Ed.S. Career and Technology Education Program Review 2005-2006

Purpose of the Review

The review was conducted to assess the quality of the Ed.S. in Career and Technical Education degree program as part of the ongoing seven-year review cycle of every UW-Stout program.

Degree:  Ed.S. in Career and Technical Education

Program Director:  Dr. Howard Lee

PRC Consultant(s):  Heidi Rabeneck, Stephen Shumate, Haiyan Tian, and Debra Homa

Committee Findings:  The Planning and Review Committee recommends continuation of the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science program for the following seven years and implementation of committee recommendations.


The Ed.S. in Career and Technical Education is designed for teachers and administrators in secondary career and technical school-to-work programs, post-secondary technical or community colleges, and instructors in business and industry. This degree was initiated in 1968 and is the third in a sequence of degree programs designed for educators who work with school-to-work, and career and technical education programs. This program includes 36 semester hours of graduate course credit beyond the master’s degree. Students may enroll in one of two available concentrations: industry and technology or professional education. Students are able to create special emphases through their selection of elective credits within these two concentration areas. In 2002, an articulation agreement with the University of Minnesota was developed to fully transfer all 36 credits to either a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in Work, Community and Family Education. A majority of the students enrolled in this program are interested in pursuing this terminal degree. Providing access to this type of program comes with a cost. It takes a considerable amount of time and money to recruit students for an off-campus program. With reductions in support on campus, the program director typically does all recruitment and marketing efforts in person. Currently, the program director is limited due to the fact that the position was reduced from 50% down to 25% and Dr. Lee is currently teaching 9 credits, but according to Appendix G of the program director’s self-study report, enrollments have remained relatively consistent since August of 2003, showing a strong demand for this program off campus.

Process Followed for Current Review

The PRC Chair met with the dean, program director and chair of the primary department to discuss the review process.  The PRC consultants also met with the program director at various intervals to review the procedures and offer assistance.

Under guidelines developed by the PRC, data regarding several aspects of the program were collected from students, key instructors within and outside the department, program committee members and program graduates through surveys.  The data were analyzed and returned to the program director and PRC members.

There were ten students who participated in the survey. In addition, one key instructor within the department and four key instructors from outside the department responded, along with four program committee members and two program graduates. Using this data, the program director completed the self-study report.  The consultants then wrote a draft document summarizing the consultants’ analysis of these surveys, institutional data, and the program director’s self-study report that was distributed to the PRC with recommendations as deemed appropriate. On December 2, 2005, the program director presented a summary of his report to the committee and had an opportunity to address concerns. The Dean from the School of Education was also available to answer questions. After the committee discussed and approved the consultant-based report, it was then forwarded to the dean for response. The PRC reviewed the dean’s response, approved the recommendation report, and forwarded the report to the Faculty Senate.

Previous Review

The previous PRC review of the Ed.S. Career and Technical Education program was conducted during academic year 1998-99. That report was written by Ana VandeLinde and Susan Foxwell and the committee’s recommendations as well as the applicable responses are submitted below:

Previous Consultants’ Recommendations Response

  1. Study the need for an additional statistics consultant. If this is not possible, the program should look into requiring students to take additional research/statistics classes so they can perform their own statistical analysis.

    The program director and faculty feel that additional coursework is not a solution. They felt that additional support was needed in the University Computer Center for technical assistance to support graduate students’ data analysis.

  2. Study the feasibility of offering the program through the Internet, distance education, or other means of delivery to attract more students.

    The Program Advisory Committee is suited to accomplish this task.

  3. Develop a plan for the succession of the program director.

    This is an ongoing discussion at the weekly Dean’s Council meetings. The Dean’s office will look into this position and evaluate alternatives. 

Recommendations for the Program Director

  1. Work with the advisory committee to increase flexibility in the program to address the student concerns about taking “too many” courses outside their concentration. When advertising the program clearly states that coursework covers both mathematics and computer science.
  2. Seek recruiting opportunities to increase overall enrollment and female enrollment in the program.
  3. Continue efforts to address the dynamic software and hardware needs of the program.
  4. There is a need for students in all concentrations to apply knowledge in the work environment.  Explore the possibility of providing a capstone experience for each concentration or ensure that the Math Models courses are serving all students.

Program Review

Program Strengths

  1. The articulation with the University of Minnesota is very helpful and advantageous for the Ed.S. students.

    Student survey, program director’s self-study report, and advisory committee survey

  2. Individualized study allows students to grow in their individual directions.

    Student survey

  3. The students have the flexibility in taking online courses, summer courses, night/weekend courses.

    Student survey and program director’s self-study report

  4. The salary of graduates with an Ed.S. or Ph.D. degree are on the same pay scale within Wisconsin.

    Program director’s self-study report

  5. Strong program director/student relationship provides excellent direction for students whether they move forward in education or pursue industry experience.

    Student survey, key instructor survey, advisory committee survey, and program director’s self-study report

Issues of Concern

  1. Some Ed.S. students are not able to enroll in the courses they desire due to the times or format they are offered (face-to-face vs. online, evening vs. daytime offerings), or they have to take the courses through another institution and transfer those credits to UW-Stout.

    Program director’s self-study report and student survey

  2. Ed.S. students are full-time working adults and more online courses are needed to accommodate their schedules.

    Program director’s self-study report and student survey

  3. Some faculty members who are knowledgeable in the use of distance learning technology and the Internet are not always available to teach the courses needed by students in the Ed.S. program.

    Program director’s self-study report and student survey

  4. Quality and consistency of instruction. Due to the format of this program, and a shortage of qualified faculty on campus, there is a reliance on adjunct instructors to teach the courses. This has created some inconsistency in the program offerings. The program director is currently working on a system to look at adjunct instructors and the hiring process to eliminate this inconsistency.

    Program director’s self-study report and student survey

Recommendations for the Program Director and Coordinating Chair of the School of Education

  1. It is recommended that the coordinating chair work with the program director to plan out a course rotation schedule to allow for students who are not able to enroll in courses they wish to take in a timely fashion.
  2. It is recommended that the coordinating chair work with the program director to make more courses available online to meet the needs of the full-time working adult learners participating in this program.
  3. It is recommended that the coordinating chair work with the program director to train program faculty members who are not currently knowledgeable in the use of distance learning technology and the Internet for more readily available course scheduling. An alternative is to assess the need for hiring additional faculty to accommodate the need for more distance education and online course offerings.
  4. Continue to work with the program director to improve the process of hiring faculty and adjunct instructors to keep the quality of the program competitive.

Recommendations for the Dean of the School of Education

  1. It is recommended that the dean work with and support the coordinating chair and program director in the above mentioned recommendations.