NCATE-Standard 4

Standard 4 – Diversity

The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates can demonstrate and apply proficiencies related to diversity. Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse populations, including higher education and P–12 school faculty, candidates, and students in P–12 schools.

4.1 Significant Changes

4.1 What are the significant changes in how the unit prepares candidates to work effectively with all students, including individuals of different ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and/or geographical area?

Since the 2006 NCATE accreditation visit, the EPP has made significant changes to address areas for improvement in order to be in full compliance with Standard 4. Diversity is a central theme in ECU’s conceptual framework. The COE is a leader in providing diversity resources for EPP faculty and candidates through its Diversity Committee and Web site. The COE’s Dynamic Dialogues on Diversity series bring the Institution’s commitment to diversity through the Office of Institutional Diversity’s (now Office of Equity and Diversity) heritage months alive for all EPP candidates and increasing candidate opportunities to engage with diverse educators.

Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Curriculum and Experience

Following the 2006 NCATE review, significant changes were made to the EPP Professional Studies Core (PSC). The PSC underwent major changes in 2008-09 as part of revisions mandated by the NCDPI concerning initial licensure programs. Revisions were also made in 2009-10 for advanced teacher licensure programs. (See below, in addition to Standard 1, for more details on NCDPI revisions at the ITP and ADV levels.) Additionally, ECU’s Learning Outcomes policy requires all degree programs to assess diversity outcomes as part of the institutional learning objective, referred to as the Global Perspective, in the unit assessment reports. As a result, all programs in the EPP annually assess student learning outcomes (SLO’s) based on the Global Perspective.

After program completion, all candidates complete a program exit survey for initial, advanced, and “other” school personnel programs. These exit surveys provide feedback on how their program of study developed their abilities to work with students from diverse backgrounds.

Initial Teacher Preparation Programs

The revised PSC was approved by the CTE in January 2009. The new PSC requires all initial teacher candidates entering Upper Division in fall 2010 to successfully complete diversity in education coursework, either EDUC 3002 or a CTE approved social science course. Course-alike meetings across the EDUC 3002 sections are designed to ensure consistency of implementation and evaluation of EDUC 3002 coursework. More recently, the OAA provides grade reports for EDUC 3002 organized by program area to inform course improvements. Spring 2014 graduates in initial programs have reported being well-prepared to: respect different cultural backgrounds (3.86 on a 4 point scale), employ instructional strategies to meet the needs of English Language Learner (ELL) students (3.40 on a 5 point scale), and employ instructional strategies to meet the needs of exceptional children (3.68 on a 5 point scale).

During internship, key assessments collected during the ITP internship semester are clearly aligned with NC Professional Teaching Standards (NCPTS), with a focus on NCPTS Standard 2–Teachers Establish a Respectful Environment for a Diverse Population of Students. Examples of this alignment are presented in exhibit 4.4.d. The edTPA alignment with NCATE Standard 4 was a key factor in the EPP’s decision to adopt the performance assessment.

Advanced Teacher Preparation Programs

In the NCDPI revised programs, all new MAEd candidates admitted in fall 2011 and afterward, are required to complete a Graduate Evidence Portfolio, as well as a Diversity Advocacy project, as part of the required MAEd core course (EDUC 6001). Course-alike meetings across the EDUC 6001 sections are designed to warrant consistency of implementation and evaluation of EDUC 6001 coursework.

Experiences Working with Diverse Faculty

Recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff is a high priority of ECU and the EPP. ECU defines diversity in a broad context to include the representation, integration, and interaction of different races, genders, ages, ethnicities, cultures, national origins, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, veteran statuses, socio-economic statuses, intellectual positions, and perspectives. ECU desires a pluralistic academic community where teaching, learning, and living occurs in an atmosphere of mutual respect in pursuit of excellence.

Appendix A provides relevant data about diversity within the institution and EPP. Faculty and staff at ECU self-identify as members of eight different racial and/or ethnic groups; two categories: “two or more races” and “race/ethnicity unknown” are new since 2006. These new categories confound the data, drawing nearly 14 percent of faculty across the institution. As a result, the faculty overall appear to be more diverse. When compared to the 2006 NCATE visit data, current institutional faculty are more diverse with the percentage of “White” faculty dropping from 88.2 percent to 73.4 percent at the institutional level. The representation of “Black or African American” faculty increased across the EPP; from 4.8 percent to 7.77 percent in ITP’s, and from 5.2 percent to 6.06 percent in ADV.

As a public institution, ECU does not capture data on other forms of diversity in its university data system; however, personal disclosures indicate faculty members from different national origins, cultures, religious groups, sexual orientations, veteran statuses, and individuals with disabilities work in programs across the EPP.

Experiences Working with Diverse Candidates

Recruitment and retention of diverse candidates is of high primacy for ECU and the EPP. Appendix B provides relevant data about the EPP candidates and student population of the institution. Overall, candidates of the EPP reflect the same composition of racial and/or ethnic diversity as the ECU campus at-large.

