TSPC’s Executive Director’s
Recommendations and Proposed Resolutions
University of Portland
Site Visit Evaluation Report
Joint NCATE Visit
September 9-11, 2012

Summary of Timelines: 
On September 9-11, 2012, a joint NCATE/TSPC team visited University of Portland, School of Education (SOE) and conducted a site visit review.  The SOE (hereinafter referred to as the “unit”), was submitting to its second review following initial accreditation in 2000 from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) which coincided with the regular accreditation review of TSPC to review Oregon established standards for program approval in effect at the time.  The 2012 visit was a Continuous Improvement visit. [note a]

2012 BOE Recommendations:  
The Board of Examiners and the TSPC state team members recommended the removal of three Areas for Improvement (AFI’s) from the 2005 visit related to Standards 2 – Assessment System and Unit Evaluation; and recommended a new AFI under this standard; and the removal of one AFI related to Standard 4 – Diversity from the 2005 visit.

In 2012, the BOE recommended that all standards were met.  Additionally, the BOE recommended one AFI under Standard 2 – Assessment System and Unit Evaluation. (More information below.)

Intervening Factors Affecting the 2012 Accreditation Visits:  
Between 2005 and 2012, TSPC made major modifications to the TSPC unit accreditation standards, specifically, the Commission aligned its standards with the NCATE standards.  Additionally, TSPC adopted standards and procedures for reviewing unit “programs” (such as: Teacher preparation; administrator preparation; special education; reading; ESOL).  The timing of the University of Portland’s SOE 2012 joint NCATE and TSPC continuing accreditation visit coincided with the very beginning of TSPC’s implementation of the new program review process and the newly-adopted unit accreditation standards. [note b]

At the November 2011 Commission meeting, reports from the unit’s programs were submitted to the Commission for the approval.  [See, Agenda Item 4.2a.]  The unit did not submit any programs for national recognition.  The following programs were submitted for and received state program approval:

Early Childhood/Elementary (these were not treated separately)
Middle Level
High School
Special Education
Administrator (Initial and Continuing)

On September 9-11, 2012, the University of Portland’s School of Education’s accreditation site visit was a joint visit between NCATE and TSPC.  This was University of Portland’s second continuing NCATE and state accreditation visit following its initial NCATE accreditation in 2000. [note c]  The process of the visit included state program review (mentioned above); an offsite review by the joint team of the institutional report (IR) submitted by the university and electronic evidence provided as support for declarations made in the institutional report (IR); an addendum to the IR; a follow-up visit after the off-site team review with just the chairs of the NCATE and Oregon team, and an on-site visit to the university by the joint national and state teams.  The joint site team’s recommendations were based on the consensus of the team.  The NCATE Unit Accreditation Board (UAB) has not yet reviewed the results of the University of Portland site visit, but will be submitted to the UAB in the spring of 2013.

Additional background on the program can be found at the very front of the BOE report.

The key findings of the team can be found in the Board of Examiners (BOE) final report.  There are findings under each of the six standards.


BOE Area for Improvement (AFI) for Standard 2

Standard 2 (Assessment System and Unit Evaluation)

The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the performance of candidates, the unit, and its programs.

AFI:  The unit lacks sufficient evidence that advanced candidates in the Educational Leadership and the initial and continuing administrative licensure programs develop and demonstrate the professional dispositions identified by the unit. (Advanced Only)

Aggregated grade point averages in the Administrator licensure programs and scores from reflective exit papers in the Educational Leadership program provide generalized data for the evaluation of dispositions identified in the conceptual framework and do not inform candidates and the unit for the purpose of continuous improvement.

Unit’s Rejoinder to the BOE Report:  
Following completion of the final BOE report, the unit is allowed to submit a rejoinder (response) to the BOE’s findings.  The unit chose not to file a rejoinder.


Standard 2 (Assessment System and Unit Evaluation)

Executive Director’s Analysis for Standard 2:

Important note:
  Units choose prior to their visit whether they are want to be reviewed under a “continuous improvement” model (where they produce data showing they have made improvements since the last NCATE/state team visit); or whether they are reviewed with regard to meeting target standards in the accreditation rubric. [note d]  During the 2005 visit, the Standard 2 – Assessment and Unit Evaluation was found to be “met” with three areas for improvement (AFI’s).  The 2005 assessment system review was under the “acceptable” standards.  But one observation cannot be overlooked.  At that time, the NCATE standards were still being implemented throughout the nation.  University of Portland was fully reviewed under the new standards and found to have three AFI’s.  Many units did not have a system of any kind during that review period.  The unit reviews were somewhat uneven nationally in 2005, since one Oregon unit was “cut some slack” for the newness of the standards and lack of an assessment system, and others were held fully accountable for an assessment system like University of Portland.  Regardless, in the subsequent seven years, not only did the unit correct all of the 2005 AFI’s, but they also managed to meet nearly every standard in the target rubric for Standard 2.  So, while they had an “AFI,” this visit, it is an area for improvement at the target level, not just the acceptable level.  The unit’s performance in the Assessment and Unit Evaluation area is extremely commendable.

