Teacher preparation without boundaries: a two-year study of an online teacher certification program.
The Online Post Baccalaureate Program is described along with indicators of how well the program met the goals of its developers during two years of implementation. Faculty aimed to develop a program that would satisfy students, offer a more accessible path into teaching for post baccalaureate candidates and compare favorably fa·vor·a·ble
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.
2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.
3. in quality to its nationally accredited accredited
recognition by an appropriate authority that the performance of a particular institution has satisfied a prestated set of criteria.
cattle herds which have achieved a low level of reactors to, e.g. baccalaureate program for secondary teacher candidates. Research indicates success of the online program in (a) effecting statistically significant increases in the number of diverse candidates entering teaching, including career changer Changer
The name given to a clearing member that is willing to assume the opposite position of a futures contract within a larger alternative exchange, of which it also is a clearing member. and minority candidates; (b) significantly increasing the number of candidates prepared by University of North Texas (UNT UNT University of North Texas
UNT Upsala Nya Tidning (Swedish newspaper)
UNT Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (Argentina)
UNT Unión Nacional de Trabajadores ) in the critical shortage areas of science and mathematics; (c) achieving candidate performance at least equal to that of traditional program candidates on teacher quality indicators including GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation) A tunneling protocol developed by Cisco that allows network layer packets to contain packets from a different protocol. It is widely used to tunnel protocols inside IP packets for virtual private networks (VPNs). , state certification tests, and portfolio ratings; and (d) assuring candidate satisfaction with the online program.
The 2000 Census confirmed that American American, river, 30 mi (48 km) long, rising in N central Calif. in the Sierra Nevada and flowing SW into the Sacramento River at Sacramento. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill (see Sutter, John Augustus) along the river in 1848 led to the California gold rush of schools are serving an increasingly diverse population of students. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the National Center for Educational Statistics (2003) student enrollments are projected to rise in the western and southern US through 2013. Simultaneously, looming looming: see mirage. teacher shortages in many urban and rural schools will increase the demand for teachers with a sophisticated skill set necessary to create an environment where all students can learn irrespective of irrespective of
Without consideration of; regardless of.
preposition despite gender, ethnicity ethnicity Vox populi Racial status–ie, African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic , disability, or English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. acquisition. Attempts to address the demand for teachers since the 1970s have produced a trend away from undergraduate teacher preparation and toward post baccalaureate programs as the preferred route to teacher certification (Turner, 1998). Concurrently, the opportunity to offer programs online introduces variables that have the potential to increase access to teacher education.
In this article, the literature related to post baccalaureate certification is reviewed. The University of North Texas (UNT) Online Post Baccalaureate Program is described and compared to UNTs traditional undergraduate program for secondary candidates. Programs are compared in terms of promoting candidate diversity, increasing the number of candidates in the high need areas of science and mathematics, candidate proficiency pro·fi·cien·cy
n. pl. pro·fi·cien·cies
The state or quality of being proficient; competence.
Noun 1. proficiency - the quality of having great facility and competence as measured by state licensure licensure
(lī´snsh examinations and self-assessments, and satisfaction with the program and its clinical experiences. Based on these indicators, the success of the online program is discussed.
POST BACCALAUREATE, ALTERNATIVE, AND ONLINE PROGRAMS
Candidates entering post baccalaureate teacher education programs typically have completed degrees in their content fields and are often employed full time as teachers while completing the pedagogy requirements of their programs. Development of this sort of program requires that teacher educators change their thinking about a number of program development key issues. Some of the issues raised by Fenstermacher (1990) included the physical location of the preparation, the definition of subject mastery, and the balance in the curriculum between teaching theory and practice. Post baccalaureate certification has the effect of moving teacher preparation to the school site, reducing the control over the site of preparation exercised by colleges and universities that prepare teachers as undergraduates. In addition, entities offering post baccalaureate programs typically do not control the undergraduate content majors of their candidates who enter with completed bachelor's bach·e·lor's
A bachelor's degree. degrees. Beyond this, post baccalaureate curriculum is typically structured to meet the immediate needs for survival of teacher candidates, setting aside the results of years of work by teacher educators to define the critical balance between teaching theory and practice in the curriculum.
