Skip to content

UNK Welcomes NCA

North Central Self Study
Appendix B: College and Department Outcomes as a Result of Strategic Planning

College of Education

Strategic Plan: Date of Plan: 1995-2005

Key Objectives: Four areas were identified for the College of Education that reflected the NCATE standards. Objectives reflected several decisions that impacted the College in the early 1990's: accreditation visits by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and National Council for the Accreditation for Teacher Accreditation (NCATE) in 1993, the UNK North Central Accreditation (NCA) visit in 1994, and the College decision in 1994-95 to join the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER). NNER is driven by a philosophy of simultaneous renewal of teacher education at the university and K-12 schools, with implications for tripartite collaboration (Arts & Sciences, K-12 and teacher educators) in the preparation of teachers.

Outcomes in the College of Education since 1994:

The COE Strategic Plan has provided a valuable focus for the College during the past nine years in how resources were allocated and program content and processes were changed. The intent of the plan to a great extent has been developed, although the forms that evolved as a result of faculty member efforts varied somewhat from the plan. In addition, the College has added assessment as a fifth objective within the Curriculum area as a result of accreditation expectations, even thought the Strategic Plan does not suggest such an objective.

Curriculum Outcomes:
  1. The Center for Education for a Democratic Society was to be established to foster modeling democratic processes within the community of scholar/learners. No formal Center has been created; however, significant changes reflecting faculty input have been made in meeting the intent of the objective.
    1. The College was reorganized to form a Teacher Education Department that included the former Departments of Elementary/Early Childhood Education and Professional Teacher Education, and the Special Education program from the Special Education/Communication Disorders Department. This reorganization grew out of a commitment to the philosophy of NNER which emphasized practicing and teaching the concepts of democracy in public education, as well as from a belief by faculty members in the three departments that working together would provide a more effective curriculum for students.
    2. A significant change related to this objective has been the renewal of the UNK teacher education program, which began in 1999 and will not be completed until 2005. The program renewal effort was enhanced by the increased communication among elementary, early childhood, special education and professional teacher education faculty who worked as one in a new department. Data from K-12, University Arts & Sciences faculty and teacher educators as well students were used in redesigning the program. A significant philosophical foundation in the program had been an emphasis on the implementation and practice of democratic principles in public education.
    3. The Teacher Education faculty applied the concept of inclusion in a democratic society by expanding the definition of who should be involved in teacher education program renewal. This included students, K-12 teachers and Arts and Sciences educators. This tripartite approach to Teacher Education is consistent with the NNER philosophy and NCATE/NDE standards and is explained in the Governance and Resources section. The result was that K-12 and Arts & Sciences educators were involved in all phases of the teacher education program renewal. Faculty members from the Health/Physical Education/Recreation/ Leisure Studies and Communication Departments in the College of Education worked closely with the Teacher Education Department during the renewal process.
    4. Multicultural education/diversity, technology, and the four moral dimensions of education (NNER philosophy) are themes found throughout the renewed curriculum. Diversity and technology are themes that NCATE and NDE stress, and they are areas that are important in K-12 schools in Nebraska. Graduate follow-up surveys indicated a need to strengthen infusion of technology. While the 1994 NCATE review identified technology as a weakness, the 1999 NCATE review identified technology as a strength. Attention to diversity issues was also a strength identified by the1999 NCATE team.
    5. Assessment of student performance has been addressed with an Evaluation Plan for Student Assessment. According to this plan, all teacher education students serve as the core for making decisions about teacher education programs. Programs can develop complementary evaluations focused on demonstration of competence in specific content areas. Assessment is also being infused into the curriculum as a theme so that teacher education students develop skills for assessment their students. These efforts are developed to meet the new NCATE standards and Nebraska assessment efforts in K-12 schools, and reflect our need to model performance assessment for future teachers in preparing them for the assessment realities in K-12 schools.
    6. The Curriculum and Instruction MA program has been renewed to reflect the NCATE, NDE standards and NNER philosophy. This graduate program is delivered off-campus in a cohort format every 2- years. This delivery model was developed in 1999 in response to the needs expressed by local school districts and is consistent with the philosophy of NNER in making education accessible to all.
    7. All graduate programs were reviewed and nine were combined into four to strengthen offerings to K-12 educators.
    8. The Instructional Technology MA program, which includes the Educational Media endorsement program as a component, is delivered entirely via distance education. This is done to model the use of technology in teaching and learning, as well as to make these programs more accessible to educators.
