The University of New Orleans (UNO), the urban research university of the State of
Louisiana , provides essential support for the educational, economic, cultural, and
social well being of the culturally rich, diverse New Orleans metropolitan area. Located
in an international city, the university serves as an important link between Louisiana
and both the nation and the world. The university strategically serves the needs of
the region through its undergraduate and graduate programs and through mutually beneficial
collaborations with public and private bodies whose missions and goals are consistent
with and supportive of UNO's teaching as well as its scholarly and community service
The figure above depicts the conceptual framework (CF) for the professional education
programs in the COEHD. Our conceptual framework, the theory-practice interaction model,
permeates the programs that prepare candidates for professional roles in school settings.
As candidates progress through their professional studies, they are introduced to
formal theories and concepts that are validated by research, which, along with their
personally held beliefs and assumptions, informs their professional practice. As candidates
engage in various clinical and field experiences that are included in their programs
of study, observation and study of professional practices inform and refine the educational
theories and concepts they construct. Our goal is to have our candidates internalize
the theory-practice interaction model as they develop into reflective practitioners
who are constantly reassessing the educational theories, beliefs, and assumptions
In addition, we in the COEHD regularly revisit the formal and informal theories to
which we subscribe as we reflect on the feedback that we receive from candidates who
complete our programs, as well as from the professional educators, family members,
and community personnel who work with our candidates in clinical and field experiences.
This continuous input helps us to better prepare our candidates to be highly effective
The COEHD incorporates a three dimensional model within the CF. This model includes
three constructs: levels, roles and responsibilities, and themes. This three dimensional
model is conceptualized by the cubic figure in the center of the graphic image.
The first construct refers to two program levels: initial and advanced. Initial level
programs include all programs of study resulting in initial teaching certification.
This level includes the undergraduate degree program as well as the Master of Arts
in Teaching (M.A.T.), each of which results in initial certification. Advanced level
programs include all programs that result in additional (add-on) certifications or an advanced degree in the field of education. This level
includes masters (M.Ed.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) programs as well as the aforementioned
advanced/add-on certification options.
Roles and Responsibilities
The second construct, roles and responsibilities, refers to the tasks and responsibilities
assumed by educators in order to be effective in terms of student learning and school
improvement. Three sets of roles, one for each key school career addressed by the
COEHD, are included in the framework. The roles of effective teachers were identified
via a review of the various Specialized Professional Associations (SPA) that inform
the standards for the multiple Teacher Education certification areas offered by the
college and state standards. The roles for Educational Leaders are aligned with the
Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC). The standards associated with the
Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
were used to develop the roles for Counselor Educators.
The roles are primarily used to form a framework to assist candidates in reflecting
on their professional practice and the outcomes resulting from their work with students
and schools. These roles are used in two ways: 1) to critique candidate performance
by determining the specific roles in which he/she engaged to bring about a specific
outcome, and 2) to identify the next steps to take in order to extend current work
or engage in an improvement initiative. The role framework provides support for the
program of study to move beyond a competency based program in which specific performances
are demonstrated one time to verify knowledge and skills, to a performance based program
in which specific knowledge and skills are used in different combinations based on
the presenting need of the student and setting. Following are the roles that support
teachers, educational leaders, and counselors to be Reflective Practitioners:
Roles and Responsibilities of Professionals in Teacher Education
Design and Deliver Instruction. Effective teachers assess student performance to determine
current levels of performance, learning styles, and appropriate goals for instruction.
Teachers use this information to develop comprehensive lesson plans. Teachers use
a variety of methods and instructional strategies to deliver instruction to PK-12
Advocate for Children, Services and Supports. Effective teachers are able to recognize
a need for advocacy when the welfare of the student is at risk or a need to address
social justice issues is identified. Teachers are able to engage in direct advocacy
efforts on behalf of a student or to support others, including parents and family
members, to engage in advocacy efforts.
