New York State Education Department seal THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT /
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK /
ALBANY, NY 12234

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

COMMITTEE:

Higher and Professional Education

TITLE OF ITEM:

Update on the Alternative Teacher Certification Program

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

June 11, 2003

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Discussion

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

To provide regular updates on elements of the Regents teaching policy

STRATEGIC GOALS:

Goals 2 and 3

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 


SUMMARY:

In 1998, when the Board of Regents enacted the new teaching policy "Teaching to Higher Standards: New York’s Commitment," the Board directed the Department to monitor the availability of teachers and take appropriate steps if the supply of certified teachers falls significantly below the demand. In July 2000, the Board of Regents approved the alternative teacher certification (ATC) program. The goal of the Board of Regents in approving avenues of non-traditional teacher preparation was to address the shortage of teachers in certain subject areas and geographic areas by authorizing programs that would enable qualified candidates to begin teaching more quickly, while maintaining the quality of their preparation. ATC programs must meet all of the teacher education standards adopted by the Board of Regents in 1998.

Since the alternative teacher certification program was approved by the Board of Regents in 2000, the Office of Higher Education has conducted ongoing monitoring of these programs, which are now offered by 20 colleges in New York State in partnership with school districts experiencing teacher shortages. Last year, Department staff presented the Regents with an assessment of the first two years of the alternative teacher certification program. The most significant benefit of offering alternative teacher certification programs has been an increase in the number of qualified people entering teaching, generally in hard-to-staff schools. Approximately 3,500 have been prepared through alternative teacher certification statewide since it began in July 2000 – three percent of all new teachers certified in that time period. In addition, more teachers entering through alternative certification are being certified in hard-to-staff subject areas. For example, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) anticipates that over 400 new math teachers will be entering teaching this fall through its alternative teacher certification program, i.e., New York City Teaching Fellows Program.

For this report, the review has been expanded to also include the results of the first cohort of the Math Immersion Program in New York City. This program is designed to use the alternative teacher certification route to prepare needed math teachers for the New York City public schools. To date, the results have been promising, including a strong pass rate on the Math Content Specialty Test for these candidates.

Also included is information concerning the fall 2002 and spring 2003 site visits to colleges offering alternative teacher certification programs and feedback from the program deans identifying both strengths and weaknesses in the program and where the State Education Department needs to provide additional technical assistance. Interviews which took place during May 2003 with Teaching Fellows, mentors and principals/assistant principals in both SURR and non-SURR schools reveal the need for strong support from school leaders for the success of the alternative certification students and the need for the NYCDOE to improve its mentoring program for their Teaching Fellows.

This report will also describe how some of the colleges that offer alternative teacher certification programs have made changes to strengthen their programs since 2000. Utica College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Iona College and the New York City Teaching Fellows Program have each made changes to improve the effectiveness of the introductory program, improve mentoring and support for the candidates and focus more on preparing candidates for teacher shortage areas.

Data on the alternative teacher certification program, including enrollment, attrition, age and ethnicity distribution, certificate areas in which Transitional B certificates have been issued and the success rate on the Content Specialty Test for candidates in the Math Immersion Program, are included in this report.

Highlights of the data in this report are:

· The participation of higher education institutions from all sectors has increased. In 2000-2001, four colleges (within CUNY) partnering with the New York City Department of Education initiated alternative teacher certification programs. Now, 20 colleges across New York State, including CUNY, SUNY and independent colleges offer alternative programs leading to Transitional B certificates.

  • Since July 2000, 3,500 new teachers - three percent of all new teachers certified during that time period - were prepared through alternative teacher certification programs.
     
  • The largest percent of candidates in alternative teacher certification programs are between the ages of 21 and 35, 72 percent. Approximately 38 percent of all candidates are White females and approximately 22 percent are minorities. More work needs to be done to increase the diversity of the candidates.
     
  • ATC program completers have been certified in all subject areas, with the largest number in PreK-6 followed by English, social studies, math, special education and biology.
     
  • ATC programs are increasingly being used to help staff hard-to-staff subject areas. Approximately 53 percent of the future Teaching Fellows projected for 2003-2004 will be certified in shortage areas such as special education, bilingual special education, bilingual common branch, Spanish, ESL, math and all the sciences.
     
  • For the upstate colleges, the average retention rate for candidates who started the program in 2001-2002 was 81 percent. For candidates starting in 2002-2003, the average retention rate was 94 percent.
     
