THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents
Higher Education and Professional Practice
TITLE OF ITEM:
Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education
Recommendation of Accreditation Action: Ithaca College
DATE OF SUBMISSION:
November 19, 2004
Approval (Consent Agenda)
RATIONALE FOR ITEM:
Ithaca College relies on the Regents as its accreditation agency for teacher education programs
Goals 1, 2, and 3
Ithaca College has applied for accreditation of its teacher education programs by Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE). The attached Summary of the Application for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs and Preliminary Recommendation for Accreditation Action lists the registered programs leading to certification offered by Ithaca College at its campus in Ithaca, New York.
The Board of Regents chartered Ithaca College in 1926 and granted it an absolute charter in 1944. Ithaca College’s charter was originally incorporated under the name of The Ithaca College Conservatory and Affiliated Schools. Through the years the College has enhanced its mission and program offerings to include baccalaureate and master’s degrees in all branches of music, physical education, nursing, speech, drama, radio/communications, fine arts, liberal arts and sciences, special subjects, and programs leading to certification in 13 certification areas. Today it is an independent comprehensive institution consisting of five schools: the School of Business, Roy H. Park School of Communication, and the three schools in which the education programs reside: the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance; the School of Humanities and Sciences; and the School of Music.
Pedagogical cohesiveness rests primarily with two faculty-level units: the All College Teacher Education Committee and the Center for Teacher Education. In fall 2003, Ithaca College had an enrollment of 6,496, of whom 6,260 were undergraduate students and 236 were graduate students. Over 600 candidates were enrolled in teacher education programs.
Ithaca’s vision statement states:
Ithaca College strives to become the standard of excellence for residential comprehensive colleges, fostering intellect, creativity, and character in an active, student-centered learning community.
The College’s mission statement is:
To provide a foundation for a lifetime of learning, Ithaca College is dedicated to fostering intellectual growth, aesthetic appreciation, and character development in our students. The Ithaca College community thrives on the principles that knowledge is acquired through discipline, competence is established when knowledge is tempered by experience, and character is developed when competence is exercised for the benefit of others.
A comprehensive college that since its founding has recognized the value of combining theory and performance, Ithaca provides a rigorous education blending liberal arts and professional programs of study. Our teaching and scholarship are motivated by the need to be informed by, and contribute to, the world’s scientific and humanistic enterprises. Learning at Ithaca extends beyond the classroom to encompass a broad range of residential, professional, extracurricular opportunities. Our undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni all contribute to the learning process.
Ithaca College is committed to attracting a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the College community are encouraged to achieve excellence in their chosen fields and to share the responsibilities of citizenship and service in a global community.
The goals, purposes, objectives, and implementation of the teacher education programs are in keeping with this mission.
Following a review of the institution’s self-study, a team visited Ithaca College in November 2003 as part of the accreditation review process. The team conducted an on-site review of evidence, including interviews with college and school-based faculty and administrators, teacher candidates, graduates and employers.
A draft report of the team’s findings was prepared and transmitted to the College for review and comment. It was the team’s overall assessment that the College was in compliance with the standards found in Regents Rules, Subpart 4-2. Areas for improvement cited by the team are listed in the attachment. Upon receiving the College’s comments, the Department prepared a final compliance review report for consideration by the Higher Education Subcommittee of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching. Information materials on the College’s application and the review process are available in the Regents Office. The Department’s preliminary recommendation to the Subcommittee was that the College’s programs be accredited for a period of seven years.
At its October 14, 2004 meeting, the Higher Education Subcommittee of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, on the basis of the record* and prior to making a recommendation to the Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education, the PSPB voted that the Department’s preliminary recommendation for accreditation action be adopted as the Deputy Commissioner’s recommendation, with the following stipulations:
· That the annual reports submitted by the College as part of the ongoing accreditation process include special focus on the following issues:
· That the RATE annual reports submitted by Ithaca College be provided to the Subcommittee.
The recommendation was approved unanimously with six voting members of the Subcommittee present.
Recommendation: I recommend that the Regents take the following action:
VOTED, that the Board of Regents grant accreditation of the teacher education programs offered by Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, listed in the attached Summary of Application for Accreditation, and including the stipulations identified above, effective November 24, 2004, for a period beginning immediately and ending on November 23, 2011.
