A.3 What is the professional education unit at your institution, what is its relationship to other units at the institution that are involved in the preparation of professional educators, and what are the significant changes since the last NCATE review?
The Professional Education Unit at UTC includes all licensure areas and content areas at the initial and advanced levels. The Director of the School of Education is the head of the unit with other staff including an NCATE coordinator, Assessment Coordinator, Supervisor of Teacher Education, Certification Officer, Field Placement Coordinator, and Academic and Freshman Advisors. Specific programs also have faculty who serve as Academic Unit Leaders. In addition, students pursuing degrees and licensure in secondary mathematics, sciences, engineering, and computer science are supported by the UTeaChattanooga program faculty and staff. An Assessment Committee serves as the body which oversees all programs in the unit, sharing data and assisting with collection and interpretation of data about candidates. This committee serves to provide a link among all areas and departments which participate in the preparation of educators and includes representatives from these programs (Organizational Chart).
The Professional Education Unit includes programs in the School of Education as well as appropriate departments in the College of Arts and Sciences providing content courses for education majors. All Unit faculty are made aware of any curricular changes, teacher education policies and procedures, and data collection and aggregation through communications and meetings of the Assessment Committee. Internal meetings of this committee take place twice each semester, and one annual meeting is held to which all external partners are invited. Additional meetings are scheduled as warranted to address any concerns and/or issues which may need attention. Data are shared with faculty to assist them in making decisions about changes to programs or unit operations for the new academic year.
Since the NCATE review conducted in 2005, several significant changes have occurred. These
include the restructuring of the elementary education program into a PreK-3 program which affords dual licensure in both regular and special education from birth through third grade. In addition, the Assessment Committee was created and an Assessment Coordinator, Yuping Ying, has been employed to better manage the data for program evaluation and improvement. UTeaChattanooga, has also hired an Assessment Coordinator, Avalon Gourlay, who has also been an important addition and this degree option now prepares all secondary education mathematics and science, majors at the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate levels. Furthermore, a State mandate led to the revision of the Principal Leadership program and the result has been a major curriculum shift to address the new standards and requirements and an Ed. S. has been approved and implemented for this area. Finally, students desiring to obtain licensure in the areas of foreign language or theater pursue a degree in those disciplines and fulfill certification requirements through completion of an education minor.