  2. The Human Enhancement Center (HEC) was to be established to develop, coordinate, promote and assess field-based, collaborative professional human services preparation programs. This will involve increased cooperation among the practitioner programs and with practicing professionals. It will also involve providing appropriate direct services to the public. The vision of the HEC was to bring together the professional education and non-education for collaborative efforts. The education professional programs reside in the Counseling and School Psychology, Communication Disorders and Educational Administration Departments. The non-education professional programs reside in Counseling and School Psychology and HPERLS Departments.
    1. No formal Center has been established, however, the intent of the objective has been met by collaboration among faculty who utilize the new College of Education Clinic. The clinic is an important addition that has been facilitated by relocation of these departments to a new building where the Clinic is located. A COE Clinic Committee, composed of members from these departments, to coordinates current procedures and plan for future use of the Clinic.
    2. An Interdisciplinary course for school psychology, communication disorders and special education students has been developed to prepare future professional to work together as a team. This effort reflects the needs of the schools and NASP standards.
    3. The Communications Disorders, School Psychology, and Counseling (School and community) faculty members have renewed their programs and assessment processes during the past four years to comply with accreditation standards and to incorporate student and faculty input. The Communications Disorders program was reviewed for ASHA Accreditation Spring 2003. The School Psychology program will be reviewed for continuing accreditation by NASP Fall 2003. The Community Counseling program was accredited by CACREP for the first time in 2000. The School Counseling, School Psychology, Communication Disorders, and Educational Administration Programs are accredited by the NDE and NCATE.
    4. The Exercise Science, Recreation and Sports Management faculty members have renewed their programs during the past four years. Data from national accreditation agencies as well as student and faculty input were used in the redesign of these programs.
    5. All of the HEC programs have a field-based component, and College faculty work closely with practitioners in monitoring student progress. In addition, several programs have on-site clinical experiences where students are closely observed and assessed by faculty members.
    6. Faculty in the HEC programs increasingly emphasize research by undergraduate and graduate students.
  3. The Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) was to be developed to coordinate, develop, implement, nurture and assess efforts in the College of Education related to technology in collaboration with the EDS and HEC Centers. Instructional technology is a rapidly evolving field and the CIT must identify and adapt to changing needs and opportunities.
    1. An Instructional Technology Task Force was established in 1994 and has existed in various forms since that time. The Governance Section in the College of Education Constitution more specifically addresses this topic. Technology was an area of weakness identified by the 1994 NCATE team, and significant College resources were devoted to the improvement of technology infrastructure, labs, classrooms and workstations since then. Evidence of the effectiveness of our efforts can be found in the NCATE 1999 team report that indicated that technology had become a strength in the College. Informal data indicates that the College has changed from lagging behind to leading K-12 schools in the use of technology to support teaching and learning.
    2. Numerous changes have taken place in the resources available to faculty, students and staff since 1994. A COE inventory lists the resources available in 2003. One example serves to illustrate the immense changes that have taken place in this area. In 1994, a small COE computer laboratory was located in a locked room on the third floor of Copeland Hall. Access was limited to faculty and students escorted by faculty, with the lab key available from the Office of the Dean. By 2003, the College of Education Building has two computer labs, each with 30 stations, offering both Mac and PC platforms. The laboratories are supervised by a COE Director of Computer Labs and supported by this individual and numerous student workers. A small laboratory that is not monitored by staff is available on the second floor near classrooms.
    3. The COE Instructional Task Force developed a Technology Strategic Plan that has provided guidance for College planning. Reports have been prepared periodically identifying progress made toward plans.
  4. The Diversity Center was to be established to gather information and make recommendations regarding how to prepare students for a global society. The Diversity Center was intended to work cooperatively with the Multicultural Resource Center in the library and with schools. Students in K-12 classrooms in Nebraska and the nation are changing rapidly to create a more diverse society. The College of Education has responded by developing ESL programs and modifying the existing programs in response to the changing student demographics as well as to respond to the various standards of accrediting agencies such as NCATE, NDE, and ASHA which require that a diversity focus be infused into programs.
    1. The Diversity Center was formed in 1994 as an ad-hoc committee with volunteer representation from the College faculty and students as well as faculty outside the College
    2. A Diversity Strategic Plan was developed and has guided the College in its efforts to enhance curriculum as well as professional development, faculty selection, student recruitment, and governance procedures.
    3. The Diversity Center assessed progress towards goals annually and reported them to the College faculty. Those reports are available in the document room.
    4. Diversity is a theme in the renewed UNK Teacher Education program, and is a component of all professional education and non-education programs.

