Submitted Fall, 2003
The assessment plan for the Master of Arts in Education - Special Education, which was previously approved, has a focus on student performance and achievement of the department's and program's objectives. Student performance and achievement are measured primarily in three ways: presentation portfolios, comprehensive examinations, and surveys.
Each student must take and pass a comprehensive examination, which is evaluated by the Special Education Graduate Faculty and reviewed by the Department of Teacher Education's Graduate Committee. This examination will reflect compliance with the objectives of the program, which are based on Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) and state standards each specialty area and the department's objectives.
All students create and submit web-based presentation portfolios prior to the completion of the program. These portfolios are evaluated by the Special Education Graduate faculty and are reviewed by the Department of Teacher Education's Graduate Committee. These portfolios will reflect compliance with the objectives of the program, which are based on CEC Standards, and the department's objectives.
The surveys are completed by two groups: program alumni and professional colleagues outside of the College of Education. All graduates of the program will be surveyed. The critical friend survey will be sent to approximately 15 selected professional colleagues who are familiar with and interested in the program. They will be principals, superintendents, special education directors or gifted coordinators, supervisors, Educational Service Unit (ESU) representatives, and similar individuals who have direct knowledge of the competencies of our graduates.
Schedule of Assessments
The comprehensive examinations will be conducted no later than three weeks prior to graduation every semester. Those dates are approximately: 15 November, 15 April, and 20 July of each year. A report of student performance by the Special Education Graduate Program Faculty will be submitted to the Department's Graduate Program Committee (GPC). After review by the GPC, a report will be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.
The presentation portfolios assessment will be conducted no later than three weeks prior to graduation every semester. Those dates are approximately: 15 November, 15 April, and 20 July of each year. A report of student performance by the Special Education Graduate faculty will be submitted to the Department's Graduate Program Committee (GPC). After review by the GPC, a report will be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.
The Alumni Surveys will be administered no sooner than two years after graduation to all students. The delay of two years is to ensure that the graduates have had ample opportunity to use their knowledge and skills and to determine their own preparation, competence, and knowledge base in the work environment. The surveys will be sent in May. The first survey will be sent in May of 2004 for the graduates from 1999 to 2002. A second survey will be administered in May of 2007 for the 2003-2005 graduates. A similar pattern will follow. The Critical Friends Survey will be administered in May of 2004 also. A second survey will be conducted in May of 2007 and will be repeated every three years.
Master's students in all specialty areas of the Special Education Master's will take a written comprehensive examination that covers the essential content in the specialty area. A minimum of three graduate faculty members in Special Education or a supporting area from the College of Education will read and evaluate the exam according to predetermined criteria. If the student does not pass one or more sections of the comprehensive exam, an oral examination may be given the same semester before a minimum of three graduate faculty members in Special Education or a supporting area from the College of Education. Students may have the opportunity to rewrite the full comprehensive examination the following semester if necessary. A remedial study guide will be discussed with the student and additional classes may be required if needed to build the necessary skills. Students may take the written comprehensive examination only twice without taking additional classes to remediate weak areas.
The web-based presentation portfolios will be evaluated using CEC and other applicable standards. The portfolios will be maintained for a minimum of two years after graduation and available for evaluation by outside accreditation bodies, such as NCA and NCATE.
The surveys will be analyzed by the Special Education Program faculty or an ad hoc committee. The faculty or ad hoc committee will review the findings to determine what program modifications need to be implemented and will do so following department and Graduate College guidelines.