ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW GUIDELINES
Graduate Program Section
NOTE: The following sections (i.e. V and VI) should be completed for each GRADUATE
academic program within the Department undergoing review.
Program: Elementary Education Rank I Reference Code: 084
V. Program Enrollment and Student Data (The programmatic data below are provided by
Institutional Research for the most recent five-year period. Discuss significant characteristics of
the program as revealed by the data, paying particular attention to trends. For example, what
trends in number of majors, number of graduates, or student scores are apparent and how do
you account for them? How does program enrollment compare with other public institutions in
the state or elsewhere in the nation? Please address each data element separately in your
A. Number of Majors:
Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004 Fall 2005 Fall 2006
Majors 34 30 25 18 20
2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07
Annual Majors* 63 46 45 37 41
*Due to the large number of majors who enroll only in the summer, annualized unduplicated
majors are provided above.
B. Number of Credentials Awarded*:
2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06
Credentials Awarded 22 4 1 1 13
*The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board awards the Rank I.
C. Comparisons with External Data:
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) does not track enrollment or
award data for rank programs. Therefore, comparison data are not available.
D. GRE Scores/Undergraduate GPAs/GAP Scores of Students Admitted to
the Program (for graduate programs):
Avg. GRE* Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004 Fall 2005 Fall 2006
Elem Ed Rank I 791 780 950 781 853
CEBS Average 882 896 907 912 907
University Avg. 924 946 945 946 943
*Includes only Verbal and Quantitative sections of the GRE due to the change in the scale of
section of the exam. The maximum score is 1600.
Avg. Ugrad GPA Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004 Fall 2005 Fall 2006
Elem Ed Rank I 3.09 3.27 3.67 3.17 3.17
CEBS Average 3.21 3.22 3.30 3.25 3.27
University Avg. 3.24 3.22 3.27 3.22 3.24
Average GAP* Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004 Fall 2005 Fall 2006
Elem Ed Rank I 2586 2785 3540 2603 2778
CEBS Average 2850 2921 3022 2984 2979
University Avg. 3017 3060 3108 3078 3084
*GAP score is calculated as (Verbal GRE score + Quantitative GRE score) * Undergraduate
GPA. The maximum score is 6400.
E. GPA’s of Program Graduates (for graduate programs):
Because WKU does not award a degree for the Rank programs, degree GPAs are not
calculated, and therefore, are not available.
VI. Program Description and Self Study
A. Mission Statement/Relation of Program to University Mission (Provide a copy of the
program's mission statement or a brief statement of the overall purpose/direction of the
Program Mission Statement
The mission of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Western Kentucky University is to
provide high quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that prepare teachers
and other education personnel to facilitate the learning of all P-12 students at high levels and to
implement best practices in schooling through collaboration with colleagues, families,
community members, and support agencies.
Professional Education Unit Mission
The professional education unit of Western Kentucky University recruits, prepares, and supports
school practitioners and education leaders who can facilitate the learning of all children and
empower them to achieve at high levels as they become life-long learners and productive citizens
in a global society.
Western Kentucky University prepares students to be productive, engaged leaders in a global
society. It provides service and lifelong learning opportunities for its constituents. WKU is
responsible for stewarding a high quality of life throughout its region.
The mission statement for the teacher education program is clearly consistent with and
supportive of the missions of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and Western
Kentucky University. The mission of the University is to produce graduates that are productive,
engaged leaders in a global society, which mirrors the Professional Education Unit Mission to
prepare educational practitioners and leaders for a global society
B. Teaching and Learning:
1. Graduate Students (Discuss the following for graduate programs):
a. Selectivity (Comparison of number who applied with number who were accepted
and with number who enrolled):
Rank I Program
Academic Year 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07
# Students Applied 51 28 17 23 34
# Students Admitted 40 23 14 21 33
# Students Enrolled 23 13 13 15 26
Clearly, the data indicates that in 05/06 there was an increase in the number of students who
applied, were admitted, and also enrolled in the program. Since 2005, enrollment has increased,
which is a good indicator of healthy changes within the department and Rank I program.
b. Description of Students (number/percentage full-time, undergraduate institutions
from which they graduated, kinds of job experiences they have had, etc.):
Students enrolled in the Rank I program have already attained a Rank II or Masters’ Degree. The
typical student in this program is a classroom teacher who is employed full-time by a school
system; therefore, the student typically enrolls in the Rank I program as part-time status.
