Contact information:

Email
education@stmartin.edu

Phone number
360-438-4333

Physical location
476 Old Main Building

Mailing address
College of Education and Professional Psychology
Saint Martin's University
5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503-7500

Office hours
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

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Saint Martin's University College of Education and Professional Psychology conceptual framework

Table of contents

I. Introduction

Saint Martin's University was founded in 1895 by monks of the Roman Catholic Order of Saint Benedict. The Order, the oldest in Western Civilization, was founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia in about 528. Saint Martin's first enrolled boys and young men between the approximate ages of 10-20. The new school admitted its first student on Sept. 11, 1895. By 1897, 29 students were attending Saint Martin's. College level courses were added in 1900 and, in 1940 Saint Martin's became a four-year accredited, baccalaureate-granting institution. The College became coeducational in 1965. The Division of Education programs were established in the 1970's for secondary education. Saint Martin's College became Saint Martin's University in 2005; the Division of Education became the College of Education in 2006. The education programs now include undergraduate programs in elementary, secondary, and special education; two graduate degrees; and 24 endorsements. Programs are located at four sites-the Lacey main campus and three extension sites (Ft. Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Clover Park School District)-all within a 40 mile radius of the Lacey campus.

The College of Education and Counseling Psychologyhas bachelor's and master's degree programs, and non-degree certification-only programs. Teacher certification may be completed as part of a bachelor's degree, independently after the baccalaureate is complete, or as part of the master's degree. School counselor certification is completed as part of a Master's of Education (MED) degree, or as an Education Staff Associate certification. School administrator (principal or program administrator) certification is completed as part of an MED degree, or as certification-only. All teacher candidates must complete two endorsements. Saint Martin's University has redesigned its education programs in response to the national and state reform efforts. The programs have adapted to the performance-based emphasis, while maintaining academic excellence and the flexibility to meet student needs. Individuals completing our programs are qualified for recommendation for residency (first level) and professional (second level) certification from Washington State.

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Philosophy statement

The teacher education programs at Saint Martin's University have been constructed to allow for the confluence of 1500 years of Benedictine traditions of scholarship, education, hospitality, and community with current thoughts and practices of today. We feel that the blending of tradition and modernity allows us to develop education professionals with curiosity, who promote stimulating environments for increasingly diverse students, and who value the dynamics of pluralism, change, and individuality.

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Mission statement

When an education professional leaves the Saint Martin's education programs, we believe they take with them a core set of human, spiritual, and democratic values. They are ready to promote hospitality, scholarship, and education within the community of the school. The pluralistic and ever changing worlds of diverse students and knowledge will always be welcomed by our graduates. Such is our mission.

As a community of educators, we see the values of hard work, flexibility, compassion, and camaraderie reflected in our commitment to bridging and connecting the classrooms at Saint Martin's with the schools of the community. We see it in ourselves as we mutually support each other with personal encouragement and academic integrity. We value our heritage and our mission continues.

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Vision statement

The College of Education and Counseling Psychologyat Saint Martin's University strives to focus our teacher/counselor/administrator education programs upon the development of professionals who value tradition, and concurrently, subscribe to a progressive spirit.

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Core values

Our programs, therefore, involve the recognition of change, the constructivist approach to knowledge and skills formulation, multi-age grouping practices, technological utilization, and significant themes of inquiry integrating both the practical and the theoretical aspects of knowledge.

Our curriculum engages students in basic skills development through inquiry-oriented, critical, reflective, creative, and imaginative thinking, and ethical decision making. Our programs support the use of case studies, field experiences, performance and reflective assessment, a strong background in academic content areas, and the need for students to be active agents in their education.

Students who complete our program(s) are able to function as future educators in a pluralistic, consensual, democratic society and recognize the need for instruction in both social (group) and personal (individual) realms.

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Purpose statement

The purpose of the Saint Martin's University education programs is to provide a distinctive professional educational experience in teacher education, school guidance and counseling, and administrator programs. In partnership with our students and P-12 professional educators, we strive to realize potential, think critically, love learning, and grow in spiritual and ethical character with the goal of promoting the better education and welfare of children.

