Faculty in the School of Education believe that programs have explicit outcomes for candidates based on professional standards.
The Faculty agree with Marilyn Cochran-Smith (2001) who maintains that “the standards movement will have more influence on teacher education than any other agenda or contemporary movement.” Clearly articulated standards of professional practice are essential in helping the pre-service candidate, in-service teacher, and SOE faculty communicate effectively about high-quality teaching and increased student learning. The integration of professional teaching standards into the professional education program helps candidates set clear, significant, and achievable goals; reflect upon and articulate successes and challenges; identify effective practices in classrooms; guide new learning and next steps; and recognize the complexity of good teaching and the need for career-long professional development. Thus, the use of standards provides a common language for discussion between pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and SOE faculty that leads to the promotion of the highest quality instruction possible, hence, higher student achievement.
Rosenholtz (1991) maintains that the success of any organization is contingent upon clear, commonly defined goals. A well-articulated focus unleashes individual and collective energy. A common focus also clarifies understanding, accelerates communication, and promotes persistence and collective purpose. In order to define common goals, the faculty has collaborated in an effort to transform the professional educator programs from course-based teacher preparation programs to standards-based professional education preparation programs. In doing so, the School of Education ensures that all programs incorporate the standards of accrediting agencies, professional organizations, and learned societies in an attempt to provide a clear understanding of what is expected of candidates. The faculty agrees with Linda Darling-Hammond, Chair of the INTASC group, when she suggested that “the primary benefit of the standards movement is to bring about interaction among educators about the goals of the curriculum and their hopes for their students” (Darling-Hammond, 1993).The School of Education ensures that all programs incorporate the standards of accrediting agencies, professional organizations, and learned societies in order to provide a clear understanding of what we expect of our candidates. In the Teacher Certification programs, all initial certification programs are guided by The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) and the Alabama Administrative Code. Graduate programs are guided by the five core propositions of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, and certification area specific standards. The Educational Leadership program is aligned with the State Department of Education standards and the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards. The School Counseling program is also aligned with State Department of Education standards and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs standards (CACREP). Other programs within the School of Education rely on various learned societies for the knowledge, performances, and dispositions necessary for effective practice in each field of study. Each non-certification area follows the standards established by the learned society and/or accrediting agency most recognized in that field.