As a result of intentional diversity policies and efforts, Towson was recognized in 2010 as one of eleven higher education institutions nationwide that conquered the “graduation gap,” where graduation rates for minority students meet or exceed those of white students. In 2012, Towson was identified by The Education Trust as third among the nation’s public institutions as a Top Gainer in Black Student Graduation rates (S.4.1.a-b).
All candidates are required to know and demonstrate diversity-related proficiencies aligned to the Conceptual Framework, InTASC Standards, unit Essential Dispositions for Educators, Maryland Institutional Performance Criteria, Component IV: Linkage with PreK-12 Priorities-Diversity proficiencies (MIPC-D) and SPA-specific proficiencies (R.4.4.b.1). Diversity proficiencies are incorporated into curriculum and field experiences, and are assessed to ensure that candidates can help all students learn. SPA National Recognition Reports document that programs meet SPA-specific standards (R.1.4.a).
Initial Certification Programs. Incorporating diversity proficiencies into curricula occurs through general education/Core Curriculum and program-specific requirements. R.4.4.b.2 provides an overview of how proficiencies are incorporated in required coursework and field and clinical experiences. Program-specific matrices document the alignment of required courses with InTASC Standards (identified as preparing candidates to work effectively with all students) and MIPC-D criteria (S.1.3).
New programs (ex., ECSE) and courses (ex., ECED 460) have been developed to promote candidates' diversity-related knowledge, skills, and dispositions. (R.4.4.b.3; also see Section 4.2.b, #2.)
Advanced Programs. Program-specific matrices document the alignment of required courses with diversity proficiencies (SPA, MIPC-D--(S.1.3). New programs (Teacher as Leader in Autism Spectrum Disorder concentration) and courses (English Language Learners) address candidates' knowledge of diversity (R.4.4.b.3).
All Unit Programs.
Yearly Assessment System Update/Data Analysis Report (YASU/DAR) (R.2.4.d.1, R.2.4.a.2,3,4,5,6). Every program is required to complete the YASU/DAR with required sections addressing how it analyzes and uses data to assess and improve candidates' diversity proficiencies. In Part III, programs address Maryland Accreditation: Selected Accountability Priorities from the MIPC-D; the Institutional Performance Criteria now include race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, English Language Learners [ELL], giftedness and inclusion of students with special needs in regular classrooms. In Part III, Standard 4, programs address how they provide instruction in how to teach a diverse student population, and how they assess proficiency. R.4.4.c.8 provides additional detail about and examples of how programs collect, analyze and use data to improve candidates' diversity proficiencies.
Diversity-related proficiencies are also embedded in the Essential Dispositions for Educators. Initial and advanced program-specific comprehensive plans identify multiple learning opportunities and assessment points (R.1.4.e.1,2,3,4,5,6). A common scoring guide comprises observable behaviors aligned to diversity proficiencies. Candidates must achieve a minimal level of competency on a summative assessment. Initial Preparation While diversity proficiencies are implicit in all InTASC Standards, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are most explicit for diversity-related performances (R.4.4.b.4.) Aggregated AY 13 unit performance data below from multiple, InTASC-aligned capstone assessments consistently confirm that interns and graduates demonstrated diversity-related knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to help all students learn. Mean scores for these AY 13 assessments (1/ unacceptable -5/distinguished) were:
-mentors’ and liaisons’/supervisors’ evaluations (R.4.4.c.1): both had mean scores of 4.43 or higher for each of the six standards.
-program evaluation from graduating interns (R.4.4.c.2); self-reported data: mean scores of 4.66 or higher for each of the six standards
-employer survey (R.4.4.c.3): questions modified to reflect first year teaching experience): mean scores of 4.48 or higher for each of the six standards.
-graduates’ surveys (R.4.4.c.4); first year graduates’ mean scores of 4.55 or higher; third year graduates’ mean scores of 3.92 or higher for each of the six standards.
