Ensuring Excellence in the Preparation of Special Educators through Program Evaluation

By Wilcox, Daryl J.; Putnam, John et al. | Education, Winter 2002 | Go to article overview

Ensuring Excellence in the Preparation of Special Educators through Program Evaluation


Wilcox, Daryl J., Putnam, John, Wigle, Stanley E., Education


The inclusion movement across America requires an increase in the academic expectations of all students (IDEA, 1997). Students with exceptionalities will not be able to meet these increased expectations unless their teachers are knowledgeable about the appropriate academic content related to these expectations and can deliver it appropriately to individual exceptional students (Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), 1998). The quality of educational services for students with exceptionalities depends upon the abilities, qualifications and competencies of the educators who provide services to such individuals (CEC, 1983). One implication of this relationship between student success and teacher competence is that the quality of university programs that prepare K-12 teachers has to be as good as it can be.

The quality of teacher-preparation programs within institutions of higher education is examined by various accrediting agencies. Procedures by which institutions of higher education may be nationally accredited generally require those institutions to undergo a rigorous self-study (NCATE, 2001). If an institution wishes its program of preparation for special educators to be accredited through the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), its self-study must be based upon the accreditation standards adopted by CEE (CEE, 1998).

The program evaluation standards adopted by CEC have significant potential to strengthen the preparation of special educators. The purpose of this article is to report on how one aspect of the CEC standards (the requirement that institutions preparing special educators engage in follow-up studies of their graduates) can provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of any given teacher preparation program in order to ensure the excellence of that program.

Method

The Department of Special Education at small mid-western college conducted a follow-up study of the graduates of the bachelors program that was implemented in the fall of 1993. The special education program at Mid-West State provides a degree and a licensure endorsement in Mild/Moderate Handicapped, K-12 in accordance with the standards of its State Department of Education. In order to collect follow-up data, the graduates of the teacher preparation program at Mid-West State were identified by using: 1) state directories of educators; 2) placement files from the college; 3) the college alumni directory; and 4) advisement folders. Sixty-eight graduates were identified, however, 10 could not be found in any of the above sources and five were not teaching. The final mailing list of 53 program graduates comprised 78% of the students who majored in Special Education at Mid-West State and who started their program of study in fall, 1993.

The administrator with whom each graduate presently works was also identified. Some of the graduates worked under more than one administrator, e.g., more than one building, service unit, or consolidated rural school. A mailing list of all the administrators for whom the graduates in this study presently work was compiled.

Survey Form Construction

A survey form was constructed based on the CEC Common Core of Knowledge and Skills Essential for All Beginning Special Education Teachers section of the accreditation guidebook (CEC, 1998). The survey form was composed of two main parts. Part 1 asked the special educators in this study to rate the level of responsibility they have in their current position for each of the CEC Standards. The form directed the respondents to mark "4" to indicate they have 100-75% of the responsibility for a given item, "3" to indicate that they have 75-50% of the responsibility, "2" to indicate that they have 50 - 25% of the responsibility, and "1" to indicate that they have 24-0% of the responsibility for a given item.

Part 2 of the survey form directed the respondent to rate the level of preparation for each standard s/he believed to have received from the Mid-West State program for special educators.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ensuring Excellence in the Preparation of Special Educators through Program Evaluation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.