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:
DATE OF SUBMISSION:
October 28, 2004
RATIONALE FOR ITEM:
To inform the Regents of feedback from presidents of colleges and universities with teacher education programs on modifications recommended by the field to advance the implementation of the Board of Regents Teaching Policy
Goals 1, 2, 3, and 4
The Committee on Higher Education and Professional Practice requested that the Department conduct a survey of presidents of colleges and universities with teacher education programs to provide measurable data regarding the proposal to modify the regulatory requirements on staffing in teacher education programs, the hours faculty in teacher education programs are permitted to teach, and the requirement that new teachers complete a Master’s degree within three years to qualify for Professional certification. This information is intended to complement the feedback received from the field over the last two years. This is a report of the survey results.
Based on feedback from the field and the results of the survey of presidents of colleges and universities with teacher education programs, this month, the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee will continue to discuss proposed modifications to the Regents Teaching Policy. Specifically, the Regents are considering moving toward a performance-based system for teacher education programs – a system that continues to require high standards of quality while giving the leadership of colleges and universities with demonstrated records of performance more discretion and flexibility to develop staffing plans that are consistent with their program designs. The proposed modifications under Regents consideration would provide flexibility regarding the “fixed” number of full-time faculty and the requirements stipulating limits on the number of semester hours these faculty may teach for institutions that:
§ achieve and continue to maintain the new Regents required accreditation for their teacher education program(s), and
§ meet or exceed the established institutional pass rate (80 percent) on teacher certification examinations
The field has also recommended that the Regents consider modifying the timeframe within which new teachers are required to complete a Master’s degree to provide five years (vs. three years) for the completion of the degree required for Professional certification. This would allow new teachers additional time to meet this requirement while balancing the demands of their new teaching responsibilities as well as financial and family obligations.
Last month, the Department shared with the Regents highlights of the results of the survey the Board requested of the Presidents of all 113 New York State colleges and universities with teacher education programs for their feedback on elements of the Regents Teaching Policy. We are now providing you with a copy of the complete survey results. Consistent with input received through the survey and preliminary feedback received from the Regents, the draft regulations now under Regents consideration, are grounded in three major tenets:
QUALITY - The increased flexibility provided by the proposed modifications does not waver from the Regents, the Department’s, and the higher education community’s focus on the quality of teachers and teacher preparation.
FLEXIBILITY - The proposed modifications provide performance-based flexibility to college and university leadership, enabling them to enhance their education programs consistent with their needs and program designs, as in all other higher education professional education programs.
ACCOUNTABILITY – The proposal moves toward a performance-based approach that measures results of teacher candidates and the effectiveness of teacher education programs.
The Regents and the Education Department remain committed to ensuring high standards of quality in teacher education programs across the State. The proposal to provide flexibility to institutions that have met articulated standards of accountability (accreditation and meeting or exceeding the pass rate on certification examinations) upholds quality standards through performance-based accountability. This is consistent with the policy direction the Regents have taken in other areas of the University of the State of New York (USNY). In addition, the proposal to give new teachers five years rather than three years to complete their Master’s degrees, which is required for Professional certification, is consistent with what you have heard from the field over the last several years. The results of the president’s survey support that change as well.
Highlights of the Office of Higher Education’s Survey of Presidents of New York State Colleges and Universities with Teacher Education Programs on Elements of the Regents Teaching Policy
Following discussions in February and May 2004, the Board of Regents requested that the State Education Department survey the Presidents of all 113 colleges and universities in New York State with teacher education programs for a comprehensive, data-driven response to three elements of the Regents teaching policy – the full-time faculty requirement, the maximum number of hours full-time faculty are permitted to work under Regents regulation and the requirement that new teachers complete a Master’s degree within three years.
