West Texas A&M University

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SSR Addendum Diversity Crosscut

III. Summary of findings related to crosscutting themes of Diversity and Technology

DIVERSITY

As required by the CAEP Accreditation Manual Version 2 February 2015 that guided our SSR and SSR Addendum preparation (p. 87), the EPP has earnestly addressed the cross- cutting theme of Diversity through the following evidence presented:

  • The EPP incorporates multiple perspectives, respect, and responsiveness to cultural differences and understanding of diverse frames of reference.

Standard 1:

  • The EPP emphasizes “all students” to demonstrate skills and commitment that provide all P-12 students access to rigorous college- and career-ready standards.

Standard 2:

  • Clinical experiences in the EPP prepare candidates to work with all students.

Standard 3:

  • The EPP is committed to outreach efforts to recruit a more able and diverse candidate pool.

A Special Note: As previously noted by the EPP in the SSR Addendum on page 30, the intent of the EPP was to create, develop, and provide data or evidence notebooks for our use before and during the onsite visit that represent multiple evidence sources of supporting data for each of the five CAEP Standards, all Components, and the Crosscuts that were developed and analyzed in the EPP’s preparation of the Self-Study Report (SSR).

Elementary Education including Grades 4-8, Secondary Education, Special Education, and Alternative Certification (MAT/ACP) programs have also developed data or evidence notebooks to encourage continuous improvement of all programs of the EPP, to embrace the crosscut of Diversity, and to meet CAEP Standards.

Candidate exemplars of KEI Assignments, assessments, and rubrics demonstrate multiple ways the EPP embraces and celebrates the crosscutting theme of Diversity with all teacher candidates throughout the progression of our program. The exemplars are housed within the developed Program Notebooks for each program and will be available onsite.

Thank you.

      1. Holistic summary of findings from self study report (SSR)

a. Narrative summary of preliminary findings

(FFR, p. 22, paragraph 1)
In the SSR, the EPP refers to ‘embedded and required diversity standards and content’ and the development of ‘candidate diversity proficiencies;’ however, it is unclear what the content and proficiencies are.

Response and Clarification:

Previously in the SSR Addendum, the EPP addresses candidate learning outcomes that the EPP has aligned with the InTASC Core Teaching Standards. The four categories of the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards include: The Learner and Learning (Standards 1, 2, 3), Content Knowledge (Standards 4 and 5), Instructional Practice (Standards 6, 7, 8) and Professional Responsibility (Standards 9 and 10). The InTASC Core Teaching Standards and alignment with state-selected standards ensure that our candidates attain content and diversity proficiencies that are embedded throughout the progression of our program.

The alignment of the EPP’s specialty licensure/certification areas with the state-selected standards of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board [See http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/], the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Curriculum Standards, Texas Teaching Standards, and Texas Approved Educator Standards assures that the EPP meets state standards. Compliance reports for educator preparation in Texas provides evidence that each Educator Preparation Program (EPP) is held accountable for compliance with the Texas Administrative Code Chapter 229 for certification of candidates completing the program.

Additionally, based upon EPP evidence Texas releases annual accountability ratings for each EPP within the state, results of candidate certification examinations, annual EPP performance reports, and the performance for beginning teachers through the TEA Principal Survey Results of beginning teachers.

By aligning the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards with the EPP’s mission, our Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs), and the Ethical and Professional Dispositions of Candidates within our EPP, the EPP thoroughly embraces diversity by the application of 21 InTASC approaches of diversity throughout the progression of our program; provides access to high-level knowledge, skills, and application for every student ; adapts instruction to meet individual needs; encourages co-teaching and collaboration among general and special education educators; fosters collaboration with families and community members; maintains high expectations of all students ; and supports P-12 student achievement and growth .

As evidenced within InTASC resources, educators who adopt InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards also embrace cultural relevance; diverse learners and learning differences; diversity, and an inclusive learning environment. The EPP has adopted the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards into our program with applications in coursework, field, and clinical experiences for all candidates. Detailed in InTASC resources, the following indicates the embedded and required diversity standards and content of candidate diversity proficiencies to which our EPP adheres taken directly from the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards and crosscutting themes:

Cultural Relevance

Cultural relevance is evident through the integration of cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles of diverse learners to make learning more appropriate and effective for them; it teaches to and through the strengths of these learners. Culturally relevant instruction integrates a wide variety of instructional strategies that are connected to different approaches to learning.

Diverse Learners and Learning Differences

Diverse learners and students with learning differences are those who, because of gender, language, cultural background, differing ability levels, disabilities, learning approaches, and/or socioeconomic status may have academic needs that require varied instructional strategies to ensure their learning. Learning differences are manifested in such areas as differing rates of learning, motivation, attention, preferred learning modalities, complexity of reasoning, persistence, foundational knowledge and skills, and preferred learning and response modes.

Diversity

Diversity is inclusive of individual differences (e.g., personality, interests, learning modalities, and life experiences), and group differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, ability, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, nationality, language, religion, political affiliation, and socioeconomic background).

Inclusive Learning Environment

Inclusive learning environments are welcoming and accepting of each and every learner including those who are vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion and those who traditionally have been left out or excluded from appropriate educational and learning opportunities. Inclusion incorporates and expands the concept of inclusion that is most frequently associated with the goal of equal access to general education for students with disabilities. Inclusive approaches embrace diversity; provide access to high-level knowledge, skills, and application for every student; adapt instruction to meet individual needs; encourage co-teaching and collaboration among general and resource educators; foster collaboration with families and community members; maintain high expectations of all students; and support student achievement and growth.

Thus, the ‘embedded and required diversity standards and content’ and the ‘development of candidate diversity proficiencies’ encompasses the Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs) that measures candidates as ADVOCATES OF DIVERSE LEARNERS, the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) required state curriculum that includes English Language Learner Proficiency Standards (ELPS ) [and Technology Applications].
 
To assess the EPP’s candidate diversity proficiencies during student/clinical teaching, the University Field Supervisors and clinical teachers are trained in the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) to complete appraisals and evaluations of candidate progress and development during their clinical teaching experience.

Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS)

PDAS remained in place during the 2015-16 school year as the State's approved instrument for appraising teachers and identifying areas that would benefit from staff development. Cornerstones of the process include a 45-minute observation and completion of the Teacher Self-Report form. For our clinical teachers, the University Field Supervisors complete three observations of 45-minute lessons of our clinical teachers during the student/clinical teaching experience.

PDAS includes 51 criteria within eight domains reflecting the Proficiencies for Learner- Centered Instruction adopted in 1997 by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). The domains are:

1. Active, Successful Student Participation in the Learning Process

2. Learner-centered Instruction

3. Evaluation and feedback on Student Progress

4. Management of Student Discipline, Instructional Strategies, Time/Materials

5. Professional Communication

6. Professional Development

7. Compliance with Policies, Operating Procedures and Requirements

8. Improvement of All Students' Academic Performance 

The Proficiencies for Learner-Centered Instruction adopted by the Texas State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) include the following criteria:

Learner-Centered Knowledge

  • The teacher possesses and draws on a rich knowledge base of content, pedagogy, and technology to provide relevant and meaningful learning experiences for all students.

Learner-Centered Instruction

  • To create a learner-centered community, the teacher collaboratively identifies, plans, implements, and assesses instruction using technology and other resources.

Equity in Excellence for All Learners

  • The teacher responds appropriately to diverse groups of learners.


Learner-Centered Communication

  •          While acting as an advocate for all students and the school, the teacher demonstrates effective professional and interpersonal communication skills.

Learner-Centered Professional Development

  •         The teacher, as a reflective practitioner dedicated to all students’ success, demonstrates a commitment to learn, to improve the profession, and to maintain professional ethics and personal integrity.

http://www4.esc13.net/uploads/pdas/docs/LearnerCenteredSchools.pdf

Source: SBEC publication, Learner-Centered Schools for Texas, A Vision of Texas Educators, July 1997.

For additional data analysis, the EPP conducted faculty interviews of all faculty members of initial certification programs in Spring 2016, Summer I, and Summer II 2016 semesters. Of the fifteen questions from the interviews, data from specific questions that address the ten

InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards demonstrate candidates are not only receiving instruction in the four categories and ten InTASC Standards in all EPP programs, but also are achieving InTASC outcomes. The questions included: “How does your program ensure that candidates demonstrate an understanding of the ten InTASC Standards?” and “What data or evidence do you have to support this?” Findings from the faculty interviews have been previously provided in the SSR Addendum and Addendum Exhibits.

When candidates pass their state certification exams in content and pedagogy (TExES Content and TExES PPR Exams) that are based upon the state competencies for Texas educators the EPP has aligned with the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, then candidates have mastered the thirteen state teacher competencies that include diversity and have achieved the learning outcomes of the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE6) GPAs: All Programs].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE9) ASEP Reports].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE12) PPR Exam Results].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE17) PDAS Evaluation Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE24) Methods Field Experience Assessment].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE25) Methods Field Experience Assessment Rubric].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE30) PPR and TExES Competencies Alignment].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE34) Faculty Interview Questions Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE36) Reading Evaluation Reports].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE42) PEO and CEI Data, Spring 2015].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE47) Student/Clinical Teachers Exit Evaluations].

[See Addendum Exhibit for Standard 1 (AE1.1.3) Completers Apply Content/Pedagogical Knowledge in Outcome Assessments].

[See SSR Exhibit 1.1.1. Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs), Ethical and Professional Dispositions, and Standards Alignment of the EPP].

(FFR, p. 22, paragraph 2)
The forms used by the EPP to assess candidates’ performance related to diversity (e.g., PEO rubric, CEI, Ethical and Professional Dispositions form) were piloted in fall 2015 in the reading program only, so available data are limited. Though the EPP reports slight gains in dispositions evaluation scores between EDRD 3301 and EDRD 4302, these results represent one program.

Response and Clarification:

As previously discussed in the SSR Addendum, although the EPP presents data in the SSR from the Elementary Education Program’s Reading Pilot Study, assessment of PEOs occurred in all programs of the EPP in the Fall 2015 semester. The EPP provides additional data from the Reading Pilot Study in Addendum Exhibit (AE36) and other examples of programmatic PEO assessments in the SSR Addendum and Addendum Exhibits.

For Elementary Education and 4-8 programs, in addition to EDRD 3301 and EDRD 4301, data for PEO assessments in EDEC 2383, EDEC 3301, and EDEC 3384 are housed in EPP Program Notebooks and will be available onsite.

In Secondary Education and MAT/ACP programs, PEO assessment data in EDSE 4320, EDSE 4330, and EDSE 6331 are available onsite in EPP Program Notebooks. Candidate examples of the Teacher’s Notebook and other KEI Assignments will also be available in the EPP Program Notebooks.

In Special Education, PEO assessments in Weekly Reflection Papers and a Final Reflection Paper in EDSP 4369 and EDSP 4358 are housed in EPP Program Notebooks and will be available for review onsite. The EPP Notebooks contain the syllabi and samples of candidate KEI Assignments for all courses in all programs, the rubrics and/or scoring guides faculty used in the assessments, and LARS program evaluations for operational effectiveness.

In summary, since all courses have been aligned with state-selected standards that are assessed on the state certification exams (TExES Content and TExES PPR exams that all candidates must pass prior to clinical teaching), all courses have been aligned with the PEOs, Ethical and Professional Dispositions of Candidates, InTASC, and PDAS, and all candidates must maintain a 2.75 GPA in all education courses throughout the program, the EPP demonstrates that our candidates are assessed on the Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs) in multiple ways.

The SSR Exhibit 1.1.2 has been revised in Addendum Exhibit (AE20).

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE20) Revised SSR Exhibit 1.1.2].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE21) PEO Additional Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE32) Revised SSR Exhibit 1.2.1].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE36) Reading Evaluation Reports].

[See SSR Exhibit 1.1.1 Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs), Ethical and Professional Dispositions of Candidates, and Standards Alignment of the EPP].

