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: Barnard College

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

December 20, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Approval

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Barnard College relies on the Regents as its accreditation agency for teacher education programs

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1, 2, and 3

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

Barnard 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 Barnard College at its campus in New York, New York. 

 

The Board of Regents chartered Barnard College in 1889 and granted it an absolute charter in 1894.  Barnard College is an independent undergraduate college for women affiliated with, but legally separate from, Columbia University.  Barnard awards the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and offers B.A. programs in the discipline areas of Agriculture, Biological Sciences, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. 

 

In the fall of 2003, the College had a total enrollment of 2,281 students.  In 2001-02, it conferred 623 B.A. degrees; nearly 60 percent were in the areas of English language and literature/letters, psychology, and the social sciences and history.

 

Barnard Collegeís recently revised mission statement, which was approved by the Trustees in June 2000, states:

 

 

Barnard College aims to provide the highest quality liberal arts education to promising and high-achieving young women, offering the unparalleled advantages of an outstanding residential college in partnership with a major research university.  With a dedicated faculty of scholars distinguished in their respective fields, Barnard is a community of accessible teachers and engaged students who participate together in intellectual risk-taking and discovery.  Barnard students develop the intellectual resources to take advantage of opportunities as new fields, new ideas, and new technologies emerge.  They graduate prepared to lead lives that are professionally satisfying and successful, personally fulfilling, and enriched by love of learning.

As a college for women, Barnard embraces its responsibilities to address issues of gender in all of their complexity and urgency, and to help students achieve the personal strength that will enable them to meet the challenges they will encounter throughout their lives.  Located in the cosmopolitan urban environment of New York City, and committed to diversity in its student body, faculty and staff, Barnard prepares its graduates to flourish in different cultural surroundings in an increasingly inter-connected world.

The Barnard community thrives on high expectations.  By setting rigorous academic standards and giving students the support they need to meet those standards, Barnard enables them to discover their own capabilities.  Living and learning in this unique environment, Barnard students become agile, resilient, responsible, and creative, prepared to lead and serve their society (Barnard College Catalogue 2003-2004, p. 7).

 

The entire institutionís focus revolves around intellectual rigor, womenís issues, the value of diversity, the role of research and scholarship, the importance of self-actualization, and service to an increasingly complex world.

 

The goals, purposes, objectives, and implementation of the teacher education programs are in keeping with this mission.

         

Following a review of the institutionís self-study, a team visited the Barnard College campus in February 2004 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 teamís findings was prepared and transmitted to the College for review and comment.  It was the teamís overall assessment that the College was in compliance with the standards set forth in Regents Rules, Subpart 4-2.  Areas for improvement cited by the team are listed in the attachment.  Upon receiving the Collegeís 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 Collegeís application and the review process are available in the Regents Office.  The Departmentís preliminary recommendation to the Subcommittee was that the Collegeís programs be accredited for a period of seven years. 

At its November 19, 2004 meeting, the Higher Education Subcommittee of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching voted that the  Departmentís preliminary recommendation for accreditation action be adopted as the Deputy Commissionerís recommendation, with the following stipulations:

        That the RATE annual reports submitted by Barnard College as part of the ongoing accreditation process be provided to the Subcommittee; and

        That, in addressing the areas for improvement identified by the site visit team in the Draft Compliance Review Report, the annual reports submitted by the College specify how it is ensuring exposure to subject-specific pedagogy for candidates in all content areas of adolescence education and how such pedagogy is being used to improve candidatesí teaching.

The recommendation was approved unanimously with eight voting members of the Subcommittee present.

In reviewing the Subcommitteeís recommendation, I note that it does not address two related Areas for Improvement identified in the site visit teamís report:

        The Education Department, in conjunction with its partnership schools, should plan to assess the effectiveness of their collaborative efforts and the effortsí impact on student performance; and

        The College needs to develop a comprehensive, systematic assessment plan to gather periodic data on its graduates and determine program effectiveness and need for curricular change, where appropriate.