About the Respondents
· \Presidents of 113 colleges and universities with teacher preparation programs were surveyed
o 17 State University of New York (SUNY) institutions
o 9 City University of New York (CUNY) institutions
o 87 Independent institutions
o 2 Proprietary institutions
· Responses were received from 74 of the 113 colleges and universities with teacher education programs in New York State, resulting in a 65 percent response rate - approximately two-thirds of all teacher education programs.
o 13 surveys were received from SUNY institutions
o 7 surveys were received from CUNY institutions, including one from CUNY Central Administration
o 52 responses were received from independent institutions
o 2 responses were received from proprietary institutions
· 55 surveys were received directly from Presidents or Chief Executive Officers (74 percent), and 19 surveys were received from Deans, Vice Presidents, Provosts, or other administrators responding on behalf of the President/CEO (26 percent).
Faculty Staffing Patterns Over the Last Six Years
· The total number of faculty teaching in New York State teacher preparation programs varied widely depending on size of programs, number of students, expansion efforts, attrition, etc.
· On average, in 1999-2000, 87 percent of full-time faculty in institutions that responded to the survey were reported to be tenured compared to 82 percent in 2002-03. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 45 percent of all full-time faculty in Title IV degree-granting institutions nationally have tenure.
· 68 percent of respondents reported hiring additional faculty since 1999-2000 to meet the full-time faculty and faculty workload requirements. Thirty-two percent indicated that they did not hire any additional faculty to meet these requirements.
· The average number of faculty hired by institutions to meet the full-time faculty and faculty workload requirements overall was 6. The mode was 3 (17.4 percent reported hiring 3 additional faculty; 15.2 percent reported hiring 1 additional faculty; another 15.2 percent reported hiring 7 additional faculty; and 13 percent reported hiring 2 additional faculty). The number of faculty hired was related to the size of program(s), expansion efforts, attrition and whether an institution offers alternative certification programs.
· 58 percent of institutions reported increasing the number of part-time and adjunct faculty over the last six years. The number of part-time and adjunct faculty in colleges and universities with teacher education programs, as reported by respondents, has increased over the last six years from an average of 44 part-time faculty per institution to 50. On average:
o 61 percent of part-time faculty work full-time in the field of education in addition to college/university teaching.
o 81 percent of part-time faculty are members of professional organizations.
o 89 percent of respondents indicated that part-time faculty at their institutions participate in orientation programs.
o Over half of respondents (55 percent) reported having mentoring programs for part-time faculty.
o 51 percent of respondents reported that part-time faculty regularly attend staff meetings.
· 72 percent of respondents agree that the majority of credit-bearing courses should be offered by full-time faculty to ensure program quality. Responses to the question, “what percent of teacher preparation faculty do you think should be employed full-time?” ranged from 10 percent to a “goal” of 100 percent. The average proportion recommended by respondents is 56 percent. Several respondents indicated that while institutions should have a majority of full-time faculty, they do not believe there is one optimum number, but rather a range depending on the needs and direction of the institution and the students it serves.
· 61 percent of respondents indicated that the full-time faculty requirement presents a hardship and indicated the need for flexibility.
· 73 percent of respondents indicated specific unintended consequences of the full-time faculty requirement to their programs whether or not they indicated the requirement presents a hardship. Specifically:
o 83 percent indicated that the full-time faculty requirement impacts on their ability to attract a diversified pool of candidates.
o 57 percent indicated that the requirement impacts on their ability to initiate new programs.
o 43 percent indicated that the requirement impacts on their ability to expand programs.
o 27 percent indicated that the requirement has resulted in increased class size.
o 37 percent indicated other unintended consequences beyond choices offered in the survey including larger student to faculty ratios, reduced opportunities for K-16 collaboration, losing quality adjunct faculty to meet the requirement, and less flexibility to engage in opportunities like sabbaticals, research projects, etc.
o 12 semester hours per semester for undergraduate courses,
o 9 semester hours per semester for graduate courses, or
o 21 semester hours per academic year for faculty who teach both undergraduate and graduate courses,
while still providing sufficient course offerings to allow students to complete their programs in the minimum time required for earning the degree.
