To Make (or Not to Make) an Impact, that is the Question.

At Notre Dame of Maryland University, there is no question about our mission. It is to transform the world!  As a School of Education, we can best realize this transformation by preparing the very best, the most effective, and the most passionate teachers and educational leaders in the nation – teachers and leaders who are fully prepared to make an indelible impact on their students’lives.  

Through a variety of programs designed to meet the multi-faceted needs of aspiring educators, NDMU provides rigorous coursework taught by experienced P-12 professors and challenging clinical and field experiences which culminate in a practicum with highly qualified mentor teachers and dedicated supervisors.  These programs range from initial certification in one of fifteen content areas (e.g., Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, TESOL, English, etc) to specialized certifications in one of eight different fields (e.g., Library Media, Reading Specialist, Mathematics Leadership, STEM, Administration & Supervision, Gifted and Talented, etc). How do we know that we are meeting our goal?  We collect relevant data, analyze it, and constantly refine our practices in the spirit of continuous improvement.  These data points include surveys of teacher candidates, mentor teachers, completers, and employers; plus GPAs, licensure exams, e-portfolio assessments, demonstrations of content knowledge, rates of graduation, employability, and action research projects.  Individually and collectively, these data inform our decision-making to ensure that those we prepare are effectively impacting the P-12 learners they serve.  
 
Included in the report below are annual reporting measures which document key components required for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). For ease of reference, these 4 impact and 4 outcome measures are briefly discussed below, and relevant links to more extensive analyses of data are then provided.

1. Impact on P-12 Student Learning and Development

There are several ways in which NDMU endeavors to assess the impact of our program completers on the P-12 community.

What Do Our Completers Think About How They Impacted P-12 Learning?

The first gauge used is at the conclusion of the completer experience as completers reflect upon their experiences in the field and the impact they have been able to make prior to securing full-time employment as a professional educator. Completers are surveyed and asked to identify and provide examples of how they have made this impact on P-12 learning and development.

The quality of narrative comments seems to have improved during the three-term cycle (Spring 2019, Fall 2018 and Spring 2018). This improvement may have resulted from asking completers in Spring 2019 to be more explicit and “offer an example” of how they have done so. The breadth of responses was very insightful as well, ranging from how they documented these improvements on a daily basis with 'exit tickets' to how they did so using formative and summative assessments; some provided insights into how a group of students improved while others offered a single student as a case study. Action research has also helped to provide a meaningful tool by which completers can more readily plan for and assess this growth in student achievement. Finally, albeit not fully implemented across all programs of study yet, the introduction of edTPA as an instrument to assess the impact of learning has provided completers with a news lens through which to view teaching and learning. The following link “Completers’ Assessments Regarding their Impact on P-12 Learning and Development - Spring 2019, Fall 2018, and Spring 2018 Semesters” provides a more in-depth look into these qualitative comments.

What Do Our New Educators Think (after a full year of teaching) How They Impacted P-12 Learning?

NDMU, as part of a consortium of Maryland colleges and universities, opted to explore this question with our program completers after they had completed one full year of teaching. We have completed this inquiry for two cycles, consulting with completers from 2016-17 and from 2017-18, after each cohort had taught for one full year. We also surveyed their employers at the same time.

The first take-away from this comparative analyses is that NDMU completers perceive that they are as prepared or better prepared than their employers perceive them to be on seven of ten criterion. The second observation is that completers’ perceptions surveyed in 2018-19 were comparable to completers’ perceptions in 2017-18; i.e., there was no statistically significant difference from one year to the next. Because this is a new survey instrument and procedure, there are only two cycles of data gathered thus far; a third cycle will be generated in June 2020.

Finally, the third takeaway is that mean scores amongst these 10 criterion ranged from a low of 3.53 for ‘effectively teaches required content’ to a high of 3.84 for ‘creating a respectful environment for learning.’ With the expectation that a mean score of ‘3.5’ be obtained, it is clear that, except for technology, completers meet or exceed this benchmark goal. For more detailed information about these survey results, please refer to the following link: NDMU New Teachers Survey Results from 2017-18 Completers Compared with 2016-17 Completers and Compared With Employers’ Perceptions.

