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                      2008 Advisory Council Report
                Reading/Writing Masters & Rank I Program
                           September 16, 2008
                        Multipurpose Room 3101E
Principals
Denise Whitaker,              Farmington Elementary
Kathy Crouch                  East Calloway
Sarah Saylor                  Wingo Elementary
Janet Caldwell                Murray Elementary School
Margaret Cook                 North Elementary School
Dennis Fisher                 Southwest Calloway Elementary School
Teachers
Nickie Kellett                Symsonia Elementary School
Stephanie-Pollard Collins     Hopkins County Elementary School
Debbie Wildharber             Ballard Elementary
Christa Williams              Heritage Christian Academy
Megan Dotson                  Marshall County Elementary
Kara Hatfield                 Crittenden County Middle School
Charlotte Goddard             Hickman County Elementary School
Colleen Hunt                  Earlington Elementary School
Jennifer Gream                Mayfield Middle School
Ashley Valentine              Trigg County High School
Courtney Teague               South Marshall Middle
Keri Simmons                  North Calloway Elementary
Cassie Orr                    Farmington Elementary
Virginia Sizemore             South Marshall Elementary
Terrie White                  Morgan Elementary
Dana Henry                    Murray Elementary School
Amberly Munsey                Murray Elementary School
Evelyn Nicholson              Morgan Elementary School
Elizabeth LeNeave             Symsonia Elementary School
Debra D’Angelo                Harrelson Elementary School
Vicktoria Boatright           Benton Elementary School
Leigh Ann Lane                Southwest Calloway Elementary School
Reba Wiggins                  Wingo Elementary School
Debbie Watson                 Hickman County Elementary School
                                                                                                                                                        2


Follow-up Study of Graduates (Strongly Agree= SA, Agree=A, Undecided=U)

Figure 1                                                               Figure 2
      The MA in Reading Education program reflects                                The courses of the program involve all
       the COE conceptual framework vision of the                            participants in expanding knowledge, skills, and
         "Educator as Reflective Decision Maker"                                         dispositions as teachers

                SA, 1, 15                                                         SA, Teachers,
 16                                                                     14
                                                                                       12
 14                                                                     12
 12                                                                     10
 10                                                                                                                                      SA
                                                        SA              8
  8                                                                                                                                      A
                                                        A               6
  6                                                                                                                                      U
  4                                                                     4                         A, Teachers, 2
  2                                  A, 1, 1                            2                                          U, Teachers, 1
  0                                                                     0
                                1                                                                   Teachers


Figure 3                                                               Figure 4
      The program stresses the importance of teachers                          Faculty members are committed to preparing
        developing the commitment to teach diverse                            teachers who are highly skilled in meeting the
                        populations                                                       needs of the children
                SA, Teachers,                                                           SA, Teachers,
 14                  13                                                 14                   13
 12                                                                     12
 10                                                                     10
  8                                                          SA          8                                                                    SA
  6                                                          A           6                                                                    A
  4                                 A, Teachers, 2                       4                                     A, Teachers, 2
  2                                                                      2
  0                                                                      0
                            Teachers                                                                  Teachers


Figure 5                                                               Figure 6
                                                                             Course assignments engage students in applying
          Students are required to investigate the                                ideas in practical yet theoretical ways
         relationships between theory and practice
                                                                                        SA, Teachers,
                SA, Teachers,                                                                13
                                                                        14
 14                  13
                                                                        12
 12
                                                                        10
 10
                                                                         8                                                                    SA
  8                                                          SA
                                                             A           6                                                                    A
  6
  4                                                                      4
                                    A, Teachers, 2                                                             A, Teachers, 2
  2                                                                      2

  0                                                                      0
                            Teachers                                                                   Teachers