Undergraduate institutions include a variety of Kentucky colleges and universities.
c. Information about Graduate Assistantships (how many students applied, how
many were awarded assistantships, nature of assistantships, how the
assistantships contribute to their learning, etc.):
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction does not award graduate assistantships, as
teachers who are working on advanced degrees typically are already employed by a school
2. Indicators of Teaching and Advising Quality (Innovative features of the program
related to teaching quality, special awards and accomplishments of the faculty as
related to teaching, special efforts related to advising, evidence of advising success,
student ratings of instruction [i.e. S.I.T.E. Evaluations, etc.].
a. Teaching Quality
The C&I faculty places a high priority on quality instruction and strives for excellence in
teaching effectiveness. As evidence of effective teaching, C&I faculty have been nominated and
have won a number of teaching awards during the evaluation period. Dr. Kathleen Matthew won
the College Service Award in 2005. Dr. Herbert Simmons was awarded Professor Emeritus.
Several faculties have been nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award for the College of
Education. Several faculties have been recognized by campus organizations for outstanding
teaching. For example, Jeanine Huss received the Student Government Associations Excellence
in Teaching Award in 2007 and Pamela Jukes received the same award in 2002. Dr. Lisa Murley
(2005) and Dr. Pamela Jukes (2003, 2006) received Professor of the Year awards from campus
fraternal organizations. Dr. S. Kay Gandy received the 2007 Kentucky Distinguished Educator
Award from the Kentucky Council of Teacher Educators.
With regard to the S.I.T.E. evaluations, the numerical ratings for the C&I faculty are comparable
to the ratings for the College and the University. The table below shows the median rankings for
the Department for representative semesters on the item, “Overall, my instructor is effective.”
Median Rankings for
“Overall, my instructor is effective.”
F 02 S 03 F 03 S 04 F 04 S 05 F 05 S 06 F 06 S 07
Department 4.12 4.23 4.39 4.47 4.43 4.57 4.42 4.46 4.03 4.24
On a five point scale, students consistently agree that the instructor is effective.
b. Advising Quality
In the Rank I program members of the graduate faculty advise all program students. This
provides a personal element, as faculty meet face to face, respond by email, or speak by
telephone at various points throughout the program. By serving as advisors and instructors,
the faculty members gain valuable insight which contributes to student success. The number
of programs approved is an indicator of the success of advisement.
3. Indicators of Student Learning (Note: Student learning focuses on outcomes. Each
program is expected to have in place an assessment process that 1) identifies
intended educational outcomes, 2) identifies means of assessment and criteria for
success, 3) determines data collection methods, 4) obtains assessment results, and 5)
uses results to improve the program.):
a. Assessment of Currently Enrolled Students (Describe the program's method of
assessing the learning outcomes of its students. Provide data from program
assessments and discuss the use of data to improve the program.)
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction requires assessment activities at all levels of the
undergraduate and graduate programs. Course critical performances address the Kentucky
Teacher Standards are scored and recorded on the CEBS Electronic Portfolio System; students
must demonstrate proficiency in the critical performance(s) before a grade is issued for that
course. The data generated from the Electronic Portfolio provide information regarding
individual student as well as program strengths and weaknesses related to the Kentucky Teacher
Standards, which provides relevant data for assessing the learning outcomes of our program, as
required by SACS and the NCATE.
In a survey of resource teachers who have worked with program students in Kentucky schools,
100% of the resource teachers rated our students as proficient in their overall abilities to teach in
the P-5(6) schools.
According to the Education Professional Standards Board Survey of Total WKU Respondents
for the 2003-2006, the overall satisfaction rate for program completers regarding their
preparation for teaching in the P-5(6) classroom is 3.34 out of a possible 4.0. The mean score
given the unit by program graduates regarding preparation for teaching in the P-5(6) classroom
was a 3.34 on a 4.0 scale.
Faculty members analyze results of the unit assessments in order to identify and adjust specific
courses and/or to modify the Elementary Education curriculum to ensure that students
matriculate with the ability to demonstrate proficiency in the Kentucky Teacher Standards. A
specific example of “closing the loop” as the result of assessment activities is the addition of
Critical Performances in all programs. A second specific example is the addition of an initial
and capstone course in the program that help the students see the "big picture" in the program
related to the Kentucky Teacher Standards.
b. Other Indicators of Success (Discuss evidence of student achievement and
success, such as special experiences/projects, honors, publications, presentations,
internship placements, etc.) For graduate programs, provide the number of
students in thesis versus non-thesis options, and provide a list of the titles of
Student Scholarly Activities- The faculty approved EDU 601, in which students are required to
write and submit an article to a refereed journal. In EDU 506, students are required to write and
submit either an article related to science instruction or submit a science-related grant. There
have been a number of articles have been accepted for publication and grants awarded as a result
of these assignments.
