Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. It involves both gathering and using information to modify and improve student outcomes. Assessment is the mechanism used to keep standards high while assuring that candidates acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective music educators.
This plan is designed to accomplish an ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of many aspects of the institution: the curriculum, recruiting, teaching, and the musical growth of our candidates. This plan, which is designed primarily to achieve long range assessment of the institution, although it will, in some cases also indicate short term trends, is a combination of instruments that have long been a tradition in the College and new instruments from within and without the institution that enable us to more effectively evaluate and compare our candidates, curriculum, and the results of our policies.
Admission to the College
Admission standards must be sufficiently high to predict the prospect of success in the program. Diversities of previous education, background, and interests of applicants are considered in assessments of potential as appropriate to the specific purposes of the program.
Each master of music education and certification candidate is assessed for admission to the teacher education program through a series of proficiency exams. These tests are not course dependent, but are a measure of the candidate’s preparation during their years of study in their respective undergraduate degree programs and measure a candidate’s musical readiness and basic skills level.
Admission to Student Teaching
The student teaching advanced field experience is the final phase of the teacher education program at VanderCook College of Music. Student teaching is designed to allow for practical application of integrated knowledge and pedagogical approaches to the teaching and learning of music. The candidate must be able to lead students to competency, apply music knowledge and skills in teaching situations, and integrate music instruction into the process of P-12 education.
Completion of Student Teaching
Upon completion of the student teaching experience, the candidate will have acquired essential competencies valued by the profession: ability to teach music at various levels and in a variety of settings; an understanding of child growth and development; the ability to assess aptitudes; knowledge of current methods appropriate to specific teaching situations; and an understanding of evaluative techniques.
Graduate Program Completion
Breadth of competence is characterized by the ability to work in one or more fields of music with a broad range of knowledge, skills, and perspectives. To this end, VanderCook strives to successfully develop attitudes and life skills critical to any functioning adult, and to aide in the exercise of intellectual inquiry for a successful life in a diverse society. The graduate curriculum, master’s project, and comprehensive reviews are designed to cover the major field of study, particularly as defined by the degree title. A candidate is required to demonstrate academic achievement at the completion of coursework and during the development of proficiencies.
Degree Conferment and Recommendation for Entitlement
The master of music education degree is conferred upon the MMEd/Certification candidate once all required coursework and exit assessments have been successfully completed. Entitlement, the notification sent to the State of Illinois by the College, attests to the fact that the candidate has successfully completed VanderCook’s state-approved teacher education program and has passed the required state certification exams.