Figure 7                                                               Figure 8
       Because each student works with an advisorto                               Our emphasis on reflection as a tool for self
       select course that will meet her needs, students                        improvement helps to ensure that students exit
         are ensured of completing a program that is                            the program confident in their abilities to make
                   personally meaningful                                                sound professional decisions
                 SA, Teachers,                                                              SA, Teachers,
                      13                                                14                       13
 14
 12                                                                     12
 10                                                                     10
  8                                                               SA     8                                                                         SA
  6                                                               A      6                                                                         A
  4                                    A, Teachers, 2                    4                                              A, Teachers, 2
  2                                                                      2
  0                                                                      0
                                Teachers                                                                     Teachers
                                                                                                                                                                 3


Figure 9                                                                                          Figure 10
           Active learning experiences are emphasized as                                 Students are urged to gather data and to use this
                      are real world connections                                              data in planning effective instruction
                      SA, Teachers,                                                                   SA, Teachers,
 12                        11                                               14                             13

 10                                                                         12
                                                                            10
 8
                                                                SA           8                                                                      SA
 6
                                        A, Teachers, 4          A            6                                                                      A
 4
                                                                             4
                                                                                                                        A, Teachers, 2
 2                                                                           2
 0                                                                           0
                                 Teachers                                                                        Teachers




Figure 11                                                                  Figure 12
          Students are expected to become proficient in the                               Evaluation of student progress in the program is
                   use of instructional technology                                                          continuous
                                                                                                       SA, Teachers,
                      SA, Teachers,                                          14                             13
 14
                           12
 12                                                                          12
 10                                                                          10
 8                                                              SA               8                                                                  SA
 6                                                              A                6                                                                  A

 4                                      A, Teachers, 3                           4
                                                                                                                        A, Teachers, 2
 2                                                                               2
 0                                                                               0
                                 Teachers                                                                         Teachers




Figure 13                                                                  Figure 14
             The student is encouraged to share progress                                     Study of Employers, Competent=3,Very Competent=4,
           (portfolio)with her advisor at each of the required                                Extremely Competent=5, 32 Survey Questions, N=11 Questions
                               checkpoints                                                                                                        Principal 1
                        SA, Teachers,                                       35
                                                                                                                                                  Principal 2
 14                          13                                             30                                                                    Principal 3
 12                                                                         25                                                                    Principal 4
 10                                                                         20                                                                    Principal 5
  8                                                                   SA                                                                          Principal 6
                                                                            15
  6                                                                   A
                                                                            10                                                                    Principal 7
  4                                         A, Teachers, 2                                                                                        Principal 8
  2                                                                         5
                                                                                                                                                  Principal 9
  0                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                  Principal 10
                                      Teachers                                       1   3    5   7   9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31
                                                                                                                                                  Pricipal 11



Figure 15                                                                  Figure 16
          Knowledge Base, Strongly Disagree=1,                                            Strongly=1,Disagree=2, Undecided=3, Agree=4,
           Disagree=2, Undecided = 3, Agree=4,                                                 Strongly Agree=5, Dispositions n=20
                    Strongly Agree=5
                                                                            25
 25                                                                                                                                           Teachers
                                                              Teachers      20
                                                                                                                                              Question1
 20                                                           Question1
                                                                            15                                                                Question 2
                                                              Question 2
 15                                                                                                                                           Question 3
                                                              Question 3
 10                                                                         10                                                                Question 4
                                                              Question 4
                                                                                                                                              Question 5
      5                                                       Question 5     5
                                                                                                                                              Question 6
                                                              Question 6
      0                                                                      0                                                                Question 7
                                                              Question 7
          1   3   5     7    9 11 13 15 17 19                                        1       3    5    7    9    11    13    15   17     19
                                                                                            4


Figure 17
            Strongly Disagree=1, Disagree=2, Undecided=3,
            Agree=4, Strongly Agree= 5, Performance Skills,
                                 n=20

  25
                                                                     Teachers
  20                                                                 Question1
                                                                     Question 2
  15
                                                                     Question 3
  10                                                                 Question 4
   5                                                                 Question 5
                                                                     Question 6
   0
                                                                     Question 7
       1     3    5     7    9    11   13    15   17    19




