Academic Program Review
Graduate Program Section
V. Program Enrollment and Student Data
A. Number of Majors
Exceptional Education MAE
Fall 00 Fall 02 Fall 03 Fall 04 Fall 05
Majors 22 76 165 162 166
Data from the 2006 WKU fact book shows that enrollment in the Exceptional Education
MAE program has increased by over 700% during the current program evaluation period.
Since 2003, the Exceptional Education MAE program has been the number one program,
by enrollment, in the university according to the 2006 WKU Fact Book. This highly
significant increase is due to instituting the Alternate Route to Certification program
offered by the Exceptional Education program area.
Exceptional Education Rank II*
Fall 00 Fall 02 Fall 03 Fall 04 Fall 05
Majors 66 54 28 18 4
The Rank II program in Exceptional Education has been discontinued and replaced with
the Alternate Route to Certification program. The enrollment data for the Rank II
program shows a significant drop in enrollment due to the phasing out of this program
during the current program evaluation period.
B. Number of Graduates:
00/01 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05
Degrees 6 4 7 64 80
The number of MAE degrees awarded in the Exceptional Education program area has
jumped over 1300% during the current program evaluation period. This significant
increase, again, is attributed to the introduction of the Alternate Route to Certification
program. The ARTC MAE in Exceptional Education has grown since it was introduced
as its reputation as a high quality program producing highly qualified Exceptional
Educators grows throughout the state.
Percentage of Total Majors Graduating
00/01 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05
Percentage 27% 5% 4% 40% 48%
As shown in the data in the above table, the percentage of majors graduating has
increased significantly since the beginning of this current program evaluation period.
Although there was a significant drop in the percentage of majors graduating in the 01/02
and 02/03 academic years, this data was consistent and expected due to the phasing out of
the Rank II programs and the institution of the Alternate Route to Certification programs
offered. The percentage of majors graduating has risen significantly since the ARTC
MAE program began.
C. Comparisons with External Data:
Program Enrollments at Kentucky Public Universities
WKU EKU KSU MoSU MuSU NKU UK UofL
2001 22 33 N/A 21 60 N/A 70 128
2002 64 83 N/A 19 87 N/A 63 176
2003 145 73 N/A 21 78 N/A 60 189
2004 153 64 N/A 17 71 N/A 37 167
2005 166 66 N/A 14 133 N/A 35 184
As shown in the table above, WKU’s Exceptional Education MAE programs have grown
more than any other Kentucky Public University during the current program evaluation
period. It is second in enrollment only to one other Kentucky Public university, U of L, in
the number of students enrolled during since 2003. WKU’s Exceptional Education MAE
program is the only non doctoral granting program in a Kentucky Public university with
enrollment over 150.
Degrees Conferred by Kentucky Public Universities
WKU EKU KSU MoSU MuSU NKU UK UofL
00/2001 6 10 N/A 9 21 N/A 12 33
01/2002 4 11 N/A 13 18 N/A 10 39
02/2003 7 2 N/A 12 30 N/A 13 65
03/2004 97 24 N/A 11 36 N/A 9 75
04/2005 80 23 N/A 8 59 N/A 5 72
In the two academic years, 03/04 and 04/05, since instituting the Alternate Route to
Certification in Exceptional Education, WKU has conferred more MAE degrees in
Exceptional Education than any other Kentucky Public university. During the current
program evaluation period, the number of MAE degrees conferred in Exceptional
Education has risen over 1300%. This is due to the significant increase in enrollment in
the Alternate Route to Certification in Exceptional Education. Students in the ARTC
MAE program have three years to complete their degree from the time of matriculation
so this number is expected to rise over the next program evaluation cycle.
D. ACT Scores/HSGPAs (High School GPAs) of Students Admitted to
Program not needed for graduate report
E. UGPAs (Undergraduate GPAs) of Program Graduates
NOT NEEDED FOR GRADUATE REPORT
F. GRE Scores/Undergraduate GPAs/GAP Scores of Students Admitted to
Avg. GRE* Fall 2001 Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004 Fall 2005
EXED 910 831 896 946 914
CEBS Avg. 870 882 896 906 911
Univ. Avg. 931 925 946 945 947
* Includes only Verbal and Quantitative sections of the GRE due to the change in the scale of the
Analytical section of the exam. The maximum score is 1600.
Average GRE scores in the Exceptional Education MAE programs have been comparable
to average GRE scores in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and to the
University average. Average GRE scores in the EXED program have risen in the past two
years of the program review cycle and topped the CEBS average in both 04 and 05.