- Manage Time, Tasks and Environments . Effective teachers arrange classroom and instructional
environments to foster optimum student learning and performance. Teachers schedule
instructional time effectively and plan for transitions among activities to facilitate
efficiency. Teachers arrange instructional tasks in accordance with student and instructional
- Collaborate to Support Group Practice. Effective teachers use teaming skills to work
in collaboration with other educators, family members, and others to address student
learning and school performance. Teachers are able to convene team meetings, support
collaborative practice, and determine responsibilities for team members to complete
planning, implementation, and evaluation activities.
- Use Inquiry to Inform Practice. Effective teachers use a variety of inquiry strategies
to identify effective practices. Teachers utilize technology, professional associations,
and peer information to inform practice.
- Improve Classroom, School and System Practice. Effective teachers assess the effectiveness
of instructional and improvement strategies using a variety of methods. Teachers adopt
strategies proven effective for long term implementation at the student, classroom,
campus, or district level. Teachers disseminate positive practices to peers, administrators,
and parents/family members.
- Establish and support vision. School leaders engage the school community in developing
and maintaining a student-centered vision for education which forms the basis for
school goals and guides the preparation of students as effective, lifelong learners
in a pluralistic society.
- Support effective teaching and learning. School leaders use a knowledge of teaching
and learning in working collaboratively with the faculty and staff to implement effective
and innovative practices which engage students in meaningful and challenging learning
- Manage the school environment. School leaders promote the success of all students
by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe and
orderly learning environment.
- Improve school and system practice. School leaders work with the school community
to review data from multiple sources to establish challenging standards, monitor progress,
and foster the continuous growth of all students.
- Implement professional development. School leaders work collaboratively with the school
faculty and staff to plan and implement professional development activities that promote
both individual and organizational growth and lead to improved teaching and learning.
- Build school and community relations. School leaders use an understanding of the culture
of the community to create and sustain mutually supportive school-community relations.
- Align practice with ethical standards. School leaders demonstrate honesty, integrity,
and fairness to guide school programs in an ethical manner.
Roles and Responsibilities of Professionals in Counselor Education
- Design, implement, monitor, and evaluate programs. Counselors develop effective and
comprehensive programs which incorporate an awareness of various systems that affect
students, school, and home.
- Advocate for children, services, and supports. Counselors are effective advocates
for students, families, and school communities.
- Provide individual, group, and family counseling. Counselors promote school success
as measured by the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students.
- Offer career and academic guidance. Counselors utilize developmental approaches to
assist all students and parents at points of educational transition for all students.
- Collaborate to support group practice. Counselors link multiple stakeholders in the
school and community to effect positive change using strategies that are grounded
in the interaction of practice and theory.
- Consult with teachers and parents/legal guardians. Counselors act as a resource regarding
a variety of issues that pertain to the developmental needs of all students.
UNO program of study includes four key themes of professional knowledge and skills
for school career candidates. The four themes are threaded throughout the program
of study rather than being addressed in a single course or experience. The four themes
integrated throughout the program are:
- Assessment - Candidates must be able to use multiple approaches to assess the needs
of students and programs.
- Communication - Candidates must be effective communicators to be successful educators.
- Diversity - Candidates must be able to meet the needs of students representing diverse
needs and backgrounds.
- Technology - Candidates must be able to utilize technology to enhance teaching, classroom
management, and student performance.
Changes in Conceptual Framework
The Conceptual Framework has evolved as a part of redesign efforts mandated by the
state's Joint Commission on Educational Excellence that mandated program reviews and
revision. Prior to the modification of the conceptual framework, a team of faculty
attended professional development sessions, hosted by NCATE, on writing a conceptual
framework. Using funds from a Board of Regents enhancement grant, input was received
from university faculty in the COEHD, College of Liberal Arts, and the College of
Sciences, school district leadership and teaching personnel, and other community members.
The contribution of these stakeholders was used to identify the key performances associated
with effective educators. The CF was expanded from its focus on theory-practice interaction
to include other components to support a performance-based model of teacher education.
