, the University Supervisor and Support Provider work in concert to support the participating teacher through the induction process for both credentials. In addition, a representative from CSU, Fresno (e.g., Program Coordinator and/or Director of Field Placement) attends regional induction meetings that involve personnel from various local education agencies. This provides an opportunity for university faculty/personnel to collaborate with district partners and facilitate collaborative relationships for both SPED-only and dually credentialed students. The university supervisor and support providers also help students establish and maintain collaborative relationships within the context of their specific school sites, for example, by supporting Professional Learning Communities in identified areas of need and facilitating opportunities for co-teaching/co-planning between general and special educators.

The Induction program collaborates with schools and participating teachers, colleagues and peers to assure that that the participating teacher is able to provide necessary services to students in their Least Restrictive Environment regarding Case Management, IFSP/IEP and transition planning teams, Advocacy, Consultation and Collaboration, Co-teaching and/or Professional Learning Community(ies).

In the Induction program, participating teachers are required to collaborate through Learning Communities.  Assurance that the participating teacher is able to provide the necessary services to students in their LRE, provide case-management, collaborate on IFSPs/IEPs/ITPs planning teams, provide advocacy, implement co-teaching strategies and work in a PLC or Accountable Community is evidenced through completion of the FACT modules across SPED 235 and 236, and through consultation with the University Supervisor and District Support Provider.

The program design provides collaborative opportunities for observation of pedagogical knowledge and skills. 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 is based on CSTPs and Induction Standards, and the sequence includes pre-observation communication, an on-site classroom observation, and a post-observation reflection and debriefing session with the observer and reflection.

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