Standard 2.4: Exhibits

2.4.a Description of the unit’s assessment system including the requirements and key assessments used at transition points

Our unit-wide assessment system, Kremen Learning Assessment System to Sustain Improvement (KLASSI), is an assessment and accountability system built upon a continuous improvement model. Our assessment is an on-going, goal-oriented process, viewed as the vehicle for continuous improvement. Assessment system activities include not only gathering data (measurement), but also turning that data into rich information through a feedback process used to guide individual candidates, faculty members, programs, and the unit in improving our performance, quality and effectiveness. We view assessment as an integral part of learning to foster improvement, and the first step in a continual learning cycle (an assessment-learning-change cycle), which includes measurement, feedback, reflection, and change. Aimed at improving teaching and learning, our assessment is an iterative process of developing and organizing activities, signature assignments, courses, curricula, or programs, collecting and interpreting data, and using outcome information to guide decisions. These outcomes serve as determinants of program effectiveness and accountability.

Our Unit assessment attends to not only outcomes, but to the experiences that lead to achievement of those outcomes. Since learning is a complex process, Unit assessment includes not only what students know, but also what students can do with what they know. Questions of our decision-makers guide the assessment process, and then involve them in gathering and interpreting data that helps inform and guide continuous improvement. Astin’s (2002) input, processes, output conceptual model for assessment provides the framework for our Unit Assessment System. Underpinning our unit assessment system are the Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning adopted by the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), and Frye’s (1999) assessment precepts which clarify the linkages between assessment and student learning.

At specified transition points, each program uses data from key assessments to determine whether a candidate’s progress indicates he or she is ready to continue, or if additional support is indicated. Program faculty use results of key assessments of candidate knowledge, skills, and dispositions as part of the decision on whether a candidate has successfully completed required coursework and/or fieldwork. The Admissions Technician (initial teacher preparation), Graduate Technician (advanced programs in the KSOEHD), or Program Coordinator (programs housed outside the KSOEHD) confirms that a candidate has satisfactorily met the requirements and once confirmed, clears the candidate to continue in the program and enroll in courses for the next semester. When a candidate has completed a credential program and is ready to apply for the credential, the Credential Analyst determines that all requirements for that credential have been met. For master’s degrees, the Graduate Technician or Program Coordinator confirms successful completion of all program requirements. Data on numbers and percent of candidates successfully meeting requirements at each decision point are collected in a unit program status report.

2.4.b Admission criteria and data from key assessments used for entry to programs

Each initial teacher preparation program adheres to the admission requirements established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and the California State University System (CSU) Chancellor’s office. Requirements are listed on each program application and summarized in the first column (Decision Point 1 Program Admission) of our KLASSI Decision Points Matrix for Initial Teacher Preparation.  The Admissions Technician verifies that each applicant has met the qualifications and subsequently clears the candidate for admission to the program. A spreadsheet is updated regularly with information on the status of applicants for each initial preparation program. Applicants who do not meet the requirements, for example a GPA below the minimum or failure to meet the subject matter competency requirement, can submit a request for “Special Considerations.” Up to fifteen percent of total admits can be candidates admitted under special considerations. Each request is forwarded to the Admissions and Standards Committee for acceptance or rejection.

Each advanced program adheres to admission requirements established by the CCTC and University. Requirements are listed on each program application and summarized in the first column (Decision Point 1 Program Admission) of our KLASSI Decision Points matrix for Advanced Credentials and Degrees.  The Graduate Admissions Technician verifies that applicants have met the qualifications and subsequently clears them for admission to the program. For programs outside the KSOEHD, the program coordinator makes this determination.

2.4.c Policies, procedures and practices for ensuring that key assessments of candidate performance and evaluations of program quality and unit operations are fair, accurate, consistent, and free of bias

Teaching and learning depend upon the bedrock ethical integrity of teachers and students to honor the truth and to engage in the pursuit of truth with scrupulous honesty. When students or faculty violate this moral standard, they jeopardize the core integrity of the learning enterprise. No college or university can tolerate the loss of its fundamental ethical credibility.

