Presenters: Laura Bozeman Liz Chamberlain Kevin Hollinger Donna Lee Olga Overbury William Wiener George Zimmerman
CURRENT STATUS OF AER PROGRAM APPROVAL Past hiatus of program review Ongoing effort for the past 6 years
STRUCTURE The University Approval Process consists of efforts by volunteers serving in one of three capacities: Members of the University Review Committee (URC) Members of the University Executive Panel (UEP) Members of Review Panels
STANDARDS During the past six years the URC has revised the standards in O&M, VRT, and TVI.
REVIEWS Also, during this time, the Review Panels and UEP have conducted reviews of 10 programs.
PROCESSING FEE A fee of $1750 is required to cover administrative costs of the approval process including recruitment and training of new panel reviewers, selection of reviewers, telephone conference calls, use of online survey instruments, and report preparation. There are discounts for multiple reviews.
REVIEW TEAMS Each review requires a team of four reviewers who each receive a small stipend for their work.
APPROVAL STATUS Programs are either fully approved, conditionally approved, or not approved. A conditionally approved program must meet specified standards within one calendar year from the time that approval is granted.
ANNUAL FOLLOW-UP Approved programs must annually complete and submit the University Preparation Program Update, a short yearly checklist.
ASSEMBLING DOCUMENTS & NAMING FILES Olga Overbury
REQUIRED DOCUMENTS Letter of intent ( 30 days prior to submission ) Application fee ( $1,750 ) Application ( Section I – III ) Background information Program information Program narrative
APPLICATION – SECTION I Background Information University name Program name Contact person & contact information Dean & contact information Department head & contact information URLs for university, department, program Who should be notified of review outcome?
APPLICATION – SECTION II Program information Curriculum vitae for all program faculty & staff Current & proposed budgets Inventory of program materials for candidate use Additional program information When was the program established? What is the total number of students each year? How many students graduate each year? How many students withdrew in the last 3 years? List of clinical placements used in the past year
APPLICATION – SECTION III Program narrative (max: 7 double-spaced pages) Provide overview, philosophy & conceptual framework of the program Describe the program strengths Describe the areas in need of improvement & plans for remediation Describe the goals & plans for immediate & long-range changes Describe the expected obstacles when pursuing these goals Describe the supports available to assist in meeting goals Describe the process used to set goals, evaluate progress, etc.
REQUIRED DOCUMENTS Letter of intent ( 30 days prior to submission ) Application fee ( $1,750 ) Application ( Section I – III ) Self-study of core standards Self-study of curricular standards Budget Faculty credentials & certifications Faculty Curriculum Vitae Clinical experience Clinical supervisors Sample letters to sites Sample logs Course syllabi
NAMING DOCUMENTS Rex Skippy Marvin Babett e Caroline Eugenia
NAMING DOCUMENTS Application ( Section I – III ) Program narrative Core standards Curricular standards Budget Faculty credentials & certifications Faculty Curriculum Vitae Clinical experience Clinical supervisors Sample letters to sites Sample logs Course syllabi
STEPS IN UPLOADING MATERIALS Electronic Submission AER website Use Dropbox
SELECTING A PANEL Recruitment of Volunteers Volunteer Training Distribution of Modules 1, 2, and 3 (Training Materials) Core, Absolute and Curricular Standards Assembling the 3 member Panel (a.k.a. “the Team”) 2/3 are university faculty; 1/3 non-university member 2/3 certified in area of review; 1/3 from another specialty
PROCESS OF THE PANEL Kick-Off Panelist Phone Conference review the process establish timelines define roles select Panel Leader Review the Standards Met, Partially Met, Not Met Compile the Results (Survey Monkey)
PROCESS OF THE PANEL (cont’d) Second Panelist Phone Conference discuss discrepancies and rationales collect notes to include in University and Student interviews University Representative Phone Conference (1) and University Student Phone Conference (2-3) established questions interview guideline questions generated from panel
PROCESS OF THE PANEL (cont’d) Final Panelist Phone Conference Panel Leader summarizes the University and Student interviews for panel Discusses final recommendations for Review Scores Panel determines FINAL RECOMMENDATION (Approved ~ Conditional Approval ~ Non-Approved) Complete Final Survey Monkey
PROCESS OF THE PANEL (cont’d) Panel Leader completes the REVIEW PANEL REPORT to University Executive Panel University Executive Panel determines FINAL APPROVAL status Communicates decision to University Program applying
USE OF SURVEY MONKEY TO EVALUATE COMPETENCY COMPLIANCE Kevin Hollinger
REVIEWING STANDARDS & SURVEY MONKEY Divide Standards at Kickoff Panelist Phone Conference Panel Leader and Panel all review CORE and ABSOLUTE Standards Panel Divided into 2 teams to split the CURRICULAR Standards Conduct Standard Review based on submitted documentation Met ~ Partially Met ~ Not Met Enter Score into Survey Monkey Comments for any “partially met” or “not met”
REVIEWING STANDARDS & SURVEY MONKEY (cont’d) Scores compiled in preparation for second panelist phone conference Panel Team discussions and follow-up with University and Students occur Final review score re-entered into Survey Monkey Final Survey Monkey used to write REVIEW PANEL REPORT FINAL RECOMMENDATION made to UEP
INTERVIEWS WITH UNIVERSITY ADMINISRATION & STUDENTS Donna Lee & Liz Chamberlain
SAMPLE INTERVIEW GUIDELINES FOR TEAM LEADER Scheduling of Interviews Administrator interview: Plan 15 minutes Faculty interview: Plan 30 minutes Student interview: Plan 30 minutes Getting started Explain the purpose of the interview is to gather additional information about the application. Ask if there are any questions before you begin.