  • For the New York City Teaching Fellows, the retention rate was as follows:
  • Candidates starting in June 2000 - 62 percent;
  • Candidates starting in January 2001 - 70 percent;
  • Candidates starting in June 2001 - 74 percent;
  • Candidates starting in January 2002 - 78 percent; and
  • Candidates starting in June 2002 - 90 percent.
  • During 2002-2003, over 100 individuals participated in the Math Immersion Program to prepare math teachers for New York City schools. Eighty-five percent of the candidates passed the Content Specialty Test on their first attempt and all passed by their third attempt.
     
  • Of the 50 Math Immersion Fellows who responded to a survey about the program, 46 rated their overall experience in the program as good to excellent.
     
  • A sample survey of Teaching Fellows last month indicated that 87 percent were receiving some mentoring and 77 percent indicated they were given the support they needed to learn to teach. However, only 68 percent were assigned mentors by the end of September and only 24 percent indicated they received daily mentoring during the first eight weeks of teaching -- an area in need of improvement.
     
  • The survey also indicated that 81 percent of the mentors interviewed were trained for their role as a mentor. Seventy-four percent of the mentors believed the NYC Teaching Fellows had been given the support they needed to learn to teach.
     
  • A survey of school administrators indicated that 95 percent believed that the NYC Teaching Fellows had been given the support they needed to learn to teach, but only 36 percent had been included in meetings of the college supervisor, the mentor and the Teaching Fellow. Many respondents, however, questioned the value and practicality of arranging these meetings.
     
  • A survey of deans operating alternative teacher certification programs indicated that the programs are effective in preparing candidates for beginning mentored teaching; however, difficult settings and the lack of qualified mentors can have a negative impact upon candidates’ performance in the classroom.
     
  • Colleges are continually evaluating their alternative teacher certification programs and are making needed programmatic adjustments after the review of each cohort.

As we continue to collaborate with the colleges and school districts on alternative certification programs, the Department will:

  • Encourage school districts to ensure that teacher candidates in alternative certification programs are provided with a supportive school environment to help them more effectively transition to teaching;
     
  • Encourage the use of the Transitional C alternative teacher certification program to allow permanently certified teachers with master’s degrees to prepare for a teaching certificate in hard-to-staff certification areas; and
     
  • Encourage increased communication among the colleges, schools and the teacher candidates to ensure that teaching theory and practice are effectively integrated in the learning experience for the benefit of the teacher and for student learning.

The Department will report to the Board of Regents again next year on the status of alternative teacher certification programs and their impact on reducing the shortage of qualified, certified teachers in New York State.

Attachment

PROGRESS REPORT TO THE BOARD OF REGENTS
Alternative Teacher Certification

June 2003

INTRODUCTION

In 1998, when the Board of Regents enacted the new teaching policy "Teaching to Higher Standards: New York’s Commitment," the Board directed the Department to monitor the availability of teachers and take appropriate steps if the supply of certified teachers falls significantly below the demand. In July 2000, the Board of Regents approved the alternative teacher certification (ATC) program. The goal of the Board of Regents in approving avenues of non-traditional teacher preparation was to address the shortage of teachers in certain subject areas and geographic areas by authorizing programs that would enable qualified candidates to begin teaching more quickly, while maintaining the quality of their preparation. ATC programs must meet all of the teacher education standards adopted by the Board of Regents in 1998.

Approximately 3,500 have been prepared through alternative teacher certification statewide since it began in July 2000 – three percent of all new teachers certified in that time period. This compares with 55,780 teachers certified through college recommendation and 60,012 certified through transcript evaluation since July 2000.

Since ATC programs began in 2000, the Office of College and University Evaluation has monitored their implementation to ensure the quality of their teacher preparation. Alternative teacher certification programs include the following characteristics:

  • candidates qualify for certification through a non-traditional program that includes three components: an Introductory Component; an Inservice Component; and Mentored Teaching with a Transitional B Certificate;
     
  • local school districts are partners with colleges in preparing candidates to become teachers;
     
  • candidates must pass the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST) and a Content Specialty Test (CST) and must complete the program’s Introductory Component before they are authorized to begin Mentored Teaching with a Transitional B Certificate;
     
  • candidates continue their studies in the program’s Inservice Component while engaged in Mentored Teaching;
     
  • candidates qualify for regular certification (provisional, permanent, initial, or professional) upon completing the three components of the program satisfactorily and passing an additional certification examination, the Assessment of Teaching Skills Written (ATS-W).