When Observed as New Teachers, What Kinds of Evidence Might Be Offered as Justification for Positively Impacting P-12 Student Learning and Development?

NDMU hoped to explore this measure during the Spring of 2020. Supervisors of completers from the previous academic year (2018-2019) agreed to initiate contact with those they had supervised as interns the previous year and to meet with them to discuss their perceived preparedness to teach and to observe them in the classroom in order to assess the impact they are having on the P-12 community. These plans to pilot this initiative with approximately 20 new educators unfortunately had to be scuttled due to the onset of COVID-19. It is hoped that supervisors will be able to complete this initial study in Fall 2020 as new educators begin their second full year of teaching. We look forward to sharing these observations with our stakeholders.

2. Indicators of Teaching Effectiveness

Each semester mentor teachers, from the many Professional Development School sites with which the University partners, assess the performance of teacher candidates on a wide range of specific skills that are aligned to the ten InTASC standards that were developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)’s Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium and which demonstrate Indicators of teaching effectiveness in support of CAEP Component 4.2, Indicators of Teaching Effectiveness. For a complete listing of these ten standards and their respective indicators associated with performances, essential knowledge and critical dispositions, go to: https://ccsso.org/sites/default/files/2017-11/InTASC_Model_Core_Teaching_Standards_2011.pdf

The SOE faculty and staff use this critical feedback from mentor teachers to guide future decisions pertaining to program preparation. Mentor teachers repeatedly assign very high marks to the SOE for its operational effectiveness and for its preparation of teacher candidates. 36 Likert style statements (which are aligned to the new InTASC standards and to the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching) regarding the teacher candidate’s preparation and effectiveness are posed. The three most recent cycles of data (quantitative and qualitative commentary) are presented in the three links that follow, representing Spring 2019, Fall 2018, and Spring 2018, respectively.

SUMMARY OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. In Spring 2018, it was decided to abbreviate the number of questions asked of mentor teachers, both to align with the newly adopted employer survey and to elicit a larger percentage of respondents. While the latter objective was achieved, it was deemed that it would be better to maintain the larger number of questions and to simply embed these ‘employer’ survey questions into the first 9 questions on the survey instrument. Long term, it is our goal to be able to demonstrate predictive validity with respect to comparing responses to these 9 questions from 4 groups:

a. Completers’ perceptions of their preparedness to teach;

b. Mentor teachers’ perceptions of completers’ preparedness to teach;

c. New teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness one year into the profession; and

d. Employers’ perceptions of their preparedness one year into the profession

2. Mean scores were not appreciably different between fall 2018 and spring 2019 (nor when compared to the 9 questions posed in the spring 2018 survey). As has held true in the past, fall scores are often slightly higher than spring scores; anecdotally, this may result from the fact that teacher candidates in the fall begin the year in August co-planning and setting up the room and jointly establishing the cultural norms for the class; whereas teacher candidates in the spring begin in January, long after the classroom routines and teacher-student rapport has been established. This phenomenon may be worth future study.

3. The mean score for one criterion “#15 Respond appropriately to student behavior” continues to remain the lowest itemized score. Notwithstanding efforts by NDMU to infuse additional classroom management emphases in coursework, despite designing a special Google Docs resource center for teacher candidates to access/use, and offering a new Classroom Management course as an elective, this criterion remains the lowest scored. Skills in this professional domain may simply require more time to cultivate via real classroom experience.

3. Satisfaction of Employers and Employment Milestones

Securing information from employers of NDMU completers has always been and remains a challenge because the state of Maryland has no comprehensive data base which connects individual teacher performance with the University from which they completed their teacher preparation program. Additionally, local school districts in Maryland are loathe to share teacher performance data for reasons of confidentiality, nor do they track the universities from which teachers graduated. Undaunted by this challenge, NDMU has collaborated with other Maryland Universities to design, validate and implement a new survey instrument to document the perceptions of employers about our program completers. We are extremely proud of the results gathered during our first two years of this project to assess employer satisfaction, with empirical as well as anecdotal information. The following link provides very explicit information about our collaborative endeavors in this regard.

