III. Standard 5: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development
The demographics of the faculty of the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) are consistent with other institutions across the State of Minnesota. Since the last BOT/NCATE visit in 1996, the University has hired 29 teacher education faculty in tenured-track positions, 83 percent of whom hold terminal degrees in their disciplines. In addition, 21 faculty have received promotions during this time period. Two faculty were promoted from instructor to assistant professor, 11 faculty were promoted from assistant to associate professor, and eight faculty were promoted from associated to full professor. Twelve faculty were granted tenure (CEHS Staffing Summaries).
Faculty in the College of Education and Human Services are actively engaged in scholarly activities related to teaching and learning, creative achievement or research, and grant writing. Faculty collaborate with colleagues, candidates, and members of the community to enhance the effectiveness of teacher education at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Faculty members of the CEHS maintain a strong commitment to modeling best professional practices in teaching. The Unit's self-study of the NCATE 2000 Standards has clarified what the Unit seeks to emphasize most strongly to candidates and the greater community: that MSUM teacher education candidates are becoming professionals who are knowledgeable, reflective, humanistic, and creative. Successful implementation of this refocused emphasis is a continuing process as faculty strive to implement the conceptual framework and move toward the identified outcomes in the Unit assessment plan. The conceptual framework aligns with professional, state, and national standards (Detailed Alignment of Standards) as well as the MSUM and CEHS mission statements. Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, Foundations, and Secondary/K-12 programs have aligned all coursework with the conceptual framework (Conceptual Framework Matrices).
The university expects and values faculty contributions to the profession (Vitae). During the past five years, faculty have conducted scholarly research that resulted in nearly 200 publications, over half of which are related to the field of teacher education. Faculty members have shared their knowledge and scholarly work in over 360 papers and presentations at local, state, regional, and national conferences (Faculty Papers and Presentations). All faculty, with the exception of adjuncts, receive support for these and other professional development endeavors through Professional Study and Travel Funds. All received allocations as follows: FY 2000- $925.00 and FY 2001- $1,000.00.
Faculty within CEHS continue to generate considerable funding for a wide range of scholarly work through externally and internally funded grants (Grants). This funding has been crucial in allowing faculty to collaborate with school partners, pursue professional research goals, and gain support for new initiatives.
Sabbaticals provide faculty with the opportunity to pursue specific research, writing, or projects that further enhance their contributions to the university and the profession at large. Faculty may earn sabbatical leaves for one semester at full base salary or for a full academic year at two-thirds of base salary. A faculty member's second full-year sabbatical merits 80 percent, and the third full-year sabbatical 90 percent of base salary. The University granted nine faculty members from the Teacher Education Unit sabbaticals to pursue scholarly activity from 1996-2001 (Faculty Sabbaticals).
MSUM and the CEHS host numerous rich and varied opportunities for professional development. One of the most comprehensive programs currently in place is the Faculty Development Program, a university-wide program that is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). A member of the Unit is the CTL Campus Leader. Two Unit faculty members serve as co-chairs of the Faculty Development Committee. These faculty leaders have worked diligently to provide meaningful professional development opportunities for faculty. During the 2000-2001 academic year alone, the Faculty Development Committee hosted 24 professional development activities. These included 11 seminars with titles such as:
Unit faculty members have a high level of participation in developing and presenting these seminars, often collaborating with candidates and colleagues in other colleges throughout the process.
Another unique offering beginning Spring 2001, the "Talking about Teaching" Program, promotes pairs of faculty to meet monthly over lunch to discuss issues related to teaching and learning. The Faculty Development Committee hosted a breakfast at the end of Spring 2001 to gather feedback about "Talking about Teaching." Currently 40 faculty members are participating in the program.
Mentoring is a significant professional development enterprise for Unit faculty. In addition to the great deal of informal mentoring that occurs when new faculty join MSUM, new faculty may, if desired, have a formal mentor from outside the College assigned to guide them through their first year at the University.
A number of speakers have visited the MSUM campus during the past five year (List of Speakers). The College hosts speakers through the Comstock Visiting Scholar Educator Series; moreover, the Unit also enjoys the presentations of speakers who are guests of other series. By inviting scholars to our campus, the entire campus community, and especially MSUM candidates, benefit from the knowledge and experiences shared through the presentations.
Unit faculty members participate in many collaborative relationships with members of the greater community. The University, in conjunction with the College, has established a partnership with White Earth Tribal and Community College (WETCC) in which MSUM faculty mentor WETCC faculty (WETCC Mentoring Program). MSUM mentors spend time with WETCC faculty in planning, organizing, and evaluating courses as WETCC pursues regional accreditation. This is a valuable opportunity for faculty of diverse backgrounds to work together and to model for candidates at both facilities. Resource faculty who have been invited readily agree that the relationships are better described as mentor-mentor rather that mentor-mentee. It is anticipated that faculty from WETCC will present and collaborate with faculty in courses at MSUM.
Another collaborative partnership with WETCC benefits both faculty and candidates. WETCC has received an $800,000 federal grant, Preparation of Personnel in Minority Institutions: Associate of Art Degree in Paraeducation with an Emphasis on Special Education. The MSUM Special Education Department assisted with grant preparation and serves as partner/liaison with WETCC. The grant will assist persons who are interested in the paraeducation training program, with the intent of paving the way for further education and the ultimate goal of a university degree at MSUM for American Indian students.
