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3.1 Coherent curricula with clear expectations that are aligned with state and national standards

All Northwest curricula is aligned to state and national standards, as described in more detail in the five sections below.

Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE)

All Northwest teacher preparation programs are aligned to appropriate state and national teacher and preparation standards as required by the Rules of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which is based on the Missouri MoSPE Standards. These two documents linked above outline Missouri teacher, leader, and counselor preparation program requirements and mandate that all Missouri teacher preparation programs align to professional requirements (content planning and delivery, individual student needs, schools and the teaching profession, and content knowledge for teaching) and minimum field experience requirements (as outlined in the next section). As a result, Northwest has aligned all of our programs to meet these requirements, as identified in the individual state-approved matrices. Links to these matrices are available on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website and also available via Table 1: Teacher and Leader Preparation Programs Summary. Further, Table 3: State and National Standards demonstrates how all programs are aligned to the MEES standards (as described below), the InTASC, and other program-specific state and national standards. All Northwest preparation program curricula are aligned with standards specific to each content area.

Missouri Educator Evaluation System (MEES)

All initial candidate certification programs are aligned to the Missouri Educator Evaluation System (MEES). The MEES is a performance assessment used during student teaching and is aligned with all nine Missouri Teacher/Leader standards. As an observation form, the MEES is completed by a teacher candidate’s university supervisor and cooperating teacher during student teaching. The scores from both assessors are summed and a minimum cut score is required for teacher certification in Missouri. In addition, MEES performance is used to assess Missouri Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) as part of our state Annual Performance Report (APR). Because of the importance of MEES performance to both candidate and EPP evaluation, the MEES has been utilized at various points in each preparation program. See Table 1 for a brief summary of MEES and APR data for each program; see Table 3 for the alignment of programs to MEES standards.

Northwest Artifact Assessment for MEES Standards 7, 8, and 9

In addition, Northwest has developed artifacts beyond the minimum state requirement to ensure each candidate is evaluated accurately on standards that may not be easily evaluated through observation. MEES standards 7, 8 and 9 focus on student assessment, professionalism, and professional collaboration. Because assessment and data literacy, professionalism, and professional collaboration are difficult for a university supervisor to assess through observation, Northwest faculty began collecting artifacts in 2018 to measure teacher candidate performance on MEES Standard 7 (assessment artifact), MEES Standard 8 (professionalism artifact), and MEES Standard 9 (professional collaboration artifact). These three artifacts then provide university supervisors insight into candidates’ skills in assessment, their professionalism, and their professional collaboration during their student teaching. These artifacts, piloted in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, will be scored by a university supervisor and a faculty member and will be used starting Fall 2019 along with university supervisor observations to assess students’ mastery of all nine of the MEES standards. These artifacts give the assessors insight into how well the candidate is developing in these three otherwise difficult-to-assess MEES standards.

(Please note that information about how Northwest uses MEES Standard 7 data in its continuous improvement can be found earlier in this quality assurance report in the section detailing AAQEP Standard 1.4, and the information about how Northwest uses MEES standards 8 and 9 data in its continuous improvement can be found earlier in this quality assurance report in the section detailing AAQEP Standards 2.5 and 2.6). 

Program-specific Accreditation

While state accreditation for each curricular area that results in certification is mandated by DESE, several content areas at NW have additionally gone beyond those expectations and earned program-specific accreditation. Northwest’s music education programs are fully accredited by the National Association for Schools of Music (NASM), and have been since 1969, and their curricula are likewise aligned to the NASM standards; the programs completed their most recent review in 2018 and are accredited through 2028. Further, Northwest’s Leet Center is fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) through 2020, and their curricula are aligned to the NAEYC standards; a link to their listing on the NAEYC website is available here.

Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC)

To ensure they are informed by the most current research, the Missouri Teacher and Leader standards have further been aligned to the new Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards created and distributed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)  https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/StandardsInformationDocument.pdf