After the Regents approved ATC programs in 2000, four colleges partnering with the NYCDOE piloted the New York City alternative certification program – The Teaching Fellows Program. Now 15 New York City colleges and five upstate colleges offer ATC programs leading to Transitional B certificates with two more programs recently approved. (See Appendix A.)

These programs are open to anyone who holds a baccalaureate degree in a subject area (for secondary teaching) or one of the liberal arts and sciences (for elementary teaching) and who has a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 or who has been determined by the ATC program to have the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the program. Career changers or recent college graduates who did not prepare to become teachers while in college may enter an ATC program. Although 72 percent of candidates are 21 to 35 years of age, candidates enter programs at a wide range of ages.


ATC candidates come from many backgrounds.

Graph Showing Gender and Ethnicity of All Transitional B Certificate Holders

Transitional B teaching certificates may be issued in any of the teacher certification subject areas. Registered ATC programs must meet all of the teacher education requirements applicable to traditional programs, with the exception of student teaching. Program offerings have expanded since the first cohort. The majority of the 2000-2001 cohort of New York City Teaching Fellows were prepared to teach in elementary schools. The 2002-2003 Teaching Fellows are being prepared to teach in both elementary and secondary schools; primarily in math, science, special education and bilingual education. Upstate, the focus has been on local shortage subject areas, including math, physics, special education, technology education, and foreign languages. Appendix A includes the certification areas in which colleges have registered programs. The chart below shows the subject areas in which all Transitional B certificates have been issued.

Retention rates vary by program, location, and length of time in the program. Figures show that there are selected times during the program when candidates are likely to leave teaching. Some people learn during the introductory component that teaching is not the right career choice for them. Others enthusiastically begin teaching and find that life in the classroom is different from what they expected. These candidates are most likely to leave within the first two months of teaching. Retention figures for the Teaching Fellows Program and the three upstate programs are shown in the charts below.

Upstate New York Teaching Fellows Retention Data

Active Fellows as of April 2003

2001-2002

2002-2003

Started

Current

Retention Rate

Started

Current

Retention Rate

Utica College

18

16

 89%

15

15

100%

Iona College

 3

 3

100%

40

38

 95%

Roberts Wesleyan College

43

33

 76%

27

24

 89%

 

NYC Teaching Fellows Retention Data
Active Fellows as of April 4, 2003

 

Cohort

Training Start:
Date School Started:

Jun-00
11-Sep-00

Jan-01
1-Mar-01

Jun-01
9-Sep-01

Jan-02
1-Feb-02

Jun-02
9-Sep-02

Started Teaching Year 1

323

71

1,096

36

1,843

Finished Teaching Year 1

266

66

  934

33

 

Started Teaching Year 2

252

59

  850

32

 

Finished Teaching Year 2

236

       

Started Teaching Year 3

207

       

Number Still Teaching

201

50

 812

28

1,662

           

% Retention Rate

62%

70%

 74%

78%

  90%


THE MATH IMMERSION PROGRAM

In 2002-03, New York City hired 100 traditionally prepared and 116 Transitional B certified middle and high school math teachers. It is estimated that for the 2003-04 school year, New York City will need to hire 1,000 additional math teachers. In response to this need, four New York City colleges* piloted a Math Immersion Program as part of the Teaching Fellows Program in 2002. Requirements for this program include:

  • possession of an undergraduate or graduate degree in a field requiring significant application of math concepts; OR
     
  • a college major that included at least two semesters of calculus, or equivalent, and professional experience requiring application of math skills/concepts (See Appendix B).
     
  • a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 or a determination that the candidate has the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the program.
     
  • an introductory component of 300 hours, rather than 200 hours, with the additional hours devoted to math content and pedagogy; and
     
  • passage of the LAST and the Math CST before entering the classroom.

A cohort of 116 Teaching Fellows who were interested in becoming math teachers was selected for this pilot program. As of February 25, 2003, there were 102 Math Immersion Fellows still in the program -- 71 in middle/junior high schools and 31 in high schools.

A program evaluation meeting of representatives from the four pilot colleges, the NYCDOE, and the State Education Department took place on February 26, 2003. Prior to that meeting, survey data was collected from Math Immersion participants and their support system -- school-based mentors, college faculty, college supervisors, and school administrators. Survey results indicated that:

  • Of the 50 Math Immersion Fellows who responded, 46 rated their overall experience in the program as good to excellent.
     