(FFR, p. 22, paragraph 3)
Other data indicated some challenges experiences by candidates related to instruction of diverse populations of students. The Student/Clinical Teacher Evaluation (1.41, M, N, O) indicated candidates felt least prepared in meeting the needs of students with special needs, students with limited English proficiency, and students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Response:

For the EPP, data precipitates change and improvement. In response to the Student/ Clinical Teacher Evaluations data, teacher shortages, and stakeholder concerns about Bilingual/ESL Education, ESL testing, Special Education, IEP/ARDs, and multicultural (with additional discussion in the SSR Addendum on pages 61-61), the EPP has proactively taken steps to improve. These steps include the following:

  • Require all education candidates to take EPSY 3350 in Special Education;
  • Provide focused ESL/ELL instruction and strategies in Elementary Education including Early Childhood EC-6, 4-8, and Reading;
  • Continue improvement of ESL and Special Education courses;
  • Provide ESL/ELL strategies in Methods courses
  • Provide curricular changes for emphasis on ESL/ELL and Special Education in EDSE 4320 and EDSE 4330 for Secondary Education;
  • Provide Bilingual/ESL test prep strategies in coursework;
  • Provide Bilingual/ESL individualized test prep candidate conferences, faculty tutoring, and mentoring;
  • Provide services from an Intervention Specialist for those candidates who need additional support and remediation;
  • Provide Seminars for clinical teachers in Diversity, Poverty, Mental Health, and Technology;
  • Increase recruitment of Bilingual/ESL and Special Education majors;
  • Offer membership in BESO and Adelante for Bilingual Education [See http://www.tabe.org/membersaffiliate.cfm?subpage=424129];
  • Provide extensive field experiences for candidates in diverse settings working with diverse P-12 student populations;
  • Faculty attend conferences to recruit diverse potential candidates for our EPP;
  • Provide and promote Go Global Study Abroad Initiatives for cultural experiences;
  • Continue to monitor data that includes TExES testing results; CIEQ candidate course evaluations; PDAS/T-TESS candidate evaluations; exit and Principal surveys; and others to determine levels of improvement and any additional changes that the EPP needs to make.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE17) PDAS Evaluation Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE50) Samples of Meeting Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE55) Dean and Superintendent Study Protocol Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE61) Texas Teacher Shortage Areas (TEA)].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE62) Educator Supply and Demand Reports].

(FFR, p. 22, paragraph 3)
Additionally, in meetings with the Dean of the college, superintendents identified ESL/Bilingual Education as an area in which candidates could improve (2.1.3).

Response:

The rapidly changing P-12 student demographics in area school districts in the Texas Panhandle due primarily to economics, an increased influx of refugees into Amarillo, (the largest percentage in the nation of 10%), a steady stream of immigrants across our southern border, and the nationwide and statewide teacher shortages in Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language (ESL) have caused our districts to seek increasing numbers of Bilingual/ESL teachers for their schools.

As previously reported in the SSR Addendum, the EPP reviews multiple data sources to determine teacher shortage areas within our service area that include the Texas Education Agency, the American Association for Employment in Education Educator Supply and Demand Report, EPP Advisory Council, Teacher Education Unit (TEU), and Dean and Superintendents meetings with our stakeholders. In these meetings, Superintendents and HR Directors communicate their needs and areas where we can continue to improve.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) reports on the TEA website the annual teacher shortage areas and loan forgiveness programs for the state of Texas that are approved by the United States Department of Education (TEA).

The USDE approved shortage areas in Texas for the 2015-2016 and 2014-2015 school years were:

  1. Bilingual/English as a Second Language
  2. Career and Technical Education
  3. Computer Science
  4. English as a Second Language
  5. Mathematics
  6. Science
  7. Special Education – Elementary and Secondary Levels

The USDE approved shortage areas in Texas for the 2013-2014 school year were:

  1. Bilingual/English as a Second Language
  2. Computer Science
  3. Languages Other Than English (Foreign Language)
  4. Mathematics
  5. Science
  6. Special Education

The Educator Supply and Demand Report for 2015-2016 from university and school district representatives reports the following shortage areas in our region: Bilingual Education/Multicultural; ESL/ELL (English Language Learner); Math; Chemistry; Physics; and Special Education.

Through collaboration with our partners, our school districts report shortages in the areas of Bilingual; ESL/ELL; Math; Science; and Special Education.

In response to these data, teacher shortages, and stakeholder concerns about Bilingual/ESL Education, ESL testing, Special Education, IEP/ARDs, and multicultural, the EPP has proactively taken steps to improve. These steps include the following:

  • Require all education candidates to take EPSY 3350 in Special Education;
  • Provide focused ESL/ELL instruction and strategies in Elementary Education including Early Childhood EC-6, 4-8, and Reading;
  • Continue improvement of ESL and Special Education courses;
  • Provide ESL/ELL strategies in Methods courses;
  • Provide curricular changes for emphasis on ESL/ELL and Special Education in EDSE 4320 and EDSE 4330 for Secondary Education;
  • Provide Bilingual/ESL test prep strategies in coursework;
  • Provide Bilingual/ESL individualized test prep candidate conferences, faculty tutoring, and mentoring;
  • Provide services from an Intervention Specialist for those candidates who need additional support and remediation;
  • Provide Seminars for clinical teachers in Diversity, Poverty, Mental Health, and Technology;
  • Increase recruitment of Bilingual/ESL and Special Education majors;
  • Offer membership in BESO and Adelante for Bilingual Education [See http://www.tabe.org/membersaffiliate.cfm?subpage=424129];
  • Provide extensive field experiences for candidates in diverse settings working with diverse P-12 student populations;
  • Faculty attend conferences to recruit diverse potential candidates for our EPP;
  • Provide and promote Go Global Study Abroad Initiatives for cultural experiences;
  • Continue to monitor data that includes TExES testing results; CIEQ candidate course evaluations; PDAS/T-TESS candidate evaluations; exit and Principal surveys; and others to determine levels of improvement and any additional changes that the EPP needs to make.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE50) Samples of Meeting Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE55) Dean and Superintendent Study Protocol Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE61) Texas Teacher Shortage Areas (TEA)].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE62) Educator Supply and Demand Reports].

(FFR, p. 22, paragraph 3)
On the ASEP Principal Survey from 2012-13 (1.4.1, Table 5), principals rated candidates at or below the state mean on all survey items related to candidates’ preparation to work with students with students with [sic] disabilities and English language learners.

