Between 1979 and 1995, during my term as dean, the College of Education at the University of Delaware changed in a number of ways. Here are a baker's dozen of them:
1. Enrollment. The total enrollment in all the teacher education programs reached 1,600 undergraduates, about 12 percent of the University's undergraduate enrollment. The College's elementary teacher education program grew to the third largest program at the University. In the same period, enrollments in the College's doctoral programs doubled while master's degree enrollments were steady.
2. Enrollment Pressure. In this period, the number of freshman admission applications more than doubled. At the same time, the number of transfer requests, including those from students in other majors at Delaware, went from about 50 to over 350. The number of separate clinical placements for our students in the schools grew to more than 3,000 in over 500 different settings. Nearly 2,000 cooperating teachers mentored our students.
3. Student Quality. About half our education students held a 3.0 (B) or better grade index, mostly in courses that were taken in the College of Arts and Science. About 25 percent of the students in the programs were on the Dean's list each semester (having earned an index greater than 3.25).
On the whole, students in the College scored 20% higher on their SAT's than other students in the country who intended to major in education, and they scored about 6 percent higher than the typical American college student, regardless of major. As at other land grant universities, Delaware education students, at the graduate and undergraduate levels, fell in the middle of the distribution of the common standardized test scores of aptitude and achievement. Those students who elected to teach in Delaware, about half of our students, took the PPST, a test of basic skills in writing, mathematics, and reading. Our students' mean scores were a standard deviation above the state's cut-off scores, the highest cut scores in the nation at the time.
4. Graduates. From a low point, when only 54 percent of the College's graduates went into teaching and only 71 percent who wanted to teach actually found jobs by the November after graduation, the College had 83 percent of its graduates teaching, and over 92 percent of those who wanted to teach found positions by the November after graduation. Half of the College's graduates taught in Delaware; this was the largest percentage of graduates from any major at the University to work in the State after graduation. As 60 percent of the College's undergraduates were from out-of-state, a significant number of out-of-state students also choose to teach in Delaware.
Our graduates were sought after by school districts and an ever increasing number (about 76 districts from 10 states) came to campus each year to interview our graduates. We were told that we were known nationally as an excellent source of good teachers. A disproportionate number of UD graduates (by a factor of 2) were selected as Teacher of the Year finalists in their districts.
5. Faculty Quality. The faculty, about 50 in all, held doctorates from the nation's leading land grant and ivy league research universities. In a typical year, they would publish well over 100 journal articles; present over 130 papers at national meetings; and serve on the editorial boards of leading journals in the field. At the outset of the period the College had slightly more than $300,000 in external contracts and grants. At the end, the College had over $2,400,000 in external funds to support research and development activities. Four of the faculty held named professorships, one serving as the Research Director of the National Center for Adult Literacy of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). One held a Guggenheim Fellowship--one of three ever awarded to faculty at Delaware--and four had won Spencer Fellowships for their research. Five were fellows of the American Psychological Association.
6. National Visibility. The College, significantly out of proportion to its relatively small size, took a leadership role in several major national reform movements in education. The College served as regional headquarters for the Holmes Group, a consortium of the nation's major research universities, and eventually served as the headquarters for its national board. The College was the co-founder of the Project 30 Alliance, a national reform organization initially sponsored by a $1 million series of grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The College served as a development partner with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for Praxis 3, a version of the National Teacher Examination that is appropriate for student teaching. Members of the College had leadership positions in national groups and consulted regularly with major foundations, educational corporations, and federal and state governments.
7. Service to Delaware. A number of College activities focused on providing leadership in educational issues on a local level.
Project 21 was a $5 million statewide effort funded by the National Science Foundation to extend the RE:Learning principles to the reform of math, science, and technology education. Under the leadership of College staff, the Project 21 team worked to develop "polished stones," or lessons that include exemplary teaching practices, clear standards, embedded assessment, and evidence of student understanding of important concepts.
National Principals' Leadership Academy (NPLA) was established by the College of Education, at the Governor's request, to build upon its work with the RE:Learning network. Funded initially by a U.S. Department of Education grant of almost $400,000, the Academy provided intensive training in leadership skills for schools that were working to provide an environment in which all children were held to high expectations and in which the primary focus of schooling was to help all students learn to use their minds well. During the Academy, the principals designed a program to effect changes in their individual school and explore various strategies to carry out these programs. The academy was expanded, under a four-year recurring annual grant from the State of $100,000, to Delaware principals who had leadership responsibilities in New Directions, the State's reform initiative.