Both of these Areas for Improvement concern the assessment of program effectiveness, a prerequisite for systematic program improvement.  The College has relied on informal feedback from its candidates, cooperating teachers, principals, graduates, and other constituencies to determine program effectiveness and areas in which programs might be improved.  To continue meeting the RATE standards, however, an institution needs a formal, systematic assessment system that will document program effectiveness by several measures and permit tracking of changes over time and areas of needed improvement.  Therefore, my recommendation is to accept the Subcommitteeís recommendation with the following further stipulations:

        That the College create a systematic, formal assessment of its collaborative efforts with schools and of its graduatesí effectiveness as teachers, including student performance; and

        That the College include in its annual reports information on its progress in devising and implementing such system(s).

 

 

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 Barnard College, listed in the attached Summary of Application for Accreditation, and including the stipulations identified above, effective January 11, 2005, for a period beginning immediately and ending on January 10, 2012.

Attachment


STATE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND PRACTICES BOARD FOR TEACHING

 

Higher Education Subcommittee

 

RATE Accreditation Recommendation

 

 

Barnard College

         

            VOTED, That the Higher Education Subcommittee of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, meeting on November 18, 2004, following review and discussion of the compliance review report on the teacher education programs offered by Barnard College, 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 adopted as the Deputy Commissionerís recommendation, without modification, with the following stipulations:

       That the RATE annual reports submitted by Barnard College as part of the ongoing accreditation process be provided to the Subcommittee; and

       That, in addressing the areas for improvement identified by the site visit team in the Draft Compliance Review Report, the annual reports submitted by the College specify how it is ensuring exposure to subject-specific pedagogy for candidates in all content areas of adolescence education and how such pedagogy is being used to improve candidatesí teaching.

 

 

 

 

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.


Barnard College

 

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

 

Barnard College, New York, New York 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:

 

Barnard College currently offers 14 baccalaureate programs leading to initial New York State teacher certification:

 

Degree and Program Title                                   Certification

B.A., Adolescent Education: Biology.                   Biology 7-12 

B.A., Adolescent Education: Chemistry.               Chemistry 7-12 

B.A., Adolescent Education: Earth Science.         Earth Science 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: Physics.                   Physics 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: English.                   English 7-12 

B.A., Adolescent Education: Social Studies.         Social Studies 7-12    

B.A., Adolescent Education: French.                    French 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: German.                  German 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: Greek.           Greek 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: Italian.           Italian 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: Latin.             Latin 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: Spanish.                  Spanish 7-12

B.A., Adolescent Education: Mathematics. Mathematics 7-12

B.A., Childhood Education.                                  Childhood Education 1-6

  

In 2001-02, the College had 2,297 students. 

  

The preparation of teacher candidates at Barnard is the responsibility of the Education Program, in conjunction with the Collegeís liberal arts departments.  The program is small.  It serves both Barnard students and Columbia University undergraduates pursuing teacher certification.  It is committed to preparing reflective practitioners for New York City public schools.  This special focus is reflected in its placements of candidates, types of faculty-school collaborations, and programs developed to serve the particular needs of area schools, including parent workshops and professional development offerings for teachers.  Annually, the Program recommends between 30 to 35 candidates for teacher certification.  Thirty-seven percent of 2002 teacher candidates (10 out of 27) were non-white ethnic/racial individuals. Five faculty (three full-time and two adjuncts) delivered the Education Program curriculum at the time of the visit.  All have doctoral degrees and possess a wide range of experiences with urban schools.

 

Summary of Findings and Institutional Response:

 

Following a review of the institutionís self-study, a RATE team visited Barnard College in February 2004, 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 teamís overall assessment that the College is in compliance with the standards found in Regents Rules, Subpart 4-2.   However, it did identify areas for improvement on two standards:  Standards for program registration and teaching effectiveness of graduates. 

 

In its response, the College accepted all four areas of improvement and indicated how it will address them.   Given that the College has presented evidence that the identified Areas of Improvement are being addressed and will continue to be addressed, the Office of College and University Evaluation agrees with the team and recommends accreditation of the Barnard College programs.

 

October 18, 2004