Today, almost every state has post baccalaureate (alternative or alternative like) certification programs offered in universities and colleges, state supported organizations, or by private providers (Feistritzer, 2005). Almost two thirds of American colleges American College is the name of:
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat the many programs that exist across the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , Feistritzer (2005) defined alternative certification programs as possessing the following attributes: (a) the program is designed to recruit, prepare, and license individuals with a bachelor's degree; (b) entrance is gained through a screening process such as testing and interviews; (c) the program is field based; (d) the program includes coursework coursework
work done by a student and assessed as part of an educational course
Noun 1. coursework - work assigned to and done by a student during a course of study; usually it is evaluated as part of the student's or equivalent experiences in professional education; (e) a system of support is provided for candidates; and (f) candidates meet high standards to complete the program. Seeking consistency in reporting and analyzing data related to alternative programs, Feistritzer (2005) used self-reports from states to classify clas·si·fy
tr.v. clas·si·fied, clas·si·fy·ing, clas·si·fies
1. To arrange or organize according to class or category.
2. To designate (a document, for example) as confidential, secret, or top secret. alternative programs into 11 types, of which post baccalaureate programs in institutions of higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. are classified as "Class E" teacher preparation.
In Texas, nonalternative, "regular," or "traditional" teacher certification programs are four-year, baccalaureate degree programs in which candidates complete no more than 24 semester se·mes·ter
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.
[German, from Latin (cursus) s credit hours in the study of pedagogy. Field experiences, including student teaching are included in the 24 hours. This limited pattern of teacher preparation was mandated by the Texas legislature The Texas Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. The legislature meets at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. In Texas, the Legislature is considered the most powerful branch of state government because of its aggressive use of the power of the purse to in 1987 (Ishler, 1992). "Alternative certification," has developed rapidly in Texas since 2001 and refers to an array of programs designed to prepare for certification persons who already hold baccalaureate degrees. Alternative certification providers include colleges and universities, but they also include school districts, the Texas Education Agency through its regional service centers, community colleges, and private providers. Programs offered by nonhigher education entities typically offer workshop training that is heavily concentrated in the summer before the start of teaching and places little emphasis on education theory. Supervision during the first year of teaching varies from two visits to eight visits per semester. The alternative post baccalaureate programs offered by colleges and universities, the "Class E" programs, typically admit candidates who meet graduate school requirements and demonstrate content mastery through transcript A generic term for any kind of copy, particularly an official or certified representation of the record of what took place in a court during a trial or other legal proceeding.
A transcript of record review and/or and/or
Used to indicate that either or both of the items connected by it are involved.
Usage Note: And/or is widely used in legal and business writing. candidates' passing the state content licensure examination. Candidates complete graduate coursework that emphasizes the link between teaching theory and practice and may lead to a master's degree master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
Noun 1. . Supervision and support for candidates who are employed as teachers occur through six to eight formal observations conducted by university personnel each semester and supervisory partnerships with administrators and mentor Mentor, in Greek mythology
Mentor (mĕn`tər, –tôr'), in Greek mythology, friend of Odysseus and tutor of Telemachus. teachers at the school of employment.
Although descriptions of online teacher education programs exist in the literature (Gibson & Hererra, 1999; Patton Pat·ton , Charley 1881-1934.
American blues singer and guitarist who wrote several blues standards, including "Mississippi Boll Weevil Blues," and helped pioneer the Mississippi blues style. & Hines Hines , Earl Known as "Fatha." 1905-1983.
American musician. A prominent jazz pianist for 50 years, he first gained wide recognition for his recordings with Louis Armstrong in the 1920s. , 2001; Truman-Davis & Hartman, 1998) a closer look at these programs suggests that they are web-supported, rather than delivered completely online. Accounts of the development of these programs offer general advice such as building on existing courses, making sure that technical support is adequate and identifying faculty who are willing to serve as change agents. Wentling and Johnson (1999) suggested that sound evaluation is the best antidote antidote
Remedy to counteract the effects of a poison or toxin. Administered by mouth, intravenously, or sometimes on the skin, it may work by directly neutralizing the poison; causing an opposite effect in the body; binding to the poison to prevent its absorption, to the fear that tends to accompany major innovation. They suggested that program planners monitor, certain "vital signs" that may assist in short term evaluation of program health while waiting for the results of assessments of student learning and long-term Long-term
Three or more years. In the context of accounting, more than 1 year.
1. Of or relating to a gain or loss in the value of a security that has been held over a specific length of time. Compare short-term. satisfaction associated with longer-term program evaluation Program evaluation is a formalized approach to studying and assessing projects, policies and program and determining if they 'work'. Program evaluation is used in government and the private sector and it's taught in numerous universities. . Application of this advice led to collection of key data about the Online Post Baccalaureate Program, which is described in the next section.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ONLINE POST BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM
In a milieu mi·lieu
n. pl. mi·lieus or mi·lieux
1. The totality of one's surroundings; an environment.
2. The social setting of a mental patient.
[Fr.] surroundings, environment. of highly variable alternative or "alternative like" certification programs, UNT initiated one of the first online post baccalaureate teacher certification programs in the nation. The program, designed for grades 8-12 teacher preparation, was born in an institutional environment including a "traditional" baccalaureate program and a campus-based master's degree program for secondary teachers that included a semester of student teaching. Like all UNT teacher education programs, its goal was to enhance the college mission to develop the human capacity by increasing the number of certified See certification. and highly qualified teachers available to advance the learning of Texas students, preschool through grade 12.
