In 2018, the Clemmer College of Education became the Clemmer College to more accurately depict the current role and function of the college, which has evolved into a more complex entity focusing on counseling, education, leadership and sport. Clemmer College has targeted its efforts in education on using its data to inform data based decisions regarding teacher preparation. Clemmer College has partnered with local education agencies to develop a quality assurance system that provides outcome data on current students and its teacher preparation program completers. All clinical supervisors of teacher candidates have been trained in the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM). In addition, teacher education instructors and supervisors have participated in training in the Educator Disposition Assessment (EDA), and ETSU designed lesson plan calibration. Additional program improvement activities of the Clemmer College include secondary education program review, formalized review to align programs with Teaching Literacy in Tennessee, revision of the occupational licensure curriculum with local education agency partners, and integration of computational thinking, artificial intelligence, and digital learning in the elementary education program. Intensive programming efforts, known as Strive to 45, in the edTPA have been made through close review of edTPA data resulting in targeted workshops to better prepare candidates in needed instructional areas. Top edTPA performers as a part of a Clemmer College incentive program received honors based on their scores. Other professional development and service programs in Clemmer College have included a partnership with Milligan College for the 2nd generation literacy project initiated through local churches, online teaching retreat, Praxis II workshops, Special Olympics, the Early Childhood Conference, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and various instructional trainings held locally, regionally, and internationally. Efforts to further solidify partnerships with the local education agencies have been at the forefront of our efforts with our field mentors for residency and field placements totaling over 165 mentors for residency and 700 mentors for field placements in the 2017-2018 academic year.
ETSU faculty in Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Special Education programs revised our literacy curriculum to align with Teaching Literacy in Tennessee (TLiT). The work of ETSU faculty was grounded in the belief that to design curriculum for our program, we had to examine where we wanted candidates to be at the end of the program. Thus, we engaged in a backward design to create curriculum that, in the end, asks teacher candidates to create a Unit Starter similar to those posted on the TLiT web site. We ask candidates to exam TLiT Unit Starters and to think about what makes the texts within these unit starters complex. Using that understanding, teacher candidates design tasks to scaffold student learning and to assess student learning through daily and end-of-unit tasks to assess their understanding of TN Academic Standards. However, to accomplish these tasks, ETSU candidates need a strong understanding of the foundations of literacy. ETSU students gain that understanding during an assignment that asks candidates to define the components of literacy, synthesize the research supporting the components of literacy, align the components of literacy with Tennessee Academic Standards, and provide step-by-step directions for teaching that component in text as a shared reading or interactive read aloud and out of text through direct, explicit instruction that might later be practiced in a literacy center. These components of literacy are crucial for later literacy achievement (National Reading Panel, 2008) and research shows that children need to see how constrained skills are carried out in meaningful ways (Wiseman, 2012). Therefore, ETSU faculty provide candidates with a strong foundational understanding about how to carry out instruction in this way. In preparation for this practice, candidates watch webinars posted on the TN Department of Education website. One student who watched the webinar on Interactive Read Alouds said, "...I had always believed that this [Interactive Read Alouds] was the teacher simply reading to the class. Through my course work, I have discovered that there is more to this concept and wanted to see how Tennessee's guidelines suggested using this strategy and how it worked with students. What I discovered during this presentation was that I had not thought about how to use this in an ELA block since taking my initial instructional class. It reminded me that reading to students connects with more than their listening skills; it can also help them develop strategies for interacting with texts that are above their grade level."