THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

 

 

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

COMMITTEE:

Higher Education and Professional Practice

TITLE OF ITEM:

Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education

Recommendation of Accreditation Action: Hobart and William Smith Colleges

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

April 23, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Action

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Hobart and William Smith Colleges rely on the Regents as their accreditation agency for teacher education programs

STRATEGIC GOAL(S):

Goals 1, 2, and 3

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, have applied for accreditation of the Collegesí teacher education programs by Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE).  Hobart and William Smith Colleges have the following registered programs leading to certification in the classroom teaching service:

Teacher Education Programs to be Accredited:

English (7-12)

Languages Other Than English:  French, Latin, Spanish (7-12)

Mathematics (7-12)

Social Studies (7-12)

Unified Science:  Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, General Science, Physics (7-12)

Hobart and William Smith Colleges, incorporated as The Colleges of the Seneca, received an absolute charter in 1825 under the name of Geneva College.  The charter was amended in 1860 to change the name to Hobart College and in 1943 to change the name to The Colleges of the Seneca, incorporating both Hobart College and William Smith College, and to authorize the Colleges to grant the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and several honorary degrees.  The Master of Science in Education (M.S. in Ed.) degree was added in 1951, and the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree in 2002.  The Collegesí catalog for 2002-2004 states:  ďHobart College for men and William Smith College for women are coordinate institutions that share a common curriculum and provide a distinguished program of study in the liberal arts and sciences.Ē

The philosophy and purpose of the education department is to provide its candidates with the tools they need to take responsibility for the worlds in which they live and to enable candidates to help others develop the tools they need to take responsibility for the worlds in which they live.  The Collegesí teacher education programs are guided by the belief that one learns to teach primarily by teaching.  Therefore, they are structured to provide multiple and sustained field-based experiences during the sophomore, junior, and senior years, coupled with campus-based teaching seminars that provide opportunity for discussion and reflection on the field-based practica.  At the time of the site visit, 139 candidates had chosen to enter teacher preparation, which entails a full liberal arts major in addition to the pedagogical core requirements.

 

            Following receipt of a self-study, a site visit team composed of peer reviewers and a review coordinator from the Office of College and University Evaluation visited the Colleges in March 2003.  A draft report of the teamís findings was prepared and transmitted to the Colleges for review and comment.  It was the teamís overall assessment that the Colleges were in compliance with the standards found in Regents Rules, Subpart 4-2, except for 4-2.5(a)(5), Assessment of candidate achievement, and the related assessment regulations in CR 52.21(b).  The team cited several program strengths, including the reported effectiveness of the Collegesí graduates as classroom teachers; high admission standards and strong liberal arts and sciences preparation; a well-qualified faculty; good academic support services; and strong collaboration between departments and their faculties.

 

The team, however, did recommend that the Colleges address certain issues in their annual reports, notably the creation of a formal and systematic assessment process, aligned with the institutionsí objectives and philosophy, that enables the education department to identify transition points for successfully progressing through the teacher education programs and to accurately determine and report on the knowledge of its candidates, as well as the effectiveness and appropriateness of its course offerings.

 

            Thus, the Departmentís preliminary recommendation to the Higher Education Subcommittee of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board was that Hobart and William Smith Collegesí teacher education programs be accredited with conditions, with a focused visit in three years to evaluate the development and implementation of a formal and systematic means of assessing candidate performance.  The Departmentís Summary of the Application for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs and Departmentís Preliminary Recommendation on Accreditation Action is attached.  Materials providing further information on the Collegesí application and the review process are available in the Regents Office.

 

 

            At the Subcommitteeís meeting in February 2004, it considered the Departmentís preliminary recommendation for accreditation action and the self-study and report underlying that recommendation.  The Subcommittee voted unanimously to recommend that the Departmentís recommendation be modified as follows:

Accreditation with conditions, with a focused visit in three years to evaluate the development and implementation of a formal and systematic assessment plan, both qualitative and quantitative in scope, that demonstrates that the vision and goals of the teacher education programs are realized in candidate performance.

 

The Subcommittee gave the following reason for its modification of the Departmentís recommendation:  ďThe modified wording states more specifically the nature and aims of the assessment plan to be developed, in order to guide the Collegesí efforts to meet the conditions of accreditation.Ē

 

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 Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, listed above, effective May 18, 2004, for a period beginning immediately and ending on May 17, 2011, with the condition that a focused site visit be conducted before May 1, 2007, to evaluate the development and implementation of a formal and systematic assessment plan, both qualitative and quantitative in scope, that demonstrates that the vision and goals of the teacher education programs are realized in candidate performance.  Accreditation beyond May 17, 2007 shall be contingent on a finding that the Colleges have satisfactorily developed and implemented such an assessment plan.