· 73 percent of respondents agree that the majority of credit bearing courses should be offered by full-time faculty to ensure program quality. When asked for the maximum number of semester hours faculty should teach each semester, responses ranged from 6 to 21 semester hours per semester for faculty teaching only undergraduate courses (average: 10), only graduate courses (average: 9), or both (average: 10). Similar to responses received regarding the proportion of full—time faculty, several respondents indicated that while there must be a reasonable limit on the number of semester hours faculty teach, there is not necessarily an optimum number. Rather, this number can range based upon factors like program, faculty, and student needs, and the experience, expertise and interest of faculty.
· 52 percent of respondents indicated that “fixed” workload limitations for faculty present a hardship and requested flexibility. Specific unintended consequences of the faculty workload requirement reported by respondents include:
o 31 percent indicated that the faculty workload requirement impacts on their ability to initiate new programs.
o 28 percent indicated that the requirement impacts on their ability to expand programs.
o 21 percent indicated that the requirement has resulted in increased class size.
o 19 percent indicated that the requirement interferes with labor management negotiations.
o 25 percent indicated other unintended consequences beyond choices offered in the survey including less flexibility to respond to illness, sabbaticals, special skills, unanticipated enrollments, etc.,
inequities among faculty across departments, and
conflicts with institutions’ goals of having more full-time faculty involvement in the field (e.g. student teaching supervision)
· 45 percent of respondents indicated that if they had more flexibility to establish teaching workloads for faculty in teacher preparation programs, they would be most likely to continue with the existing load limit. 34 percent said they would determine load on a case-by-case basis. Only one institution said they would increase the maximum number of hours faculty teach. No one said they would eliminate faculty load restrictions altogether.
73 percent of respondents agree that if the Regents consider
modifying the existing regulation regarding full-time faculty and workload
requirements, accreditation and
the 80 percent pass rate on
teacher certification examinations are strong
performance indicators upon which the Regents can rely to ensure that teacher preparation program(s)
continue to achieve high standards of program quality.
· 34 percent recommended other performance measures for the Regents to consider as indicative of program quality - many of which are already included within the accreditation review process. Recommendations included:
o reports on the effectiveness of student teachers in the classroom,
o quality of field experiences,
o information on collaboration between colleges and universities and the K-12 community, and
o indicators of impact of new teachers on student learning.
To qualify for a Professional certificate (formerly known as Permanent certificate), teachers must now complete a Master’s degree or higher within three years of receiving the Initial certificate or apply for a one-year extension to complete the degree.
· 82 percent of respondents reported that the three-year Master’s requirement presents a significant hardship to students in their programs.
o 80 percent reported that it is difficult for students to complete a Master’s degree in three years while maintaining family and work responsibilities.
· 83 percent of respondents agreed that it is more reasonable to return to the former policy that new certificate holders complete a Master’s degree or higher within five years to qualify for a Professional certificate.
Highlights of Comments Received from the Field
In addition to the numerical responses provided by survey respondents to specific questions, we also received a number of additional comments. Given the large number of comments received, below are highlights of the comments. The comments that appear here are direct quotes and are proportionally representative of the total pool of comments received.
Comments in response to: a survey question asking whether or not the full-time faculty requirement presents a significant hardship to the institution
§ Agree - We have had to decrease our program size.
Comments in response to: limiting the number of semester hours faculty can teach and ensuring program quality
Our institution has no qualms about a ceiling on the number of semester hours "assigned" to faculty in the sense of being required; that concept is built into our faculty contracts. But a ceiling on teaching assignments requested by faculty, of benefit to our students, and imposed by a third-party agency that knows neither our faculty nor our students--that is a serious concern. We recommend flexibility in this regard and a focus on student outcomes as the measure of program quality.
Comments in response to: specific programmatic limitations the faculty load requirement has created for institutions
§ Our faculty are accustomed to being able to earn more money by occasionally going above the limit of 12.