  • The 25 school-based mentors who responded reported that the top three areas in which Math Immersion Fellows needed the most assistance were classroom management, classroom organization, and lesson planning.
     
  • Of the 13 college faculty who responded, 11 rated the current level of math knowledge of the candidates as good to excellent. Twenty school administrators (of 21 respondents) rated math knowledge at the beginning of the school year as good to excellent.
     
  • Eighty-five percent of candidates (88 individuals) passed their Math CST on the first attempt and all passed by their third attempt.

 

 

  • Of 19 college supervisors who responded, 13 rated the level of general teaching skills observed at the beginning of the school year as good to excellent.

Based on the limited number of Math Immersion candidates and colleges offering the pilot, it was decided that the pilot would be extended for a second year. During the second pilot year, Adelphi University and Pace University will also offer the Math Immersion Program.

SED MONITORING OF ALTERNATIVE TEACHER CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

Each year the Office of College and University Evaluation conducts site visits to ATC programs throughout the State (See Appendix C). The preliminary site visit report is sent to both the college and the participating school district(s) for response. In this way, responsibility for quality program implementation is placed on the partnership. In this third year of program implementation, site visits have focused on areas identified for improvement in previous site visits, e.g., minority participation, mentoring, etc. The goal of these visits was to ensure that there was continual improvement in both the college and school district components of the program.

Summer 2002 Site Visits

The four institutions offering the Math Immersion Program were visited during the summer of 2002. Findings from these visits to the programs’ introductory components included:

  • All candidates had appropriate math or math-related backgrounds.
     
  • College full-time and adjunct faculty with strong math backgrounds and experience were teaching the math pedagogy courses.
     
  • Summer field experiences need to be well planned and closely monitored, with Fellows being placed with certified master math teachers.

Fall 2002 Site Visits

Fall site visits included four follow-up visits to ongoing ATC programs and one technical assistance visit to a college establishing a program. The results of these visits included the following findings and recommendations:

  • There is a continuing need to encourage minority participation in ATC programs;
     
  • Introductory components of programs generally exceeded the regulatory requirement of 200 hours and included more than the required 40 hours of field experience;
     
  • Mentoring for second-year candidates needs to be strengthened;
     
  • Regular meetings of program faculty, the school principal or designee, the mentor, and the candidate are generally not taking place; and
     
  • Colleges and school districts continue to refine the ATC programs to more closely meet the needs of their students and the schools.

It is clear that the Department needs to continue working with program partners to provide technical assistance and information about the implementation of ATC programs. This will continue to be accomplished through site visits, participation in meetings of program coordinators and New York City Department of Education staff, and participation in conferences with the higher education community.

Spring 2003 Site Visits

Spring 2003 site visits focused on the mentoring provided to Teaching Fellows in New York City public schools. Four teams visited 20 public schools, interviewing 59 Teaching Fellows, 26 mentors, and 25 principals/assistant principals. (See Appendix D.) Findings from those visits are summarized in the following table:

Mentoring Requirement

Person Interviewed

Sample Findings

Teaching Fellows

  • 68% had been assigned mentors by the end of September.
  • 24% received daily mentoring during their first eight weeks of teaching.
  • 87% are receiving some mentoring.
  • 8% have been included in meetings of the college supervisor, the school administrator, and the mentor.
  • 77% believe that they have been given the support needed to learn to teach.
  • 97% plan to continue the Teaching Fellows Program next year.

Mentors

  • 54% mentor only one Teaching Fellow.
  • 77% are located in the same building as the Fellow(s) they are mentoring.
  • 81% had been trained to be a mentor.
  • 100% are still mentoring their Fellow(s).
  • 89% have done demonstration lessons for the Fellow(s).
  • 74% believe that the Fellows have been given the support needed to learn to teach.
  • 93% believe the Fellow(s) with whom he/she is working will continue in the program next year.

School Administrators

  • 61% had been NYC administrators for more than 5 years.
  • 87% had been in the current building for five years or less.
  • 36% had been included in meetings of the college supervisor, the mentor, and the Fellow.
  • 77% discuss the Fellow’s progress with the mentor.
  • 95% believe that the Fellows have been given the support needed to learn to teach.
  • 87% believe that the Fellows in the school will continue with the Program next year.

