Programs, courses, and field and clinical experiences in the College of Education are guided by The S.T.A.R. Professional Conceptual Framework. The S.T.A.R. Professional model incorporates eight fundamental elements of quality educator preparation. Based upon sound research and practitioner knowledge, the elements are sub-divided into two distinctive, yet intimately related, categories: cornerstones and competencies. The S.T.A.R. cornerstones depict the overriding input and process aspects of our programs while the S.T.A.R. competencies are those professional and personal attributes which candidates are expected to develop, refine, and consistently exhibit prior to program completion. As the graphic representation of the S.T.A.R. Professional indicates, the four cornerstones serve as interconnected, foundational anchoring points for candidates’ progress as they move from entry level through developmental experiences and, ultimately, to successful program completion. Of equal importance, the prescribed candidate competencies not only provide reference points for each individual’s learning and professional development but also act as a means to provide crucial collective feedback for program evaluation and improvement. None of the cornerstones or competencies stands alone, but is intertwined with the other elements in a mutually supportive confluence.
Cornerstone A: Professional Standards
Programs offered by the College of Education are aligned with national and state professional standards ensuring that all candidates are immersed in quality experiences based on general consensus about desirable outcomes and best practices.
Cornerstone B: Professional Identity
The College recognizes its crucial responsibility in fostering appropriate personal and professional characteristics as candidates continuously reflect upon new learning experiences, heighten their knowledge and skills, refine their dispositions, more fully understand their responsibility as student advocates, and prepare to embark upon their chosen careers and the responsibilities and challenges those roles entail.
Cornerstone C: Diverse Experiences
The College embraces human diversity in all its forms and its programs are designed to provide meaningful multiple and varied experiences for candidates both on campus and through field-based and clinical experiences.
Cornerstone D: Program Refinement
Ongoing and comprehensive assessment is a critical component of the improvement process and the College continuously solicits and welcomes feedback from candidates, their employers, as well as the general community, and then uses this information to enhance and refine its programs, courses, and enrichment learning experiences.
Competency 1: S.ubject-Matter Qualified
Program completers are expected to demonstrate that they have acquired specific content knowledge and skills conducive to optimal professional performance in their field and that they meet or exceed established assessment protocols.
Competency 2: T.echnology Integrator
Technology literacy and the capacity to use technology for instructional integration and other performance-based applications are elemental skills required of all program completers.
Competency 3: A.dvanced Communicator
Cultivating the development of professionals who are skilled communicators has long been a primary goal of the College and there remains compelling recognition that successful professionals in all education-related fields must effectively communicate and sustain meaningful relationships with those with whom they interact and serve.
Competency 4: R.esearch-Based Proficient
Recent years have witnessed increased emphasis placed on rigorous evidence that supports concepts of professional best practice and all program candidates are expected to incorporate the latest information and insights emerging from empirical research and recognized national standards.