Avg. Ungrad Fall 2001 Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004 Fall 2005
EXED M.A.E. 3.00 3.09 3.12 3.28 3.18
CEBS Avg. 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.30 3.25
Univ. Avg. 3.27 3.24 3.22 3.27 3.22
The average undergraduate GPAs of students admitted to the graduate programs in
EXED have increased each year except for 2005, where there was a slight decline.
Although Average GPAs in the EXED M.A.E. programs have been lower by up to .2 of a
point than the CEBS average and the University average during 01, 02, and 03, there was
an increase in the average during 04 and 05 that lessened that gap to less than .1
difference. In fact, the EXED average in 2004 was .01 higher than the university average
and only .02 points lower than the CEBS average. Because students must meet a stringent
admissions requirement of a GAP score of at least 2200 in the Alternate Route to
Certification programs, it is believed that the average undergraduate GPA has risen since
that program was begun.
Avg. GAP* Fall 2001 Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004 Fall 2005
EXED M.A.E. 2739 2598 2807 3133 2893
CEBS Avg. 2812 2850 2920 3021 2983
Univ. Avg. 3054 3017 3059 3105 3081
* GAP score is calculated as (Verbal GRE score + Quantitative GRE score) * Undergraduate GPA. The
maximum is 6400.
The average GAP score of students admitted to the EXED M.A.E. programs has risen
during the current program review period. The average GAP score of students admitted is
far above the minimum requirement for admission which is 2200. Although the average
GAP score is below the averages of the CEBS and the University as a whole, except for
2004, their ranges in scores are 171 (CEBS) and 88 (University) while the range in the
EXED program is 535. This data shows that , while the average GAP score of students in
the CEBS and the university are remaining fairly constant, the average GAP score of
students admitted to the EXED graduate programs are increasing.
G. Graduate GPAs of Program Graduates
Graduate 2000/2001 2001/2002 2002/2003 2003/2004 2004/2005
EXED M.A.E. 3.88 3.68 3.77 3.85 3.79
CEBS Avg. 3.77 3.77 3.77 3.77 3.77
Univ. Avg. 3.75 3.73 3.71 3.72 3.72
The graduates of the EXED M.A.E. program have consistently graduated with a GPA
range of 3.68 to 3.88 during the current program review period. This GPA of program
graduates has been higher than the average GPAs in the CEBS and the university average
four out of the five years of this evaluation period. The EXED program faculty advise
and mentor students throughout their programs and require that students maintain a 3.0 or
higher GPA throughout their program to remain in the program. As this data reveal, our
students go way above that minimum requirement and consistently outperform their peers
in the CEBS as well as the university as a whole.
VI. Program Description and Self Study - Graduate Exceptional Education
A. Mission Statement/Relation of Program to University Mission
Exceptional Education - Graduate Program Philosophy and Mission
The mission of the Exceptional Education Graduate Program at Western
Kentucky University is to prepare professional educators who make meaningful
contributions to the field as well as to their students, schools, and communities. The
Program fulfills this mission through its commitment to excellence in teaching, its
contributions to the profession, and its outreach services to schools and community.
Our purpose is to develop knowledgeable, thoughtful, caring, and skillful
educators. The program emphasizes knowledge of content, learners, and theoretical
foundations, as well as practical applications of best practice. The program culminates in
the demonstration of professional competencies in field experiences. Graduates of our
program are equipped to provide specially designed instruction and learning experiences
that address academic, behavioral, and social needs at varied age levels. Our graduates
have the skills to consult and collaborate effectively with other professionals and families
to provide services for student with diverse learning needs.
B. Teaching and Learning - Graduate
1. Graduate Students
Applicants to the M.A.E. program in Exceptional Education must have a GAP score of
2200 with a GRE Analytical Writing Score of 3.5 or higher to be admitted into the
The Dean of Graduate Studies grants admission to graduate programs. Application forms
for admission can be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office or application may also
be made via the World Wide Web. See the Graduate Catalog for general admission
requirements. The program does accept applications for admission under the alternate
Program of Study
Upon acceptance into the program, a Program of Study (Form B/C), listing the courses
required for program completion, must be completed by the Graduate Advisor and the
student. Once the student has reviewed and accepted the Program of Study, it must be
signed. The Program of Study will be sent to the Office of Teacher Certification and
Graduate Studies for signatures and approval. The Program of Study must be completed
within the first 12 hours of course work.
Retention in the program
Students must have a 3.0 GPA after nine semester hours in the program and the 3.0
average must be maintained. Students not having the necessary average will be dropped
from the program and will not be allowed to take additional courses in Exceptional
Admission to Candidacy (Form D)
Students must file an Admission to Candidacy application (Form D) with the Office of
Graduate Studies before completing 21 hours and after completing at least 12 hours of
course work. The criteria for admission to candidacy are listed in the Graduate Catalog.
Form D, which must be signed by the student, advisor, teacher certification officer, and
Graduate Studies representative, must be on file before the student may be approved to
take the comprehensive examination.
Research Foundations Course
Students should complete EDFN 500 – Research Methods or other research foundations
course within the first 12 hours of their programs. Students will not be approved to take
the comprehensive exam unless they have completed and passed the research foundations
Students must complete and pass a written comprehensive examination. Students attempt
the comprehensive exam in the last semester of enrollment, assuming that they meet
b. Description of Students
Students enrolled in the graduate Exceptional Education program come from
diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some in our program are students who completed
their undergraduate training with a focus on Exceptional Education and are now returning
to pursue a Masters of Arts in Education to further their qualifications. We also have a
large number of students enrolled in the Alternative Route to Teacher Certification in
Exceptional Education who begin their programs as mid-career professionals who are
choosing to change careers to Special Education. Students in the graduate Alternate
Route to Certification in Exceptional Education programs are typically mid-career
professionals holding a Bachelors Degree in a variety of fields such as health care,
agriculture, social work, psychology and a multitude of other areas.
c. Information about Graduate Assistantships
Because we are not a doctoral granting institution, there are very few full time
graduate students in Exceptional Education. Although there is one graduate student who
is a full time student and is the Assistant to the Director of the Kelly Autism Program, she
is the exception. There are Graduate Assistant workers in the Department of Special
Instructional Programs but they are not specifically assigned to Exceptional Education
faculty. The majority of our graduate Exceptional Education students are practicing
teachers who are either coming back for their M.A.E. or changing careers and are in the
field teaching while completing their ARTC M.A.E. program.
3. Indicators of Teaching and Advising Quality:
Teaching is the number one priority for the faculty in Exceptional
Education. We consider ourselves first and foremost teacher educators. All faculty
members in Exceptional Education have extensive experience as practitioners in the field
of special education. In addition, when bringing candidates for new positions to campus,
we seek out those who come from a practitioner background with extensive experience
working with individuals with disabilities. We seek people for our department who will
espouse the same philosophies of special education and bring their unique practical
experiences to our students.
Faculty members in Exceptional Education have been nominated for awards in
teaching and advising excellence in the past. Dr. Janice Ferguson has been recognized
in the past by the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences with the Annual Faculty
Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1995.
Faculty members in Exceptional Education are part of the Department of Special
Instructional Programs. The Department of Special Instructional Programs has been
repeatedly recognized with the University’s Unit Productivity Award. For the 2005-2006
academic years, the department was awarded the highest level of the Unit Productivity
Award. Faculty members have spent untold hours developing new courses and revising
and updating courses already in existence. One example of this is the proposed Autism
and Pervasive Developmental Disorders Certificate Program. Dr. Marty Boman and Dr.
Janet Applin have developed five courses that focus specifically on teaching students
with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disabilities. The region, as well as the nation,
is in urgent need of teachers who are trained to develop expertise in Autism due to the
increasing incidence and prevalence of the disability.
The Exceptional Education graduate program had over 166 students enrolled in
the fall 2005 semester. This number has increased for the fall 2006 semester although the
exact number is not yet known. All courses in the EXED graduate program are web-
based and delivered online. According to the Western Kentucky University 2006 Fact
Book, the Exceptional Child Education M.A.E. program has been the number one
graduate major since fall 2003. The number two program is also in the Department of
Special Instructional Programs, Library Media Program Area.
With the Alternate Route to Teacher Certification program, all of our graduate
Exceptional Education courses are online and web-based. Students in the program often
live a great distance from the main campus and advising is conducted online, through the
US Mail and by phone for these students. Students in the program who live within
driving distance of campus are advised in person. All students are provided with the
Exceptional Education Graduate Handbook which outlines requirements of the program
including course work, GPA requirements, and instructions on completing degree
Five faculty members with terminal degrees in Exceptional Education are the
faculty advisors to our graduate program students. Student applicants are rotated between
four faculty members with a different faculty member processing applications and
advising those admitted each year.