During the interviews, school administrators were asked what they saw as the most effective mentoring activities. Responses indicated that the following activities were most effective in supporting the Teaching Fellows:

  • Mentors conducting demonstration lessons (modeling);
  • Mentors conferencing with Fellows before and after observations;
  • Fellows observing experienced teachers (inter-class visitations); and
  • Fellows co-teaching with an experienced teacher.

Often the resourcefulness of the Teaching Fellow, combined with the desire to help the children learn, motivated the Fellow to seek out the level of support he/she felt was needed. Interviews confirmed that most Fellows did not receive the early mentor support that is seen as crucial. As a result, some Fellows went to other teachers, administrators, and staff for support. Schools that have staff developers and Teacher Center staff were often more favorable placements for Fellows because there is regular help available from experienced staff.

Approximately half of the schools visited were on the list of Schools Under Registration Review (SURR). While there was one notable exception (the school had recently been assigned its fourth principal of the year), the quality of the Teaching Fellows’ experiences was not primarily affected by the school’s status on the SURR list. Rather, the school environment played a more significant role in the success of the Fellows placed there. Approaches to support for Fellows ranged from almost hands-off to active involvement. For example, in some schools, team members heard about experienced teachers offering to help with lesson planning and classroom management issues. As one site visit team member stated, "...the involvement of top administrators in the Fellows Program varied significantly." It was also noted that many of the principals were interested in having a more active role in the selection of mentors, which is done at the district level.

Several mentors expressed the desire to understand the goals of the college coursework in which Fellows are involved. It was stated that the coursework does not always coincide with the kinds of lessons required at the schools. Their hope is to be able to familiarize college faculty with the types of lessons the Fellows will be required to teach and the kinds of classroom situations that arise for these new teachers. In addition, the Fellows would benefit from a clear understanding of how theory and practice come together for the benefit of their teaching practice.

The College Perspective

On May 8, 2003, Department staff sent seven questions about the ATC programs to deans and directors of education at institutions that offer these programs in New York State. Topics covered in the questions included: preparation of candidates to begin teaching; suggested changes for the introductory and in-service components; relationships with school districts; difficulties confronted in offering ATC programs and how those difficulties have been addressed; plans for recruiting candidates for the programs; and, plans to expand the programs. Twelve deans/directors responded. The following are representative comments:

  • The ATC programs are effective in preparing candidates for beginning mentored teaching with Transitional B Certificates, except those assigned to teach in the most difficult settings are not always provided with strong mentors and the support of the principal from the beginning of their teaching assignment.
     
  • At times, the colleges do not know what candidates they will receive until the first day of the program. This prevents the colleges from planning appropriately for the candidate. Also, different institutions have different strengths. If the colleges had input into the selection and assignment of program candidates by the New York City Department of Education, they would be able to serve the candidates more effectively.
     
  • The Introductory Component, offered prior to beginning mentored teaching, is most effective when school-based educators team-teach the college courses with faculty, when materials used in the schools are integrated into the coursework, and when exemplary teachers are their models during the summer field experiences.
     
  • Candidates should be informed, well before the end of the introductory component, where their full-time teaching placements will be, including the subject/grade they will teach, and who their mentors will be. Principals should also meet with the candidates before the school term begins and make clear their commitment to supporting the candidates fully.
     
  • Assigning a given college’s candidates to teach in the same school or in schools close to each other is helpful for the college in being able to provide strong supervision and support for the candidates.
     
  • Among the problems we have encountered are: lack of well-trained mentors; delays in getting the mentoring relationship started; fewer mentor visits than needed; lack of congruence between the expertise of the mentor and the grade level/subject area assigned to the candidate; and failure of administrators to provide proper supervision and staff development. When our college liaisons visit the schools and find the mentoring and support to be inadequate, we do not have sufficient leverage to improve the situation.
     
  • School districts do not understand the alternative teacher certification program and Transitional B Certificate. The Department could inform the field more fully about this opportunity and what it requires of the district.
     
  • We are beginning to consider using good features of the ATC program in our traditional teacher education program.
     
  • In a survey, principals indicated that our candidates with transitional certificates, who have completed the introductory component, are equal in preparation to traditionally prepared first-year teachers.
     
  • The key to candidate effectiveness is the quality of mentoring provided. If the mentoring is of good quality, our candidates will be effective.
     
  • Provide more opportunities for candidates to teach during the field experiences of the introductory component.
     