Involvement in Kappa Delta Pi (KΔP)- WKU has a chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international
professional and honorary society for educators. Chapter membership includes undergraduate,
graduate, and practitioners. Representatives of Western’s Xi Chi Chapter attended the National
Convention in November in Louisville, Kentucky. The local chapter has also been highly
involved in service work with New Beginnings (therapeutic horseback riding for disabled
Award Recognitions- Program completers are recipients of a variety of University, community,
state, and national awards. For example, a recent program completer was selected as Kentucky's
Teacher of the Year as well as the USA Today's All-Star Teacher Team. A second example is a
student who was chosen as Outstanding Student Leader in Education.
c. Program Graduates (Provide evidence that program graduates achieve
professional success. For example, cite the number of graduates employed in
areas related to major, pursuing advanced degrees, etc.):
Virtually 100% of students enrolled in the Rank I program are currently employed in the local
school systems. Several current and past program participants have expressed interest in the new
Doctoral program being created in Education Leadership (with an emphasis in teacher
leadership). The Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) is an indicator of student success
after they graduate from Western Kentucky University. As indicated with the high pass rate in
the chart below, graduates demonstrate proficiency in all ten Kentucky Teacher Standards.
Performance on Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP)
School Total Number of Total Number Pass State Pass
Year Interns Pass Rate Rate
2002-2003 375 374 100% 99.4%
2003-2004 338 337 100% 99%
2004-2005 413 410 99% 99%
2005-2006 281 281 100% 100%
Survey of Alumni
Education alumni are surveyed on a regular basis to obtain data on the success of our graduates.
The most recent survey was conducted in the Summer 2006, with 122 alumni who graduated
between 1997 – 2003 responding to the survey. A four point scale used in the survey instrument.
Shown in the table below are the mean responses to the Kentucky Teacher Standards.
Standard I: Designs/Plans Instruction 3.58
Standard II: Creates/Maintains Learning Climate 3.70
Standard III: Implements/Manages Instruction 3.57
Standard IV: Assesses/Communicates Learning 3.54
Standard V: Reflects Upon and Evaluates Learning 3.67
Standard VI: Collaboration 3.49
Standard VII: Professional Growth Plan 3.66
Standard VIII: Demonstrates Applied Content 3.65
Standard IX: Demonstrates Applied Technology 3.63
Standard X: Leadership 3.58
5. Indicators of Student Engagement (Discuss the program’s efforts to engage students
with communities other than their own in purposeful learning activities that explicitly
address their capacity and responsibility to contribute to community and society.
Describe how the program achieves and assesses the following student learning
a. Students will demonstrate their capacity to apply knowledge and training to
address relevant concerns in community or society.
Within the courses students are required to a) analyze authentic data, determine barriers to
learning, and design instruction accordingly, b) identify current community issues and design
classroom service projects relevant to the needs, and c) partner with non-profit organizations to
develop educational materials.
b. Students will demonstrate respect for diversity of peoples, ideas and cultures.
Dr. S. Kay Gandy took Kentucky teachers to South Africa for a month during July 2006 through
a Fulbright Group Projects Abroad Grant to develop a comparative study curriculum between the
U.S. and South Africa. The CEBS International Committee provides programs each semester
for all students that incorporate diverse viewpoints and experiences. While the undergraduate
program offers study abroad opportunities through international student teaching experiences in
Belize, Germany, Japan, and Mexico, this advantage has yet to be developed in the graduate
program. However, through the current redesign of the graduate programs, future courses may
include study abroad opportunities.
c. Students will demonstrate awareness of their opportunities as responsible citizens
living and working in a global society.
The Kentucky Teacher Standards are the foundation for all teacher education courses. Standard
8: Collaborates with Colleagues/Parents/Others establishes the protocol for all courses to
include collaborative opportunities. Within the courses the students are required to “give back”
to the community through a variety of means: a) designing and publishing lesson plans, b)
conducting professional workshops, and c) developing educational materials for non-profit
agencies. Currently, undergraduate student engagement projects are embedded within critical
performances and coursework. With the redesign of the graduate programs, civic engagement
will be a high priority as we move students to be productive citizens in a global society.