Response:

To fill any gaps that exist in levels of candidate preparedness in working with P-12 students with diverse needs, the EPP has continued to improve curriculum and instruction in all programs, developed new courses with a heavy focus upon teaching ELLs and students with disabilities, and created seminars to better prepare our candidates for teaching these and all students. In August/September, the EPP will offer seminars in Technology, Poverty, Mental Health, and School Safety by specialists and professional experts in the fields. Candidates will attend the seminars after their August Experience in Fall 2016. In addition, Principal Survey evidence demonstrate that our completers are well prepared to teach limited English proficient and Special Education students as first year teachers.

Candidates Meeting the Needs of Limited English Proficient P-12 Students

West Texas A&M University has recently received the distinction of being a Hispanic Serving University. This presents exciting opportunities for our candidates and the EPP as well as producing unique challenges.

To fill any gaps that exist in levels of candidate preparedness in working with P-12 students with limited English proficiency or English Language Learners (ELLs), the EPP has continued to improve curriculum and instruction in the program, developed courses with a heavy focus upon teaching ELLs, and created seminars to better prepare our candidates for teaching these and all students.

In addition, Principal Survey evidence demonstrates that our completers are well prepared to teach limited English proficient students as first year teachers.

Please also see the EPP’s previous response in regard to the preparedness of our candidates to address the needs of limited English proficient students in the SSR Addendum. Thank you.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE16) Principal Survey Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE33) Transfer Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE47) Student/Clinical Teachers Evaluations].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE48) Seminars for Clinical Teachers].

Candidates Meeting the Needs of Special Education P-12 Students

One of the EPP’s primary vehicles to better prepare our candidates to meet the needs of special education students is the Center for Learning Disabilities. Courses in Special Education at WTAMU require candidates to regularly attend parent and community meetings and listen to lectures presented by special guest speakers. Candidates are strongly encouraged attend the annual Helen Piehl Distinguished Lecture Series Fall Conferences to participate in interactive presentations by national experts in the field. Candidates engage in class discussions and write weekly and final reflections on these experiences and the application of their learning with special education students.

To also bolster preparedness in working with P-12 students with diverse and special needs, the EPP has continued to improve curriculum and instruction in the program, developed courses with a heavy focus upon teaching students with disabilities, and has created seminars to better prepare our candidates for teaching these and all students. Faculty members receive credit for their attendance at the fall conferences and monthly community meetings on their Annual Performance Summaries (APS). In August/ September, the EPP will offer seminars in Technology, Poverty, Mental Health, and School Safety by specialists and professional experts in the fields. Candidates will attend the seminars after their August Experience in Fall 2016.

The Principal Surveys evidence demonstrates that our completers are well prepared to teach special education students as first year teachers.

Please also see the EPP’s previous response in regard to the preparedness of our candidates to address the needs of special education students in the SSR Addendum on pages 43-44 and pages 68-61. Thank you.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE16) Principal Survey Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE17) PDAS Evaluation Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE33) Transfer Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE47) Student/Clinical Teachers Evaluations].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE48) Seminars for Clinical Teachers].

(FFR, p. 22, paragraph 3 and p. 23, top of page)
In exit evaluations completed by candidates, the candidates themselves identified the following concerns with their programs: special education, ESL classes, multicultural, ESL testing, IEP/ARD (2.2.5).

Response and Update:

The former Director of Teacher Preparation and Advising who retired in June 2016 provided a list of strengths and concerns of programs that candidates had identified as special education, ESL classes, multicultural, ESL testing, and IEP/ARD. At the time the list was provided to the EPP, we did not know how many of the candidates surveyed had identified these concerns nor which program they represented. The raw survey data that supported their concerns was not available prior to the submission of the SSR.

The EPP directed concrete steps to alleviate the candidates’ concerns over time with specific actions as discussed in the EPP’s previous response. Because secondary candidates have extensive content required from other colleges within our university in their specialty licensure/certification areas, many of these candidates do not take ESL or Special Education classes in our program. Only those candidates who desire to teach ESL or Special Education were taking those classes. All candidates in the EPP are now required to take EPSY 3350 as a basic Special Education course. Elementary Education and 4-8 programs including Early Childhood, Reading, Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts/Social Studies have embedded ESL/ELL instruction and strategies in each course taught in the program. Bilingual and ESL Education program faculty have collaboratively designed individualized study resources for candidates, provided test prep, tutoring, and mentoring for those candidates who need additional support, and Intervention Specialist provides remediation, and the EPP has sponsored numerous field trips for candidates to diverse area schools and provided opportunities to work with diverse P-12 student populations. The EPP has also provided Go Global Study Abroad opportunities for candidates in several non-English speaking countries such as Peru and Costa Rica. The EPP has provided enriched and authentic learning opportunities for our candidates in the areas of Bilingual/ESL Education and Special Education through the WTAMU Distinguished Lecture Series, the Center for Learning Disabilities, and in Fall 2016, Seminars in Diversity, Poverty, Mental Health, and Technology for our clinical teachers.

Since the EPP’s SSR submission, the actual survey data was obtained for EPP analysis to give us a much better understanding of these identified concerns of our candidates. On the Student/Clinical Teacher Evaluations with an evaluation scale of 5=Very Prepared; 4=Prepared; 3=No Opinion; 2=Not Prepared; and 1=Very Unprepared; the exit survey data showed the following for Fall 2015:

Elementary Education, EC-6 (N=23)

  • m. Address the needs of Special Education students: 6 5’s; 11 4’s; 5 3’s; 0 2’s; and 0 1’s.
  • n. Address the needs of students with limited English proficiency: 7 5’s; 10 4’s; 5 3’s; 1 2’s; and 0 1’s.
  • o. Address the needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds: 14 5’s; 10 4’s; 1 3’s; 0 2’s; 0 1’s.
  • p. Overall, how prepared did you feel in your role as a student teacher: 18 5’s; 5 4’s; 0 3’s; 0 2’s; 0 1’s.
  • q. My student teaching impacted student academic success: 18 5’s; 5 4’s; 0 3’s; 0 2’s; and 0 1’s.

In Elementary Education (EC-6), for addressing the needs of Special Education students, 17 candidates felt Prepared/Well prepared, 5 had No Opinion, and 0 felt Not Prepared or Very Unprepared.