  • It would help significantly if superintendents would send a message to their principals about the value of those teaching with transitional certificates and the need to support them.

PROGRAM MODIFICATIONS

As noted in a report from the Urban Teacher for Tomorrow Program (Rochester), "The needs of the teacher-intern and his/her students should inform the curriculum of the teacher preparation program." It is this goal that has driven changes within each of New York’s ATC programs. In each program, changes have been instituted based on the needs of the partners, with the focus on preparing quality teachers who can meet the needs of their students.

The Apprenticeship Teacher Certification Program (Utica College)

The Utica College program is unique in that candidates are accepted into the program and then must locate their own positions in partnering school districts. Candidates who are unable to find positions transfer to the College’s traditional teacher preparation program. Program partners include the Utica City School District, as well as outlying districts through partnerships with four area BOCES (Madison-Oneida, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego, and Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida). Changes that have been made to the program as the College anticipates its third cohort of ATC candidates include:

  • An interview was added to the selection process. Superintendents and human resource personnel from school districts and Utica College faculty participate in the interviews.
     
  • A listing of candidates is sent to a larger number of neighboring school districts as the needs of local districts are met.
     
  • In addition to providing a reduced teaching load to candidates, smaller school districts have added more structure to their mentoring process by:
  • pairing candidates and mentors with similar classes;
  • requiring the candidate to observe the mentor’s class daily during a free period;
  • putting the candidate and mentor in adjacent classrooms; and
  • hiring retired teachers to act as daily mentors.·

The Iona College Program (New Rochelle)

The Iona College program began as a very small program, with three candidates in the first cohort. In the fall of 2002, the College conducted an information session with area school districts. A Department staff person was at this meeting to present an overview of the ATC programs and to answer questions from school district and College personnel. The second cohort of ATC candidates grew to 33, with another 7 candidates who hold graduate degrees in the area in which they will teach entering the Advanced Transition B program. The Iona College program is unique in that candidates take their coursework over one academic year while continuing their employment. They begin teaching with Transitional B certificates in the second year. Changes that have taken place in this program include:

  • Enrollment for future cohorts has been capped at 40 so that the College can continue to meet the needs of the candidates.
     
  • Increased networking among candidates through résumé writing workshops and other strategy sessions.
     
  • Consideration of Westchester County school districts in future admissions, causing the College to focus on preparing teachers in math and science.
     
  • A study of the mentorship program to determine its impact on student learning.
     
  • Hiring of adjunct college mentors to supervise the fall 2003 interns. These adjunct mentors will be under the supervision of full-time faculty members.
     
  • Creation of a mentor handbook for college faculty and school district mentors to provide consistency in mentoring.

The Urban Teacher for Tomorrow Program (Roberts Wesleyan College)

This program in upstate Rochester is preparing to accept its third cohort of ATC candidates. Roberts Wesleyan College has a strong partnership with the Rochester City School District and the Rochester Teachers Association to provide coursework and mentoring to its candidates. Although the partnership has been strong from the start, changes have been made to benefit current and future teacher-interns.

  • Based on school district needs, the program now focuses on preparing secondary science and math and middle school special education teachers.
     
  • A focus on recruitment of minority teachers has resulted in an increase in African-American and Hispanic-American teacher-interns. The first cohort of 43 candidates included three (7 percent) African-Americans, two (5 percent) Asians, and 38 (88 percent) Caucasians. Tentative acceptances (dependent on budget issues) for the third cohort of 32 candidates include 9 African-American and Hispanic-American candidates (28 percent).
     
  • The curriculum has been modified to better address the needs of the students being served by the teacher-interns. The program now has a greater emphasis on literacy, differentiated instruction, and on the learner and his/her learning.

The master’s thesis requirement gives teacher-interns the opportunity to undertake projects with direct relevance to teaching and learning. Outstanding accomplishments include an intern publishing her work, one presenting at a statewide conference, and four interns facilitating workshops related to their projects.

The Teaching Fellows Program in New York City

As part of the overall review of the alternative teacher certification program, staff met with the leadership in the NYCDOE to discuss how the Teaching Fellows Program will be implemented for the 2003-04 school year. This information was also provided to the deans of education of participating colleges to ensure that all colleges and universities share a common understanding of how the Fellows program will operate next year. Some of the program enhancements include:

  • The NYCDOE will put greater emphasis on placing Teaching Fellows with colleges and universities based upon both the subject area of the certificate and the region in which they will be employed. This will facilitate the assignment of Fellows in schools and allow colleges and universities to focus their resources in specific subject areas.
     