* Including the Department’s preliminary recommendation for accreditation action, the institution’s self-study, its application for accreditation, other documents relevant to the Department’s preliminary recommendation, and any additional written submissions by the institution.
Summary of the Application for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs and Department’s Preliminary Recommendation on Accreditation Action
Ithaca College, Ithaca, Tompkins County, has applied for accreditation of its programs of study leading to teacher certification under the Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE).
Preliminary Recommendation for Accreditation Action:
Accreditation for a period of seven years.
Teacher Education Programs to Be Accredited:
Ithaca College currently offers 17 baccalaureate programs leading to initial New York State teacher certification and 1 master’s program leading to initial/professional certification:
Degree and Program Title Certification
B.A., Biology 7-12 Biology 7-12 - Initial
B.A., Chemistry Chemistry 7-12 - Initial
B.S., Chemistry Chemistry 7-12 - Initial
B.A., Physics Physics 7-12 - Initial
B.A., English English 7-12 - Initial
B.A., Social Studies Social Studies 7-12 - Initial
B.A., French French 7-12 - Initial
B.A., German German 7-12 - Initial
B.A., Spanish Spanish 7-12 - Initial
B.A., Mathematics Mathematics 7-12 - Initial
B.S., Mathematics-Computer Science Mathematics 7-12 - Initial
B.S., Teaching Students with Speech and Speech and Language
Language Disabilities Disabilities (all grades) - Initial
M.S., Teaching Students with Speech and Speech and Language
Language Disabilities Disabilities (all grades) – Initial/Professional
B.M., Performance/Music Education Music (all grades) - Initial
B.M., Music Education Music (all grades) - Initial
B.S., Health Education and Physical Health (all grades) & Physical
Education (Teaching) Education (all grades) dual/initial
B.S., Physical Education (Teaching) Physical Education (all grades) – Initial
B.S., Health Education (Teaching) Health Education (all grades) - Initial
The College does not offer any distance learning programs. Over 600 candidates are enrolled in the teacher preparation programs; 29 are non-white ethnic/racial individuals.
The education programs reside in three separate schools of the College: the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance; the School of Humanities and Sciences; and the School of Music. Each school sets its own policies, procedures, admissions, advisement, field placements, faculty assignments, resource allocation, teacher candidate assessment and program evaluation. Each determines its own curricula and how its coursework meets State certification and accreditation standards. Each school has its own philosophy, which reflects the College’s long-standing vision and commitment to excellence.
Two faculty-level units, the All College Teacher Education Committee (ACTEC) and the Center for Teacher Education (CTE), are responsible for maintaining cohesiveness in the pedagogy of teaching coursework. ACTEC, which is composed of representatives of academic departments offering teacher education programs, serves as a standing committee of the College and reports to the Provost. It coordinates teacher education activities, addresses state and accrediting bodies issues, investigates new developments in the field impacting teacher education, and initiates curricular matters. However, each of the three individual schools operates under what is described as “coordinated autonomy” providing for informed decision making at each School offering teacher education programs.
The Center for Teacher Education (CTE) reports to the Assistant Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and coordinates matters pertaining to teacher education. For example, all RATE accreditation activities were coordinated through the CTE. It also offers a required teacher education course, Social Foundations of Education, and the Child Abuse, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and Violence Prevention seminars. It administers several outreach programs through which candidates gain experiences working with diverse populations. The Director of the CTE chairs ACTEC.
Summary of Findings and Institutional Response:
Following a review of the institution’s self-study, a RATE team visited Ithaca College in November 8 – 12, 2003 as part of the accreditation review process. The team conducted an on-site review of evidence, including documents in the exhibit room, interviews with College and school-based faculty and administrators, candidates, and alumni. It was the team’s overall assessment that the College is in compliance with the standards found in Regents Rules, Subpart 4-2. The team, however, did identify areas for improvement on 8 of 9 standards.
In its response, the College accepted all but two of the recommendations. In addition, it offered comments and clarified issues raised in 6 “areas for improvement” These are summarized below.