Introduction

The reading faculty utilizes student data to improve student outcomes as part of an
overall program improvement process. The Advisory Council’s comments and feedback
data are used to assess the academic and professional competencies of reading graduate
students and to assess the continuing effectiveness of the program. The follow- up
graduate and employers’ feedback data are analyzed to determine if the graduate reading
professional courses have a profound effect on students’ learning and if the course
content and assignments support their needs and concerns. The Advisory Council was
asked to respond to a feedback form to assess the impact of the class as well as progress
and needs of students. The Council responded to the following statements: (a) what can
we do to better prepare classroom teachers to teach reading effectively, (b) what do
today’s reading teachers need to know, and (c) what topics do you feel are important for
us to include in our program. Answers to these questions allow us to evaluate the
effectiveness of our instructions relative to the reading curriculum and to change those
pedagogical strategies as dictated by the needs of our students.

Follow-up Study of Graduates

Ninety-four percent graduate students strongly agreed and 6% agreed that the MA in
Reading Education program reflects the COE conceptual framework vision of the
“Educator as Reflective Decision-Maker” (Figure 1). Eighty percent strongly agreed 13%
agreed (7% undecided) that the courses and experiences of the program involve all
participants in expanding their knowledge, skills and dispositions as teachers (Figure 2).
Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed and 13% agreed that the program stresses the
importance of teachers developing the commitment and capacity to teach diverse
populations (Figure 3). Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed and 13% agreed that the
faculty members for the MA in Reading are committed to preparing teachers who are
highly skilled in meeting the needs of the children and the professional communities
whom they serve (Figure 4). Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed and 13% agreed that
throughout the program, students are required to investigate the relationship between
theory and practice so they understand the significance of research to their work (Figure
5). Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed and 13% agreed that the course assignments
engage students in applying ideas presented in classes in practical yet theoretically sound
ways (Figure 6). Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed 13% agreed that because each
student works with an advisor to select courses that will best meet her/his needs, students
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are ensured of completing a program that is personally meaningful and relevant (Figure
7). Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed and 13% agreed that reflection as a tool for
self- improvement helps to ensure that students exit the program confident in their
abilities to make sound professional decisions and well prepared to tackle new problems
and challenges that emerge (Figure 8). Seventy-three percent strongly agreed and 27%
agreed that active learning experiences are emphasized as are real-world connections
(Figure 9). Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed and 13% agreed that students are urged
to gather data continuously and to use this data in planning effective instruction (Figure
10). Eighty percent strongly agreed and 20% agreed that students are expected to become
proficient in the use of instructional technology (Figure 11). Eighty-seven percent
strongly agreed and 13% agreed that evaluation of student progress in the program is
continuous (Figure 12). Eighty-seven percent strongly agreed and 13% agreed that the
student is encouraged to share progress with his/her graduate portfolio at each of the
required checkpoints (Figure 13). Fifteen surveys were returned (return rate = 100%).

Study of Employers (Extremely Competent=EC, Very Competent=VC,
Competent=C)

