Assessment System

The Northwestern College assessment system is designed to gather data around the model of the teacher education. The unit uses the Charlotte Danielson (2008) model to gather and examine data.

The system gathers data around multiple assessment points and assesses candidate performance, content knowledge and dispositions.

Data is gathered around in an assessment cycle and is examined each fall at a departmental retreat.

Although we have collected data in the past, our 2009 visit report has encouraged us to gather data and analyze it more effectively. Departmental response to the data has encouraged the department to make programmatic change a priority.

Candidate assessment is gathered at multiple data points. Three formal gates are part of the system. Student data is examined at application to the program, application to student teaching and recommendation for licensure. Informal gates include advising sessions each semester where elementary candidates are assigned to an advisor in the department and secondary candidates are assigned to an advisor in their field and then asked to visit with one of the two secondary specialists.

All candidates are required to take and pass Praxis I for entry into the program. All candidates are required to take and pass Praxis II both content and pedagogy for licensure in Iowa.

Program assessment is gathered using candidate assessment for the base. This candidate data is examined in a yearly assessment cycle. Program data is also gathered using series of surveys. This data is examined yearly and posted online at this location.

The Northwestern College assessment system addresses the work of the Teacher Education Program as a whole and each of the elementary education major and the secondary endorsement minor. Data is disaggregated by major. 

The Northwestern College assessment system facilitates the progress of candidates toward licensure.

Data points are also used to examine the work of the unit.

Northwestern Assessment system gathers data around

  1. Content knowledge
  2. Performance
  3. Dispositions

Candidate Assessment System

CONTENT KNOWLEDGE

Content Data Points
Grade Point Average (GPA)

Candidate GPAs are examined at three data points.

Candidates must have a 2.5 overall GPA to enter the program and take restricted classes. Candidates must maintain the 2.5 GPA to be recommended for student teaching. Candidates must have a 2.5 GPA both in their major and overall to be recommended for licensure.

Program Completers 2013
Number of Graduates included in data:  63
Median overall GPA:  3.47
Average overall GPA:  3.42
Average in-major GPA:  3.65
Average out-of-major GPA:  3.30

Major Department Recommendation
The unit seeks feedback for each candidate in the form of a department recommendation. Candidates are not allowed to be admitted into the program until they receive a recommendation from their major department.
See department recommendation form

Entrance and Exit Exams
All candidates must take and pass PRAXIS I CORE test and PRAXIS II.

The Praxis CORE Test
The Praxis CORE test is a three-part exam measuring basic skills in reading, math, and writing. It is administered at least once each semester on campus. The cost is approximately $135. The best preparation for the test is the on-line assistance from ETS. Study materials are also available through the DeWitt Learning Commons. Students must register electronically.

Students should take the CORE test during their sophomore year. It is suggested to take the exam after completing First Year Seminar and meeting the math competency requirement.

Students are allowed to take the test 3 times to meet the minimum competency level. The required minimum scores for passing are as follows: Reading – 155; Writing – 155; Math – 140.

If a student does not receive the minimum score in all areas of the CORE test, s/he may request permission from the Teacher Education Committee to attempt to earn the minimum score in additional test sessions. Without earning at least the minimum score, a student cannot be admitted to the Teacher Education Program at Northwestern College.

Praxis II Content and Pedagogy
All student must take and pass Iowa examinations in content and pedagogy. Northwestern College follows state requirements and assists candidates in securing Iowa licensure.

PERFORMANCE

Northwestern College Portfolio System
The entrance portfolio is required prior to entering the program.  Candidates document their progress on the four domains of the Danielson Model.  Additional items related to the Northwestern College Teacher Education Program Model are also required. 

The exit portfolio is required upon exit. 

The portfolio system

  • Allows a candidate to see his or her progress/growth over time
  • The progress of a candidate is visible to the candidate and to the faculty
  • The portfolio data is useful for candidate assessment and program assessment.

Evaluations from Practicum Cooperating Teachers & Supervisors

  • Early Field Experience
  • Methods Practicum Hours
  • Student teaching

DISPOSITION

When students apply for admission into the Teacher Education Program (on LiveText), they will be asked who will be completing the disposition survey on their behalf. Candidates will choose five names of people on campus (faculty or staff) to complete the disposition form for them. The list of names is to be emailed to the Education Department Assistant. The student cannot choose their advisor or more than two faculty members from the education department. Students may choose a Resident Director, a coach, or work study supervisor to complete the survey as well. Recommenders will receive the disposition form by e-mail link and complete the form in LiveText.


Program Assessment System

The Northwestern College assessment system addresses the work of the Teacher Education Program as a whole and each of the elementary education major and the secondary endorsement minor. Program Evaluation data includes feedback from student teachers, cooperating teacher, supervisor, first year teachers and administrators of first year teachers.  Data is collected on the Danielson Model as well as the Northwestern College Teacher Education Program.  Data is aggregated and examined yearly.  Program changes are proposed and made on the basis of this data. 

Content Knowledge
Content knowledge is measured at an exit level using GPA (as noted above) and Exit Praxis II tests.  Results of Praxis I and Praxis II for 2012 licensees are noted below.

PPST 2012-2013 (Prior to Spring 2013 student were required to take the PPST. The CORE test discussed above is replacing the PPST test.)

  • Of the 55 different students who took the PPST there were 12 who did not pass on the first attempt. (21% didn’t pass)
  • Of those 12
    • 3 retook the test and passed
    • 2 retook the test a second time and passed
    • 1 retook the test a third time and passed
    • 2 retook the test a fourth time and passed
    • 4 of them didn’t retake in that school year

Praxis II test takers 2012-2013

  • 77 test takers (Content and Pedagogy)
  • 10 didn’t pass on the initial time they took one of the tests
  • 1 student transferred

Performance
Program Evaluation data includes feedback from student teachers, cooperating teacher, supervisor, first year teachers and administrators of first year teachers.  Data is collected on the Danielson Model as well as the Northwestern College Teacher Education Program. 

Student Teacher Feedback
Student teachers are sent a survey in Livetext at the conclusion of their student teaching experience.  Results are tabulated and presented for program evaluation yearly.  Elementary and Secondary data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2013 Compilation

Cooperating Teacher and Supervisor Feedback
The cooperating teachers and supervisors complete a final evaluation form of the student teacher at the conclusion of each student teaching experience.  Results are tabulated and presented for program evaluation yearly.  Elementary and Secondary data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2013 Compilation

First Year Teacher Feedback
Northwestern graduates are sent a survey in Livetext near the conclusion of their first year of teaching.  Results are compiled and presented for program evaluation yearly.  Elementary and Secondary data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2013 Compilation

First Year Teacher Feedback from School Administrators
The School administrators who are supervising Northwestern graduates in their first year of teaching are sent a survey in Livetext in the spring.  Results are compiled and presented for program evaluation yearly.  Elementary and Secondary data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2013 Compilation


Student Loan Default Rates and Consumer Information

3-year student loan default rate: 2.4%

Average cost of attendance: Total cost of attendance was $37,844. The average financial aid package (excluding loans) was $17,251. The average out-of-pocket cost for students (including loans) was $20,633.

Average beginning salary of a program completer: $30,185 average for those teaching professionally; $26,895 average includes those teaching professionally and those in other educationally related positions.

Placement patterns of completers: 70% of Education major survey respondents over the last couple of years are living and working in Iowa. Nearly 100% of them are in the Midwest/neighboring states (IA, MN, SD, NE, CO, IL, WI, KS in decreasing order). Most are working in smaller towns/school districts, with a few working in urban areas or larger school districts (such as Sioux Falls, Sioux City, West Des Moines).