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Overview of the NCATE 2006 Institutional Report
Change and growth have been Grand Valley constants since its founding in 1960. The university had 226 students in its first class; it now has over 22,000 enrollees and 54,000 alumni. The first Education candidate graduated in 1969; last year over 1000 candidates earned initial certification or advanced degrees, and over 600 were awarded advanced certificates and endorsements.
To place the unit and the university in its recent historical context, we look back briefly to the 2000 NCATE Continuing Accreditation Report. Its purpose was the same as it is for this 2006 report: to record changes since the previous NCATE visit and suggest directions for the future. The 2000 report concluded with this observation:
"As the fastest growing School of Education in the fastest growing university in the state, the unit must ensure program quality while negotiating the challenges posed by student and program growth."
In 2000, the most significant change on the university horizon would be the retirements of its President and Provost. Both had held office for over thirty years and were among the longest serving executive officers in the nation. President Mark Murray and Provost Gayle Davis have assumed leadership since that time, each with remarkable grace and well-deserved regard. Furthermore, academic and student affairs have been entirely restructured, going from three arts and sciences divisions and four professional schools to one arts and sciences college, one interdisciplinary college, and six professional colleges.
In 2000, at least two changes for the unit were on the horizon, although at that time we weren't aware of either one. First, the College would be completely restructured, going from two units to six. Second, during just a three-year period, we would proceed under the leadership of three different deans.
In its short history, the unit has been housed in at least four cities, in at least 12 buildings, and has gone by the names of "Center," "Institute," and "School." Then in 2002, we moved into one building on one campus and finally had a home. In 2003, the appointment of Dean Elaine Collins brought experienced and perceptive leadership to the unit. And in 2004, our position in the university advanced from School of Education to "College of Education."
The pages that follow demonstrate continued change and growth-extraordinary change and dynamic growth, in fact-but they also demonstrate the unit's determination and increased capacity to be intentional and deliberate in shaping its future. This report describes an evolving and maturing unit, the choices it has made, and directions under consideration as we proceed into the future.
Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University is a state-supported, self governing four-year public university. Founded in 1960, Grand Valley is committed to excellence in teaching and learning in the liberal arts. Chartered by the Michigan legislature in response to the need for a public, four-year college in the state's second largest metropolitan region, the main campus is located in Allendale, Michigan, 12 miles west of Grand Rapids and 25 minutes from the Lake Michigan shoreline. Grand Valley's remarkable growth has changed a small rural college into a regional comprehensive university. Today, more than 22,000 students attend undergraduate and graduate classes compared to 17,500 students in 2000. With state-of-the-art facilities on both the suburban Allendale campus and the urban Grand Rapids Pew Campus, Grand Valley is a top school choice for Michigan residents and an increasing number of out-of-state and international students. The 2005 freshman class
profile shows county, state and country of residence, along with gender and ethnicity demographics. The Grand Valley student body as a whole, while somewhat reflective of West Michigan, has increased its diversity in the last five years. Undergraduate students are traditional in the sense that most students attend full time and reside in modern campus living centers. The high school grade point average increased from 3.34 in 2000 to 3.53 in 2005.
Grand Valley State University's mission includes a strong commitment to excellent teaching and learning, active scholarship and community service. The university is characterized by and known for its student-centered teaching and learning. Faculty, rather than graduate assistants, teach classes where the number of students per class averages 26. Grand Valley offers over 200 areas of study, including 69 undergraduate majors and 25 graduate programs. The university offers a broad educational experience that combines liberal learning with preparation for a career or profession.
Based on the belief that teaching excellence at the university depends upon active faculty scholarship, Grand Valley supports basic and applied research. Active scholarship has led to numerous collaborations with business, government and community organizations. These collaborations reflect the benefits of a liberal education that extends beyond the classroom to lifelong learning and partnerships that improve the quality of life in the region.
Grand Valley State University values the collaboration of the faculty, staff, and students with external partners in addressing mutual interests and regional needs. The university offers the West Michigan communities it serves, resources and assistance in their own pursuit of knowledge. The Grand Valley Steelcase Library on the Pew Campus houses the Grand Rapids Bar Association Library. The West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative and the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute are located in the Grand Valley Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.
In a 2004 self-study, Grand Valley State University identified and reaffirmed five strategic goals in the areas of high quality teaching, liberal arts education, external partnerships, heightened diversity and an enhanced campus culture of learning. These goals build on Grand Valley State University's mission and chart a path for its future direction.
College of Education
The College of Education is one of eight colleges in the university and is its largest graduate school. It received NCATE accreditation in 1987, and earned continuing accreditation in 1995 and again in 2000. The college offers initial and advanced programs that lead to Michigan provisional certification, graduate degrees, professional certification, certificate renewals, endorsements and approvals. In 2004-05 credential awards included:
The College of Education is committed to the development of quality educators through its professional programs that combine learning theory with intensive practice. In order to maximize efficiency and accountability, in 2002 the college reorganized into three service units and three academic units. Of the service units, Administrative Services assists with accreditation, state program approvals, data collection and reporting and manages the unit web site. Community Outreach provides program outreach support, plans workshops, conferences, convocation, and leads the alumni association. The Student Information and Services Center provides a welcoming, visible space where students receive assistance with admissions, advising, field placement, and certification and endorsement information and requirements.