The following groups of UNO teacher educators and school personnel have shaped the
The Teacher Quality Task Force
- Teacher Education Council (TEC)
- The COEHD Administrative Council
- The Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- PK-16 Task Force
The program of study must move beyond simply aligning specific competencies with specific
courses. With a shared community partnerships in the schools and agencies, we want
to support our candidates in the repeated use of competencies with in different ways
according to the changing demands of students, teaching, and school environments.
This model ensures that our teachers, school leaders, and counselors can produce effective
outcomes for their students and school leaders for the schools in which they work.
Role focused. A performance based program should focus on teachers, school leaders,
and counselors being competent in performing the multiple roles associated with effective
teaching, leading a school, and counseling..
Thematic content. The program of study is designed for key content related to teaching,
leading a school, and counseling performance to be addressed at multiple points rather
than in singular courses.
Sequenced field activities. Opportunity to practice targeted competencies in schools
is critical to a performance based program. An effective program of study includes
well-crafted field experiences which increase in demand and complexity as a candidate
moves through the program.
Authentic evaluation. The UNO teacher, school leader, and counselor program (s) utilizes
a professional portfolio as the key tool for evaluating effectiveness and content
mastery. Portfolio review takes place at distinct points during the program of study
in order to identify both professional strengths and areas of need.
Shared induction. The UNO teacher education program is designed to align with the
requirements of the New Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LaTAAP) which is
designed by the LDE as a part of the certification process to provide induction support
to new teachers.
In the past decade, almost every initial and advanced school career program has been
redesigned by the faculty with community input. Much attention has been paid to align
course content, field experiences, and candidate assessments included in each program
of study. Each program area completed an alignment audit using a standards matrix
to ensure that the three programs of study components identified above were aligned
with national and state knowledge and performance standards.
The TEC, the PK-16 Task Force, and the faculty hold regular meetings to ensure that
course content, field experiences, and candidate assessment activities are coherent
and consistent with the CF of the unit. Faculty members have also developed course
syllabi to reflect alignment with the CF. Another indicator that the programs and
faculty have coherence with the CF is seen in the design of the unit assessment system
that aligns with the key themes embedded in the CF of the unit. A final indicator
of program coherence is the fact that the governance structure for programs was modified
since the last NCATE visit to assign one faculty member responsibilities as Program
Coordinator for each certification/degree program. In this role, the Program Coordinator
supports collaborative efforts among faculty members to ensure that course content,
field experiences, and candidate assessment activities are designed and implemented
in a coherent manner.
Professional Commitments and Dispositions
Becoming Reflective Practitioners requires candidates to demonstrate the professional
commitments and dispositions of effective educators. Our CF is grounded in the importance
of developing a professional commitment to improving educational outcomes for students
and schools. The initial and advanced programs focus on ensuring that candidates have
the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to create a positive impact on students, schools,
and communities. The role framework included in the CF for each school career area
supports candidates in developing their professional commitment to improved practice.
A second demonstration of professional commitments is represented in the work of the
faculty to redesign the initial TEP and the advanced teacher education and school
leadership programs to reflect a performance-based model. Each program has been revised
to ensure that candidates meet unit, state, and national standards associated with
The UNO program of study supports eight key dispositions for teacher candidates that
were developed concurrently with the redesign of programs and the development of the
unit assessment system.
Dispositions of Teachers
- Values and respects individual differences
- Exhibits intrinsic motivation
- Engages in inquiry, reflection, and self-assessment
- Supports the premise that all students can learn
- Practices and models ethical and professional behavior
- Commits to lifelong learning and professional development
- Communicates effectively
- Engages in collaborative practices with all stakeholders
The program of study is designed based on the premise that candidates develop their
professional dispositions over time. This development is facilitated by new knowledge
gained in coursework as well as new experiences gained via the field assignments associated
with coursework and practice. The design of the dispositions assessment tool reflects
a developmental model as the indicators used as evidence of each disposition become
more complex with each review.
Dispositions of Educational Leaders
- The principal believes in, values, and commits to a vision of education.