§ Over the long haul, faculty workload requirements will drive up tuition rates for students since it will be impossible to limit such a state requirement only to teacher education faculty. The long-term implication for this College is a budget issue. Also, this State requirement currently creates a two-tier faculty and most definitely interferes with collective bargaining.
§ Impacts the ability to bring a more diversified pool of faculty to the institution
§ Creates disparity between programs at the institution.
§ Removes flexibility to respond to illness, sabbaticals, special skills, unanticipated enrollments, etc., etc.
§ The specialized knowledge possessed by a specific professor requires sometimes that the professor go on overload.
§ It conflicts with our desire to have more full-time faculty involvement in the field (student teaching supervision).
§ Controlled by contract.
§ The contract calls for a 21 credit workload even when a faculty member teaches only graduate courses.
§ We cannot afford for the new teacher education requirement to have a material effect on faculty in non-education programs. It is not generally known at this time that our current faculty members will be joined in the future by faculty whose teaching loads are higher than theirs. When it becomes known, teacher education faculty will become identified as an unfairly privileged elite.
Comments in response to: the proposal that provides performance-based flexibility on the full-time faculty requirement and the maximum number of semester hours faculty are permitted to teach to institutions with programs that have achieved accreditation and meet or exceed the 80 percent pass rate on teacher certification exams.
§ The current arrangement penalizes institutions that are effective, as demonstrated by the State's own indices.
§ Evidence shows this is an effective mechanism.
§ We will continue to maintain an appropriate balance between full and part-time faculty through our Flagship and Cluster Hire programs and through individual campus initiatives.
§ NCATE Accreditation, in particular, is a very strong indicator of quality programs, which support strong candidate performance.
§ Accreditation status and test scores are just two indicators of program quality. Others include student satisfaction on mentoring, advising, and interactions with faculty. Feedback from student surveys support the premise that full-time faculty are more effective in filling these roles than are part-time faculty, who are not expected to advise or facilitate long-term mentoring programs for students.
§ As education moves toward a greater emphasis on outcomes assessment, such a regulation change would seem appropriate.
§ The requirement that teacher education programs be accredited, and the periodic review requirements for accredited programs represent sufficient and appropriate assurance of program quality. Duplication of this review by NYSED is redundant and increases the burden of oversight needlessly. We need to simplify and streamline all review processes, including new program registration - accreditor approval should be sufficient without additional NYSED review.
§ There has been too much over-regulation by SED of teacher education programs. Meeting approved accreditation standards should be sufficient. In addition, public institutions are required to respond to the recommendations under New Visions adding an additional set of regulations. Thank you for the opportunity respond to these important issues.
§ Our college elected TEAC as its teacher education accreditor. TEAC requires annual reports which I believe should also be accepted by NYSED as evidence of continuing quality.
§ Flexibility is key to both the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty and teaching loads. If institutions continue to demonstrate acceptable performance, then it seems reasonable to allow them to make professional decisions regarding means for that achievement. NYSED and the Regents have set an agenda that is outcome based. It is consistent with the agenda to allow each institution to determine its own path to the expected outcomes.
§ By meeting national and professional accreditation by NCATE and Specialized Professional Associations, universities demonstrate the quality of their programs, faculty teaching in the programs, and teacher candidates graduating from these programs and obtaining certification through time.
§ We applaud the high standards the Regents have adopted for teacher education and have worked assiduously to meet and exceed them. It would not be in the public interest to reduce standards.
§ Thank you for inviting our input on the regulations on teacher preparation that are under review. First of all, let me say that I believe all accredited programs in American higher education should be more outcomes-based rather than emphasizing inputs or resources devoted to the program. I believe that any institution that is producing well-qualified teachers should have the flexibility to determine how they retain the professors in their program and the hours that they teach. That said, in our case, we don’t regard the current regulations on the number of full-time faculty and faculty workload to be excessively restrictive; rather, these regulations provide reasonable benchmarks that should be attainable for all institutions that prepare teachers in New York State. Second, with regard to the regulations that “teachers must now complete a master’s degree or higher within three years of receiving an initial certificate” we are also supportive of revisiting this policy. It seems that granting candidates additional time to complete the master’s degree would be entirely appropriate given the realities of many teacher candidates’ life circumstances. We also agree that graduate study in education may take on special value and meaning for teachers who have completed a few years of teaching experience. Nevertheless, we remain fully supportive of the requirement that all professionally certified teachers in New York State must be prepared to at least the master’s degree level. There should be no drift from this essential goal, even if we are able to allow new teachers additional time to meet it.