- 421 elementary certificates
- 203 secondary certificated
- 454 professional certificates
- 131 graduate endorsements
- 416 Master of Education degrees
The three academic units vertically integrate graduate and undergraduate programs. Within Curriculum and Instruction are the disciplines of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and Secondary, Reading, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Educational Differentiation. Foundations and Technology is responsible for advanced and initial foundations courses, Educational Technology and School Library Media. Leadership and Human Services manages Special Education, Special Education Administration, Educational Leadership and School Counseling. This configuration provides an opportunity for a systematic program review, varied teaching assignments and additional scholarship and research opportunities for faculty and students. Table A at the end of this section provides information on faculty.
The College of Education believes that a strong content background is vital to teaching success. Acting on that, the unit continues to build strong connections with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Seidman College of Business, and the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. These colleges prepare students within their respective majors and minors prior to College of Education admittance. The Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC) serves as a discussion body between academic programs and the College of Education. TEAC members come from the academic units that offer programs that lead to educational certification and include the Deans of the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Science.
The College of Education began the process of strategic planning under the direction of its current dean who assumed leadership in 2003. Keeping in mind the university's strategic planning, these initiatives emerged as key to our continued growth:
Major Changes since the 2000 Continuing Accreditation Review:
- Building a Strong Community
- Securing Necessary Resources
- Diversifying Students and Faculty
- Creating a Strong Technology Infrastructure
- Ensuring Unit Quality
The College of Education established an alternate delivery program, the Graduate Teacher Certification program, prior to the 2000 NCATE review. The program serves college graduates who hold a degree in another discipline but aspire to a teaching career. It is an intensive program where candidates first fulfill requirements for a teachable major and then commit to a one year, full time course load that includes two consecutive semesters of field experience. The Graduate Teacher Certification program allows participants to earn an elementary or secondary teaching certificate plus credits toward a master's degree.
- The College of Education moved from the Allendale campus to the downtown campus that includes the Eberhard Center, DeVos Center, and the Fulton Street Building. Extensive renovations to the Eberhard Center are beginning and by 2007 all College of Education faculty and staff will be located in state-of-the art classrooms and offices within the Center. The State of Michigan together with Grand Valley State University is funding this $1,000,000 investment in the College of Education's future.
- The Grand Valley Department of Information Technology in partnership with the College of Education Technology Task Force focused on upgrades and training. After completing surveys and needs assessments, the task force developed a technology plan for faculty, staff and students that included extensive training and support in computer hardware and software, Blackboard usage, web site creation and use. With a database consultant position funded, we have achieved an organized and computerized internal record keeping system that has the capacity to generate meaningful data reports. Additionally, the database consultant has been instrumental in establishing the trends and tracking components of the NCATE assessment plan. The College of Education is a leader in technology use and several systems now serve as campus models.
- The College of Education Office of Grants made great strides in building a culture of grant writing. Unit grants now total over 1.6 million dollars, exceeding our history of annual revenues in the past 15 years by approximately 1 million dollars.
- The College of Education engaged in a five-year effort to streamline and strengthen curriculum with these results.
- Added a Master's of School Counseling program
- Moved to implement an Educational Specialist program pending North Central Association approval and final University approval
- Developed a Differentiated Learning program in place of Gifted and Talented
- Combined various advanced emphasis program areas into an Advanced Content Specialization degree
- Added Latin as a teachable secondary major and minor at the initial level
- Discontinued the advanced level hearing impaired program due to low enrollment
The Michigan Department of Education and the Office of Professional Preparation Services approve all professional education programs. Table B at the end of this section lists College of Education programs and indicates state approval status and Specialty Professional Association (SPA) reviews. In 2004-05, nine advanced programs received Specialty Program Association recognition: Elementary Education, baccalaureate and master's levels, Reading, Special Education Administration, Educational Leadership, Learning Disabilities, Emotional Impairment, baccalaureate level and master's levels, and Cognitive Impairment.
Neither Grand Valley State University nor the College of Education offers complete programs via distance learning technologies, but off-campus courses are offered in conjunction with Continuing Education. At the Holland and Muskegon centers, both within fifty miles of campus, Education courses are offered but no complete programs. At the Traverse City Center in northern Michigan, a larger array of courses and programs is possible. Candidates may complete initial certification or advanced programs in elementary education, early childhood education, and educational leadership. Additionally, cohort groups of educational leadership candidates have formed in four parts of the state; regular College faculty travel there for instruction. Full time College of Education faculty coordinate and deliver all programs, and all offerings correspond to the College-wide syllabi of record, assessments of record, and data-gathering systems.
Academic Rank of Professional Education Faculty
For Academic Year 2004/05
Program Review Status
Professional Education Programs
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