ADMINISTRATOR INTERVIEW Required questions: Tell me about the university’s commitment to the ___________ program. How is the performance of faculty members reviewed? Sample optional questions (ask a minimum of one) How do you plan to continue this program if federal funding is lost? How does the university support this program?
FACULTY INTERVIEWS Interview a minimum of one faculty member knowledgeable about the program as a whole. Ideally, you will also interview at least one other faculty member/instructor either at the same time or in a separate interview.
FACULTY INTERVIEWS Required questions How do you ensure that all of your courses are accessible to students with and without disabilities? Explain how you provide your candidates with adequate preparation to work with consumers/students of a variety or ages, ability levels, and cultural backgrounds. Describe a typical clinical experience for your candidates. How do you ensure that students are matched with appropriate placements for their clinical experience? What training and supervision do you provide to your onsite supervisors/master teachers working with your candidates in their clinical placements?
FACULTY INTERVIEWS Sample optional questions (ask at least 2) What degree or certificate options does your program offer? How do you document that students are making adequate progress through their course of studies? When we reviewed your syllabi, we noticed that standard was not listed on any syllabus. Is this a standard that you cover? If so, how do you cover it?
STUDENT INTERVIEWS Ideally, you will interview at least three candidates who are nearing the end of their program or recent graduates so that you are presented with multiple points of view. Required questions: What do you see as the greatest strengths of the program you are completing? What are some areas in which you wish you received more instruction or experience?
STUDENT INTERVIEWS Sample optional questions (ask at least 2) What were your experiences in accessing library materials and resources? Describe how well you and your fellow students were able to access online course materials, especially for students with disabilities? How well-prepared do you feel to teach ? Select one or more specific topics (e.g., Braille instruction, intersection analysis) and/or populations (e.g., infants and toddlers, deafblind consumers).
REVIEWER-GENERATED QUESTIONS Prior to the interview, review the standards and compose questions to verify that standards have been adequately met. Ex., If your review of syllabi for an O&M program indicated that only one course had objectives for working with students with additional disabilities, you might ask, “How well prepared do you feel you are to work with students with visual impairments and additional disabilities?” or “What information and experiences have you been provided about working with students with visual impairments and additional disabilities?”
QUESTIONS FROM PROGRAMS Can we send our application on a thumb drive when our documentation is a URL? How long does the process take? When and how will we be notified about the committee 's decision?
APPROVAL CATEGORIES & CRITERIA Laura Bozeman & George Zimmerman
CATEGORIES OF APPROVAL Full Approval Met minimum standards for all absolute criteria and at least 95% of critical criteria Conditional Approval Did not meet minimum standards on 1 of the absolute criteria and/or Met between 85% - 94% of the critical criteria AND Agree to correct shortcomings and meet criteria for full approval within 1 year from date of review
FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES & CHECKLIST Monitoring Compliance An annual questionnaire was developed and will be sent to all AER URC Approved programs annually as a way to monitor compliance with the standards Annual Questionnaire/Checklist (sample items) Delivery Methods (on-line or on-campus) Full Time Faculty (numbers or credentials) Adjunct Faculty (numbers or credentials) University Clinical Supervisors (numbers or credentials) Credentials or Experience of Clinical Onsite Supervisors Faculty to Student Ratios
THE FUTURE: REESTABLISHING THE LINK WITH ACVREP William Wiener
HISTORY Earlier in our history, AER University Program Approval was a key requirement within ACVREP O&M and VRT Eligibility criteria for a candidate to sit for the certification examination. In 2003, ACVREP expressed some concern about the following issues relative to the program and discontinued reliance of AER Approval:
ACVREP’S CONCERNS Lack of consistency of review periods Legitimacy/defensibility of program determinations (approved or not-approved) Lack of dedicated AER staff to insure efficient operation of the program No access to certification for students graduating from programs that were not-approved or had not applied for the approval process No data on the commitment of the universities to pursue program approval
PROPOSAL FOR ALIGNMENT WITH ACVREP During the past several years, AER addressed all of the concerns mentioned by ACVREP. Earlier this year, AER requested that ACVREP consider the URC proposal that would once again use AER University Program Approval as the main avenue for eligibility to sit for the certification examinations in O&M, VRT, and TVI.
ALIGNEMENT ( cont’d ) ACVREP responded by asking further questions of the AER Executive Director relating what would be the added value of such an additional requirement. Director Tutt responded: evaluation of each and every standard examination of course syllabi, reading assignments, and exercises examination of qualifications of the faculty verification of number and type of practice hours and adequacy of supervisors adequacy of clinical supervision interviews with faculty interviews with students The ACVREP Board met last month and voted against accepting alignment with AER
NEXT STEPS Communication has been initiated with ACVREP President Jay Stitley Invitation was issued to meet at this conference Communication has been initiated with RSA and OSEP regarding the status of the programs that have been approved by AER Invitation for remaining universities to submit for AER review