C. Other Indicators of Program Achievement and Contribution (Supply information
reflecting specific ways in which the program contributes significantly to the mission and
success of the university in the following categories.):
1. Program Viability (Provide evidence that the program attracts, recruits, and retains
quality students. Provide any relevant data, citing recognized sources, about
enrollment trends, cycles, etc., in the specific field.):
The Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, Planned Fifth Year (Rank II), and Planned
Sixth Year (Rank I) advanced programs continue to be strong and viable. As indicated in the
data, during the five-year period, enrollment has decreased in the Master of Arts Degree in
Elementary Education and increased in the Planned Fifth Year and Sixth Year Program. One
possible explanation for the increase and decrease in enrollment may lie with the program
requirements. Graduate students enrolled in the Master of Arts Program are required to take a
written comprehensive examination after completing 27 hours of graduate study while the
Planned Fifth Year students complete an advanced certificate. Another possible explanation for
the increase and decrease in enrollment maybe because only a few graduate courses are web
based. Today, many teachers would prefer to complete graduate courses from the convenience of
their home rather than travel a distance to take a class.
Regarding retention of elementary education major in the Master of Arts, Planned Fifth Year
(Rank II), and Planned Sixth Year, we find what other elementary education programs often
report, that the vast numbers of them complete their programs as confirmed by our program
The Elementary Education Program ranks 9th on WKU’s Top 10 Graduate List (2007 Fact Book)
and is healthy with regard to all indicators, including enrollment, retention, quality of students
and graduation of students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists elementary school teachers first
on its list of occupations with the greatest projected numerical job growth through 2014
(http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocotjt1.htm). Kentucky teachers are required to complete a Fifth Year
or Rank II program to maintain their certification. This creates a large population of graduate
students seeking advanced degrees. To recruit high quality students, the Rank I program requires
1. A minimum of either (a) 30 semester hours of graduate courses in addition to the
requirements for the Rank II program, or (b) 60 semester hours of graduate level
credit, including the Master’s degree;
2. A “B” average must be maintained, and no course grade lower than a “C” may be
3. At least 15 of the required hours must be completed at Western Kentucky
4. All coursework must be planned in consultation with the advisor and must be
related to the professional needs of the student;
5. A minimum of 24 of the total 60 (or 62 hours when based on Rank II program)
must be in academic work apart from professional education. These hours must be
in the candidate’s major or minor, area of preparation, or in supporting courses
from other disciplines as approved by the institution.
6. Course work taken by correspondence is not accepted; and
7. With prior advisor approval, a maximum of 12 hours of professional
development credit may be applied to the program requirement.
2. Contributions to University Programs (Describe the program's contributions to other
university programs through its significant involvement in the general education
program, its support to other university programs through service course offerings,
or in other ways.):
The advanced programs in the Department of Elementary Education play a significant role in a
number of university programs. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction was established
to “encourage and promote campus-wide collaboration and to serve as a catalyst for the
development and delivery of interdisciplinary models that blend effective teaching practices with
meaningful content.” The Master of Arts Degree, Planned Fifth Year, and Planned Sixth Year
programs include electives and/or specialization components that include subject-related courses
that are pertinent to the certification area. The elementary faculty works closely with faculty in
other departments/colleges to ensure that appropriate course work is available. The education
program not only serves its majors, but also provides courses for other university programs. The
EDU 507/GEOG 507 is open for both geography and education majors and the Environmental
Education courses ENVE 520, 580, and 585 are open to any major.
3. Use of Technology (Describe the program's use of appropriate technology to
enhance learning. Describe the program's use of technology to provide alternative
delivery to time/place-bound learners.):
More than four decades ago, computers and related information technologies were introduced to
educators as educational tools. Today, there are computers of various descriptions in nearly all
schools in Kentucky and the United States. Teachers, school administrators, and institutions of
higher education are faced with the costs involved in technology implementation and must
constantly evaluate the educational benefits of technology.
Technology is in widespread use by the faculty, staff, and students at Western Kentucky
University. Faculty use e-mail in communicating with other faculty and staff, and students as
well as other professionals in the field outside the university. Students are also provided with
faculty e-mail addresses and encouraged to communicate with instructors to the point of
submitting assignments from web-based courses. Instructors have also set up “chat rooms” on
Blackboard for students for communication purposes.