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II. College of Education goals

The goal of Saint Martin's University College of Education and Professional Psychology is to select and prepare teacher/counselor/administrator candidates to become outstanding P-12 professionals. To the general University emphasis on basic strength in academic areas of study for all graduates, the college adds strong professional teacher/counselor/administrator training programs which comply with specific state requirements. The programs are also shaped by practitioners who serve on its Professional Education Advisory Boards (PEAB). True to its catholic Benedictine heritage, the College of Education shares the University's strong emphasis on moral and ethical values. A teacher/counselor educated at Saint Martin's will enter his/her first school prepared not only with knowledge, but also with strong values, an educational philosophy centered on meeting the needs of the individual child, and a base of experience upon which to build.

The college's following three goals, therefore, lead us to the core of our conceptual framework:

  1. Curriculum (knowledge): The College of Education and Professional Psychology programs are dedicated to developing competent teachers, counselors, and administrators who have strong knowledge in subject matter. Individuals completing our programs will utilize technology as it relates to teaching/counseling/administration, participate in free and open inquiry, and problem-solve and construct new learning opportunities for themselves, P-12 students and staff.
  2. Pedagogy (skills): Individuals will develop and utilize pedagogical/counseling/administration strategies and skills necessary to their program. The College of Education and Professional Psychology programs will provide a community for P-12/SMU collaboration, thus enriching pre-service through the professional performance continuum. Individuals completing our programs will have participated in a variety of leadership opportunities and multiple P-12 field experiences, including placements with school districts with diverse student populations.
  3. Character (dispositions): The College of Education and Professional Psychology programs are dedicated to developing a caring community of teacher/counselor/administrator-colleagues with strong ethical character, professional leadership, collaborative skill, openness to innovation, and personal integrity. Individuals completing our programs will reflect democratic traditions-including acceptance of the individual and sensitivity for cultural diversity.

With these goals in mind, the college programs were designed/redesigned to supply its students with: an excellent background in academic and pedagogical theory and knowledge; the ability to apply that theory and knowledge in practical, daily situations; technological and teaching/counseling/administrative techniques for successfully transmitting that knowledge and application skill; a caring, nurturing attitude toward children and colleagues; skill, confidence and sensitivity in classroom leadership; and the ability to gain employment.

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Overview

To achieve these challenges, the education programs have established the following:

  • program initiation/planning based on needs assessment and institutional capability
  • professional/practitioner inclusion in program planning, delivery with assessment
  • careful articulation of Saint Martin's program and community college offerings
  • student selection based on scholarship and personal characteristics compatible with the profession
  • program advising based on student interests and the market for teaching fields
  • close inter-divisional coordination of teacher/counselor/administrator training and academic preparation
  • a strong field experience component to develop application of teaching/counseling/administrative skills
  • small classes (15-30 students) to encourage participation
  • faculty with a master's or higher degrees, large majority of faculty with doctoral degrees
  • the majority of classes taught by regular, full-time faculty or adjuncts who return each year
  • student and peer evaluation of individual course quality
  • preparation that complies with state regulations on program content and certification procedures
  • careful alignment with state goals, essential learning requirements and assessment against the goals to ensure students are able to demonstrate “a positive impact on student learning”
  • procedures that promote success of graduates in job placement

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III. Program spiral/integrated design

Programs have been designed to integrate knowledge/skills throughout courses and various learning and field experience opportunities. Knowledge/skills are introduced, developed, practiced, and mastered as students proceed through the program from the introductory courses/opportunities to the core foundation courses/opportunities, to methods courses/opportunities, and finally, to the student teaching/internship.

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Administration for schools

This program is for individuals who want to improve their skills as an educational professional through advanced study and to assume a role of leadership. The programs are designed to meet certification requirements. Either of the options will help meet individual goals through a flexible program offered in small classes taught by highly qualified faculty. Two certification programs are available as stand alone certification programs, or as part of an MED degree: principal and program administrator. Those without a prior master's degree are required to complete the MED program in the school administrator strand.

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Art (imagination) of teaching

The art of teaching is a construct which bridges the known and unknown and brings us along to a new space. In the College of Education and Professional Psychology at Saint Martin's University, it is imagination that leads and guides our sense of taking students beyond yesterday and into tomorrow. Imagination leads to our focusing upon problem solving as a necessary attribute of tomorrow's teacher. It is our imagination that leads us to try the new and to reinvent the known into something that solves the problem. Imagination is neither art nor science, but a human undertaking which allows us to create and invent our worlds.

At Saint Martin's, our College of Education and Professional Psychology is devoted to this idea of each individual being unique and imaginative. To foster this, students are assigned to classrooms early in their experiences for observations, interpretations, reflections, and understandings about classroom management and assessment. How can you do this job better with more flair and understanding? That is our constant question.