Executive Director’s Analysis and Conclusion:  
The unit’s overall performance in Standard 2 nearly meets all standards in the “target” category.  Interestingly, against the outstanding performance across the board on this standard, the lack of more correlative data on assessment of the dispositions for Educational Leadership candidates appeared to be an AFI to the site review team.  For purposes of state review, the unit completely meets all objectives within Standard 2.  Again, it should be noted that the unit not only corrected the 2005 AFI’s; but constructed a comprehensive candidate assessment and unit evaluation system across all programs (including those delivered in Canada and Guam).

Recommendation for Standard 2:  The Commission should find that Standard 2 is met.
  The area for improvement insofar as evaluation of advanced candidate dispositions as they relate to the unit’s conceptual framework, is a feature of reaching for target and missing the bull’s eye slightly. [note e]  In other words, not only did the unit fully satisfy all the “acceptable” standards, but they also satisfied nearly all of the “target” standards.

The Commission should find Standard 2 – Assessment and Program Evaluation to be fully met, and the AFI found by the BOE does not rise to the level of requiring a condition to the unit’s state accreditation.

State Specific Standards

All state-specific standards adopted by the Commission that are “over and above” the six unit accreditation standards were found to be met.  [See State-Specific Standards Supplement to the BOE.]  But it should be noted that with regard to Standard 4 – Diversity, the unit did not need any additional time or program adjustments to meet all of the Commission’s newly enhanced expectations around diversity.  The unit should be commended for this as well. [note f]



OAR 584-010-0025 directs the Executive Director to prepare proposed resolutions for the Commission’s consideration following a site visit review.  The rule states:

(1) The Executive Director will consider all the elements outlined in OAR 584-010-0010(4) and make recommendations to the Commission regarding unit accreditation.

(2) The Executive Director may prepare resolutions proposing any combination of the following:

(a) Unconditional approval;

(b) Approval with conditions. The unit will present plans for removal of the conditions and correction of areas for improvement as designated by the Commission;

(c) Probationary approval and designation as an “at-risk institution.” The unit must correct the conditions and areas for improvement within two years; and

(d) Non-approval and designation as a “low-performing institution.”

(3) The Executive Director will submit the proposed recommendations and resolutions to the unit prior to the Commission meeting at which the final review team report will be considered.


Additionally, pursuant to OAR 584-010-0030 Commission action is defined as follows:

(1) After consideration of the Executive Director’s recommendations, the Commission may take one of the following actions:

(a) Approving the unconditionally unit for a period not to exceed five or seven years. The Commission may grant an accreditation period that does not align with the NCATE or CAEP accreditation cycle;

(b) Approving the unit conditionally for a period designated by the Commission but not to exceed five years. The Commission may require the unit to submit progress reports on identified conditions or correction of areas for improvement.

(c) Approving the unit with an established probationary period and designating the unit as an “at risk institution.” The Commission may schedule additional on-site visits to the unit in order to verify progress reports; or
(Executive Director’s Recommendations)

(d) Denying unit approval and designating the unit as “low-performing.”

(2) If the Commission denies unit approval, the Commission may grant limited continuance of identified programs or grant sufficient time for candidates in a program to complete work that is underway for a reasonable period of time.


Unit Accreditation and Program Review

The Executive Director recommends adoption of the following resolutions:

based upon review of the Board of Examiner’s Report, and the evidence supplied through the unit’s Institutional Report and other evidence, the Commission finds that all standards for accreditation are fully  met for both the Initial Teacher Preparation and Advanced Program levels;

the unit is to be commended for its performance both at the unit and program levels in Standard 2 – Assessment and Program Evaluation and Standard 4 – Diversity;

the Commission extends state approval for University of Portland’s School of Education’s unit and programs until July 1, 2019.


a: Units can choose to produce data showing improvement from their last visit; or they can choose whether to attempt to achieve “target” in any standards area.  The unit chose continuous improvement on standards 1, 3-6; and target on Standard 2. [return]

b: TSPC’s newly adopted unit accreditation standards parallel NCATE’s standards for unit review. Therefore, units like University of Portland that were already NCATE accredited do not have to do substantial additional documentation for vastly different state standards as they have had to do in the past. Additionally, past TSPC unit accreditations did not involve a separate look at the unit’s “programs.” [return]

c: The unit was NCATE accredited in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.  The national accreditation lapsed and the unit submitted for a “new” initial accreditation again in 2000. [return]

d: “Target” is the highest achievement possible for the accreditation review.  The standards for “target” for Standard 2 can be found in the TSPC Standards Manual. [return]

e: The Commission may want to consider whether it wants to hold unit’s accountable for the [return]

f: The Commission felt that Oregon’s work in the Diversity realm had progressed significantly in the past decade, and therefore increased the expectations for unit performance in this area.  Even with the significantly increased expectations, the unit excelled in meeting the new standards. [return]