Standard Two: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation
Pacific University has a comprehensive assessment system that collects and analyzes data on applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations. The processes and results are reviewed annually, and refined as needed. The description of the assessment system provided in this section represents current implementation as well as future plans for assessment at Pacific University. The evidence documented in this section will support the claim that Pacific University meets Standard Two.
Element Three: Use of Data for Program Improvement
Pacific University’s College of Education regularly and systematically uses data for program improvement by utilizing assessment methods that provide meaningful data and data analysis which lead to clearer understanding of relationships. Careful study of assessment methods—their value, their efficiency, and their potential outcomes—has been a major focus in recent years.
A formalized process has been established so that we now undertake careful and periodic review of programs, procedures, and data-collection instruments. The process generally begins at the committee level, is reviewed by the Dean and the Dean’s council, and proceeds to full faculty discussion in order to achieve consensus. Currently faculty are involved in discussions around program re-design (curriculum and course changes). In the past three years, major modifications have been made to candidate assessment instruments. The data-collection system has been designed, implemented and refined since the decision was made to seek NCATE accreditation.
Below are recent examples of data-driven curriculum and program changes as a result of evaluating the data collected by the COE Assessment System:
- The Special Education program was expanded to the Eugene campus and to a state-wide cohort.
- Decisions have been made to establish the Forest Grove MAT/Flex program as a cohort; the Eugene MAT/Flex program was already functioning in this manner. This allows the Forest Grove MAT/Flex program to establish an 18-month calendar and schedule to be provided to students at the beginning of the program. This approach has allowed us to align the MAT/Flex coursework with the MAT/5th Year program, so that the programs are identical in content but different in the delivery mode. (MAT/Flex classes are held on evenings and weekends.)
- The Dispositions Procedures and forms (Self-Assessment document and Faculty Assessment document) have been implemented; this has allowed us to identify and correct any candidate disposition issues early and smoothly. The Candidate Disposition Self-Assessment (pdf) and Disposition Procedures (pdf) have been added to each program handbook.
- Major changes have taken place around assessment documents, including the Work Sample Evaluation Form (pdf)(and Work Sample Scoring Guide (pdf)), the Midplacement Student Teaching Evaluation Form (pdf) and Student Teaching Summary Evaluation Form (pdf), and the Candidate Field Experience Evaluation by Mentor Teacher (pdf). (For example, the Student Teaching Summary Evaluation in the past was scored simply as Met/Not Met; we now use a more discriminating scale from 1 – 6 with a rubric established to ensure inter-rater reliability.) In each case, the documents were reviewed and refined in order to reflect our Conceptual Framework; language was clarified; documents in use on the two campuses were unified; the latest approved documents have been archived on our website so that no ‘old’ forms are accidentally used.
- Admissions procedures, including interview questions (pdf) and writing sample prompts, have been reviewed and modified to reflect our Conceptual Framework. The transcript analysis procedure has been improved to provide interviewers with more detail
- Survey Monkey has been used to collect and analyze program evaluation data from Candidates, Alumni, Mentor Teachers, Principals and Employers.
- A new procedure is being piloted to allow candidates to do their course evaluations on-line, which will permit immediate feedback to faculty including statistical analysis and comments, facilitating course corrections as warranted.
- The admissions criteria has been changed to require fully-admitted candidates to show evidence of passing the basic skills test and the content-area tests prior to entering their programs. Candidates who have not yet taken or passed the content-area tests can be conditionally-admitted but must show evidence of having signed up to take the exam(s) prior to the next semester and to passing the exam(s) prior to student teaching.
- In order to determine the effectiveness of our orientation sessions, we will pilot a new assessment to be used after each Mentor Teacher and University Supervisor training workshop.