All of our faculty members attend workshops at FACET and teaching and
pedagogy seminars at professional conferences. Conferences attended recently by
members of the Exceptional Education faculty include the International Council for
Exceptional Children Annual Convention and Expo in spring 2006; the Teacher
Education Division/Technology and Media Annual Conference in fall 2006; and the
Kentucky Association for Colleges of Teacher Education in spring 2006.
4. Indicators of Student Learning:
a. Assessment of Currently Enrolled Students:
The Exceptional Education graduate program assesses the learning outcomes of
our graduates through the use of the university Assessment Plan. The EXED Assessment
Plan identifies intended educational outcomes; identifies the means of assessment and
criteria for success; determines data collection methods; obtains assessment results; and
uses the results to improve the program.
Identification of intended educational outcomes:
As outlined in the program Assessment Plan and Report, students completing the M.A.E.
program in Exceptional Education will:
a. demonstrate a deep knowledge base of special education, its laws, and
instructional strategies to meet the needs of students with varying
b. demonstrate the ability to establish positive behavioral supports and use
norm referenced and curriculum based assessments to design and
differentiate instruction to meet the needs of individual students.
c. use research based instructional strategies to deliver content and
demonstrate ethical professional practice and leadership with colleagues
Identification of the means of assessment and criteria for success:
When admitted to the Alternate Route to Certification in Exceptional Education graduate
program, students are immediately eligible for temporary provisional certification in
Kentucky in Exceptional Education. Once the program is completed and the students pass
their PRAXIS, their certificate is no longer temporary. Before graduation, graduate
Exceptional Education majors must demonstrate proficiency in the Intended Educational
Outcomes. To assess the intended outcome of demonstrating a deep knowledge of the
field of special education..., students are assessed through their performance on their
Comprehensive Examination in Exceptional Education. Students must pass the
Comprehensive Exams to complete their program and receive their M.A.E. and eligibility
for certification continuation. To assess the intended educational outcome of
demonstrating the ability to establish positive behavioral supports, students must design
and conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Plan in
EXED 518, Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Special Education. They must obtain a
proficient or higher on the departmental rubric for this project to receive a passing grade
in the course. Finally, to assess the intended educational outcome of using research based
instructional strategies to deliver content... students must submit video tapes of
themselves teaching while using one of many instructional strategies taught in the course
and score a proficient or higher to receive a passing course grade.
Determining Data Collection Methods and Obtaining Assessment Results:
The Exceptional Education graduate program area has designated one faculty member as
the Data Management Coordinator. This coordinator compiles all assessment data for the
program and distributes data to all EXED faculty members. Each faculty member is
provided with a list of Critical Performance Indicator Tasks and Rubrics for each course
in Exceptional Education. Students must submit their CPI to the Electronic Portfolio
System for each course completed and faculty members score and submit rubric scores to
the EPS. The Data Management Coordinator then compiles the data on student
performance on each CPI to use for the Assessment Plan Report each year. The Critical
Performance Indicators were designed to coordinate with the Assessment Plan Intended
Using Results to Improve the Program:
Each fall, the Exceptional Education Data Management Coordinator compiles the results
of student outcomes and distributes the results to faculty members in the program area.
During regular program area meetings, faculty members discuss the results of the
Assessment indicators to improve course content, objectives, and content delivery.
Weaknesses and Strengths of students as a whole are monitored and changes are made to
course content, objectives, and content delivery as suggested by the data.
b. Other Indicators of Success
Students in the graduate Exceptional Education M.A.E. program develop skills to
become school leaders and obtain recognition for their achievements. Some examples of
student achievements include the following:
In the graduate MAE program in Exceptional Education, there is a 100% pass rate
for the Praxis Examination.
In the graduate Exceptional Education M.A.E. program, all students have passed
Comprehensive Examinations during the 2005-2006 academic years.
Out of all Graduate MAE Exceptional Education students taking EXED 590
during 2005-2006, 100% received a 2 or higher on the Teacher Work Sample.
Two MAE Exceptional Education students were teachers of the year in their
counties, Butler and Metcalfe, during this past academic year.
c. Program Graduates
5. Indicators of Student Engagement
Within our Quality Enhancement Plan for the Exceptional Education Graduate program
area, students are encouraged and provided with opportunities for student engagement.
Students in Exceptional Education are provided with numerous opportunities throughout
their program for student engagement. Because their chosen field focuses on serving
children in the public schools with disabilities, our students are engaged with those in the
community on a daily basis within their school districts of employment. See the tables
below for an overview of how each of the first two QEP goals is being assessed in the
Exceptional Education program area.
a. Students will demonstrate their capacity to apply knowledge and
training to address relevant concerns in community or society.