For addressing the needs of students with limited English proficiency, Elementary Education candidates: 17 felt Prepared/Well Prepared, 5 had No Opinion, 1 felt Not Prepared, and 0 felt Very Unprepared.

For addressing the needs of students from diverse backgrounds, candidates: 22 felt Prepared/Well Prepared and 1 had No Opinion.

For how candidates felt prepared overall in their roles as student/clinical teachers: 23 (100%) felt Prepared/Well Prepared.

For how their student teaching impacted student academic success: 23 (100%) felt Well Prepared/Prepared.

Grades 4-8 (N=4)

  • m. Address the needs of Special Education students: 2 5’s; 2 4’s; 0 3’s; 0 2’s; and 0 1’s.
  • n. Address the needs of students with limited English proficiency: 2 5’s; 0 4’s; 1 3’s; 1 2’s; and 0 1’s.
  • o. Address the needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds: 1 5’s; 2 4’s; 0 3’s; 1 2’s; 0 1’s.
  • p. Overall, how prepared did you feel in your role as a student teacher: 2 5’s; 2 4’s; 0 3’s; 0 2’s; 0 1’s.
  • q. My student teaching impacted student academic success: 3 5’s; 1 4’s; 0 3’s; 0 2’s; and 0 1’s.

For Grades 4-8 candidates for question “m” of addressing the needs of Special Education students, candidates: 4 felt Prepared/Well Prepared (100%).

For question “n”, 2 felt Well Prepared, 1 had No Opinion, and 1 felt Not Prepared in addressing the needs of students with limited English proficiency.

For question “o” addressing the needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds, 3 felt Prepared/Well Prepared, 0 had No Opinion, 1 felt Not Prepared, and 0 felt Very Unprepared.

For question “p” overall, how prepared candidates felt in their roles as student/clinical teachers: 4 felt Prepared/Well Prepared.

For question “q” of their student teaching impacted student academic success, 4 candidates (100%) felt Well Prepared/Prepared.

Secondary/All Level (N=22)

  • m. Address the needs of Special Education students: 2 5’s; 8 4’s; 5 3’s; 7 2’s; and 0 1’s.
  • n. Address the needs of students with limited English proficiency: 3 5’s; 9 4’s; 1 3’s; 8 2’s; and 0 1’s.
  • o. Address the needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds: 2 5’s; 14 4’s; 3 3’s; 8 2’s; 0 1’s.
  • p. Overall, how prepared did you feel in your role as a student teacher: 10 5’s; 11 4’s; 1 3’s; 0 2’s; 0 1’s.
  • q. My student teaching impacted student academic success: 10 5’s; 12 4’s; 0 3’s; 0 2’s; and 0 1’s.

For secondary/all level candidates, for question “m”: 11 students felt Prepared/Well Prepared; 5 had No Opinion; 7 felt Not Prepared; and 0 were Very Unprepared in addressing the needs of Special Education students.

In addressing the needs of students with limited English proficiency for question “n”, for secondary and all level candidates: 12 felt Prepared/Well Prepared; 1 had No Opinion; 8 felt Not Prepared; and 0 were Very Unprepared.

For question “o” of addressing the needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds, secondary/all level candidates: 16 felt Prepared/Well Prepared; 3 had No Opinion; 8 felt Not Prepared; and 0 were Very Unprepared.

For question “p” overall how prepared candidates felt in their roles as student/clinical teachers, secondary/all level candidates: 21 felt Prepared/Very Prepared; 1 had No Opinion; 0 were Not Prepared or Very Unprepared.

In sum, as evidenced by the data analysis, for Elementary Education only one (1) candidate felt Not Prepared in both “m” and “n” in addressing the needs of Special Education and limited English proficient students and yet 100% felt Well Prepared/Prepared overall. In 4-8, only one (1) candidate felt Prepared in both “m” and “n” in addressing students needs and 100% felt Well Prepared/Prepared overall. In Secondary/All Level (that included Special Education candidates), there were eight (8) candidates who felt Not Prepared and 0 felt Very Unprepared.

Therefore, the list of candidate “concerns” was misleading. By accessing the actual raw data, the EPP determined that there were only 1 candidate in Elementary, 1 in 4-8, and 8 in Secondary/All Levels who felt Not Prepared in these areas in Fall 2015.

Student/Clinical Teachers’ Exit Evaluation data for Spring 2016 are disaggregated by program and are provided in the Addendum Exhibits.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE47) Student/Clinical Teachers Exit Evaluations].

(FFR, p. 23, paragraph 1)
The EPP identified the schools in which they place candidates for clinical experiences. While it is probable candidates have the opportunity to work in diverse settings, the EPP did not describe how they ensure every candidate has this experience during their preparation.

Response:

As previously discussed in the SSR Addendum, Texas has a rich history of diverse, multicultural populations throughout the state. With Mexico on our southern border, the influx of a large migrant population who ‘follow the sun’ for crop harvests each year, and the largest percentage of refugees of 10% and growing than the entire nation in Amarillo, Texas. Amarillo ISD has over 65 languages being spoken in their schools alone and area districts such as Hereford, Dumas, and Pampa enjoy similar diversity in their smaller school districts. Diverse school settings with a wide array of multicultural P-12 student populations with high percentages of low socioeconomic groups are the ways of life in our service area.

In the midst of such diversity and poverty, the EPP ensures that all candidates have opportunities to work in diverse settings in Amarillo schools and other area schools through an annual examination of the Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) that are available on the TEA website for all districts and campuses within the state. The TAPR reports provide demographic information of Title I schools with over 50% low socioeconomic students on the Free/Reduced lunch program, percentages of ELLs and special education students, the years of experience of their teachers, and other important information.

The EPP reviews these reports and identifies schools that meet our criteria on diversity. Some campuses in our service area, for example, have an Autism Unit, while others, like Eastridge Elementary, Bowie Middle School, Caprock High School, and Palo Duro High School have extremely diverse Hispanic, African American, and Asian student populations. Before placement for field observations and clinical teaching, the Methods Chair (university faculty), the Director of Teacher Preparation and Advising, and principals (especially from Amarillo and Canyon ISDs where the majority of our teacher candidates request to complete their student/clinical teaching) meet and discuss the needs of the school and the specialty licensure/certification areas of candidates in our EPP program.

