ELLENSBURG, Wash. (March 15, 2013) — The College of Education at Central Washington University has earned preliminary state approval with special recognition for collaboration across colleges. Final approval of the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) will come in May. The College of Education is one of the largest in the United States and produces nearly one in five teachers for Washington State classrooms.
State law requires all educator preparation programs to earn approval by the PESB. Programs must meet or exceed requirements in five categories: professional education advisory boards, accountability, unit governance and resources, program design, and knowledge and skills. Connie Lambert, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, said the review was the strongest in a decade, and included special recognition for achievement in four areas: assessment and evaluation, remarkable growth in the school administration program, research achievement by candidates in the school psychology program, and collaboration across colleges.
Lambert noted that collaboration across colleges ensures education faculty members work together to prepare teachers. “All education faculty have P-12 experience,” Lambert said, “which means our candidates receive top-notch education in the sciences, math, and other content areas, and they learn it from faculty who've actually taught in P-12 classrooms.
"The preparation for the state review involved the development and review of a comprehensive database that allows us to know how candidates are performing at every step of their academic career," noted Lambert, adding that one of the most practical measures of the college's effectiveness is the success of graduates, including 2013 national Principal of the Year, Trevor Greene, from Toppenish, and Washington state Teacher of the Year, Jeffrey Charbonneau, from Zillah.
The CWU Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) comprehensive data management system is designed for both internal and external reporting. The student-centered database includes records of 6,832 students and tracks their progress from admission to the CTL through their employment in Washington public schools.
The database houses scores on 20,479 Washington Educators Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B) and 6,297 WEST-Endorsements (WEST-E) scores for the 36 endorsements areas taught at CWU. About 90 percent of CWU graduates pass the WEST-E the first time they take it.
Faculty can readily access aggregated data to track program success for the past five years in the areas of admissions, retention, student teaching, program completion, and employment, along with being able to refine their search to advise a specific student or student group.
Other accolades in the review included the 10-fold increase in enrollment in the School Administration program. CWU overhauled the program beginning in 2006, with fewer than 10 students enrolled. The renewed program is fully accessible online and based on the national standards developed by Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium to help strengthen preparation programs in school leadership. Today about 80 people are enrolled in the program.
When approved by the PESB in May, the preliminary review will be in effect for five years.
With about 425 students graduating annually, CWU ranks 12th nationally for the number of teachers produced each year. In five of the past 10 years, Washington Teachers of the Year were CWU alumni.
Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-607-4103, firstname.lastname@example.org