The EPP acknowledges its challenges in recruiting diverse candidates to teacher education. In 2005, the ECU campus-based Teacher Recruitment Plan was written with specific strategies to increase minority enrollments in initial licensure programs. In 2009, with the U.S. Department of Education TQP grant award, one of the key measures was the recruitment and retention of diverse candidates. The TQP Year 4 Impact Report indicates an increase of 4.86 percent in all racially diverse candidates enrolled in the entry course in all EPP programs. More recently, the COE’s new Education Housing Community (EHC) is focused on recruiting ITP candidates to join a living and learning which would increase opportunities to work with diverse candidates.

Experiences Working with Diverse Students in P-12 Schools

All candidates in the EPP are required to complete field experiences and clinical practice (internships). Located in rural eastern NC, candidates have the opportunity to engage with diverse students in P-12 settings. The 38 districts in the LCSN—where ITP candidates are required to complete internship placements—have P-12 student populations averaging 44 percent minority student populations. Data on P-12 student diversity is presented in Appendix C. Many LCSN districts have high percentages of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. Data from NCDPI on ELL’s is not available, but LCSN partners report the increase in Hispanic populations during the past five years correlates to an increase in ELL students in their districts.

As documented in the NCDPI Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) reports, the EPP faculty is of service to many P-12 schools with large non-dominant student populations in the LCSN and beyond (2011, 2012, 2013).

4.2 AFI

4.2 Summarize activities and assessments that demonstrate correction of any areas for improvement from the previous visit, if applicable.

The EPP has two areas for improvement to address in Standard 4 from the 2006 NCATE accreditation visit:

  1. Commitments to diversity are not consistently aligned in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. (ITP only)
  2. Candidates have limited opportunities to interact with faculty members from diverse backgrounds. (ITP and ADV)

To address the first area for improvement, the following changes have been implemented in the EPP across all ITP programs:

  • As noted in Section 4.1 above, all degree programs at ECU report on a Global Perspective as part of annual unit assessment reporting required by university policy. Annual review of each program’s Global Objective is available in the Unit Assessment Reports. Aligning Global Perspective SLO’s with direct and indirect assessments collected by the COE OAA promotes consistency and fidelity across the EPP.
  • ECU has adopted diversity definitions and goals that align with the university’s Diversity Action Plan administered by the ECU Office for Equity and Diversity (OED). All programs in the EPP fall under these guidelines.
  • The COE’s Dynamic Dialogues on Diversity series brings the Institution’s commitment to diversity to EPP candidates.
  • All ITP candidates are required to take a diversity course as part of the CTE-approved PSC of courses. Of the approved course options, each program advises candidates to meet this requirement on course planners and during face-to-face advising sessions. The establishment of the PSC courses with diversity-focused course options unites EPP’s focus on diversity issues and ensures consistency of experience across the EPP.
  • Key assessments collected during the ITP internship semester are clearly aligned with NCPTS, with a focus on NCPTS Standard 2Teachers Establish a Respectful Environment for a Diverse Population of Students. Key assessments with this alignment include the Progress Report observational instrument and the NCDPI provided Teacher Candidate Rubric. Additionally, edTPA aligns with NCPTS and also aligns with NCATE Standard 4 goals.
  • As noted in Standard 2.1, edTPA provides the EPP a quality performance measure to evaluate a teacher candidate’s ability to establish culturally responsive learning environments; see rubric 6, edTPA handbook.
  • Exit surveys for ITP and ADV programs have been revised since the 2006 NCATE visit to include a stronger focus on program impact of candidate development, in working with diverse learners.

To address the second area for improvement, the following changes have been implemented in the EPP across all ITP and ADV programs:

  • The overall racial and/or ethnic diversity of ECU faculty has increased. A comparison of 2006 and 2012 faculty diversity indicates an overall increase in “Black or African American” and “Asian” demographic groups; see exhibit 4.4.b.
  • ITP candidates in their first two years have more opportunities to engage with diverse faculty while taking foundations courses in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.
  • All units in the EPP at ECU adhere to university policy to recruit diverse faculty candidates to the University. The OED oversees efforts in this regard. When successful, recruitment of diverse faculty to the EPP increases opportunities for candidates to interact with faculty from different backgrounds. ECU’s OED Web page dedicated to recruitment highlights how ECU utilizes the Web site Insight into Diversity to help with its recruitment. ECU belongs to the following national organizations: The American Association for Affirmative Action and The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
  • Diverse faculty interactions are enhanced by our partnership with public schools for early field experiences and clinical placements. Through the EPP’s LCSN, the unit increases opportunities for candidates to interact with diverse educational professionals in the field.

4.3 Transformation Initiative

4.3 Transformation Initiative
  • Summarize activities and changes based on data on candidate performance and program quality that are related to the TI, if TI is related to this standard.
  • Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing progress on the TI in this area, if TI is related to this standard

The EPP’s Transformation Initiative, the Pirate CODE, does not directly apply to Standard 4.

4.4 Exhibits

4.4 Exhibits

ECU is conditionally accredited based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards, for a period of 7 years, from Fall 2015 to Spring 2022.

ECU  will seek accreditation based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards in Spring 2022. CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers NCATE accreditation.