EMPLOYMENT MILESTONES

While follow-up data (e.g., promotions) on advanced program completers is not pursued in the same manner as initial certification candidates, NDMU does take great pride in the leadership roles that our graduates play in the P-12 community.  Our advanced program completers are quite often recognized as outstanding leaders in their respective fields of expertise, earning “teacher of the Year” and “Principal of the Year” accolades, as well as appointments to key leadership positions in private and public schools across the State of Maryland.  The following link provides greater detail about some of these many instructional leaders.  https://www.ndm.edu/colleges-schools/school-education/award-winning-teachers and the milestones they have achieved.  The School of Education also proudly displays in our SOE Hall of Fame the accomplishments of our initial certification and advanced program certification completers.  Over 30 plaques recognize these honored award recipients.  Come visit NDMU to learn more.

4. Satisfaction of Completers

Survey Data obtained from initial certification program completers are obtained each semester documenting NDMU’s efforts to comply with CAEP Component 4.4/A.4.2 regarding the satisfaction of program completers.

These data consistently demonstrate that teacher candidate graduates are confident that their NDMU preparation program was rigorous and fully prepared them to pursue a career in the teaching profession. Each of these criteria is aligned to the InTASC standards. Three data reports, which follow, were obtained from the three most recent cycles/semesters of survey data: Spring 2019, Fall 2018 and Spring 2018. These surveys included 31 Likert-style criteria that are aligned to the new InTASC standards and Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching and which assess the satisfaction of completers.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Notwithstanding a very small ‘N’ in fall 2018, the spring 2018 and spring 2019 data were, for the most part, comparable. A few items fluctuated. For example, criterion #31 “Develop your own SLOs” had a mean score of 3.3 in 2019 but only a 2.75 in 2018. We can attribute this increase, in part, to a greater focus on the action research component which is often integrated into the mentor teacher’s personal “Student Learning Objectives.” Another variation was found in criterion # 30 “Understand the PARCC Assessments” resulting in a mean score of 2.55. This language was changed on the 2019 spring survey because we realized that not all teacher candidates are responsible for preparing for the PARCC assessments. However, they must be familiar with “standardized assessments” in general. Thus the mean score jumped to 3.10. A similar increase in “classroom management” could be attributed to the newly developed GoogleDocs Resource Center on classroom management and a stronger emphasis on these strategies in several courses.

2. The entire range of median scores was from a low of 3.07 (parent connections) to a high of 3.74 (creating a respectful environment) in spring 2019; in spring 2018, the range was from a low of 2.75 (SLOs) to a high of 3.78 (creating a respectful environment). ‘Creating a respectful environment’ is always one of the criterion that generates the highest degree of satisfaction. Conversely, ‘Parent Connections’ seldom generates high degrees of satisfaction, largely due to the fact that several school system partners mandate that completers not directly engage with parents; similarly, ‘Student Learning Outcomes’ are not required across all content areas and may therefore skew these data.

3. The quality of narrative comments seems to have improved, especially with respect to completers noting how they have impacted student achievement. This may have resulted from asking completers to offer an example of how they have done so. The breadth of

responses was very insightful as well, ranging from how they documented these improvements on a daily basis with 'exit tickets' to how they did so using formative and summative assessments; some provided insights into how a group of students improved while others offered a single student as an example. Action research has also helped to

5. Graduation and Completion Rates (initial & advanced levels)

Graduation and Completion Rates for Initial and Advanced Programs of Study are routinely assessed. NDMU seeks to obtain a goal of 80% for both those who are seeking a degree and for those who are seeking a non-degree certification. With the exception of some advanced programs, where there is a greater degree of flexibility, NDMU continually exceeds this goal. Please read a more detailed analysis about our graduation and completer rates HERE

6. Ability of completers to meet licensing (certification) and any additional state requirements; Title II (initial & advanced levels)

Praxis Core and Praxis Content Knowledge Summary Results

The State of Maryland maintains very rigorous requirements for certification. For example, an elementary teacher candidate in Maryland must pass three basic Core Praxis assessments in Reading, Writing and Mathematics; they must pass four content tests in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies; they must pass Praxis II in their content area; and as of July 2025 they will be required to pass the edTPA or PPAT assessment. These national assessments are in addition to the many rigorous course requirements, GPA requirements, clinical experience, action research, and supervised field internship. No small challenge, indeed.