We stress problem solving through simulations and thematic planning. We use role playing to prepare our students for parent teacher conferencing and interacting with school personnel, students, and fellow teachers. Our students are asked to prepare a variety of lessons and to deliver them both in real school classrooms and in peer teaching situations. Students are asked to create their own philosophy of education, to design classroom standards that reflect the best we know, and to design individual plans of instruction. All of this requires students to use their imaginations to move from what is known into the unknown. Imagination is what leads our students to be the quality teachers that Washington needs.

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Assessment in the classroom

Our philosophy of classroom assessment in the College of Education and Professional Psychology at Saint Martin's University is closely aligned with the practices and procedures of school districts (i.e., large and small scale, high and low stakes, formative and summative assessments utilizing categories of selected response, essay, performance and personal communication).

We believe and teach that most important end-users of classroom assessment data are students and teachers. We believe and teach that students need to be involved in the process of self assessment to help them become independent assessors of their own learning.

To this end, in our core classes we teach our students about the many and varied types of tests and assessments. In ED 204 Introduction to education, we introduce the knowledge about the different large scale assessments such as the ITBS, WASL, SAT, ACT, etc. In our next courses, ED 205 Child and adolescent development, we introduce the concepts of assessment of normal and abnormal development and the consequences to learning based on those assessments. Then in ED 370 Classroom assessment and SED 359 Introduction to exceptionalities, our teacher education students learn how to create, use, assess their students, as well as, assess their instruments and their conclusions based on teacher created instruments versus assessments created by others. In addition, in ED 370, our students work in their own endorsement areas to create classroom assessments of student learning that most powerfully assess the particular targets (objectives) they have set as their learning benchmarks. Methods courses utilize the Performance-Based Pedagogy Assessment to assess progress toward meeting all objectives required in student teaching. Students participate as a self-reflecting team member during student teaching to complete formative Performance-Based Pedagogy Assessment assessments. The college supervisor and mentor teacher then complete the formal summative assessment using the Performance-Based Pedagogy Assessment.

Our aim is to ensure our teacher education students are critical and skeptical end-users of student assessment data. They learn to create, use and interpret a wide range of assessment types to ensure they have a holistic picture of their students and can describe student learning from many different view points, not just one view point. Our teacher education students are exposed to and taught how to create assessments that incorporate the latest in cognitive psychology, neuro-psychology, people with disabilities and people who are “overly-abled”, learning theories, intelligence theories and test making literature. They are also taught how to get their students involved in their own learning assessment.

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Counseling for schools

Teacher: all teacher education candidates take a course entitled Issues of abuse/teacher as counselor. All teacher candidates, therefore, are grounded in the knowledge/skills of issues of abuse and the compassionate response of basic counseling. Teachers learn to recognize types of abuse as well as the legal requirements for reporting. Teachers also learn appropriate skills to seek additional resources for the child (school counselor, etc.) as needed.

School counselor: two approaches to certification are available. Those who have completed their master's degree prior to completion of the school counseling program can follow an Educational Staff Associate (ESA) “certification only” approach. Those without a master's degree are required to complete our MED program in the guidance and counseling strand.

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Dispositions

Having dispositions appropriate to the profession of teaching is paramount to the success of our students. Dispositions are assessed informally during the application and personal interview. Dispositions are further assessed in courses as faculty evaluate a student's honesty, work ethic, responsibility, persistence, positive attitude, etc. Faculty with concerns about a student regarding appropriate dispositions initiate a staffing process to determine any actions needed to encourage to develop/use appropriate professional dispositions.

Dispositions are formally evaluated during the student teaching experience as part of the Pedagogy Assessment rubric, the mentor teacher evaluation, and the supervisor observation/observation.

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Diversity in classrooms

The education courses offered at Saint Martin's University address the preparation of teachers, school counselors and administrators for the wide diversity of students, parents and colleagues they are certain to meet in their classrooms, schools, and communities. The courses provide a broad treatment of the various forms of human diversity found in today's schools including nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, class, language, sexual orientation, poverty, child abuse, ability levels, low-status, and historically marginalized students. The impact of social context factors are studied and properly applied to our courses. Furthermore, development of appropriate and diverse classrooms, concepts, topics and curriculum are emphasized across the curriculum and course work through our “spiral” curriculum where topics and issues are emphasized, embedded and reinforced at intervals. The concept we emphasize is not an add-on program, but embedded into the program as a whole. Students are always encouraged to engage in reflective and critical thinking about education and diversity in classrooms.

