Standard 4: Program Impact
Our EPP assesses the impact of our completers by using a four-fold approach to learn how our program completers: 1) contribute to the state’s expected levels of student learning and development through the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), and as our largest LEA employer, Amarillo ISD’s Annual Performance Reports [See 4.1.1]; 2) effectively apply professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that their preparation experiences were designed to achieve through the integration of our Shared Vision and EPP Advisory Council Meetings, and a research study conducted by the Deans of TAMU System Colleges of Education; 3) enhance employer satisfaction with completer preparation in working with P-12 students that includes milestones such as retention and promotion through the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) surveys of supervising principals of beginning teachers; the Texas ECOS Annual Performance Report, SBEC Online data, and PEIMs data; regional meetings of our Dean, leadership, and LEA Superintendents; and Education Preparation Program (EPP) Advisory Council Meetings that include LEA representatives, administrators, Region 16 Education Service Center representatives, community and business representatives, clinical teachers, cooperating teachers and university field supervisors to accompany clinical teachers, university administrators, faculty, and staff, students, and representatives of community colleges that feed into our university; and 4) perceive the efficacy of completer preparation as relevant to their current job responsibilities in the classroom through the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA’s) Graduate Exit Surveys, Completer Follow-Up Surveys, and ongoing case studies such as the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, an alumna of our EPP, Region 16 ESC Regional Teachers of the Year for Elementary and Secondary Teachers. Findings from these data sources indicate the efficacy of our completers in their classrooms and their perceptions of having received effective preparation to be successful teachers in classrooms of the 21st century and beyond. [See 2.2.6; 4.1.1; 4.2.1; 4.3.1; and 4.4.1].
Due to FERPA restrictions, the State of Texas does not currently provide individual performance data for teachers from the Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS) that LEAs (districts) use for yearly evaluations of their teachers [See 1.1.3]. State attempts to tie teacher performance to student achievement through valid and reliable data for Texas teachers have proven to be costly and elusive in recent years. In spite of these difficulties, our EPP has researched, gathered, and analyzed student learning, academic achievement, and development data through the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) website and Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) for ESC Region 16, our primary service area, annual performance reports of Amarillo ISD, the LEA where the majority of our completers have been assigned field and clinical experiences and may be currently employed. Comparison data of these annual STAAR reports to statewide results are also reported as determinants of program impact and efficacy [See 4.1.1]. The end results of our EPP requirements that all candidates must pass both the TExES Content Exam(s) and the TExES PPR Exam prior to clinical teaching have contributed to many of our school districts’ intent to hire our candidates upon completion of clinical teaching due to the high levels of employer satisfaction of candidate performance, quality, and efficacy in their classrooms.
The effective application of professional knowledge, skills, and ethical and professional dispositions by our completers in the field impact upon student learning and development are measured through a combination of the annual Teacher Education Unit (TEU) Meetings attended by stakeholders (LEA representatives, administrators, Region 16 Education Service Center (ESC) representatives, university administrators, faculty, and staff, students, and representatives of community colleges that feed into our university), the West Texas A&M University’s Proximal Zone of Professional Impact (PZPI) that is a 75-mile radius of service area surrounding the West Texas A&M University campus [See 4.4.1]. The coursework, field, and clinical experiences designed by the EPP are articulated in our shared vision and conceptual framework with the EPP’s central intent to prepare educators as confident, skilled, and reflective professionals who are critical creative thinkers, effective communicators, advocates of diverse learners, users of technology, life-long learners, and stewards of the profession [See 1.1.1]. The conceptual framework through the Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs) positively impact P-12 student learning by the completers’ demonstration and application of our shared vision in their classrooms.
To enhance employer satisfaction with completers’ preparation in working with P-12 students that include milestones such as retention and promotion, the EPP uses multiple measures to determine program impact. The state requires all employers to complete and to submit the state survey of supervising principals of beginning teachers to the Texas Education Agency. The state eventually disseminates the information to EPPs and stakeholders through the TEA website. Other measures used by the EPP to assess impact include the Regional Meetings of the Dean and area LEA Superintendents and the bi-annual Education Preparation Program (EPP) Advisory Council Meetings [See 4.1.1]. The EPP has engaged these focus groups and stakeholder meetings of our service area partner districts for continuous program improvement and to discuss: 1) overall program quality, 2) strengths and areas for improvement in candidates, programs, and preparation, 3) opportunities for partnership enhancement, and 4) to disseminate updates on statutory requirements, policies, and upcoming changes in the field of education in Texas.
The Professional Learning Community (PLC) established by the EPP through these regular outreach efforts and interactive meetings have provided open lines of authentic communication for effective partnerships within our PLC [See 2.1.1]. A new and innovative measurement of employer satisfaction and program impact for the EPP is the John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair in Education established by the John G. O’Brien family of Amarillo, Texas and West Texas A&M University. Recently investured through a national search, a distinguished faculty member has been appointed by the EPP in Spring 2016 to engage with our partners in continuous research-to-practice support and professional development for both LEA personnel and WTAMU faculty [See 5.5.1].
The EPP measures completers’ perception of the efficacy of completer preparation as relevant to their current job responsibilities in the classroom through TEA’s Completer Exit Surveys, the EPP’s Completer Follow-Up Surveys, and ongoing case studies [See 4.4.1]. Examples of case studies include the 2015 National Teacher of the Year as an alumna of our EPP and Region 16 Education Service Center (ESC) Regional Teachers of the Year for Elementary and Secondary Teachers. Our completers’ efficacy and application of professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions are often at the highest levels to be named as their campus, district, region, and national teachers of the year. These high honors reflect the quality of our completers, the respect they have earned as teachers from their colleagues and administrators, and their overall impact upon their students, learning, and the teaching profession.
It is the intent of the EPP moving forward to implement a unit generated follow-up survey to our service area partners regarding the efficacy of our completers on student impact. Findings from evidence presented for CAEP Standards 1 through 5 demonstrate that our EPP completers are effective educators who positively impact P-12 student learning and development and are satisfied with the relevance and effectiveness of their preparation [See 4.1.1; 4.2.1; 4.3.1; and 4.4.1].
In sum, multiple data sources were triangulated by the EPP to determine the impact of our candidates and completers upon student learning and development. To maintain continuous positive impact upon the P-12 students in their classrooms today and the field of education in general, candidates and completers must be dedicated to remain in the classrooms of tomorrow to fully impact ensuing future generations of American youth. Our students deserve nothing less.
Evidence for CAEP Standard 4 are located in the Table of Evidence.