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Best Business School North Carolina

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					        North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
Efforts to reform teacher education at North Carolina A&T State University have
proceeded according to goals established by the School of Education in collaboration
with faculty in Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Agriculture and
Environmental Sciences and Technology. These colleges collaborate with the School of
Education in assessing and implementing best practices based on research related to the
preparation of candidates as teachers.

One other ongoing effort has been to realign teaching and assessment to ensure that
candidates meet high institutional, state and national standards. To ensure that such
changes occur, faculty members have worked collaboratively to accomplish the vision of
the University to become an interdisciplinary university. Interdisciplinary activities for
teacher education involve faculty from Arts and Sciences, Technology, Agriculture and
Business and Economics. Activities to ensure infusion of content included reviewing
course syllabi, aligning instruction to professional and institutional standards, examining
implementation of assessment and technology and utilization of appropriate books,
materials, field experiences and professional development for faculty. In addition,
acquisition of content knowledge is a focus of the entire University because the School of
Education proposes to conduct research with teachers of mathematics and science in the
middle schools. The research model involves an experimental and control group of math
and science teachers who have a content specialist to assist them in the class. The
content specialists are members of the faculty from the various schools and colleges at
the university. These content specialists work with the experimental group of teachers to
broaden their content knowledge. A long term effect of this project is to increase
involvement in the schools of all professionals at the University.

In the area of content pedagogy, the teacher education program has implemented two new
strategies. After four weeks of student teaching, the cooperating teachers are invited to
the campus to share with the faculty and students the extent to which candidates are
prepared to teach content. Recommendations from the classroom teachers are
immediately implemented in the program. To further ensure content pedagogy, classroom
teachers are hired as co-teachers to work with faculty and candidates. A clinical teacher
is hired each semester to work with elementary and special education faculty and
students in the methods classes to demonstrate specific strategies.

A third reform is the development of a unit assessment system. This system provides a
venue for the teacher education program to monitor the progress of each candidate
throughout the program. A benchmarking activity is conducted for each candidate in the
program during the summer of each year. This activity provides an analysis of the
progress candidates have made in the program including mastery of specific content and
pedagogy, completion of specific admission tests, field experiences, GPA, professional
dispositions, and basic knowledge and skills. Students who have met benchmarks are
congratulated on their progress. For students who have only partially met benchmarks,
specific programs of study are developed to assist students. In addition, the unit
assessment system provides a plan for the School of Education to assess curriculum,


North Carolina A&T University                                                             1
recourses and faculty in relationship to candidate performance. For example, the unit
establishes benchmarking to assess the resources in relationship to the needs of the
candidates. Faculty evaluations are examined in comparison to candidate performance,
especially on specific assessments.

Another significant reform effort is to require Praxis II prior to student teaching as an
assessment of the program along with portfolios and early field experiences. Students
who do not pass the test are not allowed to enroll for students teaching. In the last three
years, there has been an average pass rate of 98% on Praxis II.

Finally, faculty members in the teacher education program work in the schools to
observe and demonstrate best practice. The school districts work with candidates and
provide enhanced experiences to exposed candidates to a variety of opportunities to
understand the culture of the school. Teachers in the schools participate in professional
development activities so that they completely understand the constructivist model, the
assessment system, institutional standards, and professional practices in the teacher
education program. Students have opportunities to participate in assessments, open
school, close school, work in teams and serve as leaders. Teachers in the professional
development schools are the extended arms of the teacher education program.




North Carolina A&T University                                                                 2

				
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