Ninety-one percent of the Principals said that the teachers are extremely competent to
demonstrate applied content knowledge. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers are
extremely competent and 18% said that the teachers are very competent to design/plan
instruction that develops student abilities to use communication skills, apply core
concepts, become self-sufficient individuals, become responsible team members, think
and solve problems, and integrate knowledge. Hundred percent said that teachers are
extremely competent to create and maintain a learning climate that supports the
development of student abilities to use communication skills, apply core concepts,
become self-sufficient individuals, become responsible team members, think and solve
problems, and integrate knowledge. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers are
extremely competent to introduce/implement/manage instruction that develops student
abilities to use communication skills, apply core concepts, become self-sufficient
individuals, become responsible team members, think and solve problems, and integrate
knowledge. Ninety-one percent said that the teachers are extremely competent to assess
learning and communicate results to students and others with respect to student abilities
to use communication skills, apply core concepts, become self-sufficient individuals,
become responsible team members, think and solve problems, and integrate knowledge.
Eighty-two percent said that teachers are extremely competent to use technology to
support instruction; access and manipulate data; enhance professional growth and
productivity; communicate and collaborate with colleagues, parents, and the
community; and conduct research. Eighty-two percent said (9% Very competent, 9%
competent) that the teachers are extremely competent to reflect on and evaluate
teaching/learning. Ninety-one percent said that the teachers are extremely competent to
collaborate with colleagues, parents, and other agencies to design, implement, and
support learning programs that develop student abilities to use communication skills,
apply core concepts, become self-sufficient individuals, become responsible team
members, think and solve problems, and integrate knowledge. Ninety-one percent said
that the teachers are extremely competent to evaluate own overall performance in relation
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to Kentucky's learner goals and implement a professional development plan. Eighty-two
percent said that the teachers are extremely competent to provide leadership within
school/community/profession. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers are extremely
competent to value students' abilities to think, solve problems, communicate and
collaborate with others. Hundred percent said that the teachers are learner-centered
practitioners who value creating nurturing learning climates, respecting diverse learners'
perspectives and enabling students to develop as self-sufficient individuals. Eighty-two
percent said that the teachers are reflective decision-makers who value instructional
designs that enhance students' self-actualizing behaviors. Eighty-two percent believed
that the teachers are lifelong learners who value the continuous evaluation of his/her
professional performance and engage in continuous professional development. Eighty-
two percent said that the teachers are action researchers who value continuous student
assessment, communicates results to students and others, and use the findings to improve
the teaching/learning process. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers are leaders and
change agents who value collaboration with all constituencies to enhance the authentic
educational experience of all learners. Ninety-one percent said that the teachers perceive
reading as the process of constructing meaning through the interaction of the reader's
existing knowledge, the information suggested by the written language, and the context
of the reading situation. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers know relevant reading
research from general education and how it has influenced literacy education. Ninety-one
percent said that the teachers recognize the importance of creating programs to address
the strengths and needs of individual learners. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers
know the instructional implications of research in special education, psychology, and
other fields that deal with the treatment of students with reading and learning difficulties.
Ninety-one percent said that the teachers model and discuss reading and writing as
valuable, lifelong activities. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers employ effective
techniques and strategies for the ongoing development of independent vocabulary
acquisition. Ninety-one percent said that the teachers ensure that students can use various
aspects of text to gain comprehension, including conventions of written English, text
structure and genres, figurative language, and intertextual links. Eighty-two percent said
that the teachers provide opportunities to locate and use a variety of print, nonprint, and
electronic reference sources. Ninety-one percent said that the teachers teach students to
draft, revise, and edit their writing. Ninety-one percent said that the teachers develop and
conduct assessments that involve multiple indicators of learner progress. Seventy-three
percent said that teachers are extremely competent and 27% said that the teachers are
very competent to communicate with allied professionals and paraprofessionals in
assessing student achievement and planning instruction. Ninety-one percent said that the
teachers are extremely competent to select and evaluate instructional materials for
literacy, including those that are technology-based. Ninety-one percent said that the
teachers are extremely competent to participate in professional-development programs.
Ninety-one percent said that the teachers apply research for improved literacy. Eighty-
two percent said that the teachers are extremely competent to observe and evaluate
paraprofessionals interacting with children and provide feedback to them on their
performance. Eighty-two percent said that the teachers are extremely competent and 18%
said that the teachers are very competent because they pursue knowledge of literacy by
reading professional journals and publications, and by participating in conferences and
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other professional activities. Eleven surveys were returned (return rate=85%) {Figure
14}.

Knowledge, Dispositions, and Performances/Skills

Many graduate courses focus on increasing both the content and pedagogical knowledge
of literacy teachers. In these classes students were asked to respond to an impact
questionnaire to assess the impact of the class as well as progress and needs of students.
They were asked how the class has affected their knowledge of the core content, how
they assess students, and what are their views of how students learn (Figure 14, 15, and
16). Answers to these questions allow us to monitor the impact of our instructions on
students’ achievements.

