Program: Special Education (MEd)
Date: Tue Oct 07, 2014 - 12:27:16 pm
1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.
Graduate Student Learning Outcomes: The SLOs are the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards for advanced roles in special education. Five of the six standards include knowledge and skill indicators. The standards are:
1. Leadership and Policy. Special educators in advanced programs learn to use their deep understanding of the history of special education, current legal and ethical standards, and emerging issues to provide leadership. Special educators promote high professional self-expectations and help others understand the needs of individuals with exceptional learning needs. They advocate for educational policy based on solid evidence-based knowledge to support high quality education for individuals with exceptional learning needs. As appropriate to their role, they advocate for appropriate resources to ensure that all personnel involved have effective preparation. Special educators use their knowledge of the needs of different groups in a pluralistic society to promote evidence-based practices and challenging expectations for individuals with exceptional learning needs. They model respect for all individuals and ethical practice. They help to create positive and productive work environments and celebrate accomplishments with colleagues. They mentor others and promote high expectations for themselves, other professionals, and individuals with exceptional learning needs.
3. Research and Inquiry. Research and inquiry inform the decisions of special educators who have completed advanced programs in guiding professional practice. Special educators know models, theories, philosophies, and research methods that form the basis for evidence-based practices in special education. This knowledge includes information sources, data collection, and data analysis strategies. Special educators evaluate the appropriateness of research methodologies in relation to practices presented in the literature. They use educational research to improve instructional techniques, intervention strategies, and curricular materials. They foster an environment supportive of continuous instructional improvement, and engage in the design and implementation of action research. Special educators are able to use the literature to resolve issues of professional practice, and help others to understand various evidence-based practices.
4. Individual and Program Evaluation. Evaluation is critical to advanced practice of special educators. Underlying evaluation is the knowledge of systems and theories of educational assessment and evaluation, along with skills in the implementation of evidence-based practices in assessment. Effective special educators design and implement research activities to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional practices and, as appropriate to their role, to assess progress toward the organizational vision, mission, and goals of their programs. It is critical in evaluation that nonbiased assessment procedures are used in the selection of assessment instruments, methods, and procedures for both programs and individuals.
With respect to evaluation of individuals, special educators prepared at the advanced level are able to apply their knowledge and skill to all stages and purposes of evaluation including: prereferral and screening, preplacement for special education eligibility, monitoring and reporting learning progress in the general education curriculum and other individualized educational program goals.
5. Professional Development and Ethical Practice. Special educators are guided by the professional ethics and practice standards. Special educators have responsibility for promoting the success of individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families, and colleagues. They create supportive environments that safeguard the legal rights of students and their families. They model and promote ethical and professional practice. Special educators plan, present, and evaluate professional development, as appropriate to their roles, based on models that apply adult learning theories and focus on effective practice at all organizational levels. Special educators model their own commitment to continuously improving their own professional practice by participating in professional development themselves.
6. Collaboration. Special educators prepared at the advanced level have a deep understanding of the centrality and importance of consultation and collaboration to the roles within special education and use this deep understanding to integrate services for individuals with exceptional learning needs. They also understand the significance of the role of collaboration for both internal and external stakeholders, and apply their skill to promote understanding, resolve conflicts, and build consensus among both internal and external stakeholders to provide services to individuals with exceptional learning needs and their families.They possess current knowledge of research on stages and models in both collaboration and consultation and ethical legal issues related to consultation and collaboration. Moreover, special educators prepared at the advanced level have a deep understanding of the possible interactions of language, diversity, culture and religion with contextual factors and how to use collaboration and consultation to enhance opportunities for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA
3) Select one option:
- File (03/16/2020)
4) For your program, the percentage of courses that have course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is as follows. Please update as needed.
5) Did your program engage in any program assessment activities between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014? (e.g., establishing/revising outcomes, aligning the curriculum to outcomes, collecting evidence, interpreting evidence, using results, revising the assessment plan, creating surveys or tests, etc.)
No (skip to question 14)
6) For the period between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.
The assessment system for the Special Education M.Ed. program is aligned with the College of Education’s goal to prepare educators who are knowledgeable, effective, and caring professionals. By identifying the program standards to be addressed in each of our key program assessments, we are able to collect evidence of candidates’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions throughout the program.