Rationale rationale (rash´nal´),
n the fundamental reasons used as the basis for a decision or action. for the Program
The Online Post Baccalaureate Program represented a change in direction for the UNT teacher education faculty, who had previously been working to provide a year-long professional development school experience for all initial teacher candidates. Offering one of the largest university-based programs in Texas, the UNT faculty expected of new programs the rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. and alignment associated with maintaining its National Council for the Accreditation accreditation,
n a process of formal recognition of a school or institution attesting to the required ability and performance in an area of education, training, or practice. of Teachers (NCATE NCATE National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education ) accreditation. The impetus Impetus is a stimulus or impulse, a moving force that sparks momentum.
Impetus may also refer to:
SBEC Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
SBEC Small Business Enterprise Centre
SBEC Single Board Engine Controller (automotive engine computer) ) opened the door to many alternative certification providers operating with minimal oversight
Oversight may refer to:
The Changers are a fictional group of anti-hero published by Wildstorm an imprint of DC Comics. and candidates in high need teaching fields.
Program Goals and Standards
The development goals of the Online Post Baccalaureate Program were to (a) attract into teaching increased numbers of diverse candidates, including career changer and minority candidates; (b) increase the number of candidates prepared by UNT in the critical shortage areas of science and mathematics; (c) assure program quality such that candidate performance is at least equal to that of traditional program candidates; and (d) assure candidate satisfaction with the online program. These goals are addressed in an 18 semester-hour program that includes four 3-credit hour online courses and two semesters (6 credit hours) of practicum practicum (prak´tikm),
n See internship. . The program is designed within the conceptual framework For the concept in aesthetics and art criticism, see .
A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project. of the UNT teacher education unit, summarized as, "Educators as Guides for Engaged Learners." The conceptual framework is closely liked to the learner-centered principles associated with the Texas teacher education program approval standards which are aligned to the domains of the Pathwise Framework (Danielson, 1996). The UNT conceptual framework may be viewed at the following website: http://www.coe.unt.edu/ncate/framework/
Curricular goals of the program are to (a) create a supportive learning community for post-baccalaureate candidates; (b) expand the knowledge and skills of beginning teachers; (c) offer resources for advancing the learning of 8-12 students; (d) help beginning teachers assess their own professional growth; and (e) increase commitment to teaching. Course objectives incorporate the state standards that serve as the framework for the pedagogy portion of the Texas Examinations for Educator Certification (TExES; SBEC, 2004a) and the Texas Beginning Educator Support System (Tx-BESS; SBEC, 2002; Charles A. Dana Charles A. Dana may refer to:
Involving, existing between, or connecting two or more states.
One of a system of highways extending between the major cities of the 48 contiguous United States.
Noun 1. New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC INTASC Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium , 2004) are aligned with these frameworks, demonstrating the commitment of program designers to advance the quality of teaching and learning for beginning educators.
This program is designed to attract career changers holding a bachelor's degree with a major or minor related to a Texas certification field (Online Teacher Certification, 2006). Candidates who are admitted to the program demonstrate content mastery in their area of certification by passing the state content examination (i.e., ExCET or TExES). In addition, candidates must meet certain grade point average requirements (e.g., 2.8 overall where A=4.0) and standardized test A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a standard manner. The tests are designed in such a way that the "questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent"  requirements (e.g., Graduate Record Examination). Online candidates presenting Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal scores for admission to Teacher Education are high compared to the national average for teacher candidates. GRE mean scores fall in the 2nd highest quartile Quartile
A statistical term describing a division of observations into four defined intervals based upon the values of the data and how they compare to the entire set of observations.
Each quartile contains 25% of the total observations. .
