Induction Standard 3: Support and Professional Development Providers

The induction program for both the general and educational specialist programs selects, prepares, and assigns support providers and professional development providers using well-defined criteria consistent with the provider’s assigned responsibilities in the program.

Support providers are credentialed teachers, selected/assigned based on the participating teacher’s assigned classroom teaching position/responsibilities and relevant credential. They typically have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience and have been trained to be support providers by district personnel. 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.

Preparation and training of support providers is provided in the next section.

Each participating teacher enrolled in a Clear Credential program is assigned a District Support Provider.  The District Support Provider supports the participating teacher’s induction activities throughout induction and Clear credential coursework.  The District Support Provider plays a significant role in the professional development of the new special education teacher. Support providers are assigned through collaboration with district administrators and based on agreement to fulfill the responsibilities and meet the qualifications outlined below.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the District Support Provider include the following:

    • Meet regularly with the teacher participating teacher to review his/her progress on Induction Plan.
    • Assist the participating teacher in reflecting on his/her practice by discussing instructional practices and collaborating with him/her on ways s/he can apply principles and strategies developed in the Level I/Preliminary program.
    • Observe the participating teacher in action in the classroom.
    • Work closely with the participating teacher’s university supervisor to ensure that the new teacher is making progress toward achieving Clear Credential goals.
    • Sign-off on all needed forms during the participating teachers’ Clear Credential enrollment.

Qualifications

The qualifying criteria for the support provider as established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) are:

      • Credential licensed staff member of a public or private school;
      • At least three years of successful teaching experience in special education;
      • Knowledge of curriculum/adaptations to meet students’ needs;
      • Leadership skills;
      • Willingness to participate in support provider/assessor training;
      • Willingness to discuss and share instructional ideas and materials;
      • Effective interpersonal skills and willingness to work collaboratively;
      • Demonstrated commitment to own professional growth and learning;
      • Willingness to provide support activities that are balanced to address the full range of teaching responsibilities;
      • Knowledge of effective strategies to teach students from diverse populations.

A participating teacher’s support provider must be a person other than the participating teacher’s principal or immediate supervisor.

Professional development opportunities are selected by participating teachers and must be aligned with their IIP goals. Expectations for quality professional development opportunities are shared with participating teachers, University Supervisors, and Support Providers (including alignment with professional goals, credible sources of information, research-based practices in Special Education, etc.). Participating teachers may select from a variety of sources for professional development – site/district-sponsored, university-sponsored, online modules, independent study, etc. University supervisors approve PD experiences on an individual basis (Professional Development Menu of Options and Approval Form), based on the participating teacher’s induction plan goals.

Consistent with assigned responsibilities, program providers receive initial and ongoing professional development to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the program and skilled in their roles. 

Support provider training including the development of knowledge and skills of mentoring, the California Standards for the Teaching Profession, Effective Teaching Standards Category B of the Education Specialist Program Standards, as well as the appropriate use of the instruments and processes of formative assessment systems.

Support providers receive initial and ongoing professional development, either through their district or by participating in online training modules and collaborating with the University Supervisor, to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the program and skilled in their roles. Support provider training includes information and skills necessary for successful mentoring, BTSA and FACT module expectations, CSTPs and IIPs, as well as Education Specialist Clear Credential Program Standards. Support providers and teacher participants also receive a Discussion Guide to prompt and support reflection on practices (link to FACT Discussion Guides 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Support providers are evaluated by the participating teacher at the end of each course (summative; Support Provider Evaluation Form) and discussions are held with the University supervisor throughout to ensure successful relationships and support experiences (formative).

The program has defined criteria for assigning support providers to participating teachers in a timely manner.

Clear credential participating teachers are required to submit support provider information (support provider experience form and support provider qualifications form) within the first 3 weeks of SPED 235 (course schedule). Students who encounter difficulty selecting a support provider are encouraged to contact their university supervisor, site administrator, or SELPA director. Support providers are matched to teacher participants based on credential authorizations and relevant subject matter experience.