MIPC-Diversity. R.4.4.c.5 and 6 provide unit performance data from mentors’ and UL/S’ evaluations of candidates. AY 13 data documents candidates' ability to work effectively with diverse learners, with mentors’ mean scores of 4.31 or higher, and university supervisors’ mean scores of 4.27 or higher for each of the criteria.
Essential Dispositions. R.4.4.c.7 provides unit performance data for demonstrated Essential Dispositions, with AY 13 mean scores exceeding 2.86 on a 3 point scale (3=Target 2=Acceptable 1=Unacceptable).
Continuing Preparation and Other School Personnel. While the unit Assessment System is applicable to all programs, assessment at the advanced program level is program-specific. As noted, every program is required to complete the YASU/DAR. In Part III, Standard 4, programs provide a detailed explanation how they assess candidates' diversity proficiencies. R.4.4.c.8 provides additional detail about and examples of how programs collect, analyze, and use data to improve candidates' diversity proficiencies to help all students learn. Additional data, descriptions of program-specific assessments, and scoring tools are found in SPA reports and/or program-specific YASU/DAR. Program-specific data confirm that candidates demonstrate diversity proficiencies.
Essential Dispositions. R.4.4.c.7 provides unit performance data for demonstrated Essential Dispositions, with AY 13 mean scores exceeding 2.91 on a 3 point scale (3=Target 2=Acceptable 1=Unacceptable).
Intentional Unit Curricular, Co-Curricular, and Programmatic Diversity Efforts. In addition to supporting the University's efforts, the unit has implemented activities to support development of knowledge of diversity, dispositions that reflect and value differences, and skills for teaching all children effectively. Representative examples include the COE Diversity Committee (primary goal is the inclusion of issues related to diversity into curriculum and instruction), and the President’s Diversity Award, awarded to unit faculty and programs in 2011, 2012, and 2013 (R.4.4.b.5).
Experiences Working with Diverse Faculty. The unit adheres to the University's hiring procedures that value diversity and provide evidence of good faith efforts to increase faculty diversity (R.4.4.g). R.4.4.d provides a demographic profile of fall 2013 unit and university faculty, confirming that candidates regularly interact with diverse faculty during content courses and field and clinical experiences.
Experiences Working with Diverse Candidates. The university and unit are affirmative in efforts to recruit and retain diverse initial and advanced candidates. These efforts include a long-term engagement with the Baltimore City Public School System (R.4.4.h.1), utilizing financial aid and scholarships (R.4.4.h.2.a,b,c,d; 65% of all funding went to females, 41% went to minorities), and the Towson Learning Network (R.4.4.h.2.e).
Fall 2013 unit and university enrollment demographic data (R.4.4.e) confirm that candidates engage in professional education experiences with diverse
candidates. The Office of Disability Support Services reported that122 fall 2012 education
candidates (103 undergraduate, 19 graduate) had declared disabilities. Data reveal
approximately the same percentage of non-white candidates enrolled in undergraduate
and advanced programs.
Equally important, MSDE data confirm that the unit has responded to Maryland's recognized shortage of minority teachers. Latest data available document that the unit continues as Maryland’s largest producer of minority teacher candidates (R.4.4.h.5).
Multiple Experiences with Diverse P-12 Students. Unit site selection policy ensures initial candidates have field and clinical experiences with diverse P-12 students, designed as opportunities for candidates to confront issues of diversity, interact with diverse students, and enhance their knowledge, skills, and dispositions for working with all students. Almost all field and clinical experiences occur in the increasingly diverse Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas (R.4.4.f.1).
Unit AY 13 Program Evaluation data, self-reported by interns completing their capstone internship, confirm that they had opportunities to practice and demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in working with all students. Reflecting Section II capstone questions 18-21 (opportunities to differentiate instruction for (respectively): diverse students, learners with special needs, ELL students, and gifted and talented students), R.3.4.f.4 provides unit data documenting that graduating interns had experience in diverse and inclusive settings, with all capstone mean scores exceeding 4.02 (1/ unacceptable -5/distinguished).