§ We believe that sufficient data now exist to revisit the issues of full-time requirements, workload, and three-year master’s degree requirements. Based upon our experiences, we support retaining the full-time faculty requirement with the possible exception of hard-to-staff/retain areas. We support retaining the workload limitations and lengthening the time for master’s degree completion to five years. In both cases, we believe that students will be best-served and the quality of programs and experiences will be enhanced. As stated previously, faculty now must divide their time and energy among teaching, research, and service. To add more teaching responsibility may negatively impact quality of teaching. The same principle applies to the master’s degree requirement. Inservice teachers must fill many roles and responsibilities, only one of which is that of a graduate student. Allowing them more time to complete advanced degree requirements will be in their best professional interest, as well as in the best interest of their students in grades Pre-kindergarten- 12.
Overall, the new certification regulations are sound and a significant improvement over the past. They do require institutions to become more serious about teacher education and begin allocating the resources needed to prepare future teachers.
The Regents and the Department appreciate the feedback received from the colleges and universities that responded to the Presidents’ survey including:
Adelphi University, Garden City
Bank Street College of Education,
Barnard College, New York
Binghamton University (SUNY), Binghamton
Boricua College, New York
Brooklyn College (CUNY), Brooklyn
Canisius College, Buffalo
Cazenovia College, Cazenovia
City College of New York (CUNY),
City University of New York (CUNY) –
Central Administration, New York
Colgate University, Hamilton
College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx
College of Saint Rose, Albany
College of Staten Island (CUNY),
Concordia College, Bronxville
Cornell University, Ithaca
Daemen College, Buffalo
Dominican College, Orangeburg
Dowling College, Oakdale
Elmira College, Elmira
Five Towns College, Dix Hills
Fordham University, Bronx
Hartwick College, Oneonta
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva
Hofstra University, Hempstead
Houghton College, Houghton
Hunter College (CUNY), New York
Ithaca College, Ithaca
Keuka College, Keuka Park
Lehman College (CUNY), Bronx
LeMoyne College, Syracuse
Manhattan College, Riverdale, Bronx
Manhattanville College, Purchase
Marist College, Poughkeepsie
Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry
Nazareth College, Rochester
New York Institute of Technology,
New York University, New York
Niagara University, Niagara
Pace University, New York
Plattsburgh State (SUNY), Plattsburgh
Queens College (CUNY), Flushing
Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester
St. Bonaventure University,
St. Francis College, Brooklyn
St. John's University, Jamaica
St. John Fisher College, Rochester
St. Joseph's College, Brooklyn
St. Lawrence University, Canton
School of Visual Arts, New York
Siena College, Loudonville
SUNY Brockport, Brockport
SUNY Cortland, Cortland
SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz
SUNY College at Old Westbury,
SUNY College at Oneonta, Oneonta
SUNY Oswego, Oswego
SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam
Stony Brook University (SUNY),
Syracuse University, Syracuse
The King's College, New York
The Sage Colleges, Troy
University at Albany (SUNY), Albany
University at Buffalo (SUNY), Buffalo
University of Rochester, Rochester
Utica College, Utica
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie
Wagner College, Staten Island
Yeshiva University, New York
 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Winter 2001-02.
 92 percent of those that reported experiencing a hardship indicated more than one unintended consequence.
 90 percent of those who reported experiencing a hardship indicated more than one unintended consequence.
 87 percent of those who reported hardships experienced by their students indicated that they experienced more than one unintended consequence.