Documenting Course Grades as an Assessment of Candidate Content Knowledge

All SPAs will now accept grades in SPA-specific content courses as one content assessment. If programs choose to use course grades as one assessment, they must follow these guidelines. Grades can be used for Assessment #1 (if there is no state licensure test), Assessment #2, or one of the optional assessments.

Acceptable documentation required for programs using course grades:

  1. Courses must be required for all candidates in the program; elective courses may not be used as evidence.

  2. Faculty may choose which courses will be used in this assessment. For example, they could select all courses in an academic major, or they could select a cluster of courses that address a specific domain, or they could select only one course, etc.

  3. The documentation of course grades-based evidence must include curriculum requirements, including the course numbers of required courses. (a) For baccalaureate programs, documentation must be consistent with course listings provided in the Program of Study submitted in Section I of the program report. (b) If course grades are used as an assessment for a graduate level program that relies on coursework that may have been taken at another institution, the assessment must include the advising sheet that is used by the program to determine the sufficiency of courses taken by a candidate at another institution. The advising sheet must include specific information on required coursework and remediation required for deficiencies in the content acquirement of admitted candidates.

  4. The grade evidence must be accompanied by the institution’s grade policy or definitions of grades.

  5. Grade data must be disaggregated by program level (e.g. baccalaureate and post baccalaureate), grade level (e.g. middle grade and secondary), licensure category (e.g. history or social studies), and program site.

  6. Syllabi cannot be submitted.

Format for Submission of Grades as a Course-Based Content Assessment

The following format is required for submission of grades as a course grade-based assessment under Section IV of the program report. For this specific assessment, these instructions take the place of the general instructions for submitting assessments cited at the beginning of Section IV.

Part 1. Description of the assessment. Provide a brief description of the courses and a rationale for the selection of this particular set of courses. Provide a rationale for how these courses align with specific SPA standards as well as an analysis of grade data included in the submission. (Limit to two pages).

NOTE: If course grades are used as an assessment for a graduate level program that relies on coursework that may have been taken at another institution, the report must include the advising sheet that is used by the program to determine the sufficiency of courses taken by a candidate at another institution. 

If course grades are used as an assessment for a graduate level program that relies on coursework that may have been taken at another institution, the report must include the advising sheet that is used by the program to determine the sufficiency of courses taken by a candidate at another institution. 

Part 2. Alignment with SPA standards. This part must include a matrix that shows alignment of courses with specific SPA standard. Faculty can choose one of the following two examples—one is organized by course, the other is organized by SPA standard. Brief course descriptions should be included if the course title does not identify the course content.

A graduate level program that relies on coursework that may have been taken at another institution must show alignment between the SPA standards and the program’s advising sheet that is used to determine the sufficiency of courses taken by a candidate at another institution.

Example 1: Alignment Matrix organized by Course

Course Name & No.

SPA Standard(s) Addressed by Course

Brief Description of How the Course Meets Cited Standards (if course title is unclear)

MATH 150: Discrete Mathematics

9.5, 9.7, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3

 
     
     
     

Example  2: Alignment Matrix organized by SPA Standard

SPA Standard/s Addressed by Course

Course Name & No.

Brief Description of How the Course Meets Cited Standards (if course title is unclear)

NCTE 3.5

Young Adult Literature 203

 

NCTE 3.6

English 105

 
     
     
     

Part 3.  Grade Policy and Minimum Expectation. The program must submit grading policies that are used by the institution or program and the minimum expectation for candidate grades (e.g., all candidates must achieve a C or better in all selected coursework)

Part 4.  Data table(s). Data tables must provide, at minimum, the grade distributions and mean course grades for candidates in the selected courses. NOTE: The “n” in the data table/s for each year or semester must be relatively consistent with the numbers of candidates and completers reported in Attachment A to Section I. Large inconsistencies between the two data sets must be explained in a note included with the data table(s).

NOTE: If course grades are used as an assessment for a graduate level program that relies on coursework that may have been taken at another institution, the program may provide data as candidates’ grade point average across all courses listed on program advising sheet or transcript analysis form.

Part 4. Sample Data Tables

Example 1. Candidates’ Grades in Required Mathematics Courses Secondary Math Education Candidates Baccalaureate Program

 

2004-2005

2005-2006

2006-2007

 

Average course grade and (range)*

% of candidates meeting minimum expectation

Average course grade and (range)

% of candidates meeting minimum expectation

Average course grade and (range)

% of candidates meeting minimum expectation

Math 101

3.75 (3.0– 3.9)

100

3.75 (3.0– 3.9)

92

3.75 (3.0– 3.9)

97

Math 203

3.3 (3.0 – 3.5)

95

3.3 (3.0 – 3.5)

100

3.3 (3.0 – 3.5)

88

Math 305

3.4 (3.2 – 3.7)

87

3.4 (3.2 – 3.7)

89

3.4 (3.2 – 3.7)

100

             

*A = 4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0 

Example 2. Mean GPA in Science Major Courses for Candidates admitted to MAT Program Secondary Science Education Candidates

Academic Year

GPA (mean, range)*

% of candidates meeting minimum expectation

2004-2005

3.75 (3.0– 3.9)

100

2005-2006

3.3 (3.0 – 3.5)

95

2006-2007

3.4 (3.2 – 3.7)

92

     

*A = 4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0


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