Knowledge

Hundred percent of the graduate students said that they understand the cognitive
processes associated with various kinds of learning (e.g., critical and creative thinking,
problem structuring and problem solving, invention, and recall) and how these processes
can be stimulated. Hundred percent of the graduate students said that they understand
principles and techniques along with advantages and limitations associated with various
instructional strategies (e.g., cooperative learning, direct instruction, discovery learning,
whole group discussion, independent study, and interdisciplinary instruction). Ninety-five
percent of the graduate students said that they know how to enhance learning through the
use of a wide variety of materials as well as human and technological resources (e.g.,
computers, audio-visual technologies, videotapes and discs, local experts, primary
documents and artifacts, texts, reference books, literature, and other print resources).
Ninety-five percent of the graduate students said that they understand the characteristics,
uses, advantages, and limitations of different types of assessments (e.g., criterion-
referenced and norm-referenced instruments, traditional standardized and performance-
based tests, observation systems, and evaluations of student work) for evaluating how
students learn, what they know and are able to do, and what kinds of experiences will
support their further growth and development. Eighty percent of the graduate students
strongly agreed and 20% agreed that they know how to select, construct, and use
assessment strategies and instruments appropriate to the learning outcomes being
evaluated and to other diagnostic purposes. Eighty-five percent of the graduate students
strongly agreed and 15% agreed that they understand methods of inquiry that provide
them with a variety of self assessment and problem-solving strategies for reflecting on
their practice, its influences on students' growth and learning, and the complex
interactions between them. Hundred percent of the graduate students said that they are
aware of major areas of research on teaching and of resources available for professional
learning (e.g., professional literature, colleagues, professional associations, and
professional development activities).
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Dispositions

Ninety-one percent of the graduate students said that they value the development of
students' critical thinking, independent problem solving, and performance capabilities.
They value flexibility and reciprocity in the teaching process as being necessary for
adapting instruction to student responses, ideas, and needs. Eighty-five of the graduate
students strongly agreed and 15% agreed that they value ongoing assessment as essential
to the instructional process and recognize that many different assessment strategies,
accurately and systematically used, are necessary for monitoring and promoting student
learning. Hundred percent of the graduate students said that they value critical thinking
and self-directed learning as habits of mind. Hundred percent of the graduate students
said that they are committed to reflection, assessment, and learning as an ongoing
process. Eighty-five percent of the graduate students strongly agreed and 15% agreed that
they are ethical and willing to give and receive help. Eighty-five percent of the graduate
students strongly agreed and 15% agreed that they are committed to seeking out,
developing, and continually refining practices that address the individual needs of
students. Ninety percent of the graduate students recognize their professional
responsibility for engaging in and supporting professional practices for themselves and
their colleagues.

Performances/Skills

Ninety percent of the graduate students said that they carefully evaluate how to achieve
learning goals by choosing alternative teaching strategies and materials to achieve
different instructional purposes to meet student needs (e.g., developmental stages, prior
knowledge, learning styles, and interests). Ninety percent of the graduate students said
that they use multiple teaching and learning strategies to engage students in active
learning opportunities that promote the development of critical thinking, problem solving,
and performance capabilities, and that help students identify and use learning resources.
90% of the graduate students said that they constantly monitor and adjust strategies in
response to learner feedback. Hundred percent of the graduate students said that they use
a variety of formal and informal assessment techniques (e.g., observation, portfolios of
student work, teacher-made tests, performance tasks, projects, student self-assessments,
AIMSWEB,DIBELS, DRA, IRI, RMI, Running Records, peer assessment, and
standardized tests) to enhance knowledge of learners, evaluate students' progress and
performances, and modify teaching and learning strategies. Ninety percent of the
graduate students said that they use classroom observation, information about students,
and research as sources for evaluating the outcomes of teaching and learning and as a
basis for experimenting with, reflecting on, and revising practice. Eighty-five percent of
the graduate students strongly agreed and 15% agreed that they seek out professional
literature, colleagues, and other resources to support their own development as a learner
and a teacher. Ninety-five percent of the graduate students said that they draw upon
professional colleagues within the school and other professional arenas as support for
reflection, problem-solving, new ideas, actively sharing experiences, and seeking and
giving feedback. Twenty surveys were returned (return rate=100%)
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Graduate Portfolio and Livetext