Through active participation in class activities, each student: 1) becomes more aware of his/her own attitude in working with others, 2) comprehends terms associated with diversity in society and educational field, 3) becomes an expert in helping the community understand and accept diversity, and 4) examines research based, cross cultural psychological emphasis on how people learn about culture. The course content is based on the assumption that it is at the level of the individual teacher where the change must occur with regard to “closing the achievement gap” in schools.

Theories/Topics covered in courses include, but are not necessarily limited to: Bloom's Taxonomy, Maslow's Model of a Hierarchy of Needs, Multiple Intelligences Theory, learning styles, use of appropriate federal laws respecting the rights of the disabled, equity strategies related to various populations, child abuse and neglect, ability/disability, exceptional learners, and historically marginalized students.

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Ethics/Values

Students in the College of Education and Counseling Psychology programs have multiple opportunities to develop professional ethics and values. We believe that professional ethics and professional values are of utmost importance for all individuals in the education profession.

Included in the application packet to the College of Education and Professional Psychology is a code of ethics, a statement of ethics, and a statement of confidentiality that the student must sign. The statements acknowledge that ethics and confidentiality are essential. All candidates applying for certification must also complete a character and fitness form. The form, while not specifically for ethics and values, does document the behavior of the student regarding “good moral character.”

The College of Education and Counseling Psychologyincludes staffing meetings with all students in order to help students develop the academic and behaviors necessary for success in the education profession. Advisors and/or the dean meet with students as needed to help students develop positive ethical behaviors and moral values.

Knowledge and skills in ethics of the education profession are included in Introduction to education, Education law, Philosophical foundations in education, and Issues of abuse/teacher as counselor. Undergraduate students are required to take a course in religious studies and a course in philosophy. All these courses encourage personal reflection and development of a personal professional philosophy - including professional ethics and positive moral values.

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Field experience

A variety of types of field experience in classroom settings is required at all levels of instruction in the education programs at Saint Martin's University. Field experience begins with a preprogram requirement of ten observation hours at three levels: ten hours with ages six to twelve, ten hours with ages 13 to 18 year olds and ten hours in a K-12 classroom setting. After admission to the College of Education and dependent upon the field of study and endorsement areas, students formally enroll in courses requiring field experience. The education placement officer arranges for the student to experience a wide variety of field placements. Students observe and participate in several settings including private and public schools, as well as urban and rural settings. Courses requiring a field experience are as follows:

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Introductory level courses

Curriculum and instruction, classroom management, and classroom assessment may be taken individually or as a block in the core block (elementary) program. Taken as a block, the students spend 45 hours in observation and participation in a school setting. Introduction to exceptionality (including a 10 hour observation practicum) is another introductory course required by all students.

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Methods courses

Students are required to observe and participate in lesson planning and teaching activities in several methods courses: issues and trends in early education (20 hr. practicum), elementary math methods (10 hr. practicum), science methods (10 hr. practicum), social studies methods (10 hr. practicum), language arts methods (10 hr practicum), middle school methods (30 hr practicum), and secondary school methods (45 hr practicum).

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Specialty practica

Students earning endorsements in reading or special education are required to complete additional practica: reading practicum (30 hr), special education practicum (90 hr), and early childhood practicum (20 hr).

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Student teaching/internship

Student teaching typically requires 16 full time weeks (560 hours). Additional time may be needed if the student is earning endorsements in elementary or a secondary field and special education. Reduced student teaching may be applied for and approved if the candidate meets prior teaching experience and other criterion as described in the student teacher handbook. Alternative route candidates may complete student teaching with an early exit option if all requirements are met after a minimum of one-half year internship. School guidance and counseling candidates complete a 400 hour internship over one or two semesters. School administrators candidates complete 720 hours, at least 360 hours during the school year over two or more semesters.

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Integrated course blocks

Block programs are designed to blend curriculum from two or more courses into an integrated experience. Students and faculty form learning communities for a semester as they blend theory and practice and gain knowledge and skills in a coordinated and integrated curriculum. The College of Education offers two block programs for candidates in the elementary programs and two block programs for candidates in secondary programs.