Outcome Students will demonstrate their capacity to apply knowledge and training to
address relevant concerns in the community or society.
Social Problem Families and caregivers of students with disabilities often do not have access to
information about service agencies available in their communities to increase the
quality of life for their child with disabilities and the family as a whole.
Engagement Activity Students will compile a Parent Resource Binder in hard copy and/or electronic
version for the purpose of providing information to parents about local schools,
community agencies and their services that may be relevant to the needs of
students with disabilities.
Relevant knowledge, Knowledge of the varied needs of students with disabilities in their
skills, attitudes and/or communities.
behaviors Knowledge of programs and services available in their communities to
assist families and students with disabilities.
Skills in organization of multiple sources of information.
An attitude of helping the families of their students.
Skills in distributing information to families of their students.
Means of Assessment The Parent Resource Binder will be assessed using a rubric developed by the
and criterion for faculty member teaching EXED 532 - Families, Professionals, and
success Exceptionalities. The successful projects will include a well organized binder of
information about school programs, community resources and be user friendly
b. Students will demonstrate respect for diversity of peoples, ideas,
Outcome Students will demonstrate respect for diversity of peoples, ideas, and cultures.
Social Problem Disproportionate representation of minority students in special education is a
well documented problem in the field.
Engagement Activity Students enrolled in EXED 518 - Seminar in Contemporary Issues in Special
Education - will research the issue of disproportionate representation, its possible
causes, and recommended solutions and write an APA research paper describing
the problem, possible causes, recommended solutions, and a personal action plan
to address the problem in their schools. In completing this engagement activity, it
is believed that students will enhance their knowledge and respect for a diversity
of peoples, ideas, and cultures and demonstrate their respect through creating a
plan of action for their personal teaching situation.
Relevant knowledge, Knowledge of databases available for research.
skills, attitudes and/or Skills in analyzing the literature to draw conclusions.
behaviors Knowledge of systemic bias and its effect on minority students being
referred to special education programs.
An attitude of concern about the widespread and well documented social
issue of disproportionate representation.
Means of Assessment Students will be assessed in whether they have demonstrated respect for a
and criterion for diversity of peoples, ideas, and cultures through their writing. The APA research
success paper will be assessed for the quality of the analyses and compilation of the
research available, as well as for their personal action plan to address the issue in
their local communities. The final product will be assessed using a rubric
developed by the faculty member teaching EXED 518.
c. Students will demonstrate an awareness of their opportunities as
responsible citizens living and working in a global society.
The EXED program area faculty is currently working on plans to address this, the third,
goal in the university's Quality Enhancement Plan for student engagement.
C. Other Indicators of Program Achievement and Contribution
1. Program Viability
The Exceptional Education graduate program is the largest graduate program in the
university according to the 2006 Western Kentucky University Fact Book. Enrollment in
the M.A.E. Exceptional Education program continues to grow each year with more
applicants each year. Our graduates provide much needed special education teachers to
the surrounding regional school districts as well as beyond the borders of Kentucky.
2. Contribution to University Programs
The Exceptional Education Graduate program has had the largest enrollment of any
graduate program in the university since 2003. Our courses are taught completely online
and are available to those across the state from extended campus sites. Our program has
gained a reputation for producing highly qualified educators through both the traditional
M.A.E. and the Alternate Route to Certification in Exceptional Education.
3. Use of Technology
As stated above, the Exceptional Education M.A.E. program is offered completely online
through web-based course delivery. This allows students to continue or to pursue
teaching positions while earning their degree. Faculty members continually strive to
update their technology skills through trainings offered by the university as well as at
conferences that focus on teacher education.
4. Uniqueness of Program
Although other universities in the state, such as University of Louisville and Georgetown
College, offer online web-based Alternate Route to Certification programs in Exceptional
Education, our program is known for its rigor and thoroughness in preparing our students
to become, or to continue working as, practitioners in the field of special education. Our
admission requirements are more stringent than some other programs available and our
courses are full to capacity every term.
5. Contribution to Diversity Goals
The Exceptional Education program area has added 4 new faculty members in the past 3
academic years. The program area is committed to maintaining a high quality faculty and
to increase the diversity of our faculty. During this past 3 years, we hired one black
faculty member, 3 women faculty members, and 1 male faculty member. We are
currently in the process of interviewing for an additional faculty member and have sought
our and recruited minorities through the call for applications. The program area is firmly
supportive of affirmative action efforts to increase our percentage of minority and
underrepresented faculty. Because we have all been practitioners in the field of special
education before coming to higher education, we recognize the value and advantage of
having a diverse team to provide balanced instruction to our students.
