Skip to main content

Secondary Program Assessment

Assessing the Secondary Teacher Education Program Using Student Outcomes

The evaluation of the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) is based on measures of student performance. The performances that are measured on the STEP are based on the Utah Effective Teaching Standards, which were derived from the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) standards. The Utah Effective Teaching Standards are

Standard 1: Learner Development

The teacher understands cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical areas of student development. 

Standard 2: Learning Differences

The teacher understands individual learner differences and cultural and linguistic diversity.

Standard 3: Learning Environments 

The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Standard 4: Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structure of the discipline.

Standard 5: Assessment

The teacher uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, monitor learner progress, guide planning and instruction, and determine whether the outcomes described in content standards have been

Standard 6: Instructional Planning

The teacher plans instruction to support students in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, Utah Core Standards, instructional best practices, and the community context.

Standard 7: Instructional Strategies

The teacher uses various instructional strategies to ensure that all learners develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and build skills to apply and extend knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard 8: Reflection and Continuous Growth

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard 9: Leadership and Collaboration

Is a leader who engages collaboratively with learners, families, colleagues, and community members to build a shared vision and supportive professional culture focused on student growth and success.

Standard 10: Professional and Ethical Behavior

The teacher demonstrates the highest standard of legal, moral, and ethical conduct as specified in Utah State Board Rule R277-515.

Three unique performance assessments were developed from the conceptual framework of the ten Utah Effective Teaching Standards standards. These assignments allow on-going evaluation of student performance and progress as well as data for the evaluation of the program. The three assessments are described below.


Students who enter the secondary education program develop a professional portfolio which is an integral tool in the assessment of their professional performance as a teacher. Students select materials from their professional education courses, content courses in their major/minor, and clinical experiences, to demonstrate successful performance of knowledge, skills, and attitudes reflected in the 10 teaching standards in the conceptual framework. In every secondary education course, students are shown the relationship between course work, the conceptual framework, and the portfolio. Students are taught how to analyze the materials they select and how to write a rationale explaining why the artifact fits the standard(s). Students must complete the portfolio before entering student teaching. The reviews of the portfolios allow faculty to identify areas of the program that are successfully preparing students to perform as teachers.

Student Teaching Final Evaluation

The Student Teaching final evaluation uses the same Utah Effective Teaching standards as the professional portfolio. The assessment describes levels of performance (preservice proficient, approaching, developing, not effective) for each indicator in each standard. The evaluation form is completed by both the cooperating teacher and university supervisor at mid-term as a formative evaluation and at the end of student teaching as a summative evaluation of each student’s performance. 

Performance Surveys of First Year Teachers

While the previous sources of data are compiled as students complete the secondary education program, the performance surveys of first year teachers are designed to gather data about the students’ performance after the first year of teaching. Surveys are sent to the graduates of the secondary education program and their principals at the end of their first year of teaching. The surveys provide data as to how well beginning teachers perform in relation to the ten Utah Effective Teaching standards. Information obtained from the surveys provides information for the evaluation of the secondary education program.