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Elementary core block

The elementary core block program is an integrated block of three courses plus practicum for candidates in the elementary education programs. These give the foundational concepts that the rest of the education program is built on, linked with a realistic view of what is going on in the classroom. The objectives of this program include: linking observations in an elementary classroom with theory for best educational practices and showing how curriculum, instruction, management and assessment work together. The integrated courses include Curriculum and instruction (ED306/MED506), Classroom management (ED360/MED560) and Classroom assessment (ED370/MED570).

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Elementary arts block

The arts block consists of three courses: ED 416/MED516 (Art methods), ED 417/MED517 (Health/P.E. methods), and MUS430/MED530 (Music methods). Students enrolled in this block will learn the elements and concepts of each art and practice its specific skills. Activities will provide opportunities to integrate skills and knowledge among the arts, and to integrate the arts across the curriculum. In addition, students will explore and test a variety of arts materials and resources appropriate for the classroom. A culminating performance-based project designed by the students will showcase their accomplishments.

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Secondary methods/practicum block

Our secondary block consists of secondary methods and directed secondary practicum. These two courses are combined and integrated into one seamless course that is designed to teach prospective middle and high school teachers the principles and practices of teaching in the secondary school classroom. The overall goal of this integrated course block is to have students, as prospective middle and high school teachers, examine and experiment with the internal and external processes of becoming better teachers. They will increase their repertoire of teaching methods and learn how to use the methods they already do know more effectively. Using methods common to actor training, they will increase their confidence, enhance their ability to quickly form positive relationships with students, adopt or strengthen a regular practice of reflecting on their teaching and learn to “think on their feet”—adapting to change and challenge with creativity and grace.

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Secondary Teacher Alternative Route (STAR) program

The Saint Martin’s University competitive STAR program (initial cohort in 2001) includes the classes and internship necessary to prepare successful participants for Washington State secondary teacher certification in one year or less. Entry requires a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of high education, a 3.0 grade point average, five years of professionally oriented work experience, and good moral character and personal fitness. Candidates typically earn endorsements in high need areas (special education, math, sciences). After acceptance, participants attend an intensive eight week cohort summer academy at Saint Martin’s University. By September, there is one-year placement in a student teaching assignment with support from a university supervisor and classroom mentor teacher. Early exit (e.g. program completion) after ½ year minimum internship is based on successful completion of all program requirements and mentor teacher/supervisor recommendation.

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Leadership

Students in the College of Education and Counseling Psychologyhave multiple opportunities to develop leadership knowledge/skills. Leadership skills are essential in the career of the education professional-from the accepted to program stage to professional certification.

Faculty teach leadership skills in course activities. Students rotate leadership roles in cooperative learning projects both in class and out of class. Leaders coordinate the projects-similar to leadership activities needed for K-12 curriculum and other types of projects.

Graduate students are required to participate as leaders in course activities. The graduate leaders mentor “their” group of students-leading discussions, arranging meeting times for outside work parties and/or study groups.

Students also have the opportunity to accept leadership in the education club and/or student senate (ASSMU). SWEA leadership has resulted in campus-wide guest speakers, book sales, and other club activities.

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Lesson plans/unit plans/teaching strategies

Students are introduced to the knowledge and skills of lesson planning very early in their program. The knowledge and skills are further developed in the methods courses and mastered in the student teaching portion of the program. Teaching strategies are taught in all curriculum and methods courses; strategies are practiced in peer microteaching opportunities, in K-12 classrooms during field experiences, and in student teaching placements.

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Initial development

Lesson plans are a required performance indicator in the core curriculum and instruction course. Students prepare the lesson plan according to the model provided by the instructor of the course. The plan is initially in draft stage and is expanded and developed as the course continues. Teaching strategies typically include large and small group discussions, and hands-on performance based strategies.

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Intermediate development

The unit plan is prepared in draft form and is expanded in the methods courses. Each methods course requires a lesson plan and/or a unit plan. Some of the methods courses require an integrated unit plan; some require other possible components such as team teaching and/or cooperative learning grouping. Strategies include strategies specific to the methods course being taught e.g., science methods includes lab strategies, math methods includes math manipulative strategies, reading methods includes reading strategies, etc. Unit plans utilize the strategies taught in class; students practice the lesson/strategy in peer microteaching opportunities and video tape review. Students receive feedback from their peers and the instructor of the course, as well as from self reflection.