6. Accreditation Status
Along with all programs in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, our
teacher educator program is accredited by the National Association for Colleges of
Teacher Education (NCATE). In addition, our programs are accredited by the Southern
Association of Colleges. Our program strives to uphold the code of ethics and standards
set forth by the Council for Exceptional Children which is the largest professional
organization in special education. In addition, our program emphasizes Experienced
Teacher Standards set forth by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board as
well as the Kentucky Teacher Code of Ethics.
7. Planning, Development and Other Areas
Members of the faculty in Exceptional Education continue to pursue external
funding from granting agencies with the hope of using these funds to support research
and student programming. The Kelly Autism Program, as part of the Clinical Education
Complex, has obtained over a million dollars in endowments and support over the past
two years. The Kelly Autism Program is directed by a member of the Exceptional
Education faculty, Dr. Marty Boman, and is receiving national recognition and attention
for its unique approach to serving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and
Pervasive Developmental Disabilities.
Dr. Marty Boman and Dr. Janet Applin have recently written courses for a
proposed certificate program in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Pervasive
Developmental Disorders. This proposed certificate program will offer another option for
those graduate students who wish to focus their graduate work specifically on children
with ASD/PDD. There is an urgent need for this program in our state as many public
school classrooms serving students with disabilities are serving an increasing number of
children with ASD/PDD. It is hoped that this program will be approved and that students
may begin in fall 2007.
Dr. Nedra Atwell, the coordinator of the EXED Graduate Programs, has been
instrumental in the Project TRREE (Teacher Recruitment and Retention for Educational
Excellence) and represents WKU on the Recruitment committee along with Dr. Marty
Boman and Mrs. Jo Randolph.
In planning for the future of the program, additional faculty is a pressing need to
accommodate the increase in enrollment. We are currently conducting a search for one or
two additional faculty members who will be able to contribute to continuing the growth
and excellence of our M.A.E. program.
In the current program structure, three Practitioner Facilitators work with Dr.
Atwell to supervise students across the state during their intern class in the program. It is
hoped that additional practitioners may be hired full time in the future to improve the
scope of the supervision of students out in the field while completing this program.
8. Additional Indicators for Career Preparation Programs
There is a well documented shortage of special education teachers in Kentucky as
well as across the nation. Our program trains future teachers to fill this need in Kentucky
and beyond. Our course objectives and goals adhere to the Kentucky New and
Experienced Teacher Standards and the Kentucky Educator Code of Ethics. We strive to
prepare our graduates with state of the art information and skills in teaching students with
disabilities. We not only teach our students about current best practice and research in the
field, but we work to make sure our graduates also begin their careers with the disposition
desired from professional educators.
D. Factors Inhibiting Program Achievement and Contribution
The most pervasive factor inhibiting program achievement and contribution
continues to be our lack of faculty to teach graduate courses and advise graduate students
entering the program. Each of the four faculty who currently advise graduate students
have well over 100 students to advise and guide through their programs. Each semester
our courses are full to capacity and students must be turned away and wait until an
upcoming semester to complete required courses. While one new faculty member with a
terminal degree was hired beginning fall 2006 and another search is in progress for an
additional line, the problem continues each registration period. When additional faculty is
hired, it is predicted that this problem will lessen and more students will be able to take
classes each semester.
E. Response to Previous Program Reviews or Other Assessments
The 2006-2007 Assessment Plan was revised and updated to include new student
learning outcomes and the data is not yet available to determine whether student
outcomes are being achieved. Data from previous Assessment Plans show that we have a
100% pass rate for the Comprehensive Exams for the 2005-2006 academic years and that
our Praxis pass rate is close to 100%. Data from the 2006-2007 Assessment Plan Report
will be used to continue to improve our teaching and advising in future years.
F. Future Directions
The Exceptional Education program area intends to add one additional faculty
member in the fall 2007 semester. This additional faculty member will allow students
more interaction with a variety of faculty as well as adding another perspective to the
education they will receive. The Exceptional Education program will continue to assess
its effectiveness through using the results of the Assessment Plan, the Unit Action Plan,
the Quality Enhancement Plan, as well as anecdotal reports from our faculty members.
The program will continue to maintain contact with leaders from the public school
community to gather information about what qualities they require in our program
graduates and use that information to revise our program as indicated.