An important aspect of this collaborative effort is the exchange opportunity for both faculty and students of diverse cultures. The plan includes reciprocal teaching during which American Indian faculty from WETCC will teach and interact with MSUM Special Education candidates. This program will facilitate exchange of teacher education candidates between the two locations to provide culturally diverse observation and field experience opportunities in P-12 schools for American Indian candidates and MSUM candidates. The MSUM chapter of the Student Council for Exception Children (SCEC) has planned several trips to the WETCC to participate in the "Talking Circles," which take place as part of the Paraeducator Program at WETCC. MSUM Special Education candidates will engage in dialogue with candidates at WETCC who are pursing the paraeducator training.
MSUM has received a $209,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop a series of traveling, interactive public exhibits during the next three years that will illustrate and explain new research in the physical sciences. The grant includes funding that will create a unique collaboration involving students and faculty at MSUM and WETCC along with regional high school teachers and the staff of the MSUM Regional Science Center. The theme of the project is, "Seeing is Believing." A team of seven undergraduate students and six regional high school and middle school teachers will develop materials for two exhibitions each summer, which will then be sent to the Science Museum of Minnesota to be constructed. The initial public display of the first exhibit will be at WETCC during the White Earth Reservation's annual pow-wow in the summer of 2003.
A year-long MSUM study aimed at improving the reading and writing skills of middle school students has received a $23,208 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation. Results of the study will feed directly into MSUM's teacher education program and a curriculum based on the study's successes is expected to eventually be available to other educators. Recent MSUM licensed education graduates, employed through the grant, are working with a group of 20 middle school level students who, for a variety of reasons, are functioning below their grade level. The project's goal is to develop a curriculum that can repair deficiencies in reading and writing skills.
Candidates collaborate with P-12 partners in the local schools. Standard 3 describes these projects in detail. The Edison Project, initiated in 1997, is a partnership between MSUM, the Moorhead Healthy Community Initiative, and Moorhead Area Public Schools. This partnership provides opportunities for teacher candidates to be involved in literacy instruction with diverse students.
Faculty and candidates also engage in collaborative efforts through the America Reads Program. America Reads is a nationwide program connecting community members with school children in an effort to support their success as readers. MSUM currently has 16 candidates, most of whom are Elementary Education majors, reading with children in grades K-3 in local schools. An Elementary and Early Childhood Education faculty member is responsible for recruiting, training, and supporting candidates in this endeavor (America Reads).
Collaboration also occurs in Unit faculty members' work with graduate candidates. Through the College, MSUM has been offering the Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction since 1997 (Graduate Programs). This program provides candidates with study in educational foundations, curriculum theory and instructional practices, and educational research. Candidates conduct action research in their classrooms or schools. In order to conduct action research projects, graduate candidates, all of whom are teachers, collaborate with Unit faculty, school administrators, and others in the research process. Often, this includes students, parents, and/or other members of school communities.
A recently instituted key collaboration is the Superintendent's Advisory Committee. Members are the Superintendents of Schools in West Fargo and Fargo, ND and Moorhead, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, and Hawley, MN. This group gives ongoing feedback to the Dean of the College and provides opportunities for collaboration in concurrent renewal efforts in education. This group is slated to meet twice a year. Its membership will continue to grow as additional members are invited from western Minnesota.
Some faculty members' primary assignment is field supervision of undergraduate candidates. These university supervisors have a wealth of recent P-12 experience as classroom teachers and building principals (University Clinical Supervisors). They continue to build the College's partnerships with P-12 schools through their recruitment of new cooperating teachers and in their collaboration with cooperating teachers to foster the professional growth of candidates. The Teacher Education Unit hosts dinners with area administrators and teachers twice a year. These dinners include discussions that provide vital information to refine teacher education at MSUM. This year, university supervisors have also begun to record suggestions from P-12 colleagues and submit them to the Field Experiences Office for consideration and action (Cooperating Teacher Comment Record).
Evaluation of Performance
Article 22 of the IFO/MnSCU Master Agreement outlines professional development and evaluation, whereby faculty place continuous emphasis on the development and improvement of their professional competence and productivity. The purpose of evaluation is to provide faculty with information that will contribute to their professional growth and academic excellence. Faculty scholarship and current knowledge of the discipline, together with a desire to improve pedagogy, are instrumental to good teaching. The evaluation criteria as outlined in Article 22 includes:
Faculty evaluations are systematic and comprehensive. Faculty are evaluated consistent with the provisions of Article 22 of the IFO/MnSCU Master Agreement and according to a timetable agreed to annually at Meet & Confer (Evaluation Timetable). Fixed-term faculty with assignments of .75 FTE or more and probationary faculty are evaluated on an annual basis and required to submit a progress report every year. Tenured faculty below the rank of full professor are evaluated every four years and required to submit an annual progress report. Tenured full professors are evaluated every four years and must submit a summary report in year two and a full report in year four. Candidates also participate in evaluating faculty through course evaluations, exit surveys, and follow-up studies. Feedback from candidates is highly valued in the CEHS and is used to support promotion, retention, and tenure reports. As is required by the IFO/MnSCU Master Agreement, departments within the Unit create their own procedures for evaluating faculty for renewal/non-renewal, tenure, and promotion, which differ slightly by department (Departmental Review Plans).