Narrative for Graduate Reading Assessment Plan
California State University, Hayward offers a 3-tiered program that includes a Reading Certificate, the Reading Specialist’s Credential and a Master’s in Education with an option in Reading. Throughout the program, and regardless of the goal, students are carefully monitored to ensure their successful progress.
The Graduate Reading Assessment Plan highlights very clearly the prerequisites as well as maintenance requirements for the program. It also aligns itself with the department and university requirements for entrance into any graduate program in the Department of Teacher Education. However, because it is a credential-granting program, all candidates are expected to participate in a faculty interview. Admittance into the program is quarterly and students need to consult the graduate secretary to obtain the appropriate dates to file an application.
Integral to the assessment plan are the quarterly grade reports generated by the classes the students take. If a student receives a grade of C, or if the GPA falls below the required 3.0, the class instructor completes a referral form and the Graduate Reading Coordinator counsels the student.
When a student completes the Graduate Reading Program, they must have met all of the exit assessments, including the holding of a valid California Teaching Credential and three years of documented successful teaching experience. Students leaving the program are asked to complete a newly revised exit evaluation and are also surveyed one year later.
The revised exit evaluation is based on the State standards and is divided into four areas which include: Program Information and Candidate Assistance; Field Experiences; Course Content; and Advanced Knowledge and Skills. After several revisions, the Graduate Reading Faculty and the Advisory Board approved the graduate survey. Plans are currently underway for a new follow-up survey to be created. This follow-up survey will be sent to all graduates of the program one year later and will parallel the other survey in the manner in which it will be created.
Central to the Graduate Reading Assessment Plan, are Graduate Faculty meetings, Advisory Board Meetings, Professional Standards from organizations and noted best practices from the field and research. Because this has been a year of revisions, meetings of all parties involved have been more frequent than in the past. Faculty continue to meet on a systematic basis as new courses are being taught for the first time. Faculty gather to share and work out how to best make the new requirements of the program work for the students. Advisory board members are asked to comment individually on the feasibility of new ideas and how they might become involved to make certain requirements happen in their schools. And professional journals and CSU colleagues in the field are consulted to compare what is going on in other places in the United States and California. This combination of assessments, consultants, and “professors as learners” insures the producing of a better Reading professional for our schools.