Delaware Education Research and Development Center was a collaborative effort among the University, the State Department of Public Instruction, the Business Public Education Council, and Delaware State University and was the centerpiece of the New Directions for Delaware Education plan. A $2 million grant from the Dupont Company was used to initiate this $6.2 million research and development center, whose goal was to improve Delaware's public schools. The Center provided research and development support for the educational reform efforts in the State. The work of the Center initially focused on the development of content standards for the areas of mathematics, science, literacy, and social studies. Achievement standards and tests to measure student performance were initiated for all grade levels.
State Commissions on Curricular Frameworks were established as part of the State Superintendent's New Directions for Delaware Education to determine the standards Delaware would adopt in mathematics, social studies, language arts, and science at each grade level. Three of the four Commissions were co-chaired by faculty members in the College and more than a dozen of faculty from across the University served on the Commissions.
Southern Delaware Office. Two master's degree programs were established in southern Delaware -- the M.ED.. degree options in educational administration and the M.I. degree for classroom teachers. An M.ED.. degree option in special education was also available except for two courses. The Ed.D. degree was available from the College's office in the Georgetown Higher Education Building. With $150,00 of support from UNIDEL, a two-way interactive instructional video system linking Willard Hall and the Georgetown facility was constructed. This system greatly expanded our program capacity in southern Delaware.
Outreach. In addition to its regular inservice degree programs, the University undertook more than 100 projects in Delaware's schools, or about one every other day schools were in session.
8. Program Innovation. The College developed innovative approaches to graduate study and pioneered the use of the portfolio in doctoral education for researchers. The Ed.D. program for school administrators and senior teachers was the university's first doctoral program for fully employed persons who were not planning to become researchers. In place of the dissertation, the faculty designed a series of executive position papers that serve the career needs of Ed.D. candidates. In addition, the undergraduate program in elementary education was a national model for mainstreaming goals for public education. These developments were supported with grants from the U.S. Office of Education, most recently with a $260,000 grant from the Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).
Similarly the M.I. program, designed for classroom teachers who want to remain in the classroom, was on the Department of Education's exemplary programs list.
9. Professional Development Schools (PDS). The work of the Curriculum Development Laboratory, supported with contracts from school districts, expanded in response to the College's Holmes Group initiative for the development of public schools that would serve teacher education as teaching hospitals served medical education. While the College pioneered student teaching centers in each of the New Castle County Districts, Cecil County and Appoquinimink, the PDS concept extended to all aspects of the school. Thurgood Marshall School in the Christina District and LuLu Ross School in the Milford District agreed to be PDSs.
10. ASPIRE. With the support of the PEW Charitable Trusts ($140,000) and others, the College improved its minority recruitment efforts dramatically. There was a seven fold increase in the number of minority students in good standing. The new program, ASPIRE, entailed field recruitment, individual advisement, study skills courses, cohort approaches to retention, grade monitoring and mentoring.
11. The College School and the Reading Study Center. Beginning in 1990 the College established the College School to provide an instructional program for elementary students with learning difficulties and a clinical laboratory for students in special education, school psychology, and counseling. The school enrolls and operates on a self-generating annual budget of over $250,000. The Reading Study Center, a longstanding College program provided, on a fee basis, after school programs for students with reading problems.
12. Center for Intercultural Teacher Education (CITE). The Center was established to promote pluralistic and global perspectives on all aspects of the College's work and individual responsibility for the moral dimension of teaching. The Center sponsored study abroad programs -- the Scotland Semester and the Madrid Semester -- and student teaching abroad placements. On campus it organized faculty exchanges, field trips, tutoring, speaker series, a UNICEF collection of children's books and a student group, MOSAIC, dedicated to the creation of a multi cultural learning community. Several of CITE's programs were grant supported.
13. Instructional Technology Center (ITC). The Center developed hundreds of computer software, interactive videodisc, and multimedia programs for the classrooms of Delaware. Several of these earned prizes and top awards. In addition the Center ran extensive training programs for faculty and teachers, especially special education teachers. The Center won about $500,000 each year in grants for its development work.