As a fellowship EdQ hosted for CSU educator preparation data professionals in 2019-20 wrapped up, one message from participants was clear: members were thriving on their new-found connections with one another. After a year-long experience of shared learning and resource exchange called the Data and Improvement Fellowship (DIF), the fellows unanimously voted to create a more permanent structure for the group, expand its reach, and take ownership of its development.
A Summer of Planning and Design
Over the summer of 2020, volunteers from the fellowship collaborated to design an ongoing network for data professionals. Planning committee members Kyle Landin (CSU San Marcos), Isabel Vallejo (San Jose State), Nina Potter (San Diego State), Keeley Lewis (Cal State Long Beach) and Virginia McMunn (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) worked with the EdQ team to develop the vision, objectives and design for the network based on feedback collected from the larger group. Group members named the community the “Ed Prep Data and Improvement Network” (EDIN).
EDIN’s vision is to establish a permanent network for CSU educator preparation data professionals in partnership with EdQ. The network is open to anyone working in a CSU educator preparation program (EPP) who is heavily involved in the work of collecting outcomes data, analyzing and developing visualizations, or facilitating the assessment and improvement culture in their programs. The network will serve as a conduit for professional collaboration and learning as well as a collective resource of knowledge and influence across the CSU. The purpose of EDIN is to:
A Year of Challenge and Growth
Despite the challenges of navigating shifting priorities due to the COVID pandemic, EDIN members met virtually throughout the year to meet their objectives. Activities were designed to focus across three sub-committees. Elected members led each group with an EdQ representative, established objectives for the year, and facilitated each meeting. Network members were asked to join at least one sub-committee and encouraged to attend meetings of as many sub-committees as they wished. The full group met twice to hear reports from each of the subcommittees and draw connections across the work. Five new members joined the group and were on-boarded with the help of a “buddy” from the original cohort.
The Accreditation Support subcommittee shared processes and planning strategies to fulfill the requirements of each of the CTC accreditation stages. These included ideas on how to improve the collection of data and metrics relevant to education preparation programs, campus accreditation site examples, and discussions with CSU expert accreditation reviewers.
The Improvement Culture subcommittee worked together to investigate and share practices that help build a ‘data forward’ culture in educator preparation. Members shared about effective data visualizations, collaboration structures, routines, and protocols that help engage faculty, gain their trust in the data, and encourage an improvement rather than compliance mindset.
Technology and Software
The Technology and Software subcommittee focused on cataloging the technology solutions currently used across the CSU for tracking fieldwork placements. The subcommittee analyzed results of a system-wide scan and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of various fieldwork tracking systems currently in place. The group also reviewed proposed enhancements to PeopleSoft and considered the impact of these enhancements in the area of fieldwork tracking.
On to 2021
While the three sub-committee themes will remain as the anchor for topics to be addressed, a new framework and design has been proposed based on member feedback. All meetings will now include the full group, they will be more frequent, and they will focus on members sharing problems of practice, discussion of shared readings and data digs. By making space for peer consulting around problems of practice, the group will be encouraged to become comfortable with sharing problems they don’t quite know how to solve yet. "You may just be an expert in how much you're struggling with something, and that's okay," says Virginia McMunn, Assessment and Accreditation Coordinator at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
New Members Wanted
If you are a data professional supporting a school or college of education by collecting outcomes data, analyzing and developing visualizations, and facilitating the assessment and improvement culture in their college/school, there is now a vibrant community for you to join.
If you’d like to join the group, please fill out this form. For any additional questions, contact Dr. Ginger Adams Simon, EdQ Data and Improvement Coach: email@example.com.