Western Kentucky University’s College of Education and Behavioral Science received a four-
year Innovation Challenge Grant from the United State Department of Education. The grant,
written by Dr. Leroy Metze was called e-Train Express has helped implement programs and
strategies to increase new teacher effectiveness in the use of technology to assess, facilitate, and
communicate learning for all students. Several faculty members have participated in the training
and have utilized the strategies in their respective courses.
The faculty at Western Kentucky University (WKU) believes that technology has the potential to
make teaching and learning far more efficient than in the past. Technology not only gives people
access to new information, but also gives them more opportunities to work together. The e-Train
Express has enabled WKU to integrate technology in teacher preparation courses and to use
technology to spread the best practices that develop from them.
Numerous studies over the years report benefits enjoyed by students who use technology. These
benefits involve attitudes toward self and toward learning. The studies reveal that students feel
more successful in school, are more motivated to learn, and have increased self-confidence and
self-esteem when using computers. This is particularly true when the technology allows the
students to control their own learning. Based on the research, Elementary Education offers some
web-based classes and/or combined face-to-face and web-based. For example, Dr. Lisa Murley
teaches EDU 544 (Classroom Teaching Strategies) and EDU 524 (Education Assessment), and
Dr. S. Kay Gandy teaches EDU 507/GEOG 507 (Geographic Concepts and Skills for Teachers).
Faculty in Elementary Education use computers and information technologies to improve their
roles in the educational process. Some examples include:
using computer tools to streamline record keeping and administrative tasks;
decreasing isolation by using e-mail and the Internet to communicate with
colleagues, graduate advisees, and the outside world; and
increasing professional development activities such as training on Blackboard, and
accessing educational research.
Distance Learning. In the last five years distance education has become a major topic in
education. During the last five years there has been more than 100 conferences dealing with
some aspect of distance education, and almost every professional organization’s publication and
conferences have shown a huge increase in the number of distance education related articles and
papers. Distance education has been one of the most dramatic technology-based innovations in
education. Many educators predicted that distance education would likely change education
and training. The concept of distance education is exciting, and recent hardware and software
innovations are making telecommunication systems more available, easier to use, and less costly.
Western Kentucky University has extended its cope into distance learning by using Interactive
Television Services, now referred to as Interactive Video Services (ITV). Off-campus facilities
are adequate to support Interactive Video Services and extended campus programs. IVS
classrooms are equipped with up-to-date equipment and all sites provide candidates with access
to the same technologies and research databases afforded those on campus. Instruction is
transmitted to off-campus sites in Owensboro, Elizabethtown, Fort Knox, Glasgow, Auburn, and
several other smaller sites. Students can communicate directly by microphone and submit
assignments via FAX, e-mail, or a drop box on Blackboard. Several graduate classes are offered
on Interactive Television.
Equipment and Facilities. Each instructor is provided with a desktop computer loaded with
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as being connected to the Internet. All
classrooms are equipped with a Proxima for PowerPoint presentations, and a document camera.
All classrooms are equipped with instructor workstations and ceiling-mounted digital projectors.
One classroom is equipped with a Promethean ActivBoard and software, the world’s first multi-
input technology designed specifically for the classroom. Students in our department receive
technology training as many 21st century classrooms are now equipped with advanced
technological options for teaching. The Educational Technology Center includes two rooms that
are fully mediated and available to faculty members for instructional purposes. The faculty can
check out a portable computer, laptop computers, and the Educational Technology Center in Tate
Page Hall has three laptops and projection units available for checkout.
Webpage and Syllabi. Faculty members in the Department of Elementary Education have a
webpage that contains pertinent and useful information about them. Faculty members are
required to include a technology assignment in their respective course syllabi. Syllabi for all
elementary education courses are linked to the homepage of the College of Education and
Use of Web Sources. Electronic learning networks provide access to the riches of the world.
Students in remote rural locations can reach the Library of Congress, classes in towns without
museums can visit the Louvre, and students and teachers anywhere can communicate with
content-area experts from around the world. One example of a web source is the Kentucky
Networks also have made new forms of local and worldwide collaborative learning possible.
They have helped to create writing communities, math communities, science communities, and
teacher education communities (Thurston, Secaras, & Levin, 1996).