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Advanced development

The unit plan is completed for student teaching. The unit plan must be a minimum of 3 weeks of lessons and must be approved by the classroom mentor teacher prior to the student teacher beginning the teaching of the unit. The college supervisor must observe the unit being taught and assesses the student according to the Pedagogy Assessment Instrument. Students utilize a variety of strategies according to the purpose of the lessons and the content to be taught. It is the intent of the College of Education that students are familiar with over 30 strategies upon completion of student teaching.

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Expectations for future development

It is expected that the student will continue the development and refining of lesson plan writing, unit plan preparation and strategy performance throughout his/her career. While it is not expected that all students will be experts in all facets of curriculum planning and teaching strategies upon certification, it is expected that all students will understand the “life-long” learning nature of the education profession.

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Para-educators, parents and volunteers in schools

Given the emphasis recently on school community relations from the classroom teacher's perspective, the Introduction to exceptionalities class has had an increase in activities and assignments in this domain. Students focus not only on how parents feel and how they may respond to educators who are working with the exceptional child, but also learn additional proactive communication strategies (Senge's Model, Holland 4 Factors, Change Chart, Sugui's Chart, etc.) that could be used with any parent, para-educator and volunteer through a case study approach.

In the Classroom management class, students are provided experiences in writing newsletters to parents, developing collaborative behavior plans that connect school and home. They are also introduced to the principles of the family involvement plan.

In the student teaching and student teaching seminar, students are involved in documenting their abilities to develop a Family Involvement Plan (FIP), a Comprehensive Learning Instructional Plan (CLIP), a Professional Growth Plan (PGP), etc. Student teaching provides multiple opportunities to interface with the majority of other adults that are working within the system. Specific situations are discussed with the college supervisor and the mentor teacher. Additional discussion times are available in the large group seminar to further define effective communication with para-educators, parents, and volunteers.

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Performance-based education

College of Education and Counseling Psychologystudents are required to provide physical and measurable evidence of mastery of learning benchmarks. All courses require multiple evidences gathered and evaluated over time; observations and practica are based on measurable benchmarks; student teaching is based on evaluations that use benchmarks of excellent teaching against which to measure whether our student teachers have “met” standard. Assessments are both formative and summative, each providing additional evidence for performance-based achievement of standards.

Evidence of student learning can include but is not limited to: discussions, presentations, projects, conversations, essays and papers of many types, journals, lesson plans, unit plans, implemented lessons and units, videotaped lessons, concept maps, posters, bulletin board, power point presentations, CDs, portfolios of various types and uses, emails, websites, and demonstration of professional demeanor.

Washington State performance indicators for the second tier certification (professional certification) are required for completion of student teaching. Five indicators are required and evaluated at the completion of student teaching/internship: Comprehensive Learning Instruction Plan (CLIP), Positive Impact Plan (PIP), Reflective Analysis: Classroom Environment (RE-CE), Professional Growth Plan (PGP), and Family Involvement Plan (FIP). An additional five indicators are required at the draft stage: Reflective Analysis: Democratic Principles (RA-DP), Classroom Inquiry Plan (CIP), Leadership Activities Plan (LAP), Advocacy Statement (AS), and Reflective Analysis: Communication Skills (RE-CS).

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Positive impact on student learning

Each candidate at Saint Martin's University must complete a Positive Impact Plan for the student teaching experience. The PIP includes the set of lesson plans (unit), a pre-assessment, teaching methods, revision of activities based on student work, samples of student work, samples of the candidate's responses/feedback to the students' work, post-assessment. Students prepare a reflection of the original unit (which can also include other reflections of student teaching). The reflection also includes modifications the candidate made, why they were made, progress of students towards the instructional targets/objectives, results of the assessments, and a statement of the candidate's interpretation of the impact of the unit on positive impact on student learning. All candidates complete a reflective analysis for their program as a whole, including student teaching. College supervisors review the Positive Impact Plan, providing feedback throughout the development and completion of the Plan.

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Reading and writing across the K-12 curriculum

All students are required to complete pre-program coursework/knowledge/skills in college writing (2 courses), an on-site essay, WEST-B tests in reading and writing, and the English Proficiency Exam (for undergraduates only).

All elementary education majors are required to take courses that focus on reading and writing methods: language arts methods, children's literature, primary reading, and content area reading for elementary. All secondary education majors are required to take two courses that focus on reading and writing methods: content area reading for secondary and reading intervention and diagnosis. A 30 semester credit endorsement is available in reading literacy, as well as in English language arts.