This first program online course, EDSE EDSE Earth Departure Stage Engine (spacecraft) 5002 Everyone Can Learn, was first offered in Fall 2001, with one 3-hour online course added each semester until all 18 hours of coursework were converted to an online delivery system. A description of coursework can be viewed at the following website: http://www.coe.unt.edu/becoming_a_teacher/secondary/courses.htm
Course information and syllabi syl·la·bi
A plural of syllabus. may be viewed using the following URL URL
in full Uniform Resource Locator
Address of a resource on the Internet. The resource can be any type of file stored on a server, such as a Web page, a text file, a graphics file, or an application program. : http://www.untecampus.com/
The other courses of the program are EDSE 5004 Literacy for All, EDSE 5130 The Multicultural mul·ti·cul·tur·al
1. Of, relating to, or including several cultures.
2. Of or relating to a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture. Curriculum, and EDSE 5470 Classroom Management and Instructional Strategies in Diverse Classroom Settings. Simultaneously, a year-long clinical experience, EDSE 5105/5115 Practicum I and II, was developed by senior faculty to serve the needs of an already growing population of postbaccalaureate candidates. EDSE 5101/5115 Practicum I and II offer a supervised su·per·vise
tr.v. su·per·vised, su·per·vis·ing, su·per·vis·es
To have the charge and direction of; superintend.
immune adherence to a conceptual framework that shapes culturally competent response and reflective Refers to light hitting an opaque surface such as a printed page or mirror and bouncing back. See reflective media and reflective LCD. inquiry. Expectations are conveyed to candidates at two face-to-face seminars held each semester and enacted through online discussions in supervisory and content groups, as well as through the visits and offline communication with supervisors. Online posting requirements are one substantive description, story, or report about teaching per week and require one substantive response to another student's posting. A discussion guide based on the TxBESS framework offers suggested topics for postings of candidates who do not identify their own compelling issues. Postings that can be related to TxBESS Standards may be included in portfolios that are based on these standards and submitted at the end of each semester and assessed using a rubric RUBRIC, civil law. The title or inscription of any law or statute, because the copyists formerly drew and painted the title of laws and statutes rubro colore, in red letters. Ayl. Pand. B. 1, t. 8; Diet. do Juris. h.t. related to course goals.
UNTeacher Tools, an online resource, addresses content specific pedagogy. Quick links to local, state, and national teacher organizations and special topics such as assessment, diversity, special needs, No Child Left Behind (NCLB NCLB No Child Left Behind (US education initiative) ), and lesson planning are provided, as are in-house In-house
In the context of general equities, keeping an activity within the firm. For example, rather than go to the marketplace and sell a security for a client to anyone, an attempt is made to find a buyer to complete the transaction with the firm. practice examinations and access to library resources such as electronic databases, state-adopted textbooks, and curriculum materials delivered free of charge through the university library delivery service.
The Online Post Baccalaureate, Program uses the unit assessment plan common to all UNT teacher education programs to assure continuous assessment of candidate learning. Programs for initial teacher preparation use portfolios for this purpose. Major assessments in the online program include candidate portfolio reviews, a Texas-based framework for assessment used by university supervisors during observation of clinical work, state licensure exams, and collection of survey data in courses and after program completion. A candidate assessment model developed specifically for the online program uses the tools shown in Table 1. The assessment model continues to develop each semester, as candidate self-assessment, peer assessment, and instructor assessment are implemented in each course.
In the online environment, the role of the instructor in providing corrective cor·rec·tive
Counteracting or modifying what is malfunctioning, undesirable, or injurious.
An agent that corrects.
n and supportive feedback is particularly important. The lack of verbal and nonverbal non·ver·bal
1. Being other than verbal; not involving words: nonverbal communication.
2. Involving little use of language: a nonverbal intelligence test. cues online reduces the types of feedback that may help students learn in other environments. Guiding students through a series of reflective experiences that relate directly to teaching is the process used in the online program to enable candidate construction of teacher knowledge. Traditional assessments, including essay, short answer, and multiple choice tests and scoring of lesson plans are also used to assess knowledge and are weighted approximately 30% of each course. However, content analysis of journals and chains of discourse, use of survey tools to collect and aggregate student feedback, and requiring student self-assessment through checklists and application of rubrics supplement these traditional tools for shaping instructor response.
Summative Adj. 1. summative - of or relating to a summation or produced by summation
additive - characterized or produced by addition; "an additive process" program assessment is based on a teaching portfolio, reviewed during each semester of the practicum. Portfolios are based on the TxBESS Standards and the standards that frame the TExES Pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.
2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner. and Professional Responsibilities subtest. In constructing their portfolios, candidates select teaching artifacts artifacts
see specimen artifacts. related to selected standards and justify their selections by demonstrating what the artifacts show about their adherence to the standards, their impact on the learning of 8-12 students and their professionalism professionalism
the upholding by individuals of the principles, laws, ethics and conventions of their profession. .
Each fall semester, candidates respond to a survey to assess how the components of the practicum address the curricular goals of the program: (a) creating a supportive learning community; (b) expanding the knowledge and skills of beginning teachers; (c) offering resources for advancing the learning of 8-12 students; and (d) helping beginning teachers assess their own professional growth; and (e) increasing commitment to teaching.