Other School Personnel. By program content, Speech Pathology, Audiology, Reading (REED) and School Psychology address diverse populations. For example, REED candidates have two required internships (REED 626 and REED 726) in the on-campus Reading Clinic and/or at the off-campus summer Reading Clinic at a Baltimore City Public School. REED outreach efforts (see section 4.2.b) further ensure that candidates have experiences working with diverse P-12 students in both the on- and –off-campus clinics. R.4.4.f.2 provides demographic data for the on-campus clinic, and R.4.4.f.3 identifies the sites and client profile for the off-campus Summer Reading Clinic.
Representative activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality include:
1. To enhance data-based program focus on demonstrated diversity proficiencies, incorporating
the 2010 revised MIPC-D, the unit revised the YASU/DAR to emphasize each of the individual diversity criteria,
and revised appropriate unit assessments (R.2.4.d.1, R.2.4.a.6). A diversity-focused section (Other Performance Factors) was added to Program Evaluation,
mentor and university liaisons’/supervisors’ summative internship evaluations, and
first and third year graduates’ surveys (R.1.4.c.3, R.1.4.c.1, R.1.4.c.4-5).
2. To ensure focus on diversity, Towson developed a new Core Curriculum. Beginning fall 2011, candidates were required to take coursework in three diversity-related categories: Metropolitan Perspectives, Diversity and Difference, and Ethical Issues and Perspectives. To ensure their diversity focus, a required, prerequisite, sequential, three-course Core Curriculum “package” was developed by the unit to support developing candidates’ foundational understanding of and preparation for the diverse classrooms in which they will work. The three courses (Metropolitan: EDUC 202, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives: America’s Urban Schools, Diversity: EDUC 203, Teaching and Learning in a Diverse Society, Ethics: SCED 304: Education, Ethics, and Change) are required courses for admission to the screened COE majors.
3. In response to increasing diversity in P-12, candidate performance data, concern over sufficient diversity focus, and MSDE’s revised MIPC-D criteria, as well as the state and national shortage of candidates in specific fields, new initial and advanced programs and courses were developed to address diversity. R.4.4.b.3 identifies representative examples.
4. Reflecting candidate demographic data, and in another attempt to increase minority enrollments and respond to the documented shortage of STEM candidates, the unit established new scholarships (Exhibit R.4.4.h.2.a). For example, the unit sought and received external funding for its Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Noyce targets students traditionally underrepresented in the STEM disciplines. Initiated in 2009, 44 Noyce scholarships have been awarded; eight (18. 2%) have been awarded to minority students, and 27 (61.4%) have been awarded to females.
5. To enhance its diversity focus, and addressing the revised Maryland Institutional Performance Criteria Component IV: Diversity, the unit continued its intentional programmatic diversity efforts to support faculty's and candidates' development of knowledge of diversity, dispositions that reflect and value differences, and skills for teaching all children effectively. R.4.4.b.5 documents these efforts.
6. As a result of the unit’s 2010- 2011 critical examination of all PDS sites demographic data one of three secondary MAT PDS was reorganized to include a school with a more diverse student population.
7. The unit pursued and received grants to enhance its diversity efforts (R.4.4.i.1). For example, as a result of collaboration between ELED and SPED faculty, the unit received an MSDE Teacher Quality in High-Poverty/High-Minority Schools grant for 6/1/2012 – 8/30/2014, engaging a new PDS partnership with two Baltimore City Public Schools--Thomas Johnson ES/MS and Armistead Gardens ES/MS.
8. Unit faculty are expected to model the same knowledge, skills, and dispositions as candidates. To that end, the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Professional Development Network—led by a unit faculty member-- was initiated in fall 2013 to support faculty in building UDL to enhance candidates’ abilities to work effectively with all students (R.4.4.i.2).