The link below provides an analysis of the Core Praxis and the Praxis Content Knowledge assessments, all of which NDMU teacher candidates have performed exceedingly well on, as reported to MSCHE annually.
MSCHE Annual Institutional Update Report

Praxis II Exam Summary Results

Teacher preparation programs are required by federal law to submit a report annually to the state that describes its goals, pass rates on certain exams, and certain assurances. Each state submits to the U.S. Department of Education a report that contains state-level and institutional information. These reports are available to the general public. NDMU candidates for both initial and advanced levels of certification in Maryland always meet or exceed the pass rates for the state of Maryland, usually achieving a 100% pass rate. We are extremely proud of these results; it is easy to see why local school systems are so very eager to hire our program completers. For more information, see the links below to view the full annual reports for NDMU and for the entire state of Maryland.

For more detailed information about national Praxis Exams and how students at NDMU perform, please refer to the attached report for details about our performance in 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019.

edTPA Results

“Stanford University faculty and staff at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) developed edTPA. They received substantive advice and feedback from teachers and teacher educators and drew from experience gained from over 25 years of developing performance-based assessments of teaching (including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Standards portfolio, and the Performance Assessment for California Teachers.

The design and review teams have included hundreds of university faculty, national subject-matter organization representatives (e.g., NCTM, NCTE, NSTA, etc.), and K–12 teachers. Stanford University is the exclusive author and owner of edTPA.

edTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by teacher preparation programs throughout the United States to emphasize, measure and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from Day 1 in the classroom. For each handbook field, the placement is a Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade classroom. edTPA is a subject-specific assessment that includes versions for 27 teaching fields. The assessment features a common architecture focused on three tasks: Planning, Instruction, and Assessment.

Aspiring teachers must prepare a portfolio of materials during their student teaching clinical experience. edTPA requires aspiring teachers to demonstrate readiness to teach through lesson plans designed to support their students' strengths and needs; engage real students in ambitious learning; analyze whether their students are learning, and adjust their instruction to become more effective. Teacher candidates submit unedited video recordings of themselves at work in a real classroom as part of a portfolio that is scored by highly trained educators. edTPA builds on decades of teacher performance assessment development and research regarding teaching skills and practices that improve student learning. Learn more at https://www.edtpa.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_AboutEdTPA.html

With this background information, NDMU has embraced the use of edTPA as one of many tools used to assess the preparedness of our program completers. Preliminary test results from five cohorts of candidates can be found at the following link: Analyses of edTPA Results for five Cohorts of NDMU Teacher Candidates

7. Ability of completers to be hired in education positions for which they have prepared (initial & advanced levels)

INITIAL

Based on direct reporting from 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 graduates of the School of Education who were deemed eligible for their initial teaching certification, the following chart depicts the employment status of these candidates as compared to data gathered in 2013-2014. These data document a significant first employment milestone for our program completers in compliance in terms of their being able to secure positions for which they were prepared.

Year of program completion

2013-2014

2017-2018          2018- 2019*

Total number of completers*

212

154                      181

Employed in a position for which they were prepared

169 (80%)

137 (88.9%)        146 (80.6%)

Employed in an education position outside of their preparation

17 (7%)

3 (2%)                 16 (8.8%)   

Enrolled in higher education

2 (1%)

1 (0.6%)             1 (0.5%)

Employed outside of the education field

2 (1%)

1 (0.6%)              2 (1.1%)

Not Employed

4 (2%)

0                            1 (0.5%)

Unknown

21 (9%)

7 (4.5%)                15 (8.3%)

*These data are updated as new information regarding former completers becomes available. Employment information must be secured on a case-by-case basis as there is no central repository of employment information.