Program Duration and Sustainability
As the online program began, it was apparent that significant financial and personnel resources would be required to develop, maintain, update and revise course materials. Initially, grant funding would be required. Grants were obtained from the UNT Teaching with Technology program, which is supported by funds from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is an agency of the Texas state government that oversees all public post-secondary education in Texas.
From 1998 to 2003, it developed a new higher-education plan for the state, called "Closing the Gaps by 2015". . In addition, the UNT College of Education provided release time and financial support for faculty curriculum developers, technology experts, and software programs and hardware associated with curriculum development using WebCT. The first course was offered in Fall 2001, with all courses, including the practicum, online by Fall 2002. An additional program cost has been providing university supervision for candidates across a large geographic area requiring supervisor travel to rural areas where many practicum students work. The search for innovative methods to provide practicum students working in geographically remote areas with equivalent supervision has prompted a recent investment in portable videoconferencing A real time video session between two or more users or between two or more locations. Although the first videoconferencing was done with traditional analog TV and satellites, inhouse room systems became popular in the early 1980s after Compression Labs pioneered digitized video systems equipment, but these Tandberg units were not in use during the two years of the program for which results are reported here.
Program sustainability was secured through the introduction of course fees in 2003-2004 and increased in 2004-2005 to include the practicum. The increased cost does not appear to have deterred enrollment of the candidates the program was designed to serve.
SUCCESS IN ADDRESSING PROGRAM GOALS: RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
The purposes of the program developers of the Online Post Baccalaureate Program presented earlier in this article serve as an organizer for the following sections, in which we consider indicators of the program's short-term Short-term
Any investments with a maturity of one year or less.
1. Of or relating to a gain or loss on the value of an asset that has been held less than a specified period of time. success in achieving each of its goals. Specifically, this section examines the role of the program in (a) attracting into teaching increased numbers of diverse candidates, including career changers and minority candidates; (b) increasing the number of candidates prepared by UNT in the critical shortage areas of science and mathematics; (c) achieving candidate performance that is at least equal to that of traditional program candidates; and (d) assuring candidate satisfaction with the online program.
Increase Teacher Diversity: Careering Changing and Minority Candidates
One year after implementation of the online program, enrollment had grown to 400 candidates. Clearly, the program was successful in attracting increased numbers of candidates, but how different were they from candidates enrolled in the traditional program?
To answer questions about the demographics The attributes of people in a particular geographic area. Used for marketing purposes, population, ethnic origins, religion, spoken language, income and age range are examples of demographic data. of enrollees, we looked at secondary traditional and online candidates who took either the content or the pedagogy subtest of the TExES during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 academic years. Data are presented in Table 2.
Studies of some post baccalaureate programs have reported significant differences with regard to gender and minority participation in post baccalaureate programs (Hutton, Lutz, & Williamson, 1990; Lutz & Hutton, 1989; Haberman, 1999). Comparing the online post baccalaureate secondary candidates to those in the baccalaureate secondary program indicates that there are statistically significant differences by gender and ethnicity. The difference in the average age of candidates in the online program compared to the traditional program was 32.6 years compared to 28.3 years of age.
Enrollment as a function of gender was almost evenly distributed (e.g., 51% female and 49% male) in the online program, while the traditional program enrollment was 68% female and 32% male. Table 3 shows there is a statistically significant difference between these two programs in terms of gender distribution (p < 0.006).
Ethnic minority candidates represented 28% of the enrollment in the online program and 18% in the traditional program. Results in Table 4 shows there is a statistically significant difference between these two programs with regard to representation of candidates from traditionally underrepresented un·der·rep·re·sent·ed
Insufficiently or inadequately represented: the underrepresented minority groups, ignored by the government. groups (p < 0.001).
At this time our research has not determined why the online program is more ethnically diverse and more gender balanced. As we continue to study the various aspects of these programs, a scientific basis may emerge from which to answer this important question.
Many of the teacher candidates who completed the practicum during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 academic years described themselves as career changers, moving to teaching from the telecommunications Communicating information, including data, text, pictures, voice and video over long distance. See communications. , engineering, construction, sales, financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. , the ministry, and other careers. The average age of traditional program completers at UNT reflects, however, the extent to which the campus serves community college transfers and students whose progress through school is slowed by simultaneous and stop-out employment. Thus, most students in both groups tend to describe themselves as career changers. In future work, a definition is needed that specifies the length of prior employment in a field associated with being designated a "career changer."