9. In 2009-2010, Towson became one of three Maryland IHE’s in the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium of Maryland (edTPA), involving ELED. edTPA was designed to answer the question: “Is this new teacher ready for the job?” To show their readiness, candidates teach 3-5 integrated lessons and submit a 15-minute video clip of instruction, student work samples, and lesson plans used for the lessons. They also provide written commentaries of student learning and offer reflective commentaries to demonstrate that they can effectively teach the subject to a wide array of student learners. The candidates are assessed on three tasks: Planning, Instruction, and Assessment, using 15 authentic rubrics to score the three tasks. Candidates begin the written parts of the edTPA by describing the classroom context in which they conducted their lessons and videotape, called the Context for Learning. Candidates are asked, in the planning commentary to, “Consider the variety learners in your class who may require different strategies/supports (e.g., students with IEPs, English language learners, struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted students). In the same planning commentary, candidates must address differentiation for their diverse learners.
10. To enrich an already diverse experience for its clinicians, the Reading MEd program used grant funds from spring 2010 to the present (fall 2013) to transport families by university shuttle from Dr. Carter G. Woodson E/M and Arundel E/M Schools (Baltimore City Public Schools) to the on-campus Clinic. One hundred percent of those families were African-American. Additionally, grant support paid tuition costs, so the Clinic was free of charge for those families. While children worked with Clinic teachers, parents attended workshops presented by the advanced Clinic teachers that were designed to prepare them to continue to support their child’s reading growth at home. R.4.4.f.2 documents that the Fall-Spring Reading Clinics continuously included numerous clients/families from many Baltimore City Public Schools.
11. Established in 2010, the Towson/Baltimore County Teacher Retention Partnership (R.4.4.b.6) implemented the Teacher-Educator-in-Residence (TEIR)/Teacher-in-Residence (TIR) Program. TIRs deliver presentations to unit classes that ensure relevancy and currency to the campus courses; efforts by the TIR to improve candidate performance and program quality include numerous presentations to undergraduate and graduate courses on topics such as working with students and families from culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse backgrounds, classroom management, and effective differentiation.
12. Analysis of comprehensive exam data caused the ILPD department to: a. revise ILPD 716 to focus on greater parent and community engagement in school-based decision making; b: modify ILPD 667’s signature assessment to stress access and equity issues, requiring students to analyze curriculum while keeping traditional “achievement gaps” in mind to ensure that candidates become increasingly conscious of and skilled at recognizing and addressing the need for all students to have accessible, equitable encounters with curriculum; and c: added Boykin, A. Wade, and Pedro Noguera, Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap, as an ILPD 667 anchor text.
13. School Library Media data revealed a pattern that candidates were not consistently planning and implementing lessons at the target levels in meeting the needs of all learners. In particular, the needs of ELL, and special needs learners were not consistently being addressed. Subsequently, new strategies for meeting the needs of diverse learners were introduced across the core SLM classes, and new assessment measures were incorporated into the ISTC 667, Instructional Design and Development key assessment, and the lesson planning guidelines and documentation for ISTC 789, Practicum and Portfolio in School Library Media.
Additionally, representative Unit plans for sustaining and enhancing performance include:
1. The annual, YASU/DAR, in which data documenting candidates’ ability to work with ALL students is reviewed, analyzed, and used for program improvement to improve intern performance, remains a key vehicle to sustain and enhance performance.
2. The unit, led by the COE, continues its ongoing environmental scan of the external environment to ensure that the unit is responsive to new and/or revised national and state standards (ex., Maryland Institutional Performance Criteria Component IV: Diversity) and other changes in the educational environment as they impact professional education’s efforts to ensure candidates acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help ALL students learn.
3. With the specific intent to increase the diversity of initial and advanced candidates, Towson and the unit will maintain/expand its long-term engagement with the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS). Representative of these ongoing initiatives, which enhance and build on TU2020, and the President’s and Provost’s public commitment to Towson’s role “as the state’s comprehensive metropolitan institution” (Undergraduate Catalog, Fall 2012, p. 222), is continuation of its University’s Top Ten Percent Scholars program and Support for Student Success program (R.4.4.h.1).
