Thursday, December 05, 2013

EKU Highly Ranked (Again) Among Kentucky Teacher Prep Colleges

The College Database Identifies Top Colleges for Teacher Education
The College Database - the most current and comprehensive source for U.S. college and university data - has named its top colleges in the state for teacher education. The new list entitled "Top Colleges in Kentucky: Shaping the Next Generation," highlights the post-secondary institutions in the state that produced the most education graduates during the 2012 school year.
"Many colleges and universities have tremendous teacher education programs," said Doug Jones, founder of The College Database. "But which ones are producing the most young educators today? We wanted to identify the colleges making the largest impact on our students."
EKU Associate Dean for the College of Education Dr. Kim Naugle explained to KSN&C where the EKU program is headed.

KSN&C:  Tell me what's going on at Eastern that makes it a leader.

Naugle: Well, I think there are two things. Eastern, through the years, has been a leader in education...[ever since being] identified as Normal School #1 [smiling] and another school being identified as Normal School #2, Eastern has had a long history of leading the way. But what has happened recently that is reshaping that, is that we are focusing on a more clinical model of education. [Naugle mentioned a handful of ongoing programs that are building toward a total redesign of teacher preparation under this clinical model, where pre-service teachers are placed in a "clinical apprenticeship" and course work and clinical experiences take place in the same setting. Programs are presently in full swing at Corbin Middle School with pilot programs at Model Lab School and Madison Middle School.] What it involves is [Teacher Education Program candidates] teaching courses in the school system, where they can teach a lesson, see that lesson modeled in an actual classroom, co-teach a lesson...and then follow up with feedback back in the classroom.

KSN&C: We've all seen plans for a new education building here. What's that all about?

Naugle: What we are hoping to do is first - even before the new building - is reshape Model from being a laboratory being a teacher preparation training school. It will continue to deliver wonderful service to our P-12 students...but we will have more integration of this clinical model process within the school. Having the Model School and the College of Education in the same building will help facilitate that. We also plan to develop Model into a teacher training school beyond the initial certification retrain teachers as we go along; to bring them back in for professional development in the most up-to-date best practices across the disciplines...

KSN&C: When we think of clinical models we typically think about medical schools. Is this what the Eastern program is modeled after?

Naugle: It is. For example, one of the things we are in the process of arranging is a trip for [some of] our teacher education faculty to go to UK's Medical Center to look at a medical school model of training...This is a clinical profession. It is a profession based around skills, knowledge, and practice, not just content with a little pedagogy...behind it. When we look at who has the most common clinical model as education, we naturally move to medical education programs...

KSN&C: So if everything goes as planned, and we look at Eastern Kentucky University's teacher education program five years from now, from the student's perspective, what do you imagine the experience will be like?

Naugle: There's going to be much more cross-over experience between the content taught in the classrooms and clinical integration. For example, I think we'll do less and less sit-n-git experiences where students come in, get a lecture and some worksheets, and go home and take care of it. In fact, we've already moved away from that in our education program for the large part. But even more so in five years, I expect our [pre-service] teachers from their second semester freshman year, to start being in school and being a part of the process that helps P-12 schools get better, as well as helping our students learn more about being effective teachers. It will make a much stronger teacher when they come out of their preparation. They'll be ready to step into the classroom and be in charge and alone in the process. It will also help people recognize when they are a good fit for the profession early on in the process, so that those who aren't a good fit can choose other paths.


Anonymous said...

So if it is ranked so high, why have the enrollment numbers continued to drop compared to some of the folks beneath it on the ranking?

COE, like many academic areas at EKU, is going to have to start better supporting the instructors who are pulling more of their share of the load and getting others out of the wagon and either at least pulling their share of the instructional load or else unharnessing them from the team. New university productivity/accountability system which is being developed has some flaws but it also is pointing out that there are a few folks who have been allowed to coast along for a while and need to be producing for COE (quality and quantitity) and not just collecting their check as thought something was owed to them.
Time for some housekeeping.

Richard Day said...

"New university productivity/ accountability system which is being developed"

I'm not sure what you are referring to. The new P/T/E tenure review?

Or CPE's performance-based budgeting?

Or something else?

Anonymous said...

During reallocation process, the university started down the path of starting to review FTE's versus enrollment per course, department, college as it started to review viability of programs. Conversations about proposed course quotas/expectations have been kicked around but like the system they aren't contextual. For example, a traditional undergraduate or gen.ed. class might be able to realistically support an expected enrollment average of 30 but clinical field based courses or high level MA or Doc courses are never going to support (nor should they) class loads of 30 students. Similarly some courses and programs may look great numerically speaking but they may mask other problems. For example, Justice and safety has some very robust online courses filled with foreign students who have the countries financial support. Enrollments look great but you also see a lot of these students not being successful in the courses.

Like the CPE performance based budgeting concept, a one size fits all cost analysis approach to effective educational delivery is not going to work in many aspects. Are we willing to shutter or reduce funding to the physics department just because their numbers are lower than nursing or education? Or like some propose are we going to give extra weighted value to programs that are STEM related? What does that say about our value for programs like nursing, teaching, law enforcement, etc?

Just don't see where all of this bean counting approach to education at any level is really going to get us, other than farther behind and wasted resources we don't have to lose in the first place.

Richard Day said...


Yes, the spring budget reallocation did seem to produce some flexibility for President Benson and he responded quickly to address salary issues (only to be met with resistance from faculty on merit and equity). But I'm uncertain to what degree EKU Is actually reviewing its departments/offerings with sweeping change in mind. If we increase our spending on athletics what's going to be left to support changes in academics? So far, the approach sounds new, but feels traditional.

At this point, I find it hard to get too worked up over CPE's performance-based budget proposal. The total dollars are likely to be too small to create systemic change and its unclear what the legislature is going to do about taxes. ...except punt.

We've been through this corporate ed reform ideology in the K-12 world. It has produced a system that is highly focused on the metrics of education, and by that means is capable of demonstrating improvements, but I'm not certain we've actually improved the conditions for excellent students and teachers.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am romanticizing but seems like corporate ed reform results in a dehumanized approach a very personal process. You get thumped through superficial, one dimentional assessment scores but then made to feel guilty for any perceived loss of potential opportunity for children. Kids are not scores. Similarly, when interventions are exhaused beyond practicality and resource availability and we still don't have every single child scoring 100% proficient and exceling ahead of everyother countries children, then what? As educators we fight the good fight but you can't control half the conditions which impact a child's performance.

Not to sound like a techniphob but it seems like in someways, technology is doing the same thing in terms of dehumanization of learning. School administrators are running around worrying about developing increasing numbers of on-line courses and programs but most of my students say they don't want them. Equally, the on line courses you do host, you have to find ways of electronically "creating community" and student-student engagement because the students don't want to feel detached and isolated as they are sitting in their apartments and houses alone taking the on line course. How much of my discipline am I expected to water down or divest in the name of marketing and facilitating an e-community?