Successes and Concerns Since 1994

Student Outcomes:

The Center for Assistance to Students in Education (KASE) was to be developed to implement the Education Student Services Plan. This plan was to include sections on recruitment, admissions, scholarships, retention, advising, placement, follow-up, and certification assistance. Specific changes as a result of the development of a Center include:

Faculty Outcomes:

Faculty are scholarly teachers who are qualified for their assignments and actively engaged in the professional community. Continuing professional development must be an integral part of each faculty member's experience.

Governance and Resources Outcomes:

The College of Education implemented its constitution's governance practices while at the same time it was forced to develop strategic approaches to resource allocation reductions.

Future Planning Opportunities:

An analysis of the goals and outcomes of the College of Education indicates that the planning process focuses upon the accreditation requirements of NCATE, the Nebraska Department of Education, various specialized accreditation agencies, as well as the tenets of the Goodlad Model for Renewal of Teacher Education Programs. A striking aspect of the changes in the College is reflected in the themes expressed for the Centers. They reflect the influence of the adoption of the Goodlad Model for Renewal of Teacher Education programs. Since the last NCA report (1994), UNK has become a founding member of a consortium of Nebraska institutions of higher education (NNER) that are members of the national Goodlad Network. Many of the goals and outcomes also happen to be congruent with the UNK Mission and recommendations made by the NCA Self Study in 1994. Thus, there is a clear linkage of the College's Role and Mission to provide educators for Nebraska schools and the stated role and mission of UNK as a whole to enhance life in Nebraska and to provide academic majors for students attending UNK. Changes in the departments also reflect a coherent effort to both meet individual program needs and also link with the mission of the College as a whole. Specific examples of outcomes resulting from strategic planning in departments are presented below.

Departmental Outcomes
Department of Communication Disorders:
Department of Counseling and Psychology:
Department of Educational Administration:
Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Leisure Management
Department of Teacher Education:


The changes implemented within the individual departments reflect a clear linkage to the overall plan and mission of the College. A primary factor influencing these changes is the necessity for meeting a combination of accreditation agency requirements and the College's membership in the national Goodlad Network for promoting educational renewal. This creates a planning and organizational method that requires more coordination at the College level than is needed in those Colleges that do not have a unit-wide accreditation process such as NCATE. Therefore, strategic planning emphasizes more of a top-down process than is evident in those Colleges without a Unit-wide accreditation and philosophical base. The assessment and evaluation process is more reliant on a unit-wide structure because of the influence of NCATE. The influence of this planning process is illustrated particularly in the program changes undertaken in those departments with undergraduate programs.

Other sections in this appendix: