AECT Association for Educational Communications and Technology
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  1. What is the history of the field?
  2. What is the knowledge base?
  3. What is the history of AECT's partnership with NCATE?
  4. How are the 2000 performance-based standards different from the previous guidelines?
  5. Is my program an ECIT program?
  6. Is my program initial or advanced?
  7. What are the initial standards?
  8. What are the advanced standards?
  9. What are the components of a Program Report?
  10. What are the critical aspects of an Assessment Plan?
  11. What are some types of data to include?
  12. Why should we be interested in National Recognition?
  13. What are common weaknesses in Program Reports?
  14. How is AECT responsible for ECIT program review?
  15. How does the program review process work once I submit a program report?
  16. How do I know whether my state has a review partnership with NCATE?
  17. What are the expectations for program reviewers?
  18. Who are my contacts at AECT?
  19. Which programs currently have National Recognition?
  20. What do I do if I have a school library media specialist program?

4. How are the 2000 performance-based Standards different from the previous Guidelines?

The revised AECT standards represent a new approach to program review in NCATE’s accreditation system. Three statements express the "paradigm shift" found in the new standards and program review:

  • First, the standards describe what ECIT candidates should know and be able to do so that students learn. This contrasts with the previous course-based approach in which guidelines described what should be covered in courses and experiences in the program.
  • Second, the evidence used for decisions about "national recognition" of programs is from assessments and evaluations of candidate proficiencies in relation to those standards. This contrasts with evidence, under the previous course-based approach, that described where particular material is covered in the syllabi and courses.
  • Third, it is the responsibility of program faculty to make the case that candidates completing ECIT preparation programs are meeting the standards and to demonstrate how well candidates are meeting them.

Program quality will be judged by reviewers on the basis of aggregated and sampled evidence that the candidates, as a group, have demonstrated proficiencies in topics covered by the standards for candidate knowledge and skills.

A reviewers’ report will be prepared that includes findings, analyses, and conclusions as follows:

  • Reviewer findings and understandings about influences on the specialty program and on candidates’ performance that are associated with the institution’s background, policies and practices;
  • For each standard, an analysis of the evidence presented to demonstrate candidates’ proficiencies in relation to the standard, including evidence of candidates’ effects on student learning, and any issues arising from that analysis;
  • Specialty organization judgments on whether each standard is met, not met, or whether information is insufficient to determine;
  • Specialty organization judgment as to whether the program merits national recognition;
  • An identification of areas of program concern or weakness in specific standards; and
  • An identification or confirmation of particular program strengths in specific standards.

Transition timeline to performance-based program review

During the initial years when the new performance-based approach for NCATE program review is in place, there may be widely varying capabilities across institutions to produce and use candidate proficiency information. As state licensing requirements become more performance-based, which appears to be the trend, there will be increasing pressures on institutions to prepare candidates for success in meeting new proficiency requirements. Over a few years, then, institutions will be expected to develop and routinely employ evaluations of candidate performance in teacher preparation.

In the meantime, NCATE is developing a transition plan for implementation of the new performance-based accreditation for teacher preparation units. That transition plan, for which the full text is available on the NCATE web site at, sets a schedule for all units to follow in development and implementation of their assessment systems. Faculty from institutions applying for program review of ECIT preparation should assume the same implementation timelines as those announced for the unit transition plan. In brief, by the Fall of 2001 and Spring 2002 there should be, at a minimum, a plan for an assessment system with timelines and details about components and management, collaboratively developed by the professional community. By the Fall of 2004 and Spring of 2005, the assessment system should be implemented, evaluated and refined. The NCATE web site provides descriptions and details for the intervening years.

NCATE has established a timeline for transition to the new performance-based accreditation procedures. This is intended to provide a four-year period allowing institutions to plan, develop, pilot, and fully implement assessment systems that generate candidate proficiency information. Specialty organizations should assume that institutions develop capability to provide candidate proficiency information—and should themselves develop a capacity to use that information in program review—according to the following schedule:

  • academic year 2001-2002—plan, currently available data (Note: “currently available data” refers to candidate proficiency information that may be contained in sources such as state licensure tests; admissions assessments; evaluations from field-based experiences; information from candidate portfolios if the outline of contents is the same for all candidates in a program; evaluations from employers or surveys from employers; and surveys of graduates. There should always be data from more than a single source for NCATE purposes.)
  • academic year 2002-2003—plan, pilot data, currently available data
  • academic year 2003-2004—plan, more pilot data, currently available data
  • academic year 2004-2005—institutions are to have fully functioning assessment systems that produce data on candidate proficiencies

Further details on the transition timeline are available at the NCATE web site.

Thus, by 2005, all NCATE institutions are to have fully functioning assessment systems. And, by that year, all specialty organizations must use candidate performance information in their decisions on program standards and national recognition of programs. Specialty organizations should begin to use such information, to the extent it is available, in 2001 through 2004, as institutions are developing their own capabilities.

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