Student Portfolio is a critical piece in the continuous assessment plan of the graduate
education programs. The graduate students develop a Professional Portfolio throughout
the program based on a professional development plan developed with their advisor.
Portfolio reviews take place when the students apply for graduation and at the conclusion
of their program. The reviews give the reading committee important information
concerning the students’ progress and the effectiveness of the program. Concerns in the
portfolios are reported back to the chair and the dean for curriculum and instruction
review. Appropriate recommendations are made for possible program changes. At the
Master’s degree program, faculty advisors evaluate the students' ability to address
Kentucky Teacher Standards, International Reading Association Standards, and MSU’s
dispositions by examining the artifacts in the portfolio.

Livetext portfolio documents students’ competencies in standards recommended by the
International Reading Association and the Kentucky State Department of Education.
Graduate students have the opportunity to demonstrate these competencies throughout
their program of study within the context of their coursework.

During the fall of 2007, nine students passed the portfolio requirements (100% pass
rate). During the spring of 2008, seventeen students passed the portfolio requirements
(100% pass rate). During the summer of 2008, ten students passed the portfolio
requirements (100% pass rate).

Entry Data: In REA 612/Foundations of Literacy class, twenty-four students (Spring
2008) scored 90-100, three students scored 80-89, and two students scored 70-80.
During the summer of 2008, twenty-eight students scored 90-100, and six students
scored 80-89. During the fall of 2007, seventeen students scores 90-10 and three
students scored 80-89.

Mid-point Data: In REA 628/Literacy Assessment class, seven students scored 90-95
and one student scored 80-85 (Spring 2008). During the fall of 2007, thirty-eight
students were completing masters and one student was completing Rank I and using
Livetext (REA 628/Literacy Assessment). Out of thirty-nine, twenty-seven students
scored 90-100, eleven-students scored 80-89, and one student scored 75-80.

End-Point Data/ Practicum Experiences: During the summer of 2008 eighteen
students were enrolled in REA 638/ Assessment and Instruction of Children with
Reading Difficulties. Out of eighteen, fourteen students scored 90-100, two scored 80-
89. During the fall of 2007, nineteen students were enrolled in REA 638. Out of
nineteen, fourteen students scored 90-100, and five students scored 80-89. In REA
639/Practicum in Reading, twenty-seven students were enrolled (spring, 2008) and
scored 90-100. During the fall of 2007, thirteen students were enrolled and scored 90-
100.
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The Advisory Council

The reading advisory council met to address the impact of the classes as well as the
progress and needs of students and to suggest ways to improve.

Denise Whitaker, Principal from Farmington Elementary said:

“The graduate program focuses on reading assessment and instruction, as well as
developing leadership in organizing, managing, and evaluating literacy programs. One-
to-one communication between the faculty advisor and teachers motivates them to
continue attending school and to work hard to achieve higher levels of mastery.”

Kathy Crouch, Principal from East Calloway said:

“The Murray State University’s reading program provides a rich source of continuing
professional development for educators from Murray and surrounding areas. Murray
Area Council of the International Reading Association has introduced workshops as tools
for the professional development of teachers. These help develop the initial professional
skills that can later be built upon to achieve full professional competence.”

Dennis Fisher, Principal from Southwest Calloway Elementary School said:

“The Reading & Writing program is designed to equip educators with the knowledge
they need to make a difference in the life of every K–12 student in our schools. Reading
courses are strongly practice oriented-an emphasis that is also reflected in the course
content and curriculum.”

Debbie Watson from Hickman County Elementary School said:

“Most children who become poor readers in third grade and beyond were having
difficulty right from the start with phonologically-based reading skills. I have learned to
demonstrate the use of literacy strategies that integrate five components - phonics,
phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary in a student centered
learning environment.”