Instructors in Elementary Education encourage and provide viable web sites and search engines
for use on the Internet. All members of the faculty have attended workshops on using
Blackboard and use the software to make available to students their course syllabi, course
information, course assignments, and calendar of activities. In addition, some faculty members
have worked to develop online resources for students. Finally, because of the major goals for
students in the program is to develop skills in using technology, all faculty members assign
projects that require various technological skills, such as Internet searching, creation of
PowerPoint presentations, development of spreadsheets, use of software for statistical
computations, use of e-mail, and use of electronic lists.
4. Uniqueness of Program (if applicable) (Describe the program's uniqueness to the
state or region and indicate specific advantages the uniqueness affords the
WKU’s Elementary Education Program does have a unique tradition, since we carry on the
legacy of the Western Kentucky State Normal School established March 21, 1906, one of two
teacher training schools in the state at the time. In 1922, the school was authorized by the state to
grant four-year degrees and was renamed as Western Kentucky State Normal School and
teachers College. The name changed in 1930 to Western Kentucky State Teachers College. It
was authorized to offer the Master of Arts degree in 1931.
Instruction programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction are designed to aid in
defining the desired dispositions of teachers who clearly visualize their role, actively greet
complexity with reflective and creative thinking, constructively confront challenge, securely
meet the demands of innovation and change, and truly value learning as a lifelong process.
Therefore, instruction in these programs is candidate centered with faculty assisting, guiding, and
leading, rather than directing the candidate. Candidates in the programs are responsible and
accountable for their own professional development, while faculty and administration are
responsible and accountable for providing sequential, viable and supportive instructional
opportunities for the improvement and refinement of teaching skills. Instructional opportunities
are provided through a collaboratively identified content linking Kentucky’s Program of Studies,
Academic Expectations, Core Content for Assessment, Commonwealth Accountability Testing
systems (CATS) content competency exams, and learned societal guidelines within specific
During the last six years, faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction has revised
curriculum folios for each graduate program. Critical performances were added to each graduate
course. A “critical performance” serves as a gateway to indicate if students have mastered
certain concepts and skills in a graduate course. All graduate students are required to upload their
products based on the critical performance or performances in their respective classes on an
electronic portfolio. Innovations in program design and instructional delivery were implemented
in the fall of 2006. Another unique feature of this revised curriculum is focus on adult learning
principles and professional development. Through entry and exit seminars, faculty will assist
graduate students to develop a professional growth plan based on reflection and self-evaluation
of Kentucky’s Experienced Teacher Standards (recently changed to Kentucky’s Teacher
Standards) and standards from their respective professional disciplines. Performance assessment
has been integrated throughout the curriculum with the culminating assessment activity being
review and presentation of the student’s professional portfolio in the exit seminar.
5. Contributions to Diversity Goals (Describe the program's efforts and progress toward
promoting diversity of students and faculty. Explain how issues of diversity, including
contributions of women and minorities, are integrated into the curriculum.):
Historically, teacher education is a conservative profession with the average teacher of today a
44 year old female who has taught 16 years. There are two million teachers at the elementary
level. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, about 84% of teachers are
white, 9% African American, and 4% Hispanic. At least 75% of elementary teachers are female.
Within the department of Curriculum and Instruction, 92.3% of students are white, 4.5% Black,
and 1.3% list themselves as “other.”
Although ethnic minority enrollment in teacher education programs is low, the Western
Kentucky University Minority Teacher Recruitment Center (MTRC) is committed to creating
racially and culturally heterogeneous school districts by increasing the number of minority
teachers in Kentucky classrooms. MTRC is dedicated to assisting minority students who are
pursuing teacher education as a major. The MTRC is a cooperative effort bringing together the
resources of the Kentucky Department of Education and area school districts.
Teaching in today’s diversified educational institutions requires that teachers who carry the
responsibilities of a classroom acquire the knowledge of and sensitivity to the variety of cultural
representation in the classroom. All teachers at all levels need the knowledge and skills for
working effectively in our culturally diverse society. This calls for teachers to employ
“culturally sensitive strategies and content” to ensure equitable opportunities for academic
success, personal development, and individual fulfillment for all student (Chisholm, 1994).
The College of Education is wholly committed to providing our students with working
experiences and knowledge of people from diverse backgrounds. In the graduate program,
courses require that all lesson and standard-based units designed must include accommodations
necessary to meet all special learner needs. Planning for diversity is embedded within all of the
programs including the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP), and the Teacher
Education Model Program (TEMP).
Graduate Full Time
American Black, White,
School or Non-
Indian/Alaskan Not Hispanic Non Unknown Male Female Total
Year Pacific Resident
Native Hispanic Hispanic
3 18 71 102 10 37 65 102
1 1 4 2 167 179 4 34 145 179
1 7 5 187 205 5 44 161 205
1 12 3 170 1 26 160 186
Due to the recent increase in diversity within our public and private schools, members of the
elementary faculty have incorporated more diversity materials in their graduate courses. One
graduate course looks specifically at how teachers can design, implement, and evaluate
curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of all students in their classrooms. Required
electives and methods courses offer teachers through readings, research, technology, and other
assignments opportunities to: (1) understand how all children learn and (2) examine and
research various resources and materials available.
6. Accreditation Status (Is accreditation available for the program? If the program is
not accredited, explain why.):
While the Department of Curriculum and Instruction assumes primary responsibility for the
professional preparation of teachers, the opportunity to educate teachers for the schools of the
Commonwealth and the nation is shared by the university as a whole. Western Kentucky
University is a charter member of the Renaissance Group for Teacher Education, which reflects
its total campus commitment to quality teacher education programs.
The Department's teacher preparation programs are designed to meet the University's standards
for baccalaureate and post graduate degrees and the Kentucky standards for the designated
teaching certificate. All teacher certification programs are accredited by Kentucky's Education
and Professional Standards Board and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher
The teacher education unit of Western Kentucky University received continuing accreditation in
the spring of 2004 by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board. A copy of this report may be found
in the Dean’s Office of the College of Education and Behavioral Science. The next scheduled
visit is in the spring of 2010.
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) also
accredits Western Kentucky University. The last visit of this agency was in 2005. Individual
departments are not accredited by this agency. The SACS examines every department within the
College of Education and Behavioral Science. The next visit is scheduled for the 2015.
7. Planning, Development, and Other Areas (Address the achievement of any strategic
planning goals or action plans not covered elsewhere in this document. Address any
other areas of significant contribution or achievement of the program, including
successes in attracting development funds and other forms of private support.):
The Mary E. Hensley Lecture Series was established in 1998 through an endowment that was
created by a generous gift form Robert B. Hensley. Mary E. Vass Hensley, 1906-1966, was an
educator, involved citizen, and mainstay of her family. Mrs. Hensley’s educational career
spanned thirty-nine years. In Clay County, Kentucky, she was “teacher, janitor, superintendent,
and coach” at a one-room school for grades 1-8. In 1943, the family moved to Hart County,
where Mary taught English and History until she retired. In 1952, Mary received her bachelor’s
degree from Western Kentucky University. She was awarded her Master of Arts Degree from
Western in 1958. The Hensley series has brought in guest speakers for educators including,
authors Ron Clark (The Essential 55), Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence), and Mitch
Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie).
A variety of grants have been received by faculty members in the department of Curriculum and
Instruction for the express purpose of providing materials and professional development for
educators in the university and community. Dr. Kathleen Matthew has received science grants
for robotics competitions and school-wide science blitzes. Dr. S. Kay Gandy has received three
grants from the National Geographic Society for teacher summer institutes, workshops, and
development of educational materials.
8. Additional Indicators for Career Preparation Programs (Programs that have identified
preparing students for specific careers as central to their missions should supply any
additional, relevant information not already covered concerning the following topics:
current and future demand or job outlook for graduates in this specific career area;
the 'need' [social, economic, technological, etc.] for program graduates in the region,
state, and nation; job placement data for graduates; achievements and success of
graduates in the specific career area; efforts of the faculty to assist students in
identifying and obtaining employment.):
Many of our students come from rural communities in which the school district is the largest
employer in the area. Since many of our students plan to work in their home community, they are
seeking a degree that will ensure the best employment opportunity.
In many cities in the United States it is not uncommon for more than half the children in school
to come from homes where the native language is not English. Yet standard English is a
necessity in most communities if a person is to become vocationally successful and enjoy a full
life. Teaching students who have limited proficiency in English includes hands-on, experiential,
and cooperative strategies. Through the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act,
teachers must be prepared to close achievement gaps between gender, ethnic groups, and special
needs students. A teacher whose preparation occurs exclusively among students whose
backgrounds are similar to his or her own way may not be prepared to teach in a classroom of
such diversity. Teacher candidates will need to be familiar with laws regarding students being
served through the Individual Disabilities Education Act, strategies for working with students,
and requirements of NCLB. In addition, teacher candidates need to be proficient with the latest
educational technology. Faculty members in this department stay current with best practice
research, federal and state education requirements, and innovative methods of teaching.