Clear procedures are established for reassignments when either the participating teacher or support provider is dissatisfied with the pairing.

In the event that a support provider and/or participating teacher does not feel that the match is productive, the University Supervisor consults with them and makes adjustments, based on need, to better facilitate a successful experience for the participating teacher. If reassignment is necessary (inappropriate match, student changes positions, schools, districts, etc.), university supervisors will collaborate with appropriate district personnel to make a new assignment quickly ensuring ongoing support to the participating teacher.

Procedures are:

Consultation with participating teacher and support provider to identify concerns and needs; a written contract will be developed, specifying the responsibilities of the support provider and participating teacher, as well as an action plan.

If concerns cannot be resolved, university supervisor will contact appropriate district personnel to identify and assign a new support provider. If concerns can be resolved, the relationship will continue with follow up from the university supervisor.

New support providers will participate in the selection process outlined previously (agreement to responsibilities and meeting qualifications) and training.

The program regularly assesses the quality of services provided by support providers to participating teachers and evaluates the performance of professional development providers using well-established criteria.

The Clear Credential Program at Fresno State assesses the quality of services provided by support providers in a number of ways. Participating teachers and University supervisors are in contact regularly; if students are not being supported appropriately, consultation/reassignment procedures are enacted. In addition, students complete a survey at the end of each course that requires them to provide feedback regarding the level of support they have received from their support providers.  This feedback is reviewed at the end of each semester and any patterns are noted on the Support Provider Evaluation Form. University supervisors also provide input regarding support providers’ accessibility, support, creativity, knowledge, etc. Support provider evaluations and University Supervisor feedback is reviewed each semester. In addition, support providers must continue to meet the responsibility and eligibility qualifications, outlined above, in order to be retained. If reassignment is necessary (determined by engagement in procedures above), and due to lack of support, the support provider will not be retained for subsequent students.

The program leader(s) provides formative feedback to support providers and professional development providers on their work, retaining only those who meet the established criteria.

Professional development opportunities not provided by the university are evaluated by the teacher participant (non-university professional development forms). Please see revised Non-University Activity Form (renamed to Professional Development Menu of Options and Approval Form). Professional development opportunities provided by Fresno State will also garner participant feedback based on the same summary form, and participating teachers who attend will be asked to provide additional, informal feedback regarding the session during class meetings. This evaluation form has been used previously throughout our Level 2 program (minor revisions have been made regarding increasing options for professional development).

Formative feedback will be given to support providers at the midterm and end of each course, as well as during site observations, if both the support provider and university supervisor are present. Evaluation of support providers will also be based on the support provided to the student to facilitate completion of FACT forms, based on feedback from the Clear credential participating teacher. Each support provider will be provided with a summary of the results from the evaluation completed by the participating teacher, and areas of strength and recommendations for improvement will be shared. Additional, targeted professional development will be provided, as needed.

Education Specialist:
Education Specialist Support Providers must hold the same Education Specialist authorization as the participating Education Specialist teacher. 

In areas of low incidence and rural and remote areas, induction programs are expected to work with other educational entities such as SELPAs, county offices of education and state schools, and/or to use technology to facilitate communication between support providers and beginning teachers.

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 credential is the same a the participating teacher’s by looking up the teacher on the CCTC website at http://www.ctc.ca.gov/lookup.html.  In our region, if we are in a rural or isolated school setting we will work with the COE and SELPA to help identify an authorized provider and facilitate the use of technology to support their relationship.  Fresno State is one of the sites for CalStateTEACH, which would be an additional resource for available options.

The FACT modules and forms are available online (http://ca-btsainduction.org/formative-assessment-california-teachers) and are also made accessible through Blackboard (an online course management system). Support providers can be added as ‘users’ to a Blackboard Organization or Google Group to ensure access to all Clear Credential requirements, forms, and tools to facilitate communication (email, discussion boards, online collaboration (similar to  Skype).