Page 1 of 3 Academic Program Review:

The following data and instruments informed the 2006
Page 1 of 3
The following data and instruments informed the 2006
Academic Program Review:
Early Childhood Education Division
Graduate (MAE) Report
The following Student Outcomes Assessment section of the 2006 report is in the process of being updated for
the Fall 2009 Iowa Chapter 79 State Program Review.
Post-graduation assessment survey: Program graduates are requested to complete a program
outcome assessment survey to identify students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the program in
addressing the identified program outcomes listed above. Students complete the survey on-line.
Follow-up telephone interviews are conducted with students who do not complete the survey. The
survey consists of two parts. Part 1 includes 18 items based on the four outcome areas identified by
the graduate faculty of C&I: Understanding of Theory and Research, Application, Scholarship, and
Leadership. This section of the survey includes a Likert five-item scale with the following options:
1- Not Prepared, 2- Somewhat Prepared, 3-Adequately Prepared, 4-Well Prepared, and 5- Very Well
The second part of the survey also includes a Likert five-item scale regarding the overall delivery of
the program. The ratings range from 1- Poor to 5- Excellent.
Post-graduation assessment survey.
Cohort #1 In the Fall Semester of the 2002-2003 academic year, Dr. Rick Traw, Department of
Curriculum and Instruction Head, asked Professor Charles May to develop an evaluative instrument that
could be sent out to the graduates by the Extension Office of the College of Continuing Education, and
with the collaboration of Professor Jill Uhlenberg, to determine the strength and weaknesses as
determined by the graduates of the just completed ECE MAE. The questions which would be asked of
the 17 graduates of the program were based on the objectives of this master’s degree program that were
listed in the report to the Iowa Regents in 1998.These objectives were the following:
1. To learn how to read, analyze, and conduct research.
2. To learn the trends and issues which are influencing the field of ECE.
3. To learn a variety of strategies for working with diverse learners in different educational settings.
4. To learn how to use curriculum models for understanding and using curricula.
5. To perfect their own teaching techniques to enhance children’s higher level of thinking.
6. To use administrative theory to understand the roles of personnel in school settings.
7. To learn how to work with and supervise personnel in early childhood care and educational
8. To learn the qualities of a good leader and how to assume a leadership role.
Eleven questions were developed using four Likert options for each question. Also, four open-ended
questions were asked of the 17 graduates. Fourteen graduates eventually completed and returned the
questionnaires. A summary of the findings reveals that there was a generally positive attitude toward the
program and faculty who delivered it. The most positive response was to item 7: “The help I was given
in writing my departmental was adequate:” of the 14 respondents, 13 or 92.8 % indicated “Very much
agree,” and the remaining respondent marked “Agree.” Two items both had 12 responses, or 85.7% of
respondents, indicating “Very much agree:” Item 4, “The content of the courses in the master’s degree
program helped me to become a more knowledgeable professional:” and Item 10, “I learned the history
of Early Childhood Education.” Also, the remaining respondents in each case, 2 or 14.3%, marked
“Agree.” Most of the respondents marked the other items from 7 respondents who indicated 50% “Very
much agree” and the other respondents marked “Agree”. This pattern followed for the other items to
which respondents indicated “Very much agree” in the 60%, and 70 % range, where the remaining
respondents marked “Agree” to these items. For example, for Item 1, “Based upon my experience in the
ICN master’s degree program, as it was organized and conducted, I would recommend it to other
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The following data and instruments informed the 2006
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graduate students,” eleven respondents, or 78.6%, responded “Very much agree” and 3, or 21.3%
marked “Agree.”
Two items revealed negative attitudes. For Item 2, “Technology worked well all of the time,” 3
respondents or 21.4% marked “Disagree” while 11 graduates, or 78.6% indicated “Agree.” On item 5, “I
learned to distinguish between basic and applied research studies,” two graduates marked “Disagree”
while 9 respondents, or 64.2 % indicated “Agree,” and 3 respondents marked “Very much agree.” All
respondents were asked to give a reason for their assessment of each item. Some graduates did justify
their responses, while others did not response with a justification.
Cohort #2:
Unlike Cohort#1’s very positive rating of the program, Cohort #2 did not appear to be well
satisfied with the program. Students’ ratings regarding the overall program quality were averaged with a
resulting mean of 2.8, which places the rating very close to good.. Scholarship is the highest rated area
with a mean of 3.7, indicating the students felt well prepared in this area. Student comments identifying
program strengths included: I learned a lot about research – how to find, interpret, and understand
research; learning to research and apply EC material. Students’ responses indicated that they also felt
adequately prepared in the area of Leadership.
However, students did not perceive themselves adequately prepared in the two areas of Application (x =
2.67) and Understanding of theory (x = 2.8). For example, one student commented: Need classes to
include more assignments that pertain to our current teaching (to be able to try/apply/use it in our
classrooms). Another student shared, need to look more at current practices, curriculum, state
mandates, Head Start, Shared Vision, DAP, and how it applies to graduate students’ current or future
assignments as teachers.
Students did share useful suggestions for improving the program. Some of these suggestions
included the following: (a) schedule the three classes related to research – 250:205, 210:214, and
210:299 – together rather than spread across the program, (b) try to integrate the content and outcomes
of one class to another, (c) eliminate duplication of content and assignments, (d) become more explicit
regarding the rationale underlying class goals and standards and the overall purposes of the program.
1. Sharing of Findings
Findings derived from the data collection process are shared among program faculty through various
methods. The ECE Division faculty meets 2-4 times per month. During these regularly scheduled
meetings program faculty share program assessment data, student performance reports, and curricular
planning proposals. The formal program review is also shared with all faculty members during one of
the regularly scheduled monthly Curriculum and Instruction department meetings. Findings have not
been shared with students.
2. Specific Changes Made as a Result of SOA Findings
As a result of the outcome assessments and program evaluation of Cohort #1 the following were
1. Continuation of course delivery over the ICN.
2. Student introduction and training in use of on-line library resources and WebCT 4.1 at the
beginning of the program.
3. Increased student involvement in the program.
4. Eliminate use of student contracts.
5. Continuation of personal touch by originating ICN courses at various sites.
Since students in Cohort #2 just completed their program in July 2006, review of student comments
and decisions regarding program changes are still under consideration. The preliminary suggestions are
as follows:
Review course content to identify deletions, modifications, and additions to program
Align course syllabi and course content to the NAEYC standards for advanced program for
early childhood educators.
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The following data and instruments informed the 2006
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Identify strategies for increased student involvement through on-line discussion groups.
Identify opportunities for students and faculty to become better acquainted.
Set clear expectations for the program quality and the amount of work connected with
courses, and
Communicate with students the student commitment of time and effort required for
participation in the program.
C. Recommendations for Improvement in SOA Processes
The following recommendations are set forth for improvement in the SOA processes
Identify a mechanism for sharing results with students and other interested community
Align student outcomes assessment survey with the current NAEYC standards for
advanced programs.
Create a student advisory council to provide students a mechanism for sharing concerns
and recommendations for program improvement, and
Conduct a student satisfaction survey at the end of the first year of the program.
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