 

Attachments


STATE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND PRACTICES BOARD FOR TEACHING

 

Higher Education Subcommittee

 

RATE Accreditation Recommendation

 

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

           

            VOTED, That the Higher Education Subcommittee of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, meeting on February 26, 2004, following review and discussion of the compliance review report on the teacher education programs offered by Hobart and William Smith Colleges, on the basis of the record* before it recommends to the Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education that the Departmentís preliminary recommendation for accreditation action be modified in the following way for the reasons stated:

 

Recommendation for Accreditation Action:

Accreditation with conditions, with a focused visit in three years to evaluate the development and implementation of a formal and systematic assessment plan, both qualitative and quantitative in scope, that demonstrates that the vision and goals of the teacher education programs are realized in candidate performance.

 

Reasons for Recommendation:

The modified wording states more specifically the nature and aims of the assessment plan to be developed, in order to guide the Collegesí efforts to meet the conditions of accreditation.

 

Approved unanimously with eight voting members of the Subcommittee present.

 

 

________________________________________

Higher Education Subcommittee Chair

 

________________________________________

Date

 

*Including the Departmentís preliminary recommendation for accreditation action, the institutionís self-study, its application for accreditation, other documents relevant to the Departmentís preliminary recommendation, and any additional written submissions by the institution.


                                                                                               

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

 

Summary of the Application for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs and Departmentís Preliminary Recommendation on Accreditation Action

 

Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York, have applied for accreditation of their programs of study leading to teacher certification under the Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE).

 

Preliminary Recommendation for Accreditation Action:             

 

Accreditation with conditions, with a focused visit in three years to evaluate the development and implementation of a formal and systematic means of assessing candidate performance.

 

 

Teacher Education Programs to Be Accredited:

 

Childhood Education (1-6)

Childhood-Special Education(1-6)

Adolescent Education (7-12)

English

Languages Other Than English:

                                                     French

                                                     Latin

                                             Spanish

Mathematics

Social Studies

       Unified Science:  Biology

                                      Chemistry

                                      Earth Science

                                   General Science

                             Physics

 

 

Summary of Findings and Institutional Response:

 

Following a review of the institutionís self-study, a team visited Hobart and William Smith Colleges in March 2003 as part of the accreditation review process. It was the teamís overall assessment that the College was in compliance with the standards found in Regents Rules, Subpart 4-2, except for 4-2.5(a)(5), Assessment of candidate achievement and the related assessment regulations in CR 52.21(b).  The team cited the following program strengths:

 

  1. The programs at the colleges prepare teachers that are reportedly effective in the classroom.

 

  1. The Colleges have a long tradition of high admission standards and preparing their graduates with a strong liberal arts and sciences education.

 

  1. The faculty, although small in number, has strong credentials; the members are respected in their fields.

 

  1. The academic support services are very good but identification of candidates in need of using such services is mostly through informal and subjective processes.

 

  1. There is strong collaboration between departments and their faculties; education faculty are regularly involved in international educational opportunities that involve the education candidates.

 

  1. Financial and physical resources are appropriate, and the Education Department needs to utilize these resources more fully.

 

The team, however, did recommend that the Colleges address certain issues in their Annual Reports, including:

           

  1. Hobart and William Smith Colleges have no formal and systematic assessment process that aligns with the institutionsí objectives and philosophy and enables the Education Department to identify transition points for successfully progressing through the teacher preparation programs.

 

  1. Formalized interdepartmental communication would improve consistency of such communication and increase the potential for meeting the individualized needs of the candidates within their programs.

 

  1. Establishing a clearer alignment between the Departmentís vision and the field placements within education courses in order to increase the integration of content and teaching practice.

 

  1. The diversity of the faculty and student body does not reflect that of the service area of the colleges.

 

  1. There is a need for a formal and codified assessment process to be in place to enable the Department to accurately determine and report on the knowledge of its candidates, as well as the effectiveness and appropriateness of its course offerings.

 

  1. The Colleges need to increase the number of full-time education faculty in preparation for initiating their MAT program.

 

  1. Illustrate how the available financial and physical resources are more fully utilized to benefit the Education department and its candidates, especially in the area of library acquisitions.

 

 

 

In its response, the College has acknowledged these recommendations.

 

 

 

January 6, 2004