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Educator Preparation

2017-2018 Formal Review Toolkit

Periodic program review ensures continued growth, improvement, and educator preparation program effectiveness beyond the initial approval. Sponsoring Organizations with currently approved educator preparation programs who are nearing the end of the 7-year approval window and would like to continue operating programs are required to have those programs reviewed for re-approval.

The formal review of currently approved programs is a multi-step process. The timeline for this process is centered on the formal, onsite review. Below are resources associated with each stage of the review process. This toolkit was designed to ensure a review process that is:

  • Effective: builds a solid evidentiary base for decision-making,
  • Efficient: streamlined, targeted and systematic, and
  • Consistent: within and across organizations.

All Sponsoring Organizations reviewed during the 2017-2018 cycle are evaluated against a specific set of concrete, actionable criteria using corresponding evaluation tools.

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2017-2018 Review Criteria
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Review Evaluation Tool

The full process of review is outlined in the Guidelines for Program Approval Download PDF Document  Download Word Document Resources below are designed to support the process.

Review Evaluation Tool

Time Relative
to Onsite Visit
Stage/StepDescription of ActivitiesResources
13-19 months PriorInitiation PhaseSponsoring Organizations whose programs are nearing the end of their approval period will be contacted by DESE and notified of the need for an onsite formal approval visit. This notification will occur at the beginning of the 6th year of approval.
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Template: Formal Review Timeline
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Info Session
10-14 months PriorNeeds AssessmentsThe Sponsoring Organization will be required to submit a needs assessment for any new programs or programs set to expire prior to the formal onsite visit date.
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Needs Assessment Advisory
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Worksheet: Needs Assessment
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Memorandum: Low-Completion STEM Programs
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Memorandum: Expiring Currently Approved Programs (Updated July 2017)
4-12 months PriorOffsite PhaseThe Sponsoring Organization prepares documents demonstrating how the program meets the program approval Standards and Indicators (Refer to General Resources). Required documents must be submitted to ESE.



General Resources

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Overview: Domain Worksheets
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Instructions: Preparing a Submission

Submission Requirements

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Template: Cover Page
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Worksheet: Introduction Narrative
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Worksheet: The Organization Domain
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Template: Faculty and Staff List
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Worksheet: Partnerships Domain
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Worksheet: Continuous Improvement Domain
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Worksheet: The Candidate Domain
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Worksheet: Field-Based Experiences Domain
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Worksheet: Instruction Domain - Initial Programs
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Worksheet: Instruction Domain - Professional Programs

Pedagogy & Content Matrices

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Subject Matter Knowledge (SMK) Overview & Matrices
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Professional Standards for Library Teachers Matrix (Updated 3/20/15)
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Professional Standards for Teachers (PST) Matrix (Updated 12/11/15)
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Professional Standards and Indicators (PSI) for Administrative Leadership Matrix
5 months PriorInitial ReviewAn initial review of the submitted documentation is conducted by ESE. If the documentation is insufficient, the Sponsoring Organization will be asked to address the insufficiencies. If the documentation is complete, the Sponsoring Organization will be asked to finalize and re-submit final documentation to ESE.

The purpose of this initial review is to ensure that Sponsoring Organizations have submitted required documentation prior to the onsite review. It is in an SO's best interest to deliver a well-organized, complete folio for review.
2 months PriorPre-VisitA pre-visit will occur approximately two months prior to the formal onsite. DESE will use this pre-visit to coordinate with the Sponsoring Organization the logistics for the formal onsite visit.
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Onsite Visit Guidelines
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Review Team Logistics Form
Onsite VisitThe formal onsite visit last three days. The State Team consists of a minimum of one DESE staff and a team of peer reviewers (from PK-12 and Educator Preparation). It is the responsibility of the Sponsoring Organization to pay the cost of travel, lodging and meal expenses of the reviewers.
3 months post-onsiteFactual Accuracy ReportDESE will issue a report summarizing commendations and findings within 90 days of the onsite visit.
10 Business Days from receipt of ReportFactual Accuracy ResponseUpon receiving the final report, Sponsoring Organizations will review the document for factual accuracy and communicate with DESE regarding factual errors or omissions in the report. The Sponsoring Organization will return the report within 10 business days.
4 months post-onsiteNotification of Approval StatusAs a result of the review, DESE will notify the Sponsoring Organization of its approval status: approval with distinction, approval, approval with conditions, probationary approval or approval not granted. The Sponsoring Organization works with DESE to determine timelines and next steps in response to findings requiring action. The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education will notify Sponsoring Organizations of approval status in writing.


Last Updated: January 31, 2018
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