Criteria for Identifying Exemplary Programs

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Criteria for Identifying Exemplary Programs

In determining an exemplary program, the evaluation criteria will include program excellence, educational significance, evidence of effectiveness and success, and replicability/usefulness to others.

A. Program Excellence

Standard 1:  Learning goals and objectives are clear, challenging, and measurable.

Indicator 1a. Goals and objectives are clearly stated, realistic, and measurable.
Indicator 1b. Goals and objectives are based on current research and successful practice.
Indicator 1c. Goals and objectives reflect high expectations for learner achievement.
Indicator 1d. Goals and objectives are aligned with the mission and vision of the institution.
Indicator 1e. Goals and objectives emphasize higher-order thinking skills and problem solving.

Standard 2:  The program content aligns with learning goals and is accurate, current, and relevant.

Indicator 2a. The program is technologically current; provides opportunities for learners to use state-of-the-art technology within their industry area; and reflects the impact of technological advances within each chosen field.
Indicator 2b. The learning environment reflects a positive climate.
Indicator 2c. Curriculum and instruction are culturally and ethnically sensitive, free of bias, and reflect diverse learner interests and participation.
Indicator 2d. The content and instruction emphasize development and understanding of all aspects of industry and the world of work, and include work-based learning experiences.

Standard 3:  The program is aligned with academic standards.

Indicator 3a. The program goals, content, and assessments are aligned and integrated with appropriate local, state, and national academic standards.
Indicator 3b. The program ensures that students are prepared with academic knowledge and technical skills and are ready to transition into further education and/or the workplace.

Standard 4:  The program is aligned with industry standards and validated by Virginia business/industry representatives.

Indicator 4a. The program goals, content, and assessments are aligned and integrated with appropriate state or national occupational or industry skill standards.
Indicator 4b. The program is validated by Virginia business/industry representatives.
Indicator 4c. The program goals, content, and assessments include Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills and other appropriate employability skills and competencies.
Indicator 4d. The program is certified or recognized by industry, professional, and/or trade associations or state licensing agencies and can lead to postsecondary degrees, industry certifications, licensure, and other recognized credentials.

Standard 5:  Collaborations maintained with internal and external organizations as well as stakeholders who serve to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of the program.

Indicator 5a. Strong, visible partnerships with measurable results are established and maintained with business, industry, and community collaborators. Various groups may become involved with the general program and curriculum planning, workplace learning experience development, and program improvement strategies.
Indicator 5b. Partnership agreements designed to address or meet various program goals have been developed and are being implemented effectively.
Indicator 5c. There is evidence of support from leaders from within and outside the organization.
Indicator 5d. Collaboration results in articulated and well-developed career pathways at the secondary and postsecondary levels.

B. Educational Significance

Standard 6:  The program addresses important individual, societal, and business/industry needs.

Indicator 6a. The program prepares learners to become productive citizens, leaders, and lifelong learners.
Indicator 6b. The program contributes to local and regional workforce development and to the community's economic growth and development.
Indicator 6c. The program promotes equity and equal access for all learners, including members of special populations and students preparing for non-traditional careers.

Standard 7:  The program contributes to educational excellence for all learners and leads to other positive results or outcomes.

Indicator 7a. The program contributes to whole school or systemic reform.
Indicator 7b.The program maintains an atmosphere of mutual respect and high expectations for all learners.
Indicator 7c. The program contributes to increases in teacher/faculty knowledge of effective teaching and learning theory and practice.

Standard 8:  The program design is innovative, dynamic, and reflective of current research.

Indicator 8a. The program design includes flexible delivery, career clusters and pathways, academic and technical integration, learner credentialing based on competency attainment vs. seat time, customization to meet individual student and/or employer needs.
Indicator 8b. The instructional methods include authentic instruction and assessment, problem- and project-based learning, mentoring, and other practices that develop students' critical thinking skills.
Indicator 8c. Professional development for the faculty and staff addresses identified needs for program improvement.

C. Evidence of Effectiveness and Success

Standard 9:  The program makes a measurable difference in learning for all program participants.

Indicator 9a. Learners demonstrate competency attainment in required academic, technical, and employability skills (Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills), as evidenced by recognized standards-based assessments.
Indicator 9b. Learners are able to perform acquired skills as evidenced by licensure, certification, credentialing, proficiency tests, and/or other recognized assessments.
Indicator 9c. Students successfully transition into further education or training, the workforce, or military service.
Indicator d. The gap in achievement among groups of students is narrowed.

Standard 10:  The program exceeds identified performance goals.

Indicator 10a. Program data show that it exceeds local, state, and federal identified performance measures.

Standard 11:  A systematic evaluation process ensures the program's continuous improvement.

Indicator 11a. The program evaluates learner and program performance using valid outcome measures.
Indicator 11b. The program solicits external stakeholders' feedback for program improvement.
Indicator 11c. The program solicits learner feedback to improve the program.
Indicator 11d. The program solicits staff feedback in identifying needs and assessing continuous improvement strategies.
Indicator 11e. Formative and summative information is collected and used to improve programs.

Standard 12:  The whole program, the process, or significant elements of the program can be successfully implemented, adopted, or adapted in other educational settings.

Indicator 12a. The program has clear instructions and sufficient resources to ensure it can be replicated.
Indicator 12b. The program has sufficient documentation and specifies the conditions and resources needed for implementation.
Indicator 12c. The program's best practices are shared proactively and made available for duplication and adaptation in other settings.


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