Co-decisions are made concerning placement for both field and clinical experiences through these meetings and ongoing discussions. Much of the evidence provided by the EPP in Program Notebooks consists of emails among school personnel and university faculty as evidence of these ongoing discussions. These data will be available for review onsite.

As the demographics of the EPP’s candidates change as a reflection of the changes in the demographics of the areas we serve, the EPP will continue to discover ways to provide both field and clinical experiences in diverse settings.

Please also see the EPP’s previous response in the SSR Addendum on pages 70 to 71. Thank you.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE51) Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) Samples].

(FFR, p. 23, paragraph 2)
The EPP noted that some of the recruitment goals were not met. However, no follow up was provided regarding shifts in order to reach the goals (Recruitment and Diversity Plan).

Response:

As previously discussed for clarification in the SSR Addendum, the annual recruitment report that was submitted in the SSR detailed efforts of the university in recruitment that included WTAMU’s goals for recruiting African American and Hispanic students. National data indicates that African American and Hispanic males have the lowest graduation rate among college graduates across the country.

In response, WTAMU has created a male mentoring program Men of Honor that not only targets African American and Hispanic males, but also all males enrolled at WT. The goal of Men of Honor is to increase the retention and persistence of male students one semester at a time. Students in the Men of Honor program will experience weekly peer mentoring, mentoring from business professionals, participation in an active study hall, leadership workshops and seminars, community service opportunities, participating in campus activities, and opportunities to mentor high school students. Men of Honor will host their fall Meet and Greet on September 7, 2016 at WTAMU. All male students in WT classes are encouraged to attend. The Men of Honor program will provide an opportunity to form a lasting support system that will help WT students persist each semester until graduation.

All EPP faculty members play a large role in our recruitment efforts. Each program has developed and distributed brochures that highlight the EPP and encourage potential candidates to join our programs. As a recent example, Dr. Ashley Campbell has directed the Dr. Geneva Schaeffer STEM Presentation for Educators by Dr. Tricia Berry, UT Austin on September 29, 2016 as part of the WTAMU Distinguished Lecture Series. As our Science Methods specialist, Dr. Campbell is also directing the design and construction of the new Dr. Geneva Schaeffer STEM Lab with a Grand Opening anticipated to be held in Fall 2017. Other faculty members including Dr. Betty Coneway and Dr. Beth Garcia are completing a research study on recruitment that will be presented at our state CSOTTE Fall Conference in San Marcos, Texas in late October 2016.

With Bilingual Education being the primary teacher shortage area in our service area (see the EPP’s response following), the EPP designated Dr. Elsa Diego-Medrano, a faculty member who teaches Reading, Early Childhood, and Bilingual Education to be our point faculty member for recruitment. She has been given release time in Fall 2016 in order to focus upon recruitment for the EPP. Dr. Diego-Medrano leads EPP recruitment efforts in a variety of ways that includes:

  • attending and presenting at conferences;
  • distributing recruitment brochures and information to local area schools;
  • working with District Migrant Coordinators;
  • collaborating with the Director of Migrant Services for Region 16 Education Service Center (Dr. Ray Barbosa);
  • building an even stronger partnership with the principal and teachers of Eastridge Elementary School of Amarillo ISD;
  • working with local teachers;
  • sponsoring Adelante and BESO student organizations; and
  • serving on important university and EPP committees including the Diversity Committee and the WTAMU Distinguished Lecture Series Committee.

In working with members of these committees, Dr. Diego-Medrano has provided numerous workshops for targeted candidate groups. Most recently, the WTAMU Distinguished Lecture Series hosted Mark L. Madrid presenting Dream Big, Don’t Stop!

In January 2016, for the Texas Association of Future Teacher Educators Conference in Houston, Texas, Dr. Diego-Medrano took two education ambassadors candidates while working in tandem with the WTAMU Admissions Office. They distributed recruitment forms for the conference and maintained a list of interested students. In December 2015, Dr. Diego- Medrano attended and worked with Dr. Lisa Ramirez and the Region 16 ESC Migrant Workshop. Since many of the attendees were district Migrant Specialists who were concerned with how to get their students to attend a college or university, Dr. Ramirez directed them to Dr. Diego-Medrano.

Dr. Diego-Medrano worked with the Migrant Coordinator from Hereford ISD and brought 27 migrant students to our campus for a specialized tour provided by the Admissions Office and Adelante candidates. Small groups were created to encourage more in depth discussions and to answer any questions the migrant students had about attending WTAMU. A Bilingual Advisor and Dr. Diego-Medrano led the discussions.

Working with the Admissions Office, the EPP sought funding to develop a video to present to parents and anyone interested in attending WTAMU who have Spanish speaking parents and/or families. The Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce agreed to place the video on their website as did the Admissions Office. Media Minds (located in the Business College) and a Spanish-speaking graduate candidate produced the video and directed our Adelante candidates to ensure the video met the qualifications to reach a Hispanic audience.

Additionally, as a representative of the EPP, Dr. Diego-Medrano has presented at Migrant Parent Informational Meetings to area districts. The meetings and shared materials were all in Spanish. Parts of the video from Media Minds were shared at the meetings. Also, Adelante students and Dr. Diego-Medrano shared information in Spanish for parents and interested students attending Discover WT in February and April. The Social Justice Conference invited school personnel and the community to hear a Chicano Civil Rights Activist mentioned in many history books to attend in April 2016.

Dr. Diego-Medrano presented at the Step Up to Success Conference hosted by Los Barrios de Amarillo that ensures a pathway to college readiness for non-traditional students. Dr. Diego- Medrano, Dr. Crystal Hughes, and two education candidates were invited to speak at Cruising with Tascosa to freshmen students to provide a candidate’s perspective to prospective WT students.

In 2015 and 2016, Dr. Diego-Medrano attended the Top of Texas Career Expo and provided a tour for interested students and is currently working with the Director of Migrant Services at Region 16 ESC to provide additionally opportunities to visit with districts, migrant coordinators, and attend family nights in order to recruit for our college. These groups are also interested in having their Leadership Conference on the WTAMU campus next semester.