Debra D’Angelo from Harrelson Elementary School said:

“As a student in the Reading and Writing program at Murray State, I have studied
strategies for improving reading comprehension, assessment and diagnosis of reading
difficulties, and diagnostic test interpretation. I have used current technology that
facilitates effective reading and writing instruction and evaluation of instructional
materials for learners of different ages and ability levels. Because group and individual
assessments are used to compare children with normative standards, I have learned how
to interpret standardized, DIBELS, and AIMSWEB test results.”
                                                                                          11


Leigh Ann Lane from Southwest Calloway Elementary School said:

“The program has a long history of community service and continues to provide tutorial
services through the summer reading/writing literacy program. Graduate reading students
serve as tutors at the Murray State University summer reading/writing literacy program.
The graduate students earn 3 practicum credits, and the children receive free literacy
instruction. The reading/writing literacy program serves struggling readers in grades K-
12. Children receive tutoring in four areas of literacy instruction: reading fluency,
reading comprehension, writing, and decoding.”

Reba Wiggins from Wingo Elementary said:

“I think that MSU is doing a great job with their reading program. The reading teachers
have more opportunity to see how beginning reading is taught from the ground level.”

Elizabeth LeNeave from Symsonia Elementary School said:

“I was very pleased with the reading/writing program at Murray State University. I love
how many of the assignments were meaningful in that they allowed us to focus on
specific students in our class. There are a couple of things I might suggest. I would like
to have learned more about certain reading disorders. As a school teacher, I understand
that we do not have the ability to diagnose students; however, a better understanding of
disorders and the tests that identify them would be helpful. In addition, with Response to
Intervention in the forefront and classroom teachers administering Tier 2 interventions, I
think it would be beneficial for graduate students to know even more strategies to use
with struggling readers. Therefore, perhaps a class in the area of special education
would be useful. Thanks again for such a terrific experience!”

The faculty decided that the reading assessment courses will address reading disorders
with an emphasis on using assessment to design appropriate intervention programs and
techniques.

Summary

The constructivist, reflective practitioner model is inherent in the Kentucky Teacher
Standards adopted in June 2008 by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board
as well as in the student standards from professional organizations. In keeping both with
a constructivist and a reflective practitioner model of teacher preparation, the reading and
writing program emphasizes teachers as reflective practitioners. The faculty ensures that
students master the Kentucky Teacher Standards as well as the standards established by
professional organizations through continuous assessment program and course content.

Looking at patterns of strength and concern over time indicate whether program changes
are making a difference. Evaluations are examined for patterns of strength and concern
related to students’ performance in the area of reading. The program coordinators and
faculty meet at the end of each semester to review these evaluation data and note
                                                                                       12


patterns in students’ behavior. Several plans are made to bring about appropriate changes
in courses and supervision to address areas of concern. Patterns are examined over time
so that improvements are noted. Evaluations for this year are compared to previous
evaluations in order to note improvements. Such a process is ongoing. Faculty associated
with the reading program review course evaluations looking for patterns of
strength and weakness. As a group, they decide on appropriate action to address
concerns. The purposes of these meetings are to review overall feedback about students’
success during the semester and students’ feedback on the effectiveness of the program.
In turn, any area in which students exhibit difficulty are shared with faculty associated
with the program.

The reading survey asks respondents to rate the program’s ability to prepare them
for teaching reading, and in particular, meet the Kentucky Teacher Standards and
International Reading Associations Standards. Survey data are compiled by the reading
coordinator and distributed to all faculty who teach in the reading program. The faculty
meets to formulate plans to address any program weaknesses noted by current and former
students. The following year’s data will be examined to insure that improvements have
occurred in weak areas.

Data collection begins upon students’ application/admission to the program and continues
through their last semester. Data include feedback from students (course evaluations,
grades, follow-up surveys, and employers’ survey). A key to dissemination of these data
and program improvement is open communication among all involved within the reading
& writing program. The plans for acting on feedback provide a structure for this ongoing
communication.

								
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