D. Factors Inhibiting Program Achievement and Contribution (If applicable, discuss any
factors that may have prevented or inhibited the program from achieving Action Plan
goals and objectives or any other achievements as reflected in any of the areas under
item C above. Be as specific as possible in addressing these issues.):
Over the last five years the organization and leadership of the School of Teacher Education have
changed. Dr. James Stone became half-time interim chair of curriculum and instruction. In the
spring of 2001 Dr. Stone decided to return full time to the Department of Educational
Leadership. In the fall of 2001, Dr. Stan Cooke assumed half-time interim chair of the
Department of Curriculum and Instruction. After one year, he returned full time to the
Department of Speech Communications. Dr. James Becker, former chair of the department,
became interim chairperson while a search was conducted for a permanent chairperson. Dr.
Tabitha Daniel was selected as chairperson for the School of Teacher Education. At the present
time, there is a need for additional faculty to teach graduate courses, especially on-line. There is
a matter of concern to department faculty, and we hope that sufficient regular faculty positions
will be authorized to lesson our need for so many part-time faculty. We need to employ
mathematics and a science instructor to teach elementary courses. Also, since we are two
positions short, the workload on the existing faculty is quite heavy.
E. Response to Previous Program Reviews or Other Assessments (Address any perceived
problems in the program as identified in previous program reviews or other relevant
assessments, internal or external.):
The last Academic Program Review for elementary education was completed in December 2001.
In the last review two of the primary concerns of the faculty were insufficient regular faculty
positions and the large number of part-time faculty. Since that time, two positions were filled,
the mathematics position and the social studies position. Although the mathematics position
search was approved, it took more than three searches (three years) to fill the position because
there is a shortage of mathematics teachers in higher education. The shortage of regular faculty
positions is still a major concern of the elementary faculty. There is quite a heavy workload on
the existing faculty due to the university/partnership with schools initiative.
The elementary education faculty requested additional equipment such as an AV Cart (Smart
Cart) and laptop computers that would have cost approximately $44,000.00. Since the last
Academic Program Review, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction has purchased several
laptops for instructor use. The E-Train Express grant and other grants have provided instructor
workstations containing a computer and a ceiling-mounted digital projector in every classroom in
Tate Page Hall. There is one classroom in Tate Page Hall containing a Promethean ActivBoard,
technology that is used in local schools. Because there is only one such classroom, it is difficult
to train teachers with the latest technology.
F. Future Directions: (Briefly discuss plans or future directions for the program that have
been developed by the faculty and administrators of the program. Are the plans
documented in the University's Strategic Planning Process? Where is the program
headed? What are its most pressing needs? What are its opportunities for enhancement
and/or improvement? What resources (in general) are needed to realize plans?):
In a recent policy passed by the Council on Post Secondary Education, all colleges and
universities in the State of Kentucky who offer graduate programs in education must redesign
them to meet the needs of professional school personnel. Dr. Sam Evans, Dean of the College of
Education and Behavioral Science has met with the faculty of each department to discuss the
policy. Faculty from the College will be meeting with the superintendents of several school
districts in December 2007 to discuss the teacher as the new leader. This idea follows the
University’s Strategic Planning Process. Faculties in Elementary Education are planning to meet
in January 2008 to design a new Master of Arts program with emphasis on meeting the needs of
all school personnel. The new Master’s program will be completed by May 2008.
One of the most pressing needs is to fill faculty vacancies. With the development of the new
Leadership doctorate program in our College, the need for experienced faculty is critical. With
the university demands for scholarly publications and research, the heavy faculty course loads
are a detriment to productive work. Our faculty searches have often taken more than three years,
a testament to the unattractiveness of the job positions. The program needs to be examined to
determine how to best fill the necessary positions.
As the student population of U.S. schools becomes more diverse, so should teacher educators. It
is a concern of this department that most of our students are white females. Although our college
has a Minority Recruitment Program, typically the focus is African American students. With the
Hispanic population explosion in the U.S., it is important that Hispanic students are also
recruited into the teacher education program. The department could look for grants that provide
incentives for tutoring, recruitment, and retention of minority students.