Critical Shortage Fields: Science and Mathematics
Of the candidates in the online program in the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 academic years, 25% were working toward certification in science and 12% in mathematics; this was 37% of the program enrollees (Figure 1). During the same years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time traditional program enrolled 19 science and mathematics candidates compared to the 80 teachers in these fields who were prepared through the online program.
The field of certification of a teacher candidate is important because out of field teaching in high need areas is common. Out of field teaching is defined as teaching any course for which a teacher does not hold state certification. Thus, a teacher certified in biology is out of field if teaching physics, but a teacher certified in composite science (science generalist gen·er·al·ist
A physician whose practice is not oriented in a specific medical specialty but instead covers a variety of medical problems.
generalist ) is not. Fuller (2003) reported that in schools serving 50% or more African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. students, 50.3% of teachers of Algebra algebra, branch of mathematics concerned with operations on sets of numbers or other elements that are often represented by symbols. Algebra is a generalization of arithmetic and gains much of its power from dealing symbolically with elements and operations (such as I were out of field. In chemistry the percentage of out of field teachers in predominantly pre·dom·i·nant
1. Having greatest ascendancy, importance, influence, authority, or force. See Synonyms at dominant.
2. African American schools was 75.9%. In Texas, out of field teachers are not only common, but are concentrated in schools with predominantly minority populations.
Presently, we have not determined the basis for increased numbers of mathematics and science candidate enrollment in the online program. Neither program has purposefully pur·pose·ful
1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.
2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look. recruited mathematics and science candidates, nor have special scholarships been offered to increase recruitment for these areas. Since our students self-select a certification program at UNT, further research into why there are greater numbers of mathematics and science certification students in the online program is warranted.
To Assure Program Quality through Comparable Candidate Performance
Two sources of data were used to compare the quality of the online and traditional program candidates. First, we reviewed the TExES scores of candidates who completed their programs in 2003-2003 and 2003-2004. Second, we examined self-assessments of proficiency of online teacher candidates at the end of their first year of teaching in 2002-2003 compared to similar self-assessments completed by traditional program student teachers in spring 2002.
Since the online program curriculum focuses on pedagogy, we were especially interested in comparing the scores of online and traditional candidates who completed the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities examination required for certification in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. The mean score for the 112 online candidates was 265.02 which exceeded the mean of the 309 traditional candidates (262.64) but differences were not statistically significant. As shown in Table 5, the t test for independent samples yielded a t of 1.358 which was not statistically significant (p = .175). These test scores are scaled scores with a maximum of 300, where 240 is the minimum passing score. These findings are important because Texas has become increasingly reliant on a test-driven accountability system to assess certification programs (SBEC 2004b).
Comparison of standards-based self assessments by candidates in the traditional program at the end of student teaching in spring 2002 and by online candidates at the end of their first year of teaching in 2002-2003 are shown in Table 6. Instruments used in these self assessments were somewhat different. The traditional program employed the ten INTASC Standards and asked candidates to rate their self confidence on each one using a 5-point development scale where 5 indicates, "I have extensive knowledge about concepts in this area, and I feel confident that I can plan dynamic learning experiences for students this semester" and 1 indicates, "I have little or no knowledge about the concepts in this area and I do not feel confident that I can plan learning experiences for students this semester." The online program used the 22 TxBESS standards and asked candidates to rate themselves on each one using a 4-point rubric in which 4 indicates accomplished teaching and 1 indicates unsatisfactory teaching as developed by Danielson (1996). To enable comparison of the data in Table 6, the 5-point mean scores for candidates in the traditional program were converted to a 4-point scale. Determination of the comparability of concepts from the INTASC and TxBESS standards was made by a panel of experts familiar with both sets of standards.
Table 6 notes the mean scores for the online candidates for the TxBESS Standard(s) that are most closely aligned with each of nine INTASC Standards. Rescaled mean scores of the traditional candidates are noted in the adjacent column. In Table 6, asterisked as·ter·isk
A star-shaped figure (*) used chiefly to indicate an omission, a reference to a footnote, or an unattested word, sound, or affix.
tr.v. mean scores indicate a significant increase in mean self assessments since the beginning of the clinical experience. Scores of the two groups of students are similar in magnitude with the greatest difference favoring favoring
an animal is said to be favoring a leg when it avoids putting all of its weight on the limb. A part of being lame in a limb. the traditional group in self-perceived ability to plan for instruction. In most categories, differences favor the online group.