Reading strategies taught include: word study skills-phonics, context clues, syllabication, affixes, analogy, high frequency words, and word patterns (onset and rime); comprehension skills-story structure, expository structure, literal, interpretive, and critical reading skills. Writing strategies include: spelling, grammar, handwriting, the writing process and six traits. Activities include: mini-lessons, direct instruction, instruction-assessment cycle, development of checklists and rubrics, WASL alignment, journal responses, literature circles, projects, lesson plans utilizing shared reading, guided reading, reader workshop. Students plan lessons that teach phonemic awareness, phonics, word patterns (onset and rime), high frequency words, picture clues, context clues, syllabication and vocabulary.

Content area reading courses include activities designed to teach students how to integrate reading and writing into the content areas. Students learn about pre-reading, during reading, and after reading strategies to make the text more accessible and understandable to their students. As the different strategies are taught, ways to assess students' understanding are integrated into the instruction. Students learn about readability formulas, content reading inventory, cloze, six trait writing, and WASL alignment.

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Research/Inquiry

Students are required to complete many assignments involving research/inquiry throughout their programs. Students in pre-program courses design and carry out a simple field observation research project (ED 205) which includes writing a proposal, looking for related research, completing a two-hour observation with notes, and analyzing their findings.

Students in many core and methods courses stay current in their field as they research current theories and practices as well as traditional theories and practices. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own thinking as they encounter new theories, practices and curriculum guidelines. Students use research methods in creating better lesson plans and thematic unit plans online. Students in the reading endorsement complete a “skinny book” (e.g., read 8 articles on a reading methods topic and write a short “chapter book” around their questions). Students read articles related to teaching literature-based reading and writing instruction. In the elementary science methods course, students are provided hands-on experiences to learn how to design a survey study and how to conduct a “true” scientific research project-from identifying variables, collecting data, making graphics, interpreting data, and making hypotheses.

Students use the Internet and SMU Internet database resources to collect information on the latest research in the areas of career counseling, child abuse, and current topics courses. The information collected is used in discussions, student papers, and classroom presentations by students in discussing the most recent work in these areas.

Students applying to waive courses based on previously earned knowledge/skills, are assigned a research paper with a specific appropriate title (i.e., “K-20 School Funding-Federal Level to Site Based Level”).

Students in the graduate program write compare and contrast papers and are often required to write a library-based paper on a specific topic, social problem, or issue. Every graduate student is required to take two research classes, MED 501 Educational research I (a basic research methods class), and MED 509 Educational research II where the students take an active role in the qualitative and quantitative research process of gathering, organizing, and analyzing data, as well as communicating findings in an appropriate fashion. The student develops a model for and begins his or her final master's degree project in the class.

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Technology integration

Individual faculty members have integrated technology within their own classes in a variety of ways. The University has supported these individual efforts, supplying funds and encouraging initiatives for implementing new ideas that involve technology. Integrating technology into pre-service education is a complex problem that requires a combination of best teaching practices. Several courses have used electronic discussion groups including discussions with pre-service students from other colleges, intra-class discussions, and discussions between pre-service students and K-12 students. Online learning resources are introduced where available for students to utilize in courses. Many of the faculty model the use of, and encourage students to use, programs such as Inspiration, PowerPoint, Photo Studio, Photoshop and other software in creating graphic organizers for thematic units and lesson plans.

New and updated technology has been primarily supported by a series of grants. Faculty members receive technology teaching grants which they used to design an online book discussion between fourth graders and children's literature students and to pilot an electronic portfolio project. Another grant encouraged a partnership between pre-service students and K-12 Generation Y students. A grant from the Intel Corporation provides curriculum materials for integrating technology into a thematic unit in the educational technology class. An NSF grant with the Western States Certification Consortium has allowed faculty to develop the blended online (components of face to face and online course content) secondary certification program at the extension sites.

All students are required to submit an electronic portfolio as partial fulfillment of student teaching requirements. Students begin the knowledge/skills to build the portfolio in the educational technology course, continue in the methods courses, and complete it during student teaching. The e-portfolio is maintained in the permanent academic file.

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IV. Conceptual Framework Resources

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (1996). Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Burden, P. R.,D. M. Byrd. (2003). Methods for Effective Teaching. Allyn and Bacon. New York.

Cohen, J. (2001). Caring Classrooms/Intelligent Schools. Teachers College Press, Columbia University. New York.

National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. (1993). NASDTEC Outcome-Based Standards and Portfolio Assessment: Outcome-Based Teacher Education Standards for the Elementary , Middle and High School Levels. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.

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