Workload policies are governed by the university administration and include responsibility for teaching, service to the university, service to the community, and professional development. Full-time faculty whose primary responsibility is instruction, teach a total of 24 undergraduate or 18 graduate hours per year. Part-time faculty are contracted to teach half-time, limiting teaching to six semester hours. Adjuncts are employed on an as-needed basis to teach up to two courses per semester.
Contractual obligations of full-time faculty entail a work week of at least 40 hours, often including clinical and field supervision, conferencing with and advising students, preparing classes, developing curriculum, fulfilling accreditation-related duties, participating on university committees, and meeting other responsibilities assigned by the dean and chairs. All faculty are required to advise and register candidates, with numbers of advisees evenly distributed among faculty. Secondary education majors are advised by faculty from both their content areas and education.
Full-time faculty are issued nine month contracts while program directors, including the Director of School Counseling, are issued ten month contracts, which include a one-course reduction for accreditation/administrative responsibilities. The Chair of the Department of Education teaches one class per semester and meets accreditation/administrative responsibilities under a 12 month contract.
Faculty engaged in the supervision of student teaching and clinical practices may be assigned responsibilities for six candidates during one of two student teaching/clinical placements; this load equals to one 3 credit-hour course. Assignments are made first to full-time faculty, and on occasions when the full-time faculty members have reached maximum course load, qualified adjuncts are contracted.
In addition to student teaching, field experiences are incorporated into EDUC 201 and 301. Faculty who teach these courses are responsible for both the classroom and field supervision components. On the graduate level, field supervision is incorporated into Special Education Practicum, SPED 513, Practicum, PSYC 579, and Clinical, PSYC 583. The department chair assigns supervision duties to faculty. When supervisory duties could result in faculty overload, the chair may assign a qualified adjunct as an alternate supervisor. The unit’s Director of Field Experiences maintains contractual agreements with 24 school corporations and facilitates an average of 123 field placements annually.
Unit workload policies are consistent with university policies and afford faculty time to engage in teaching, scholarship, service to the university and community, and professional development. Student advising, course design, and assessment are components of contractual agreements. Full-time faculty teach classes and advise candidates. The Director of Field Experiences, a part-time (.05) faculty member, advises candidates as does the unit’s full-time Licensing Advisor/UAS Coordinator.
Class size limits are generally set at 30 but, depending on the nature of the course, may be set at 15. Web based courses set enrollment at 20. Introduction to Teaching in Inclusive Settings, EDUC 140, Practicum in Education, EDUC 201, and Advanced Practicum in Education, EDUC 301 have enrollments between 20 and 35 and are co-taught by 2 instructors.
The university recognizes that the quality of teaching and service rests on the faculty member’s role as teacher-scholar, and has adopted the Boyer Model of scholarship as its standard. A range of Boyer Model scholarship activities has been pursued by unit faculty. Activities are documented in the university’s Annual Faculty Scholarship Record (2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009). Examples from the 2008-2009 Record include faculty presentations at the International Education Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, presentations at the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities Conference in Reading, Pennsylvania on Service Learning. Contributions in the Scholarship of Application strand of the Boyer Model include membership in the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) School Counselor Research Network and authorization of a grant with the Indiana Designs Equitable Access to Learning (IDEAL) project.
Collaborative work in the community and in P-12 schools is a strength of the unit and engenders positive professional relationships with area schools and institutions. Evidence of collaborative relationships are addressed in Standard 3 and are located in the Annual Faculty Scholarship Record.
Part-time and adjunct faculty, which includes clinical personnel, are respected for expertise they bring to the unit’s programs. A number of initiatives with these faculty members have been instituted to ensure program integrity, coherence and quality. For instance, the dean has hosted adjunct faculty orientation meetings to facilitate communication among part-time/adjunct faculty and departments. Department chairs work with these faculty to ensure consistent practices and adherence to formal policies. Faculty receive handbooks, course guides, course syllabi and materials, and program matrix charts aligned with standards to promote program coherence. All part-time and adjunct faculty are evaluated by the chair, based on IDEA evaluation instruments and class observations.
The Director of Field Experiences meets with field-based faculty (cooperating teachers) both on campus and in local schools, provides handbooks and vodcasts that orient and update teachers on field/clinical policies and procedures. Candidates have the opportunity to assess the adequacy of the support encountered in clinical placements by cooperating teachers and university supervisors. The Director of School Counseling formally meets with supervisory personnel to evaluate counseling candidates. Counseling candidates have the opportunity to evaluate the adequacy of the support they receive in field/clinical placements.
Support personnel for the unit include: the UAS Manager, Licensing Advisor /UAS Coordinator, and an Administrative Assistant. The Dean of the School of Professional Studies and the Department Chairs continually monitor support personnel to ensure that all requirements are met. In fall 2001 the unit hired an Administrative Assistant/UAS Manager. At that time, the position was divided half-time administrative assistant and half-time UAS Manager. With the escalating demands of Unit Assessment System responsibilities, a half-time UAS Coordinator position was approved in fall 2002. At that point, the unit merged the responsibilities of the licensing advisor and UAS coordinator. As the needs of the unit increased, a full-time secretary position was approved in fall 2003. In fall 2004, USF implemented a five school structure. This implementation consolidated the departments of education, social work, and psychology and counseling into the School of Professional Studies (SOPS). With the formation of SOPS, the unit gained an additional full-time administrative assistant from the Psychology and Counseling and Social Work Departments. In spring 2007, the Dean re-evaluated the work load and demands of the school and eliminated the secretarial position. In March 2008, the effort to support the unit’s assessment system necessitated the addition of a full-time UAS Manager. Finally, with a comprehensive review of duties, the administrative assistant was allocated full-time responsibilities for the SOPS dean and 3 departments.
Additionally, the unit utilizes undergraduate work study students and graduate assistants. In 2009-2010, the unit employs four undergraduate work study students and two graduate assistants, to support the administrative assistant and UAS Manager.
Faculty development expectations are outlined in university policies and are financially supported in the unit’s operating budget. For example, on an annual basis, department chairs and program directors receive $1,200 each for professional development. They are expected to utilize funds to remain current with accreditation expectations and requirements, with issues and trends in their disciplines, and with enhancement of leadership skills. To ensure currency in their disciplines, full-time faculty are allocated $600 annually for professional development activities. Due to the 2008 worldwide economic crisis, professional development funds were reduced by 15% for the 2008-2009 academic year. Nonetheless, three faculty members found funding to attend national conferences and one faculty member presented research at an international conference in Hawaii. As noted above, faculty development funds have been reinstated to their original allocations for the 2009-2010 academic year.