  • The NYCDOE has focused more emphasis on hard-to-staff subject areas in the selection of Teaching Fellows. Eight out of the 12 certificate areas are shortage areas, with 53 percent of the Teaching Fellows targeted for hard-to-staff subject areas. Listed below are the assignments projected for 2,595 Teaching Fellows by areas of certification:

Certificate Area

Teaching
Fellows

Common Branch

761

English

279

Social Studies

169

Music

16

Special Education

588

Bilingual Special Education

34

Bilingual Common Branch

97

Bilingual – Other

10

Spanish

33

ESL

58

Math

427

All Sciences

123

  • The NYCDOE has committed to sending rosters and candidate transcripts to the colleges and universities prior to the beginning of the summer component of the program. This will allow colleges to assess the candidates for college admission and to tailor programs to meet candidate needs.
     
  • In order to provide additional instructional support to candidates taking the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations to satisfy the requirement for a Transitional B certificate, NYCDOE is asking Teaching Fellows to take the exams during the spring administration. If the exams are not passed at this administration, they will be retaken during the July administration. This will provide the Teaching Fellows with an opportunity to experience the test early on to assist in their academic preparation for the July administration, if necessary. It is anticipated that a higher percentage of Teaching Fellows will be available for September placement using this approach.

The State Education Department is working with the National Evaluation Systems (NES) and the New York City Department of Education to offer more frequent administrations of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations to meet the needs of the New York City teacher recruitment efforts.

The NYCDOE will be providing the colleges with the new literacy and math curricula so that instruction in these two curriculum areas can be more focused.

Beginning with the 2003-04 cohort, each NYC Teaching Fellow will be required to provide $4,000 over a two-year period to support their master’s degree programs. This is consistent with the approach that has been taken upstate to spread the cost of the program among the colleges, the school district and the participants.

Under the recent reorganization of the NYCDOE, the responsibility for the employment of mentors rests with the 10 regional superintendents. The NYCDOE sent an extensive guidance memo to the superintendents identifying the requirements for the selection of mentors and has encouraged all superintendents to ensure that mentors have been appointed by the end of this school year. The NYCDOE is encouraging a flexible time model – avoiding the pullout of mentors from their class assignments. They are also encouraging the use of full-time mentors and retirees serving as mentors.

All Teaching Fellows are now required to conduct "structured observations" prior to beginning the introductory component of the program. Fellows are provided with guidelines on what to look for, along with written exercises to complete.

VESID Intensive Teacher Institute (ITI) Programs

Since 1995, VESID has provided funding to prepare bilingual education and bilingual special education teachers across New York State through the Intensive Teacher Institute (ITI) Program. VESID funds programs using BOCES staff as program managers and colleges as program providers. The funds provide tuition assistance to colleges for qualified applicants and, in some cases, provide additional support for faculty at colleges. Since the program began, candidates in ITI programs have taken coursework through the colleges and have taught under temporary licenses. However, beginning in September 2003, ITI programs will have to be registered by colleges as teacher education programs leading to alternative teacher certification. Office of Higher Education staff have been working with ITI program directors/managers to develop and register these programs for the fall 2003 semester.

THE TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND TRANSITION TO TEACHING PROJECTS

To support NYC’s efforts to address their severe teacher shortage, in fall 2000, SED applied for and was awarded two federal grants totaling $3.4 million over the next five years. Grant money will be awarded annually through a competitive process. Funds will help support the preparation of up to 800 new teachers for New York City through partnerships between independent colleges and the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. For 2003-2004, funding has been awarded to five colleges to prepare candidates for teaching positions.

A Project Leadership Team will be convened to complete the design of the projects, and to implement, oversee and evaluate them. Team members will include representatives from the State Education Department, the NYCDOE, and independent colleges receiving project funding. This team will meet regularly during the entire project to plan all project activities, address all project issues, and ensure that all parties are making sufficient progress toward the preparation of new teachers.

NEXT STEPS

As ATC programs continue to grow in size and number, New York State will continue to work with school districts and colleges to make the programs more effective for the program teachers and for their students. There are three areas in which future efforts will be focused to provide continuous improvement to these programs:

  • Supportive school environments

    Partners in alternative teacher certification programs will be encouraged to provide support to prepare future teachers and to help them become high quality professionals who continue to make teaching their chosen career. While 87% of the Fellows surveyed received mentoring, 100% are required to receive it. SED will continue to work with school districts to ensure full compliance with this very important component of this pathway. In addition, the regularity and frequency with which it is provided is also an area in need of improvement.
     
  • Individualize ATC programs

    Given the continued need for certified teachers in hard-to-staff subject areas, colleges will be encouraged to offer Transitional C programs for candidates who are looking for teaching careers in another subject area and have already completed graduate work in their subject area. The Transitional C program, which requires candidates to enter with an appropriate graduate degree, can also be used as a pathway for permanently certified teachers to qualify, in an expeditious manner, for a transitional teaching certificate in a hard-to-staff subject matter area. This will allow school districts to draw upon talented individuals within their employ to meet emerging teacher shortages.
     
  • Coordination of schools and colleges to support candidates

    Increased communication between colleges and schools is needed so that college coursework and school-based support provide candidates with the coordinated support needed to address classroom and pedagogical issues.

When the Regents enacted the regulation to implement the alternative teacher certification programs, they required that all of the teacher education standards set forth in the Regents 1998 teaching policy must be met. The key difference between traditional teacher education programs and alternative programs is when a candidate must demonstrate mastery of the Regents teaching standards. With second career candidates who bring their own set of knowledge and skills and appropriate support from mentors and school administrators, it is evident that alternative programs can produce quality teachers.

The Department’s ongoing monitoring of the ATC programs shows that most of the programs experienced "growing pains" during their first years of implementation. It also makes clear that, when mentoring and support from school leaders are lacking, the programs suffer. The Department’s monitoring of these programs is designed to assist programs to overcome problems and to ensure that the necessary support is provided to all candidates in the programs. We will continue to monitor these programs, work with colleges and school districts when areas of non-compliance with the regulations are uncovered and report to the Board of Regents next year on the status of all alternative teacher certification programs in New York State.

INSTITUTIONS WITH REGISTERED ATC (Transitional B) PROGRAMS

COLLEGES AND K-12 SCHOOLS VISITED DURING ATC PROGRAM MONITORING

Summer/Fall 2002

College/University

K-12 Districts Visited

K-12 Schools Visited

CUNY Brooklyn College

NYC 19; 23; K73

Prospect Heights H.S.
Middle College H.S.

CUNY City College

NYC 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 85; 75; X73; M73; Alternative H.S.

PS 161

CUNY Lehman College

NYC 8; 9; X73

IS 125; CIS 143

CUNY Queens College

NYC 27; 28; 29

PS 121; MS 137; MS 238

Iona College (Technical Assistance)

New Rochelle City School District
Bedford Central School District

New Rochelle High School
Fox Lane Middle School

Mercy College

NYC 7

PS 46; PS 86; PS 246; PS 277; PS 306

Roberts Wesleyan College

Rochester City School District

ES 45; Charlotte M.S.;
Franklin H.S.; Wilson H.S.; East H.S.

St. John’s University

NYC 14; 24; 27

PS 7; PS 31; IS 93; IS 318

Utica College

Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES
Madison-Oneida BOCES
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES
Jefferson-Lewis BOCES

Utica City School District -
Sen. James Donovan M. S., Proctor H.S.

 

Site Visits to New York City Public Schools

Teaching Fellows Program Monitoring, May 2003
Number of Interviews

     

Teaching
Fellows

Mentors

Adminis-
trators

M083

4

Elementary

5

0

1

M030

85 (5)

Elementary

4

3

2

M275

5

Intermediate

5

3

3

M195

5

Intermediate

5

4

3

M036

5

Elementary

2

0

2

X220

7

Elementary

4

1

1

X030

7

Elementary

1

0

0

X212

85 (12)

K-8

3

2

0

X158

85 (12)

6-8

6

0

1

X064

85 (9)

Elementary

2

1

0

K305

13

Elementary

1

0

1

K307

13

Elementary

2

1

0

K378

15

Intermediate

1

1

1

K033

14

Intermediate

3

2

2

K023

14

Elementary

1

1

1

Q555

77

High School

1

1

1

Q78

30

Elementary

2

0

1

X049

85 (7)

Elementary

3

2

2

X218

9

Elementary

5

1

1

X114

85 (9)

Elementary

3

3

2

   


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SURR Schools

6/23/03