The Amarillo Area Foundation initiated the ACE Scholarship Program in 1994 in partnership with Amarillo ISD, Amarillo College, and West Texas A&M University. ACE began at Palo Duro High School in 1994 and Caprock High School in 2002. Three elementary schools in the Tascosa High School Cluster were added to the ACE program in 2009 that included Lee Bivins, Margaret Wills, and San Jacinto Elementary Schools. Fifth graders attending these three elementary schools will be eligible for scholarship funds if they go on to attend Tascosa High School and meet the ACE program requirements for grades, attendance, and behavior.

ACE provides access to higher education for students at these schools by providing numerous preparatory activities throughout each student’s school career. ACE guarantees payment for tuition, fees, and books for up to 130 semester hours at Amarillo College (AC) or West Texas A&M University (WTAMU). Students receive the greatest benefit if they take 45 hours of core courses first at AC and then continue their education at WTAMU. Students can choose to start at WTAMU, but ACE will pay only as much as the cost of taking 45 hours from AC.

ACE requires high school students to pledge annually to maintain at least an 85 grade point average, a 95% attendance record, and appropriate behavior while attending high school. [See Amarillo Area Foundation www.amarilloareafoundation.org].

Peer mentors visit area districts and ACE scholarship students from local high schools (Caprock, Palo Duro, and Tascosa High Schools) that may be interested in attending WTAMU upon graduation from high school. As a peer mentor, Dr. Diego-Medrano will contact ACE scholarship students who are interested in attending the Department of Education or EPP and provide mentoring services for students prior to their graduation and after their enrollment at WTAMU. The EPP plans to assist our ACE scholarship candidates that are currently enrolled at WT for success as first generation college students and to encourage retention.

Dr. Diego-Medrano continues to collaborate with the WTAMU Mentorship Program for surrounding school districts. Additionally, Dr. Diego-Medrano is a member of Los Barrios de Amarillo, Breakfast in the Barrio, and works closely with the Bilingual Coordinator for Amarillo ISD (Sylvia Hughes), the ACE Coordinators at three area high schools, and the Principal of Eastridge Elementary. These partnerships have established a common goal in education and retention and provide access to higher education via scholarships for area students. Representing our EPP and the Hispanic community, Dr. Diego-Medrano will visit each high school campus to speak to prospective students on Family Nights in Fall 2016, beginning first with Palo Duro High School that has large African American and Hispanic student populations.

The recruitment efforts of the EPP and our designee Dr. Diego-Medrano are designed to increase the enrollments of African American, Hispanic, Asian, and male candidates for our EPP as outlined in the Diversity, Monitoring, and Recruitment Plan of the EPP. For Fall 2016, Dr. Diego-Medrano has been granted release time in order to increase her recruitment activities for the EPP in meeting our goals.

As the second highest teacher shortage area, limited English proficient candidates or ESL/ELLs and how the EPP meets these candidates’ needs are previously demonstrated in the SSR Addendum and Addendum Exhibits on pages 57-59. Thank you.

Please see the EPP’s response in the SSR Addendum as follows. Thank you.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE63) Diversity, Monitoring, and Recruitment Plan of the EPP].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE64) Faculty Recruitment Research Study (Dr. Coneway and Dr. Garcia)].

[See Admission Exhibit (AE67) Diversity of Candidates (Admission to Completion)].

      c. Evidence that inadequately demonstrates integration of cross-cutting theme of diversity

Response:

The EPP has previously responded to each of these prompts within the SSR Addendum. In response, Addendum Exhibits have been delineated for each prompt in brackets.

Thank you.

(FFR, p. 23, paragraph 3)
1. Pilot data for the PEO rubric, CEI, and dispositions evaluations are only for two courses in one program.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE20) Revised SSR Exhibit 1.1.2].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE21) PEO Additional Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE32) Revised SSR Exhibit 1.2.1].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE36) Reading Evaluation Reports].

[See SSR Exhibit 1.1.1 Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs), Ethical and Professional Dispositions of Candidates, and Standards Alignment of the EPP].

2. Survey data from superintendents, principals, and candidates indicate concerns with candidates’ preparation for teaching students with disabilities and English language learners.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE16) Principal Survey Results (2013-2015)].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE17) PDAS Evaluation Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE33) Transfer Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE47) Student/Clinical Teachers Evaluations].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE48) Seminars for Clinical Teachers].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE50) Samples of Meeting Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE55) Dean and Superintendent Study Protocol Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE61) Texas Teacher Shortage Areas (TEA)].

      [See Addendum Exhibit (AE62) Educator Supply and Demand].

3. Little or no evidence that all candidates have experiences with diverse P-12 learners.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE51) Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) Samples].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE52) Additional Experiences of Candidates].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE63) Diversity, Monitoring, and Recruitment Plan of the EPP].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE64) Faculty Recruitment Research Study (Dr. Coneway and Dr. Garcia)].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE67) Diversity of Candidates (Admission to Completion)].

2. Questions for EPP concerning additional evidence, data and/or interviews, including follow up on response to 1.c.
(FFR, p. 23, paragraph 4)

1. Was the use of the PEO rubric, CEI, and Dispositions evaluation forms expanded to include other programs? If so, what data were collected?

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE20) Revised SSR Exhibit 1.1.2].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE21) PEO Additional Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE32) Revised SSR Exhibit 1.2.1].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE36) Reading Evaluation Reports].

[See SSR Exhibit 1.1.1 Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs), Ethical and Professional Dispositions of Candidates, and Standards Alignment of the EPP].

2. How does the EPP ensure that all candidates are placed in diverse placements and have opportunities to work with a variety of diverse populations of students?

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE52) Additional Experiences of Candidates].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE51) Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) Samples].

      3. What are the demographics of the candidate population?

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE67) Diversity of Candidates (Admission to Completion)].

4. What data can be provided to demonstrate that all candidates have experiences with diverse P-12 learners?

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE51) Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) Samples].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE52) Additional Experiences of Candidates].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE63) Diversity, Monitoring, and Recruitment Plan of the EPP].