Fresno State and the Kremen School carefully follow policies and practice based on this ethical premise.  These policies and practices are outlined in the following documents:

Academic Integrity Honor Code
http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/documents/apm/236_000.pdf
California State University, Fresno is committed to maintaining a culture of academic integrity where all members are expected to adhere to fundamental values in both academic and non-academic endeavors.  For purposes of this code, academic integrity is defined as “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action” (Center for Academic Integrity, Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity http://academicintegrity.org/fundamental.asp, accessed January 2005).

Policy and Procedures on Assigning Grades
http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/documents/apm/242_000.pdf
Fairness in Grading/Equity

Policies and Procedures on Cheating and Plagiarism
http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/documents/apm/235.pdf
Honesty and integrity are two of the most important values of the university in its pursuit and dissemination of truth and knowledge.  Faculty and students share the responsibility for maintaining the probity of the educational experience and preserving high standards of excellence.  Academic dishonesty--cheating and plagiarism - - is unacceptable behavior morally, ethically and legally; and it cannot be justified or tolerated. To do otherwise undermines the ideals and purposes of higher education and severs the bonds of respect and trust between teacher, student and society. Cheating and plagiarism compromise the process of fair and equitable evaluation of all students' academic performance and erode the quality and value of degrees conferred by the University.

Policy (Interim) on Periodic Review of Academic Programs (New policy is with Academic Senate for Review)
http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/documents/apm/220_000.pdf

Fresno Assessment of Student Teachers (FAST): A Teacher Performance Assessment that Informs Practice -- Reliability and Validity, Gender & Ethnicity Fairness, Selecting, Training, & Calibrating Assessors - in Issues in Teacher Education, Vol 18, Num 1, Spring 2009.

Policy on the Ordering of Accessible Instructional Materials
http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/documents/apm/237_000.pdf

2.4.d Policies, procedures and practices for ensuring that data are regularly collected, compiled, aggregated, summarized, analyzed, and used for continuous improvement

Annual Procedure:  Department and Faculty Annual Reports to the Dean and Dean to the Provost compilation and summary of findings from department and faculty annual reports, which not only ensure that data are regularly collected, compiled, aggregated, summarized, analyzed, and used for continuous improvement, but also serves as the basis for the Dean’s evaluation.  The report includes the following components

Learning Outcomes Assessment responding to four critical questions:
1. What learning outcomes did you assess this year?
2. What instruments did you use to assess them?
3. What did you discover from these results? (Where possible, indicate relative strengths and weaknesses in student performance on the outcomes)
4. What changes did you make as a result of these findings?

In addition:
•  Accomplishment Areas
•  Unit-wide Goals
•  Dean’s Activities
•  Summary of Accomplishments
•  Faculty Scholarship (publications, presentations, honors and awards, grants, and volunteer service)
•  Assessment

Policy (Interim) on Periodic Review of Academic Programs – APM 220
(New policy is with Academic Senate for Review)
http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/documents/apm/220_000.pdf

2.4.e Policies, procedures and practices for managing candidate complaints

The University has in place well-defined policies for student rights, grade protest, and review processes for student petitions. The process for grade protest is outlined in the Academic Policy Manual, the Faculty Handbook, the General Catalog, the Schedule of Courses, and on a web site from the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. The policy detailing the student academic petition process is available in the General Catalog and on a web site from the Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs. Complaint Action Guidelines for Manager and Department Chairs distributed by the AVP for Faculty Affairs also support the system in managing complaints.  The Dean of Student Affairs and the Student Grievance Board handle all formal grievances with the exception of matters related to grading. The Associate Dean of the KSOEHD manages candidate complaints and the unit’s responses and resolutions through unit-wide documentation and maintenance of files.

2.4.f File of candidate complaints and the unit’s responses and resolutions (This information should be available during the onsite visit)

The Associate Dean of the KSOEHD maintains these files in ED 205.

2.4.g Examples of significant changes made to courses, programs, and the unit in response to data gathered from the assessment system

Program Actions extracted from Biennial Reports 2010-2013
http://fresnostate.edu/kremen/ncate/documents/standard2/CCTC-ProgramActions-BiennialReport.pdf

Individual Program Biennial Reports/Program Review documents available at: http://fresnostate.edu/kremen/about/accreditation.htm

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