The M.Ed. program assessment system monitors candidate performance while enrolled in the program; candidates are expected to demonstrate mastery of the CEC Advanced Program Standards by scoring an Acceptable on all standards in each assessment product. From June 2013 through September 2014 all candidates in the M.Ed. Interdisciplinary program were assessed via the five required products completed during their program. The CEC Advanced Program Standards include sub-elements that are used as student learning outcomes. Through completion of the products, candidate performance on CEC Advanced Standards was assessed. Standard One: Leadership and Policy addressed candidates’ knowledge and understanding of legal, ethical and emerging issues in the field of special education. Standard Three: Research and Inquiry addressed candidates’ knowledge and understanding of models, theories, philosophies, and research methods including data collection and data analysis procedures. Standard Four: Individual and Program Evaluation addressed candidates’ knowledge and understanding of systems and theories of educational assessment and evaluation and research designs used to evaluate effectiveness of instructional practices. Standard Five: Professional Development and Ethical Practice addressed candidates’ knowledge and skill in promoting ethical and professional practice and in planning, presenting, and evaluating professional development activities. Standard Six: Collaboration addressed candidates’ knowledge, understanding, and use of collaboration and consultation to enhance opportunities for individuals with exceptional learning needs. Candidate performance on each product related to the CEC advanced standards is recorded as Acceptable, or Unacceptable. At Mid-Point check, candidate performance is assessed by (a) artifacts (products) that indicate the candidates’ knowledge gained by successful completion of courses, (b) skills demonstrated in research projects, papers and exams, and (c) dispositions documented in all courses. A decision is made on each candidate at Mid-Point Check: (a) candidate may proceed with no conditions, (b) candidate may proceed with conditions, or (c) candidate is dismissed from the program. At Exit, candidate performance is again assessed by (a) artifacts that indicate the candidates’ knowledge gained by successful completion of courses, (b) skills demonstrated in research projects and final paper, and dispositions documented in all courses. At Exit the unit (COE) requires all candidates to meet Graduate Division requirements for graduation (GPA 3.0, Plan A or B). A Final Checkpoint decision is made: (a) candidate has satisfactorily met requirements for graduation, (b) candidate must remain in program to meet certain conditions, or (c) candidate is dismissed from the program. A Follow-Up assessment by the unit (COE) gathers survey data (indirect data) for all program graduates.
7) State the type(s) of evidence gathered to answer the assessment question and/or meet the assessment goals that were given in Question #6.
Assessment data of candidate performance on the five assessments related to the CEC Advanced Program standards were gathered. All candidates in the program were assessed on the five products as they completed each course with a required product. A frequency count of ratings (Acceptable, Unacceptable) was generated for each standard assessed in each product.
1. (Knowledge) Plan A/B Paper: Candidates complete a research paper or project that (a) demonstrates knowledge of a topic of interest to the candidate, research methodology, and data analysis; (b) demonstrates acquisition of knowledge by synthesizing and critically reviewing literature of a topic of interest to the candidate (literature review or analytical literature review, or (c) demonstrates knowledge of a topic of interest to the candidate by reviewing the literature and developing a project on that topic (e.g. curriculum, handbook, etc.).
2. (Skills) Service Learning Project: Candidates develop and implement a service learning project that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of issues relevant to individuals with disabilities or groups working with individuals with disabilities. Through the service learning project candidates demonstrate collaboration and communication skills while advocating and promoting positive outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
3. (Dispositions) Application to Human Studies Program: Candidates file an application with the University of Hawai’i’s Human Studies Program in order for that committee to scrutinize each candidate’s proposed study to ensure it meets all appropriate ethical considerations. Data is reported for (Fall, 2013).
-Indirect evidence: Each semester, program completer surveys are distributed by the Dean’s Office to our candidates in their final semester of the program. This data is published in reports aggregated by program in the COE Intranet and is also reported on the COE public website, “Measuring Our Success.”
8) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.
In Fall 2013 there were 51 candidates enrolled and in Spring 2014 there were 45 candidates enrolled in the M.Ed. Interdisciplinary program. Candidates (n=42) enrolled in core courses in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 with required assessment products were assessed All M.Ed. candidates enrolled in courses with required assessment products were included in this sample.
9) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)
Ad hoc faculty group
Persons or organization outside the university
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)
10) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)
Used professional judgment (no rubric or scoring guide used)
Compiled survey results
Used qualitative methods on interview, focus group, open-ended response data
External organization/person analyzed data (e.g., external organization administered and scored the nursing licensing exam)
11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.
Assessment 1.Service Learning Project in SPED 602 (Fall 2013). Of the 26 candidates who completed the service learning project in SPED 602, 25 of the candidates scored Acceptable for a rate of 96% for CEC Advanced Standard 1: Leadership and Policy and all 26 scored Acceptable for a rate of 100% for CEC Advanced Standard 6: Collaboration.
Assessment 2. Final Exam in SPED 642 (Fall 2013). Of the 15 candidates who completed the final exam in SPED 642, 10 candidates scored Acceptable for a rate of 97% for CEC Advanced Standards 3: Research and Inquiry and 11 candidates scored Acceptable for a rate of 73% for CEC Advanced Standard 4: Individual and Program Evaluation. Of the 15 candidates five scored an Unacceptable for a rate of 33% for CEC Advanced Standards 3: Research and Inquiry and four scored Unacceptable for a rate of 27% for CEC Advanced Standard 4: Individual and Program Evaluation.
Assessment 3. IRB Proposal/Application in SPED 688 (Fall 2013). Of the 10 candidates who completed the IRB proposal/application in SPED 688, all 10 candidates scored Acceptable for a rate of 100% for CEC Advanced Standards 3: Research and Inquiry and 5: Professional Development & Ethical Practice.
Assessment 4. Plan A/B Paper in SPED 700/695 (Fall 2013; Spring 2014). Of the five candidates who completed the Plan B paper in SPED 695 in Fall 2013 all five scored Acceptable for a rate of 100% for CEC Advanced Standards 3: Research and Inquiry and 5: Professional Development & Ethical Practice. Of the 10 candidates who completed the Plan B paper in SPED 695 in Spring 2014 all ten scored Acceptable for a rate of 100% for CEC Advanced Standards 3: Research and Inquiry and 5: Professional Development & Ethical Practice.
Assessment 5. Presentation/Workshop on a topic in special education in SPED 641 (Spring 2014). Of the 16 candidates who completed the Presentation/Workshop in SPED 641 all 16 candidates scored Acceptable for a rate of 100% for CEC Advanced Standard 5: Professional Development & Ethical Practice.
12) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.
Results of the five assessments indicate mastery of the CEC Advanced standards, with the strong majority of candidates receiving a rating of Acceptable on most assessments. On four of the five assessments at least 96% of the candidates received a rating of Acceptable. On one assessment the majority of candidates (67% for Standard 3; 73% for Standard 4) received a rating of Acceptable. Overall, the results indicate strong candidate mastery of the CEC Advanced standards.
The department continuously reviews candidate data during committee, program, and faculty meetings. Faculty reviewed data and feedback from candidates, course instructors, and program faculty to determine changes to the program, courses, or products. Faculty who taught courses in the M.Ed. Interdisciplinary Program met at the end of the beginning of the Spring 2014 semester to review candidate SLO data for the M.Ed. courses taught during the Fall 2013 semester. Faculty reflected on the data of individual courses and of the program overall. Because the CEC Advanced Standards have been revised faculty decided to review the courses and the SLOs that are aligned with the CEC Advanced Standards and to revise course products and include SLOs that are aligned with the revised CEC Advanced Standards. Faculty also met in the Fall of 2014 to review candidate SLO data for those courses taught in the Spring 2014. Faculty on the M.Ed. committee reviewed the M.Ed. program and decided to include additional elective courses. Faculty noted that their decision in 2012 to provide more support for candidates enrolled in SPED 688 has again resulted in an increase in the percent of candidates who successfully completed the IRB Proposal product and demonstrated competency in (CEC Advanced Standards 3: Research and Inquiry and 5: Professional Development and Ethical Practice).
13) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries?
This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.
The exam in SPED 642 is a comprehensive exam of research knowledge. The M.Ed. program committee and special education faculty decided to retain the exam since it is the only exam that is used to assess candidate knowledge of research.
14) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.
Or, if the program did engage in assessment activities, please add any other important information here.