More specific information regarding employment of initial certification completers, by school district and state, can be examined in the following report on “Employment Status of Initial Certification Completers”.

ADVANCED

While follow-up data (e.g., promotions) on advanced program completers is not pursued in the same manner as initial certification candidates, NDMU does take great pride in the leadership roles that our graduates play in the P-12 community. Our advanced program completers are quite often recognized as outstanding leaders in the respective fields of expertise, earning “teacher of the Year” and “Principal of the Year” accolades, as well as appointments to key leadership positions in private and public schools across the State of Maryland. The following link provides greater detail about some of these many instructional leaders. https://www.ndm.edu/colleges-schools/school-education/award-winning-teachers The School of Education also proudly displays in our SOE Hall of Fame the accomplishments of our initial certification and advanced program certification completers. Over 30 plaques recognize these honored award recipients. Come visit NDMU to learn more.

8. Student loan default rates and other consumer information (initial & advanced levels)

In accordance with various federal laws and regulations, Notre Dame of Maryland University makes available to prospective students, current students, and employees the following consumer disclosure information: the Annual Campus Security Report; drug and alcohol prevention information; athletic program participation rates and financial support; information regarding all federal, state, local, private, and institutional financial assistance available to students; institutional information regarding costs, refunds, withdrawal requirements, and requirements for return of Title IV funds; information regarding accreditations held; disability services; voter registration; graduation and transfer rates; and student rights under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Details about obtaining this information are located at:  http://www.ndm.edu/about-us/compliance-consumer-information.

Additional details about Loan Defaults, Return on Investment, Salaries of Professional Educators (Initial Certification and Advanced Programs Certification Completers), as well as other consumer information can be found below.

LOAN DEFAULT INFORMATION

OPE ID

School

Type

Type

Control

Data Point

FY/2016

FY/2015

FY/2014

002065

NDMU

Master’s Degree or Doctor’s Degree

Private

Both

(FFEL/FDL)

Default Rate

4.8

4.5

5.4

No. in Default

23

25

29

No. in Repay

472

549

531

Enrollment Figures

3,579

3,945

3,811

Percentage Calculation

13.1

13.9

13.9

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

NDMU ranks high locally and nationally in a new study focusing on 4,500 colleges and universities and their Return on Investment (ROI). Released by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce (CEW), the study ranks NDMU high in Maryland and high nationally for having degree programs that pay-off well when looking at 10 and 40-year ROI.  For 10-year return on investment among four-year, bachelor’s, private non-profit colleges and universities in Maryland, NDMU ranks #2 behind Johns Hopkins University (#1). Additionally, NDMU ranks #2 behind Wellesley College (#1) in 10-year return on investment among four-year, bachelor’s, private non-profit, women-only colleges and universities nationally.

When measured over a long period of time, degrees from private nonprofit colleges typically have a higher return on investment. Even though, on average, student loans are twice as high for those attending private colleges, a degree from a private nonprofit college is worth $8,000 more annually 10 years after enrollment. Over the course of 40 years, the average graduate of a private college has a net economic gain of $838,000, even after paying off higher amounts of debt, compared to $765,000 for a graduate of a public college.

ranking

SALARIES OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS

INITIAL CERTIFICATIONS - According to the Professional salary Schedules Maryland Public Schools 2019-20, teachers in Maryland’s public schools can earn a rather wide range in salaries.  Highlighted are the 7 of 24 school districts in Maryland where over 80% of NDMU graduates teach.  Across these 7 districts, a beginning teacher with a standard professional certificate can earn anywhere from $52,671 in Baltimore City to a high of $77,424 in St. Mary’s County.  With a master’s degree, an NDMU graduate could earn $62,026 in Baltimore City to as much as $99,224 in Calvert County. Generally, approximately 50% of NDMU completers have at least a bachelor’s degree and 50% hold at least a master’s degree.  For more details about these salary ranges go to Minimum and Maximum Salaries for Maryland Public School Teachers 2019-2020 document.

