For over 50 years, Notre Dame de Namur University has maintained a reputation for excellence in teacher education. Personalized attention and individualized counseling for students, field orientation of programs, and successful placement of credential graduates have characterized the Department of Education since its inception in 1953. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing reaccredited NDNU’s credential programs in 2009. The Department of Education continues to prepare competent teachers, specialists, and administrators through professional programs that reflect current trends. A credential from NDNU provides maximum employment opportunities as well as strong preparation for classrooms of the 21st century. California maintains credential reciprocity with most states.
Education courses are taught by faculty representing diverse academic and practical expertise. All Department of Education supervisors are selected because of previous experience as teachers and administrators in public and private schools.
The Department of Education offers programs leading to the following credentials:
- Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential
- Preliminary Single Subject Credential
- Preliminary Education Specialist Credential
- Clear Administrative Services Credential Level II
- Autism Add On Program Design and Course Work Sequence
Note: The University and the applicant must meet both general and specific requirements as prerequisites for credentials issuances based on the applicable University and Education Codes.
Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) at NDNU
Legislative mandate (SB2042) established new standards for California’s teacher education programs called the “Teacher Performance Expectations” (TPE). NDNU’s Multiple Subject (MS) and Single Subject (SS) Credential Programs in the School of Education and Leadership (SEL) submitted documentation detailing the ways in which our program met these standards.
Pursuant to SB1209 (passed in September 2006), NDNU received State approval to begin implementation of PACT, a state-approved teacher performance assessment system. With implementation of our new program, graduates will need to pass a “teaching performance assessment” that measures attainment of these standards.
What is PACT?
PACT is a performance assessment developed by a consortium of the UCs, the CSUs, Stanford, and Mills College in response to the teaching performance assessment mandate in state legislation (SB2042). It consists of two complementary parts: the Teaching Event and Embedded Signature Assessments (ESAs). NDNU is now one of over 30 institutional members of PACT.
What is involved in these two parts of PACT?
Teaching Event: occurs in the second semester of student teaching and is a stand-alone, summative assessment of preservice teachers’ learning in:
- Planning (P)
- Instruction (I)
- Assessment (A)
- Reflection (R)
- Academic Language (L)
Students need to plan a 3-5 lesson segment (P), teach the segment and videotape one lesson (I), collect and analyze an assessment administered to the whole class (A), reflect on the process undertaken in the Teaching Event (R), and integrate academic terminology and concepts throughout the Teaching Event (L). There are many commentaries that students must write along the way to show that they are considering particular issues such as teaching English learners.
Additionally, there are three subject-specific tasks called CATs (Content Area Tasks) that MS students must pass. There is a CAT for science, literacy, and history-social science embedded in the following methods courses: EDU 4330 and EDU 4339.
Embedded Signature Assessments (ESAs) occur in courses and fieldwork and are part of what students already do in these settings regardless of which courses the candidate takes in the program.
Fee related to PACT
A one-time $200 Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) fee is assessed to all candidates in the Multiple and Single Subject Credential Program regardless of when they initially enrolled. The fee is to help defray the overall costs of maintaining compliance, including, but not limited to, providing program staff to address credentialing issues of compliance and assessments, student and staff training, preparing state program documents, supplies, and printing. At NDNU, the cost of compliance is mostly covered by the University with critical support paid by tuition dollars. NDNU is mindful of the burden of the rising cost of education and for this reason has required it be paid only once.