North Dakota Chapter Uses AACTE Grant to Implement Statewide Surveys
The North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NDACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant last year to assist with the development and administration of a set of common assessments to be used by all North Dakota teacher preparation programs to improve the effectiveness of programs and quality of graduates.
During this school year, members of NDACTE have engaged in meetings and training workshops to learn how to effectively implement four common assessments: the Preservice Teacher Exit Survey, the Transition to Teaching Survey, the Supervisor Survey, and the Preservice Teacher Observational Assessment.
Three of these assessments—the Preservice Teacher Exit Survey, the Transition to Teaching Survey, and the Supervisor Survey—were developed through work of the Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT) institutions. The NExT institutions collaborated in the development of these assessments as part of a Bush Foundation grant and included NDACTE member institutions Valley City State University and North Dakota State University. These three common assessments are aligned with the InTASC standards, meet the requirements of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards, and have been tested for reliability and validity. Each targets a different stage of teacher development:
- The Preservice Teacher Exit Survey is taken by each program completer from a North Dakota teacher preparation program. This survey is designed to provide information on preservice teachers’ perceptions on the quality of the program from which they graduated.
- The Transition to Teaching Survey is completed by each graduate from a North Dakota teacher preparation program during the spring semester following the academic year of graduation. The survey is designed to gather program graduates’ perceptions about how well prepared they felt during their first year of teaching.
- The Supervisor Survey is completed by the school administrator in which the program completer has been hired, during the program completer’s first year of teaching.
These three surveys have all been created on Qualtrics and are now administered through the North Dakota University System. The NDACTE received financial and administrative support from the system and from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board to administer these common assessments. The support of these two entities has allowed the NDACTE teacher preparation programs to effectively administer these common assessments with limited additional financial and administrative support from each institution.
The last common assessment is one we are developing ourselves, the Preservice Teacher Observational Assessment. This instrument is being developed by a subcommittee made up of faculty members from NDACTE institutions. This subcommittee met in the fall semester to review various preservice observational assessments currently in use and presented its first draft of a common Preservice Teacher Observational Assessment at our November NDACTE meeting. After this meeting, the subcommittee held a webinar with Stevie Chepko from CAEP to gather further information as to how to align the assessment with CAEP standards. This subcommittee has continued its development of the Preservice Teacher Observational Assessment and will be presenting the final draft of this assessment at our NDACTE meeting in May.
Rod Jonas is president of the North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Dean, Liffrig Family School of Education and Behavioral Sciences, University of Mary, and President, North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education