3. Preliminary recommendations for areas for improvement and/or stipulations including a rationale for each.

(FFR, p. 24, paragraph 1)
Area for Improvement: There is little evidence to demonstrate candidates’ ability to work with English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities.
Rationale: Data provided indicate that only 50 percent of candidates felt prepared or very well prepared to address the needs of limited English proficient students. Only 54 percent indicated feeling prepared or very well prepared to work with special education students. Additionally, in superintendents identified ESL/Bilingual Education as an area in which candidates could improve. Principals rated candidates at or below the state mean on all survey items related to candidates’ preparation to work with students with students [sic] with disabilities and English language learners.

Response:

To fill any gaps that exist in levels of candidate preparedness in working with P-12 students with diverse needs, the EPP has continued to improve curriculum and instruction in all programs, developed new courses with a heavy focus upon teaching ELLs and students with disabilities, and created seminars to better prepare our candidates for teaching these and all students. In August/September, the EPP will offer seminars in Technology, Poverty, Mental Health, and School Safety by specialists and professional experts in the fields. Candidates will attend the seminars after their August Experience in Fall 2016.

In addition, Principal Survey evidence demonstrate that our completers are well prepared to teach limited English proficient and Special Education students as first year teachers.

Candidates Meeting the Needs of Limited English Proficient P-12 Students

West Texas A&M University has recently received the distinction of being a Hispanic Serving University (HSI. This presents exciting opportunities for our candidates and the EPP as well as producing unique challenges.

To fill any gaps that exist in levels of candidate preparedness in working with P-12 students with limited English proficiency or English Language Learners (ELLs), the EPP has continued to improve curriculum and instruction in the program, developed courses with a heavy focus upon teaching ELLs, and created seminars to better prepare our candidates for teaching these and all students.

In addition, Principal Surveys evidence demonstrate that our completers are well prepared to teach limited English proficient students as first year teachers.

Please also see the EPP’s previous response in regard to the preparedness of our candidates to address the needs of limited English proficient students in the SSR Addendum. Thank you.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE16) Principal Survey Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE33) Transfer Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE47) Student/Clinical Teachers Evaluations].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE48) Seminars for Clinical Teachers].

Candidates Meeting the Needs of Special Education P-12 Students

One of the EPP’s primary vehicles to better prepare our candidates to meet the needs of special education students is the Center for Learning Disabilities. Courses in Special Education at WTAMU require candidates to regularly attend parent and community meetings and listen to lectures presented by special guest speakers. Candidates are strongly encouraged to attend the annual Helen Piehl Distinguished Lecture Series Fall Conferences to participate in interactive presentations by national experts in the field. Candidates engage in class discussions and write weekly and final reflections on these experiences and the application of their learning with special education students.

To also bolster preparedness in working with P-12 students with diverse and special needs, the EPP has continued to improve curriculum and instruction in the program, developed courses with a heavy focus upon teaching students with disabilities, and has created seminars to better prepare our candidates for teaching these and all students. In August/ September, the EPP will offer seminars in Technology, Poverty, Mental Health, and School Safety by specialists and professional experts in the fields. Candidates will attend the seminars after their August Experience in Fall 2016.

To encourage faculty professional development in the area of Special Education, faculty members receive credit for their attendance at the fall conferences and monthly community meetings on their Annual Performance Summaries (APS).

The Principal Surveys evidence demonstrates that our completers are well prepared to teach special education students as first year teachers.

Please also see the EPP’s previous response in regard to the preparedness of our candidates to address the needs of special education students in the SSR Addendum.

Thank you.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE16) Principal Survey Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE17) PDAS Evaluation Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE33) Transfer Data].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE47) Student/Clinical Teachers Evaluations].

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE48) Seminars for Clinical Teachers].

(FFR, p. 24, paragraph 2)
Area for Improvement: The EPP provides little or no evidence that all candidates have experiences with diverse P-12 learners.
Rationale: Although district demographics are provided, the EPP did not describe how they ensure every candidate has experiences with diverse P-12 learners during their preparation.

Response:

As indicated in previous responses in the SSR Addendum, Texas has a rich history of diverse, multicultural populations throughout the state. With Mexico on our southern border, the influx of a large migrant population who ‘follow the sun’ for crop harvests each year, and the largest percentage of refugees of 10% and growing than the entire nation in Amarillo, Texas, our service area continues to be vastly diverse. For example, Amarillo ISD has over 65 languages being spoken in their schools alone and area districts such as Hereford, Dumas, and Pampa enjoy similar diversity in their smaller school districts. Diverse school settings with a wide array of multicultural P-12 student populations with high percentages of low socioeconomic groups are the ways of life in our service area.

In the midst of such diversity and poverty, the EPP ensures that all candidates have opportunities to work in diverse settings with diverse P-12 learners in Amarillo schools and other area schools through an annual examination of the Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) that are available on the TEA website for all districts and campuses within the state. The TAPR reports provide demographic information of Title I schools with over 50% low socioeconomic students on the Free/Reduced lunch program, percentages of ELLs and special education students, the years of experience of their teachers, and other important information.

The EPP reviews these reports and identifies schools that meet our criteria on diversity. Some campuses in our service area, for example, have an Autism Unit, while others, like Eastridge Elementary, Bowie Middle School, Caprock High School, and Palo Duro High School have extremely diverse Hispanic, African American, and Asian student populations. Before placement for field observations and clinical teaching, the Methods Chair (university faculty), the Director of Teacher Preparation and Advising, and principals (especially from Amarillo and Canyon ISDs where the majority of our teacher candidates request to complete their student/clinical teaching) meet and discuss the needs of the school and the specialty licensure/certification area candidates in our EPP program.

As the demographics of the EPP’s candidates change as a reflection of the changes in the demographics of the areas we serve, the EPP ensures that candidates are provided both field and clinical experiences in diverse settings.

These data will be available for review onsite. Please see also the EPP’s previous response in the SSR Addendum.

Thank you.

[See Addendum Exhibit (AE51) Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) Samples].

A Special Note: Dean Henderson will be presenting the COESS’s Mexico Project to our new University President Dr. Wendler on October 4, 2016. Additional data regarding the Dean’s Report on the Mexico Project will be provided as Addendum Exhibit (AE89) in the EPP Program Notebooks onsite. Thank you!