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 an assessment cycle and 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 in which elementary candidates are assigned to an adviser in the department and secondary candidates are assigned to an adviser 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 the elementary education major and secondary endorsement minors. 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's assessment system gathers data concerning the following:

  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 2014
Average overall GPA: 3.64

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.

C-BASE
The C-BASE test assesses general education skills in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. The department requires a passing score in each of the reading, writing and math sections. A passing score is 235.

Praxis II Content and edTPA
All students must take and pass Iowa examinations in content and pedagogy or complete the edTPA assessment. Northwestern College follows state requirements and assists candidates in securing Iowa licensure. Relevant edTPA subject handbooks are available to students to use as a resource as they complete their edTPA assessment. edTPA has been piloted in Northwestern's education department, where some local evaluation of edTPA has been done and some have been submitted to Pearson for scoring, with a passing score of 41 required for approval.

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. 

Completion of the edTPA and an interview are required upon exit. 

The portfolio

  • Allows a candidate to reflect with intention on both the Northwestern Vision for Learning and the Teacher Education Program Conceptual Framework
  • Is intentionally designed to mirror the process of selecting artifacts that demonstrate competence in particular, like the portfolio required of beginning teachers in Iowa

The exit interview is now used for evaluation.

Evaluations from Practicum Cooperating Teachers & Supervisors

  • Early field experience
  • Methods practicum hours
  • Student teaching

DISPOSITION

When students apply for admission into Northwestern's 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 adviser 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 email link and complete the form in LiveText. We have also begun assessing dispositions in two of the first education classes that students take, EDU 102 and EDU 206, utilizing the same form.


Program Assessment System

The Northwestern College assessment system addresses the work of the teacher education program as a whole. the elementary education major, and each of the secondary endorsement minors. 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 test takers 2013-2014 (Prior to spring 2013 students were required to take the PPST. The CORE test discussed above is replacing the PPST test.)

  • Of the 36 different students who took the PPST, there were 6 who did not pass on the first attempt (17% didn’t pass).
  • Of those 6
    • 2 retook the test and passed
    • 1 retook the test a second time and passed
    • 3 didn’t retake in that school year

CORE test takers 2013-2014

  • Of the 20 different students who took the CORE, there were 2 who did not pass on the first attempt (10% didn't pass).
  • Of those 2
    • 1 retook the test and passed
    • 1 didn't retake in that school year

Praxis II test takers 2013-2014

  • 124 test takers (content and pedagogy)
  • 6 did not pass 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. Candidate and program data are collected on the Danielson Model, which is the foundation of our conceptual model. Specific programs are also aligned to various sets of national standards, and program assessment data is collected and analyzed as required for our national accreditation. Common lesson and unit plan rubrics are utilized across all programs, as well as consistent evaluation forms for field and clinical experiences. Students are now also required to complete a performance-based assessment (edTPA) for licensure. 

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 program data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2014 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 program data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2014 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 program data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2014 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 program data are separated within the linked documentation.
See 2014 Compilation


Student Loan Default Rates and Consumer Information

3-year student loan default rate: 2.6%

Average cost of attendance: Total cost of attendance was $37,844. The average financial aid package (excluding loans) was $19,442. The average out-of-pocket cost for students (including loans) was $20,633.

Average beginning salary of a program completer: $34,455 average for those teaching professionally.

Placement patterns of completers: 70% of education major survey respondents are living and working in Iowa. The numbers for 2014 are as follows: 60% in Iowa, 95% in Midwest/neighboring states (IA, NE, MN, SD and CO, in that order). Urban areas include Sioux Falls, Omaha, Lincoln and Minneapolis. Nearly 100% of Northwestern education graduates are in the Midwest/neighboring states (IA, MN, SD, NE, CO, IL, WI and 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 and West Des Moines).