To Assure Candidate Satisfaction with the Online Program
At this point, we have no measure that enables comparison of candidate satisfaction with the traditional and online programs. However, the data presented in Table 6 indicate that all candidates perceived growth in their own teaching as assessed by the standards used in the programs. Traditional candidate perceptions (e.g., confidence) were statistically significant from the beginning to the end of student teaching on the nine INTASC Standards shown in Table 6, and online candidates perceived significant increase in their teaching performance related to eight of the TxBESS Standards chosen because of their similarity Similarity is some degree of symmetry in either analogy and resemblance between two or more concepts or objects. The notion of similarity rests either on exact or approximate repetitions of patterns in the compared items. to INTASC Standards. Two of the TxBESS Standards, Knowledge of Instructional Materials and Managing Classroom Procedures were not included because of their lack of alignment with INTASC Standards. In this analysis, we interpret self perceived growth as an indicator of student satisfaction.
Student satisfaction with online courses is gauged, also, through evaluation instruments completed by candidates. For example, in the practicum end-of-course evaluation, online candidates respond to questions about how practicum components contributed to their achieving the program's curricular goals. Table 7 shows the percentages of candidates reporting that the course components met program goals either "a lot" or "pretty much" based on a 4-point scale where the other choices were "some" and "not at all." Since these descriptors were not defined for the candidates, we assume that their sequential presentation on the survey conveyed decreasing levels of alignment of components with goals. The program components on the evaluation survey included supervisor visits, weekly reports, online discussion, UNTeacher Tools, seminars, and portfolio development.
In both Fall 2002 and Fall 2003, candidates ranked the supervisory visits highest in addressing all five of the program goals, with highest ratings placed on the goals of creating a supportive learning community, promoting self-assessment of professional growth, and increasing commitment to teaching. Online discussion, and one of its defining features, weekly reports, was rated differently by candidates in 2002 and 2003, but in both years, these components were perceived as addressing several of the online program goals. Candidates in both years perceived the portfolio requirement as especially strong in addressing the goal of self-assessment of professional growth and the use of UNTeacher Tools as contributing to locating resources to advance grade 8-12 student learning. Less well received in 2003-2004 than 2002-2003 were the required face-to-face seminars. In 2004-2005, concern about candidate satisfaction with the seminars has been addressed by aligning a·lign
v. a·ligned, a·lign·ing, a·ligns
1. To arrange in a line or so as to be parallel: align the tops of a row of pictures; aligned the car with the curb. content more closely with TxBESS standards and introducing chat-based alternatives for more distant candidates.
Significant increases in self-perceived growth on program goals and generally positive responses to program and course evaluation A course evaluation is a paper or electronic questionnaire, which requires a written or selected response answer to a series of questions in order to evaluate the instruction of a given course. questions evidence student satisfaction with the online program. Changes are made in the program each semester as data are collected that show needs for improvement in student learning or satisfaction.
CONCLUSIONS AND NEED FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
The Online Post Baccalaureate Program has been successful in attracting into teaching, a candidate pool that includes career changers and is more diverse in gender and ethnicity than candidates in the traditional program. The online program has also been more successful than the traditional program in attracting into teaching candidates in the critical shortage areas of science and mathematics. Performance of candidates in the online program is comparable to those in the traditional program on state licensure tests and on standards-based self-assessments completed by the candidates. Candidate perception of their own learning and satisfaction with the many components of the online program is high, and program faculty are responsive to suggestions for change.
If the teacher shortage continues as expected and the focus of national efforts remains on teacher recruitment instead of teacher retention, issues such as compensation, working conditions, and school resources universities suggest the need for innovative programs that attract high quality teachers who meet NCLB criteria. The Online Post Baccalaureate Program allows career changers the opportunity to maximize time spent on learning while reducing costs such as travel and child care, that are often associated with attending campus-based courses. Additionally, in the online program, a practicum offers the opportunity for a transition from other work to teaching without loss of income during teacher preparation. In metropolitan areas plagued by traffic gridlock Gridlock
A government, business or institution's inability to function at a normal level due either to complex or conflicting procedures within the administrative framework or to impending change in the business. and in rural areas far from colleges and universities, the Online Post Baccalaureate Program has proven to be viable for the individual who desires to enter teaching.
A number of research questions remain as evaluation of this program continues. Ongoing research questions include: (a) How does the nature of content preparation affect candidate success in the online program and in teaching? (b) Is there a relationship between the extent and nature of content preparation and state certification test scores? (c) What is the attrition rate Noun 1. attrition rate - the rate of shrinkage in size or number
rate of attrition
rate - a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit; "they traveled at a rate of 55 miles per hour"; "the rate of change was faster than expected"
from teaching of candidates prepared in the online program compared to other types of preparation? (d) What is the long-term satisfaction of the online candidates with their preparation? and (e) What is the relationship between the classroom performance of the online candidates and the success of their 8-12 students?
Data presented here demonstrate the effectiveness of the program in meeting its initial or short-term goals. These indicators constitute vital signs (Wentling & Johnson, 1999) of the viability of the program. As more data are collected, a clearer understanding will emerge about how well this fast-track online certification program actually serves the long-term ^needs and interests of schools and the students who are served by those schools.
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New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , NY.
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PAMELA ESPRIVALO HARRELL AND MARY HARRIS
University of North Texas
Denton, TX USA
Table 1 Online Program Assessment Tools Traditional Assessment Instructor Multiple choice Short answer Essay True False Authentic Assessment Self- Journaling Literacy strategy Checklist Rating scale assessment Clinical Clinical Seminar UNTeacher Weekly assessment supervision tools reports Peer- Checklist Rating scale Rubric Bulletin assessment board Portfolio Lesson plans Assessment Video Attitude surveys Traditional Assessment Instructor Authentic Assessment Self- Rubric assessment Clinical Online assessment discussion Peer- assessment Portfolio Projects Support Student letters products Table 2 Demographic Comparison between Secondary Traditional and Online Teacher Certification Participants Category Online Traditional Average Age 32.6 28.3 Gender Male 93 (48.691) 142 (32.200) Female 98 (51.309) 299 (67.800) Ethnicity African American 13 (6.806) 35 (7.937) Asian 12 (6.283) 11 (2.494) Hispanic 28 (14.660) 34 (7.710) Caucasian 129 (67.539) 345 (78.231) Other/Not Specified 9 (4.712) 16 (3.628) Percentages are indicated in parenthesis. Table 3 Results Obtained from Chi-Square Test Gender Online Traditional Total Female 98 299 397 Male 93 142 235 Total 191 441 632 [chi square] (1) = 15.519, p < .006 Table 4 Results Obtained from Chi-Square Test Ethnicity Online Traditional Total Asian 12 11 23 African American 13 35 48 Hispanic 28 34 62 Caucasian 129 345 474 Not Specified 9 16 25 Total 191 345 474 [chi square] (1) = 15.519, p < .001 English/Reading 30% science 25% Social Studies 9% mathematics 12% physical education 1% joumalism 3% theatre arts 1% dance 2% speech 4% Foreign Language 13% Figure 1. Percentage by subject field Note: Table made from pie chart. Table 5 TExES PPR Results for 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 Online Traditional N Mean SD N Mean SD t p 112 265.02 16.820 309 262.64 15.537 1.358 .175 Due to multiple program entry points, some candidates are in progress and have not completed the TExES PPR, which is the last component to be completed before the candidate applies for teacher certification. Table 6 A Comparison of INTASC and TxBESS Survey Results for Online and Traditional Program Participants at Program Completion INTASC Standards with Related TxBESS Standards Online (N=40) Traditional (N=29) 2. Knowledge of Students 3.00* 1b. Knowledge of Students 3.14* 3. Teach Diverse Students 2.95* 3c. Engage All Students 3.17* 4. Instructional Strategies 3.12* 3e Flexibility/Responsiveness 3.36* 5. Learning Environment 3.06* 2b. Culture for Learning 3.18* 6. Planning for Instruction 3.66* 1e Designing Activities 3.33* 7. Uses Communication 3.14* 3a Communicates Clearly 3.14 3b Uses Questions/discussion 2.93 8. Uses Assessment Strategies 2.87* 1f. Planning for assessment 3.05* 3d. Assesses Learning 2.91 9. Reflects on Practice 3.14* 4a. Reflection on Teaching 3.05 4e. Growing professionally 3.33* 10. School/community interact 2.90* 4c. Communicating: Families 3.10* 4d. Contributing to School 3.13 *Indicates a significant difference (p<0.01) from first self assessment by the same candidates. Table 7 Percentages of Candidates Reporting that Components Met Program Goals "A Lot" or "Pretty Much" (Fall 2002 and Fall 2003) Supervisor visits Weekly reports Online discussion Goals 2002 2003 2002 2003 2002 2003 Support 92 85 57 49 49 60 Knowledge/skills 76 67 51 51 49 42 Resources 61 77 49 59 61 33 Professional 84 90 47 66 47 33 growth Commitment 88 95 57 66 57 58 UNTeacher tools Seminars portfolios Goals 2002 2003 2002 2003 2002 2003 Support 49 46 65 39 55 51 Knowledge/skills 51 47 61 33 59 51 Resources 67 51 57 46 47 54 Professional 31 32 55 49 74 73 growth Commitment 35 30 61 54 57 68