ADVANCED CERTIFICATIONS - According to the Professional salary Schedules Maryland Public Schools 2019-20, those educators with advanced certificates and who serve in a variety of roles as assistant principals, principals, instructional supervisors or coordinators in the aforementioned 7 school districts in Maryland can earn, as an assistant principal with a master’s degree, a minimum of $88,654 in Baltimore City to a maximum of $147,935 in Baltimore County. For more details about these salary ranges go to Salaries for Twelve-Month Professional Positions in Maryland Public Schools: 2019-2020 Maximum Salaries document

ADDITIONAL CONSUMER INFORMATION

  1. One need for the future may be to disaggregate data by “teachers of record” vs. traditional teacher candidates.  Whereas the former was once an anomaly, the supply and demand market in Maryland dictates that the percentage of teachers of record now outpaces traditional candidates. Understanding the subtle differences between these two groups and being able to respond to meet their respective needs accordingly is essential.  By tracking data in this manner, inconsistencies and gaps may be better discerned.  Just one example of this disparity is likely to be discovered when examining dispositions data, e.g., undergraduate candidates who complete a four-year traditional program are more likely to experience measured growth in their dispositions over this period of time as opposed to a more senior teacher of record who completes a program of study in one year.
  2. A second need will be to engage in a more in-depth analysis of edTPA results.  No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic which has wreaked havoc upon our face-to-face instructional modalities, will have an effect upon the edTPA results with as many as 50% of teacher candidates completing this assessment task in Spring 2020, virtually.  Moreover, because there is still no passing score in Maryland and no requirement to take/pass the assessment until June 2025, it is essential that teacher candidates approach this non-consequential task with greater fidelity. To do so, beginning in Fall 2020, NDMU has designed a new one-credit course for edTPA preparation which will help the candidate to focus on obtaining as high a score on the edTPA as possible. 
  3. A third need, emanating from the current COVID-19 pandemic, is the realization that teacher candidates may need additional training in a variety of virtual classroom platforms in order to be better able to meet future technological demands, e.g., securing a certificate in Google Classrooms instruction or in the management of Zoom classrooms.  This has implications for pre-training modules, orientation and seminars provided throughout the teacher candidate experience.
  4. Finally, NDMU needs to pause and reflect upon the incredible successes that we have demonstrated and continue, year after year, to demonstrate.  Whether it is an inordinately high pass rate on national Praxis examinations (always in the 99-100% range), or the satisfaction of employers (mean scores approaching 4.0 on  4.0 scale), or incredibly strong graduation and completer rates (always beyond 80%), it is essential that we celebrate and promote these successes to all of our stakeholders. 

One significant change that has gradually unfolded over the past four years has been the decision by NDMU to embrace edTPA as a primary tool to assess the preparedness of teacher candidates to assume responsibilities as a novice educator.  2019-2020 marked the first year of full implementation meaning that every traditional teacher candidate and every teacher of record was required to submit an edTPA for scoring.  While there is no required passing score to date, the mere fact that this has become mandatory documents a quantum leap from where the University was four years when we just beginning to explore the merits of this assessment tool.  Today, 5 of the 25 full-time faculty have obtained national scoring status, the coordinator serves as the president of the Maryland edTPA collaborative and has contributed to a chapter in a recent publication regarding lessons learned, supervisors and staff have attended edTPA conferences, and most importantly, candidates are being exposed to the academic language associated with edTPA well before they embark on their internships.  This represents a monumental gain in our ability to better understand and support the planning, the instruction and the assessment needs of teacher candidates.  Yet there is still more work to be done and expertise to acquire and impart.  For example, the University has established a new lesson planning template which addresses edTPA components.  We are using these preliminary data to establish internal passing scores.  As teacher candidates confront the challenges with this assessment and now that University faculty and staff have acquired a satisfactory content and process knowledge base about edTPA, it is time to share this assessment engine with our other stakeholders in the P-12 community.  Because this is not yet required in Maryland’s public schools, the concept is foreign to P-12 educators in the state; this presents a unique opportunity to engage them and support them with related professional development, most notably mentor teachers.