Western Carolina University’s initial licensure Teacher Education program has adopted the Educator Dispositions Assessment (EDA) as our assessment of dispositions. The following dispositions are expected of all developing professionals in our programs.
Candidates are required to display behavior demonstrating these dispositions across all settings associated with their university program and field-based requirements. The full EDA is available to candidates within our electronic assessment system.
Teacher Education majors are informed of the use and purpose of the EDA in coursework prior to admission into the teacher education program, in the Clinical Experiences Handbook, and in other materials shared by the college/school/department. Candidates are aware that the dispositions identified on the EDA are categorized descriptions of teacher behavior that affect positive influence in the professional setting and promote gains in P-12 student learning. They are informed that a score of “0” on any disposition indicates insufficient demonstration of a given dispositional trait. The first exposure to the EDA is in the introductory education course with subsequent discussions and activities regarding dispositions in future courses, early field experiences, and internship.
Upon application to an initial licensure Teacher Education program at WCU, each student will sign a contract that explicitly states the teacher candidate dispositions policy. They will be notified that they will be held accountable to these expected dispositions while enrolled in any initial licensure program at WCU and across all settings associated with their university program and field and clinical experiences. Even as we are holding the students accountable to these dispositions, we will also integrate these into our teaching across the time a student spends enrolled in a program. While there is a level of expectations in terms of dispositions, we will strive to enhance a students’ knowledge of these dispositions and acquired, related behaviors. This growth model is reflected in the evaluation rubric as well as formative feedback and action plan processes.
Students will be assessed on the dispositions at three points during their time in a program. The initial assessment will occur during EDCI 201, or equivalent introductory course. The second assessment will occur when the student applies for their internship, typically in their junior year second semester. The final assessment will take place during the senior year within internship, or an equivalent course. Faculty will be notified to complete the assessments on each student. These assessments will be electronic and kept in the student’s electronic file.
At times, concerns arise regarding a student’s dispositions, academic performance, academic integrity, and/or adherence to WCU’s Student Code of Conduct. The student may need additional feedback, support, and structure in order to be successful. Remediation may include formative feedback or an action plan and can be deemed appropriate at any level once a candidate is admitted into the Teacher Education program. A faculty member, academic advisor, field supervisor in collaboration with a clinical educator, program coordinator, department head, the Director of Field Experiences and/or Associate Dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions may provide formative feedback or create a plan that outlines needs and identifies supports and strategies for meeting expectations within a prescribed timeline. On rare occasions and due to a significant dispositional issue, a student may be immediately removed from a field placement or internship or from WCU’s Teacher Education program.
Any pertinent documentation that is collected during these processes will be shared with the candidate and filed in the candidate’s electronic file.
A Formative Feedback form and/or EDA rubric may be completed to clearly communicate and officially document areas for growth. The intent is to ensure that the student is aware of the areas in which growth is needed and for the student and WCU faculty and/or staff to communicate about these areas.
An official action plan should be put in place when there is an area of concern that warrants a specific plan that outlines areas of need and identifies strategies for meeting expectations within a prescribed timeline. Action plans exist because Teacher Education candidates may need additional support and structure in order to be successful. In most cases, candidates improve with the additional support provided and successfully meet the goals of the action plan. Candidates who fail to meet expectations within the allotted time may fail courses, be removed from the Teacher Education program, and/or be removed from internship.
The requirements for continuing in the Teacher Education program include:
Should a concern or violation of any of the expectations occur, a disposition rating form will be completed to document concerns, an action plan for remediation may be developed, or the candidate may be removed from their field placement and/or removed from the Teacher Education Program.