Teacher Quality Enhancement
MSU Collage Image

                                                                                                                             

MOREHEADSTATE UNIVERSITY

Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant

 

YEAR 3 Report

 

Introduction

With nearly double the funding available, the Year 3 MSU Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant envisioned the most multi-faceted and ambitious agenda to date.  In brief, the 2005-2006 agenda sought:  (1) to further establish and expand accomplishments from 2003-2005; and (2) to develop several additional projects, which it was anticipated, would help extend grant influence well beyond its formal conclusion.

Year 3 opened after colleagues wished a very special thanks and best wishes to retiring Years 1 and 2 Project Director, Dr. Paul McGhee.  Dr. McGhee exercised capable leadership and provided many key ideas and contributions during the first two years of the TQEG.  His expertise, as well as kindness and gentle sense of humor very much were missed by fellow grant administrators, as well as by many other members of the MSU community.

Dr. Jeff Dennis, an assistant professor of history and MSU Coordinator for Secondary Social Studies, served as Project Director for 2005-2006.  Geography professor

Dr. Verdie Craig, a skilled teacher educator in Jeff’s same academic department, assumed Dr. Dennis’ former role as Curriculum Review and Response Coordinator.  Serving as lead designer for the TQEG Website, Dr. Craig’s technological expertise was especially helpful to the Year 3 grant.

Several other members of the MSU community brought on board for TQEG Year 3 included Ms. Jill Ratliff, Director of the Educational Services Unit, and Ms. Farrah Baldwin, Educational Support Assistant at the ESU.  Ms. Ratliff fully succeeded as Coordinator for Professional Development; through her work, Dr. Joan Mazur of the University of Kentucky, and the internationally known Dr. Willard R. Daggett, were brought to the MSU campus.  Meanwhile, Ms. Baldwin capably helped design and direct a survey project concerning the new Teacher Work Sample; twelve public school and four MSU faculty contributed to this report.

Other important grant initiatives for 2005-2006 included:  completion of additional data collection and the summative Gap Analysis Matrix; expanded departmental coordination and reports; facilitation of funds for teacher candidate participation at TQEG-relevant conferences; hosting of a third colloquia among MSU, NKU and EKU grant administrations; presentation concerning the grant and MSU teacher education reform at various conferences; the acquisition of an integrative, alignment-friendly on-line assessment system.  Finally, considerable time and care would be given to completion of grant review work and the three-year comprehensive report.

 

Objectives for Year 3

Each of eight objectives articulated in the 2005 renewal application was approved by the EPSB grant administration.  The following provides a quick synopsis concerning the progress made on each of the Year 3 objectives:

1          To Enhance and Extend the Comprehensive Gap Analysis Matrix

The summative Gap Analysis Matrix was finalized in Fall 2006.  It now includes data from all eleven MSU teacher education departments housed outside of the College of Education.  Color-coded by college and organized in tabular format, the Matrix identifies the classes for which particular KCCA strands are either mentioned or substantially addressed.  In addition, the Matrix provides a brief description of how the KCCA is taught within the departmental programs.

Content within the College of Education’s Elementary, Middle School and Special Education Programs appears so disparate that in lieu of formal matrix data, other substantial reports were accepted and now incorporated into the summative report.

Careful review of the Matrix helps the departments to understand where the gaps exist between content relevant taught at the university as compared to what will be required of teacher education graduates in Kentucky public schools.  The final Matrix has been submitted for further use to the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Cathy Gunn.  In addition, it will be available to all MSU and public school personnel through the TQEG website located at www.morehead-state.edu/teach.

 

2          To Provide Full Faculty Orientation, To Document Departmental TEP Review, and To Generate Praxis II Preparation Sessions

Fifteen Departmental Coordinators were selected for the 2005-2006 academic year.  Their role was:  (1) to help the Director to orient departmental faculty concerning the grant and its website; (2) to complete all remaining data collection needed for the Gap Analysis Matrix; (3) to create reports concerning the current status of the departmental teacher education program; and (4) to design and provide Praxis II student preparation and remediation programs for TEP students.

Early in 2006, grant funds were used to purchase multiple copies of the Praxis II Review Guide booklets.  These were distributed to the departments to assist in preparation of Praxis review and remediation strategies.  In addition, several teacher education faculty took advantage of a grant-funded opportunity to complete Praxis II exams within their particular area of content; thereby, those teacher educators’ were able to acquire a first-hand understanding of the tests.

During Spring 2006, the Director was able to meet with four departments, borrowing fifteen to twenty minutes from their faculty meetings, to present and respond to questions concerning the grant.  Even with that relatively small sampling, it was interesting to see how each department received the presentation and discussion quite differently.

All coordinators except for one department collected and submitted the additional data requested for the Matrix.  In addition, nearly all coordinators provided reports that described the current status of their TEP program as well as means for Praxis II student preparation and review.  (All programs now are required to at least provide remediation for students who initially fail Praxis content exams).

According to the feedback received, all the departments have prepared remediation processes and about half already engage in some type of formal Praxis II preparation as well.  Among recent progress of note, the university’s elementary education program now sponsors intensive Praxis II content reviews for its majors.  These reviews are four full days in length and request faculty participation from across the MSU campus.  Some middle school education majors also have attended sessions.  TQEG director Jeff Dennis has been among the presenters for this review.

 

3          To Further Develop the MSU TQEG Website

Dr. Verdie Craig served as the MSU Curriculum Coordinator during Year 3.  A geography professor as well as teacher educator, she focused her principal efforts on developing the MSU grant Website.  With technical assistance from Ms. April Nutter and Ms. Toni Hobbs, Dr. Craig performed an admirable job.  The final site appears attractive, user-friendly, and highly relevant.

The rudimentary 2005 TQEG Website was located at an external site through ipowerweb.com.  Dr. Craig experienced difficulty uploading at this site.  Further, she recognized that an external site would require external funding and would be more difficult for patrons to locate and use than one housed within the MSU website.

Hence, Dr. Craig relocated, recreated and almost completely redesigned the TQEG Website.  Now located at www.morehead-state.edu/teach/, the new site offers a range of practical resources for public schoolteachers and administrators, in addition to MSU faculty.  Beyond documentation of the TQEG, it provides pages on Teacher Education News, Professional Development, Resources, Suggestions and Feedback.  A series of teacher education relevant demographic maps and charts concerning various MSU, State and Regional Data also has been uploaded at the site.

 

4          To Examine and Introduce the new Teacher Work Samples

For Year 3, the EPSB requested each Kentucky IHE participating in the grant to design some type of study/survey project for the new Teacher Work Sample internship program.

At MSU, Ms. Farrah Baldwin was assigned to coordinate this project.  Working with the Director, she selected four TWS groups to survey, two in Boyd (Ashland) and two in Mason (Maysville) counties.  Each team included four members – the intern, resource teacher, administrator, and university supervisor. Two groups represented elementary grades, one middle school, and one high school.

Ms. Baldwin ably designed and collected two written reports from each team.  These were submitted at the mid-point and end of the academic year.  In addition, during May 2006, she accompanied the Director to Maysville and Ashland to speak personally with members of the teams.  Following is a sampling of some of the questions which were addressed.  (Please peruse the TWS summative report to view the more salient responses):

How does the workload and the benefit of the NTWS compare to the traditional KTIP portfolio?

How essential do you feel is the service of the teacher educator in the NTWS process?

Do you think Standard X represents a meaningful and helpful area of development for the intern?

How do you anticipate the NTWS procedures and your 2005-2006 portfolio will impact future instruction?

Do you consider the NTWS to be more or less useful in this regard than the traditional KTIP portfolio?

How may the NTWS design be best incorporated within the professional semester?  How might certain features be introduced prior to student teaching?

 

5          To Provide Professional Development and To Announce the TQEG to all Schools in Eastern Kentucky

Ms. Jill Ratliff, MSU Educational Services Unit Director, proved a godsend as the Year 3 TQEG Coordinator for Professional Development.

In October 2005, Ms. Ratliff brought Dr. Joan Mazur from the University of Kentucky to the MSU campus to present on the new Teacher Work Sample.  MSU faculty, administration, and students attended Dr. Mazur’s afternoon and evening sessions, as well as several members of the public school community.   In her presentations, Dr. Mazur explained the goals, general design and implementation plan for the TWS.  Slated to replace the traditional internship portfolio by 2008, the TWS emphasizes teacher training in shaping their instruction to reflect data relevant to their students’ progress.

Over its three years, funding from the MSU TQEG funds has been used to provide key professional development that is aimed to assist towards curriculum alignment.  There have been helpful presentations on CATS testing, Praxis II preparation, and the TWS.  But nothing in scope and importance equals the April 10-11, 2006 conference given by Dr. Willard R. Daggett, founder of the International Center for Leadership in Education.

To bring this internationally respected speaker on leadership and school improvement to the university, Ms. Ratliff collaborated and pooled resources with Dean Cathy Gunn and with Dr. Dale Duvall, Vice-President for the Regional P-16+ Council.  Attended by MSU administrators, teacher education faculty, and personnel from fifteen of the university’s twenty-two member districts, the conference was an unqualified success.  Some participants subsequently attended Dr. Daggett’s Model Schools June conference in Florida.  Further, in September 2006, Dr. Daggett returned to the MSU campus for important follow-up and progress reports concerning university and community partnerships.

 

6          To Occasion Teacher Candidate Participation at Conferences specifically aimed to enhance the Teaching of Core Content

During 2005-2006, TQEG funds were used to facilitate attendance at the Kentucky Music Educators Conference (23 students), the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts Conference (3 students), the National Association of Teaching Singing Conference (9 students), and the National Association for Gifted Children Convention (6 students).

These workshops provide young educators with excellent instructional strategies and formative professional connections. Student and faculty feedback concerning these conferences was overwhelmingly positive. Here are a few sample comments: “The conference was very beneficial to me … [it] gave me numerous ideas that I can take with me throughout my teaching career.” “I am so glad we were given such an opportunity … My students have already benefited from what I took from the conference.” “This was an excellent conference and I am honored that I had the privilege to attend.”

 

7          To Promote Greater Communication and Collaboration among MSU faculty, between the University and the Public School Community, and with other IHE

All of the foregoing objectives support (at least in one domain) this overarching goal. Such essential connections have been further developed and reinforced through the following additional tasks:

(1) The Teacher Advisory Council convened once each semester during Year 3. To encourage greater public school participation, additional members of the Council were added. Membership now includes six MSU teacher education faculty, twelve public school personnel representing eight counties, and members of the TQEG leadership. Approximately fifteen people attended each meeting.

This year, feedback from the Fall 2005 Advisory Council proved of special importance in helping Dr. Craig plan various features for the TQEG website.  At the subsequent Spring 2006 meeting, the Advisory Council discussed the closure of the grant and advised on strategies for continuing the processes undertaken; in this regard, the TQEG Website, Daggett conference, and Praxis review efforts received particularly high marks.  The Advisory Council has proven of considerable merit. It is anticipated that the Council will continue to convene beyond the formal conclusion of the grant.

(2) The MSU TQEG Website now serves as the official public relations voice for the grant. The enhanced site includes a News column that can give more immediate and universal access to TQEG-related developments than the former printed Newsletters. Housed within the MSU Website, this on-line resource has been designed to especially serve public school personnel, in addition to MSU patrons. Information concerning the TQEG website is being distributed via email to all campus and public school personnel with the assistance of the College of Education and Appalachian Regional P-16+ Council.

(3) In December 2005, Morehead State University hosted the third regional meeting convened among EKU, MSU and NKU grant administrators. State Grant Coordinator Dr. Steve Clements also attended this session.  The meeting was helpful and fun. Beyond bringing one another up-to-date on grant developments, this intercollegiate colloquium explored ideas for perpetuating TQEG-developed programs beyond the formal July 2006 end-date.

(4) Year 3 Project Director Jeff Dennis further collaborated with other TQEG IHE colleagues in attending in conferences convened at Shaker Village, Spindletop Hall, and the Educational Professionals Standards Board during 2006. Accompanied by Health/ Physical Education Chair, Dr. Lynne Fitzgerald, during September 2005, Dr. Dennis gave a presentation at the annual KATE conference concerning the grant and various teacher education reforms currently underway at MSU. Accompanied by Curriculum and Instruction Chair, Dr. Jim Knoll, Dr. Dennis also presented at Shaker Village in April 2006 concerning the grant and related alignment processes in progress at MSU.

 

8          To implement a comprehensive assessment system that extends the continuing          curriculum alignment, program alignment, and P-16+ alignment processes fostered by this grant

A range of electronic assessment systems was considered during 2005-2006 through an RFP process.  In particular, the COE Unit Assessment Committee, of which Dr. Dennis is a member, reviewed several alternatives before unanimously recommending the acquisition of the TK-20 system. Among other features, this sophisticated program supports:  Composite Data Aggregation; Course, Program and Unit-level Assessments; substantial Student Advisement; P-16+ Survey and Collaboration; Standards-based Electronic Portfolios; Tracking and Managements of Field Experiences and the Professional Semester; an On-Line Document Room; and Report Generation.

This TK-20 program should allow all colleges at MSU to systematically improve their alignment to state and national standards, enhancing the university’s preparation of new teachers long after July 2006.  Approximately $15,000 was allocated to acquire the site license and servers for this electronic assessment system.

 

9          To Formulate and Submit the Comprehensive Three-Year Report, and To Complete all        Funded Grant Activities by 31 July, 2006

Director Jeff Dennis completed the final Matrix and all summative reporting in Fall 2006, later than originally anticipated. Sufficiently accomplishing each of the Year 3 objectives and strategies took considerable effort and time. Although funding was delayed for Year 3, Dr. Dennis is pleased to report that Dr. Sam Evans and other financial administrators at WKU worked very diligently to help MSU make essential purchases within the time remaining.

The MSU TQEG expended its entire $119,976 Year 3 budget. $35,149 also was used for MSU In-Kind. In fact, the grant slightly overspent the allotted In-Kind amount by $179.73. For more details concerning the final MSU TQEG budget and reporting, please contact Ms. Stephanie Sanning or Ms. Shana Savard at the MSU Office of Accounting and Budgetary Control.