West Texas A&M University

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CAEP Accreditation Overview of the Institution

CAEP Accreditation Overview of the Institution

West Texas A&M University is a diverse and inclusive student-centered community of learners that:

  • provides a technology-rich, academically rigorous educational experiences at they undergraduate and    graduate levels;
  • cultivates opportunities to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, information literacy, and ethical behavior;
  • directs resources in support of empowering co-curricular experiences;
  • maintains focus on the development of future leaders for our community, the state, the nation, and the world; and
  • serves through education, research, and consultation as a catalyst for economic development and enhancement of the quality of life for the region.

As a comprehensive liberal arts university, West Texas A&M University offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs, and opportunities for continuing study. The university's main campus in Canyon, Texas emphasizes a traditional, residential educational experience within several professional schools.

West Texas A&M University exists first and foremost to provide a superb education to its students. Students and their development are at the heart of all we do. Excellence in teaching is the sine qua non of our existence as an institution of higher education. In a student-centered environment, we are committed to the continuous improvement of our academic programs; to challenging students to excel; to providing students with timely and meaningful feedback and assessment of their progress; to constantly adapting our pedagogy to provide a learning environment consistent with student learning; and to increasing students' personal responsibility for learning by providing participatory learning opportunities. In a student-centered environment, our course schedules and classroom allocations are designed to best meet the needs of our students and to maximize learning. Our student support services are accessible, inviting, and structured to help our students achieve their personal goals.

Description of Organizational Structure

West Texas A&M University has three schools--the School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Technology; the School of Music; Graduate School and Research--and five colleges--the College of Agriculture, Science, and Engineering; the College of Business; the College of Education and Social Sciences; the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities; and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The University also serves as a regional division for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service (TAES), the Texas Forest Service and the Texas Wildlife Damage Management Services. In addition, the University supports a number of active institutes, the most notable of which are the National Cattleman's Beef Association's Cattlemen's Carcass Data Service, the Dryland Agriculture Institute, and the Alternative Energy Institute. The University also takes special pride in the Cornette Library and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

West Texas A&M University is one of the region's major employers with 265 full-time faculty, 78 part- time faculty, 141 teaching assistants and graduate assistants, and 502 full-time staff.

The organizational structure of the College of Education and Social Services (COESS) is led by the dean, associate dean, and two department heads. The Department Head for the Department of Education is the administrative supervisor of our Educator Preparation Program (EPP) of 21 faculty members for undergraduate and graduate programs, ten part-time instructors, eight staff members (that includes the Director of Teacher Preparation and Advising and the Director of the Panhandle Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) Program), the Director of Accreditation, and nine graduate teaching assistants.

Vision, Mission, and Goals

Vision Statement of West Texas A&M University

Guided by its pioneering spirit, West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) will be recognized for its excellence in teaching and learning, with a strong focus on engaging students in challenging and meaningful experiences that aid in their intellectual and personal development. WTAMU alumni will be scholar-leaders empowered to advance their chosen field, to impact their communities, and to pursue excellence.

Core Values of the Institution

West Texas A&M University holds these core values as those principles that the University will not compromise, even to overcome obstacles or achieve short-term goals:

  • academic and intellectual freedom
  • pursuit of excellence in all endeavors
  • creativity and innovation
  • centrality of a liberal arts education
  • integrity
  • respect for the dignity of all individuals
  • diversity in all its forms
  • cooperation and communication
  • community service and leadership
  • exceed expectations of internal and external customers * continuous improvement

Mission of the Department of Education

The mission of teacher education at WTAMU is to prepare professional educators who are academically and technically proficient, reflective in practice, committed to intellectual empowerment of others and guided by the larger democratic purposes of American education.

It is the intent of the Department of Education through coursework, field, and clinical experiences from a liberal arts curriculum for both pre-service educators and advanced preparation for in-service educators to prepare educators who are confident, skilled, and reflective professionals.

Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs), [Candidate Outcomes]

Professional educators who are:

  1. critical creative thinkers
  2. effective communicators
  3. advocates for diverse learners
  4. users of technology
  5. life-long learners
  6. stewards of the profession

Our Shared Vision outlines the foundation of our research-based, evidence-based, and standards-based EPP.

EPP's Shared Values and Beliefs for Educator Preparation

As the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) of West Texas A&M University, we believe:

  1. Education is a life-long process.
  2. Equal educational opportunity should be provided for all persons to attain a higher state of education and fulfillment in life.
  3. Candidates are unique individuals with differing needs and aspirations.
  4. Teacher preparation changes to reflect the needs of a diverse, technological, and global society.
  5. Teacher education emphasizes effective instruction based on best practice and current research.
  6. Pre-service teacher programs prepare educational leaders who facilitate change.
  7. Teacher education faculty model ethical and professional practice.
  8. Teacher education faculty seek involvement in scholarly activities.
  9. Teacher education faculty systematically evaluate candidate growth, programs, and graduates.
  10. Teacher education consists of a broad, liberal arts education, academic subject preparation, general and content-specific preparation in teaching methodology, and implementation of developmentally appropriate practices.

Consistent with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), WTAMU seeks to prepare teachers who:

  • demonstrate a strong foundation in liberal arts and professional education.
  • apply current research and technology related to the teaching-learning-assessment process. * respond sensitively to individual differences and diversity.
  • understands and anticipates the needs of a global society.
  • plan and implement learning experiences that support the highest level of student potential. * continue to reflect, refine, and revise professional and ethical practices.
  • collaborate with others to promote learning.

Having established lofty, but attainable goals based upon our belief statements, the Department of Education strives to provide arduous, rigorous, significant, and challenging coursework coupled with meaningful and purposeful field experiences, clinical practice, and internships that expedite the preparation of educators as confident, skilled, and reflective professionals. All programs within our EPP are committed to the preparation and continuous development of educators for the P-12 setting who serve as facilitators of learning and leaders in their fields. Our theme of preparing "Educators as Confident, Skilled, and Reflective Professionals" captures the mission of our EPP and offers direction for systematic and continuous review, assessment, and improvement of our professional development programs. In that our Shared Vision/Conceptual Framework document is a living, fluid document, terminology has been developed to reflect current research, trends, faculty ideas, current certification requirements and current Texas Education Agency (TEA) standards.