4. The unit will continue its leadership role as the state’s affiliate university for the Teacher Academy of Maryland (R.4.4.h.1). TAM is a pathway to a "grow-your-own" pipeline of future teachers with emphasis on the Top Ten Percent Scholars Program as a recruitment incentive. Summer TAM teacher leadership and campus visits have engaged unit wide faculty. While currently partnering with thirteen school systems (including Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County), collaborative efforts continue with MSDE to expand the program.
IVa. How does the unit ensure that teacher candidates have opportunities to collaboratively plan and teach with specialized resource personnel.
This question serves as one of required prompts in the YASU/DAR (R.2.4.d.1) completed each year by all programs (Part III, Maryland Institutional Performance Criteria, Standard 4: Diversity, questions I and J (R.2.4.a.6). Individual programs have pursued this goal in numerous ways. For ex, to ensure that MAT candidates interact with professional resources and to emphasize the impact of professional collaboration on student learning, the required assessments for EDUC 798, Internship II with Seminar, have been expanded to include a Collaboration Log. MAT students are required to compile a list of the professional resource personnel that are available in each internship site, consult with a total of five or more professional resource personnel about actual classroom situations, and maintain a Collaboration Log that includes Date, Resource Consulted, Topic/Purpose of the Consultation, Summary, and Classroom Application.
Required InTASC and/or SPA based assessments of interns’ field experiences (program-evaluation) and mentor and university supervisor assessments of interns’ capstone internships include items that address candidates’ ability to collaborate with specialized resource personnel. R.4.5.a documents that interns collaboratively planned and/or taught with specialized resource personnel. It presents aggregated unit candidate self-reported performance data confirming that they had opportunities during their capstone internship to collaboratively plan and teach with specialized resource personnel, with an AY 13 mean score of 4.26 (rating scale: 1/ unacceptable -5/distinguished scale). It also presents aggregated unit performance data from mentor and university liaisons’/supervisors’ evaluation of capstone internships that also document that candidates worked effectively with specialized resource personnel. AY 13 mean scores are mentors: 4.35, and liaisons: 4.29.
IVb. How does the unit ensure that candidates develop and implement integrated learning experiences for diverse student needs?
IVc. How does the unit assess proficiency of candidates in planning instruction, adapting materials and implementing differentiated instruction in an inclusive classroom, using functional behavior assessments, and providing positive behavior support for students with disabilities? Similarly, provide evidence of teacher candidates' ability to differentiate instruction for English Language Learners (ELL) and gifted and talented students?
In response to IV.b and IV.c, the unit assesses the proficiency of initial candidates in planning instruction, adapting materials and implementing differentiated instruction in an inclusive classroom, developing and implementing integrated learning experiences for diverse student needs, using functional behavior assessments, and providing positive behavior support for students with disabilities through required InTASC and SPA-aligned assessments. R.4.4.c.5 and 6 provide unit performance data from mentor teachers’ and liaisons/supervisors’ evaluations of initial candidates’ demonstrated ability to develop and implement integrated learning experiences for diverse student needs. AY 13 mentors’ mean scores were 4.31 or higher, and AY university supervisors’ mean scores were 4.27 or higher (rating scale: 1/ unacceptable -5/distinguished scale) for each of the Maryland Institutional Diversity Performance Criteria.
As previously noted, while the unit Assessment System is applicable to all programs, assessment at the advanced program level is program-specific. Program-specific data confirm that candidates demonstrate diversity proficiencies. As noted, every program is required to complete the YASU/DAR; in Part III, Standard 4, programs provide a detailed explanation how they assess candidates' diversity proficiencies. R.4.4.c.8 provides additional detail from representative YASU/DAR examples of how advanced programs collect, analyze, and use data to improve candidates' diversity proficiencies to help all students learn. Graduate candidates' performance in SPA-assessed, program-specific diversity-related assessments is documented in SPA reports (in AIMS) as required. SPA reports include descriptions of program-specific assessments, scoring tools, and data.
IVd. How does the unit ensure each teacher education candidate is trained in a diverse setting? (Note: may use a previous answer from Standard 3 – Maryland Redesign)
See previous answer from Standard 3, Maryland Redesign, III.c. Every effort is made to ensure that candidates are trained in a diverse setting.