Standard 3. Standards for program registration:
4. English and Music Teacher Education Programs: The team raised concerns regarding the lack of exposure to nonwestern literary works for teacher candidates pursuing English and Music certification. Although course offerings were part of the curriculum, there was no assurance that candidates would be required to undertake such study. This matter was also an issue raised by external program reviewers.
The College’s response satisfactorily addressed both program areas and identified curriculum, activities and specific courses covering this concern. For example, Music candidates are required to take three courses in which study outside the Western European tradition is a fundamental course objective and assessment outcome. Examples given include African, Latin American, Asian, and Greek music curricula.
The English Department concurred with the team findings regarding this issue and is in the process of hiring a specialist in multicultural literature by fall 2004. The department is also considering a requirement in American, multicultural and/or 20th century literature to be in place by fall 2005. One more faculty addition was under consideration to create more courses outside the Western European literary tradition.
5. Teaching Students with Speech and Language Disabilities: The team raised curriculum issues regarding depth of experiences in preparing candidates in Teaching Students with Speech and Language Disabilities to work with a range of students from diverse populations and second language learners.
The College’s response indicates that TSSLD students do have exposure to individuals from racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse backgrounds, including field experiences with Even Start and Head Start, which include diverse populations. The program assures 50 hours of field experiences, practica, and student teaching placements with ethnically diverse students. The response notes that about 10% of the clients seen at College Speech and Hearing Clinic are English language learners. The College takes care to distinguish between candidates’ experiences with individuals from ESL backgrounds and those from “ethnically diverse” populations, noting the differences between cultural and linguistic speech differences and speech and language disorders, highlighting potential ethical and professional implications.
Standard 4. Teaching effectiveness of graduates:
6. The Team recommends that a plan be developed to implement a standard process for the assessment of student teachers across programs and suggests possible centralization and coordination through the Center for Teacher Education. It also encourages the use of electronic portfolios as a means for assessment, as was being initiated in the School of Health Science and Human Performance at the time of the visit.
The College’s response acknowledges that programs share commonalities with respect to the assessment of student teachers, indicating that ACTEC will continue to investigate other points of agreement and possible means of collaboration in candidate and program evaluation. But it also highlights the diverse nature of the teacher education programs, noting that a standardized process for student teaching assessment would not serve either the candidates or the teacher education programs well. The use of electronic portfolios for assessment of candidates is being considered.
7. The Team is recommending a centralized coordinated initiative to provide experiences in working with students with diverse characteristics and ethnic backgrounds through the CTE.
The College’s response indicates that this is one of the key priorities of the Spring 2001 Ithaca College Institutional Plan: to “enhance the diversity of students, faculty, and staff and create a supportive environment for the entire College community.” The College will implement teacher education activities through ACTEC, however, the field experiences will remain the province of the individual schools that house teacher education programs. Each school will more fully document and share through ACTEC how it is complying with this important standard.
Standard 5. Assessment of candidate achievement:
9. In collaboration with CTE and ACTEC, the Team recommends that the teacher education programs should design coherent, articulated criteria for admission and continuation in the teacher education programs.
The College’s response states that the teacher education programs share many common admissions elements and ACTEC will continue to discuss criteria for admission. Nevertheless, each teacher education program has markedly different curricula and expectations, so common criteria for admission would not serve candidates or programs well. The College will continue to make explicit the criteria for admissions and continuation in each of its programs and ACTEC will continue to document and share this information.
Standard 6. Resources:
15. The Team notes that the College does not have dedicated library resource space for teacher education, and that departmental budgets should reflect support for teacher education. It recommends a coordinated plan among library staff, CTE and the each department’s teaching option faculty coordinator.
The College’s response is that a single dedicated library resource space is not appropriate given the diversity of IC teacher education programs. It does agree that greater allocation of resources for library acquisitions are necessary. The College Librarian has created a special budget line for all teacher education programs, which will be administered through ACTEC.
Given that the College has presented evidence that the identified Areas of Improvement are being addressed or will be addressed, although not within the context, structure, or format, identified by the team, the Office of College and University Evaluation has no remaining concerns.
September 9, 2004