- The principal believes in, values, and commits to learning excellence.
- The principal believes in, values, and commits to quality organizational planning.
- The principal believes in, values, and commits to ongoing school improvement.
- The principal believes in, values, and commits to professional development.
- The principal believes in and values fostering school-community relations.
- The principal believes in, values, and commits to professional ethics.
Dispositions of Counselors
- Counselors demonstrate a willingness to engage in professional interactions with persons
from diverse cultures.
- Counselors demonstrate an ability to share knowledge and resources with others and
provide feedback in an appropriate manner.
- Counselors recognize the limits of power in a counseling relationship.
- Counselors convey an interest in the welfare of others.
- Counselors demonstrate a willingness to address personal prejudices and biases.
- Counselors address issues of conflict in appropriate ways and recognize that conflict
may be an area of growth.
- Counselors demonstrate a willingness to respect viewpoints which differ from his/her
- Counselors maintain a balance in life and are alert to signs of stress.
- Counselors recognize the causal link between personal behavior and consequences.
- Counselors maintain client/colleague/peer confidentiality as defined by the ACA Code
Commitment to Diversity
The unit's commitment to diversity is expressed by the fact that it is one of the
four themes in the conceptual framework. As a theme, diversity is addressed at multiple
points in the program of study. The concept of diversity also guides course content,
placement for field experiences, and candidate assessment. The program of study develops
competencies of the candidates to assess learning styles of PK-12 students, use multiple
strategies to deliver instruction, incorporate multicultural materials into instruction,
and use multiple strategies to assess PK-12 student performance. All programs of study
include content and experiences related to diversity and the redesigned undergraduate
program includes all coursework required to gain an additional teaching certificate
in special education.
The commitment to diversity is also supported by the dispositions selected for support
and assessment. Faculty and others in the professional community have opportunities
to assess candidates to ensure that they demonstrate the professional dispositions
including that they value and respect individual differences and support the premise
that all students can learn.
Our commitment to diversity is also demonstrated by membership of the faculty of
the COEHD and the population of candidates enrolled in its programs of study. Indeed,
our location in New Orleans provides multiple opportunities to ensure that candidates
expand their knowledge of multiple cultures and demonstrate their ability to create
a positive learning impact for PK-12 students from diverse backgrounds.
Commitment to Technology
The commitment of UNO to technology is also demonstrated by the fact that technology
is a theme in the CF. Thus, technology is threaded across: 1) course content, 2) field
experiences completed by candidates, and 3) the unit assessment system.
As initial candidates progress through their respective programs of study, they apply
technology in three ways: 1) personal use of technology, 2) use of technology to support
instruction, and 3) use of technology to manage classroom operations. Candidates learn
to become informed consumers of web-based information, to utilize technology in the
design and delivery of instruction, to communicate with faculty and students using
technology, and to use technology to track student performance. Advanced candidates
also address the use of technology to meet the needs of PK-12 students and schools.
All candidates utilize Blackboard technology within coursework and build electronic
professional portfolios using Live Text.
Candidate Proficiencies Aligned with Professional and State Standards
Throughout the redesign process, attention has been paid to align the UNO school career
programs with professional and state standards. The roles and themes included in the
conceptual framework derived from a process that included the INTASC standards and
the LCET, which are the standards endorsed by the LDE for teacher assessment and certification.
Matrices were completed by faculty during the redesign process to align all programs
with relevant national and state standards as well as the key performances in the
conceptual framework. Initial program coursework, field work, and candidate assessment
activities were aligned with the LCET, the standards of the appropriate SPAs, and
the conceptual framework. Advanced program coursework, field work, and candidate assessment
activities were aligned with the standards of the appropriate SPA, the National Board
for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and state standards where appropriate.
The unit assessment system and the various program assessment components, including
the rubrics used to assess candidate progress through portfolios, field activities,
and capstone experiences, document candidate attainment of professional standards
as expressed by the unit, the state, and national professional organizations.