School of Behavioral Sciences and Education: Promotion and Tenure Criteria

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education: Promotion and Tenure Criteria

Overview of Promotion and Tenure Criteria

Candidates for promotion and tenure in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education (BSED) at Penn State Harrisburg are expected to demonstrate high-quality performance in the scholarship of teaching and learning, the scholarship of research and creative accomplishments, and the scholarship of service.  Performance should be consistent with their academic rank and the college’s mission to ensure the effective integration of teaching, research, and service.  The quality of a candidate’s performance is to be demonstrated by multiple criteria appropriate for his or her responsibilities as a faculty member in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education.  In all instances, a candidate’s performance will be evaluated in keeping with the university’s commitment to academic excellence within the context of her or his academic rank, academic field, designated work responsibilities, and access to resources.  A rating shall be provided for each of the three performance areas.  The ratings are unsatisfactory, satisfactory, very good, and excellent. 

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Faculty at Penn State Harrisburg have a relatively heavy teaching commitment. The typical teaching responsibility is 18 credits per academic year, and, where appropriate, should include both undergraduate and graduate classes.  In individual cases, there may be a different teaching load assigned to reflect administrative service, increased research and scholarly responsibilities, or other service or program obligations.  Evaluative components of classroom instruction may include: evidence of the ability to convey subject matter to students and to stimulate their interest, probability for continued growth and improvement, and the ability to maintain academic standards.  As appropriate for individual program needs, supervision of undergraduate and graduate student research and clinical and field experiences are components of teaching. Advising is also considered to be an integral part of teaching responsibilities in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education.  The effectiveness of advising and service to students outside of the classroom is an essential part of the scholarship of teaching.  Faculty in Behavioral Sciences and Education may prepare students in research and practice with attention to high-academic standards as evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In addition, other program support activities, such as active participation in academic program development and in student recruitment and retention processes, are part of the teaching responsibilities for faculty in BSED.

The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments

BSED faculty are responsible for producing research or creative works of high-quality and scholarly significance.  The school values the interdisciplinary nature of the work of its faculty in BSED and the diversity in research philosophies and methodologies.  Because of the complexities involved in performing research in the field (e.g., schools, hospitals, special populations), it is not uncommon for a single publication or creative work to be the accumulation of effort over an extended period of time.           

Faculty are expected to develop an identifiable theme or focus for their scholarly endeavors that will contribute to establishing a reputation of academic excellence. The most important criterion for evaluating the scholarship of research and creative accomplishments is a sustained record of high-quality peer-reviewed publications.  Additional evidence of competence is found in other forms of publication such as books or parts of books with high visibility and impact; presentation of scholarly papers, which may also be published in conference proceedings; and in the development and publication of software or other creative endeavors consistent with one’s field. The quality of the scholarship and rigor of the journals’ peer-review process is of utmost importance.  Applications of research in community settings and technical assistance provided to community and other organizations are further measures of accomplishment.  Where available, external support for one’s research and scholarship through grants or contracts is an indicator of recognized quality and importance of the work.   Evidence of continued professional growth and use of expertise in scholarly outreach are additional sources of accomplishment in this area.  Development of new courses, including service learning and outreach courses, also demonstrates the scholarship of research and creative accomplishments. 

Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession

The service responsibilities of the BSED faculty include participation in University, College, School, and Program affairs and the application of specialized knowledge to the public and profession. Faculty in BSED typically have substantial service responsibilities both within the University and in the community.  All faculty are expected to participate actively in and make meaningful contributions to their academic programs.  By the sixth year review, a record of service should include a balance among Program, School, and College or University service.  The sixth-year review should also include evidence of professional engagement based on faculty expertise. Demonstrated service to his or her profession prior to the sixth year is important because it represents professional impact. Invited or elected professional service is highly valued because it represents another form of professional recognition. Promotion to full professor requires evidence of contribution in a leadership capacity to the College or University and to the profession.

Preparation of the Dossier and Supplemental File

The Director, supported by the Director’s Administrative Support Coordinator, is responsible for preparation of the dossier and supplemental file in consultation with the candidate.  From the time a candidate begins the tenure-track appointment, he or she should keep a written record of and written documentation of all teaching, research, and service activities for the dossier and supplemental file. The dossier is an up-to-date summary of teaching, research, and service activities, and all such activities must be included by the deadline specified by the School Director.  The dossier and supplemental file are not fluid documents, but a record of accomplishments.  Candidates must document any item included in the dossier in the supplemental file.  If an item cannot be documented in the supplemental file, it must be omitted from the dossier.

Criteria for Evaluation of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning includes evidence of the ability to convey subject matter to students; demonstrated competence in teaching and capacity for growth and improvement; ability to maintain academic standards and stimulate the interests of students in the field; and effectiveness of advising and service to students.

The following materials are required in the candidate's promotion and tenure dossier to provide evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:

  1. SRTE scores for items 3 and 4 comprising the University core.
  2. Peer reviews of classroom instruction.
  3. The School Director’s review of classroom instruction.
  4. Service as chair and as committee member for undergraduate and graduate dissertations, theses, papers, and other academic projects as appropriate to meet the needs of individual programs must be listed in the dossier, and documented as needed in the supplemental file.
  5. The School Director’s reflection of the candidate’s summary of student responses to open-ended SRTE questions.

The following materials are required in the candidate's promotion and tenure supplemental file to provide evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:

  1. Course syllabi.
  2. Candidate’s summary of student responses to open-ended SRTE questions.
  3. Copies of complete SRTE scores and comments.

The following are examples of optional materials in the candidate's promotion and tenure supplemental file to support evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:

  1. Evaluative items (e.g. tests, paper assignments)
  2. Presentation of material that is indicative of current practices and effective use of

innovative teaching techniques including technology.

  1. Quality of advising may be documented in the supplemental file in consultation with the School Director.  The method(s) are program specific because they represent differences in the kinds of advising needed by different programs. 
  2. Other appropriate material may be documented that attests to the quality and/or impact of the candidate’s teaching.
  3. Quality of field experience or clinical experience supervision may be documented in the supplemental file in consultation with the School Director. The method(s) are program specific depending on the types of supervision and expectations.

NOTE:  The materials above are a partial list of the required dossier items. See the Rainbow Sheets for further information.

Procedure for Handling Responses to Open-Ended SRTE Questions

To ensure the reliability of this procedure, the electronic open-ended SRTE questions are sent directly to the School Director’s office.  A copy of all responses will be made by a confidential staff person, and kept by the School Director for inclusion in the supplemental file.  Candidates are responsible for summarizing the themes of the student responses to the open-ended SRTE questions, and may discuss any implications that the responses had in relation to modifications made in their teaching practice.  The School Director will review the accuracy of the candidate’s summary, and incorporate an evaluation of the open-ended SRTE statements and the candidate’s summary into the School Director’s statement evaluating the quality of the classroom instruction.

Process for Evaluation of Teaching

  1. Peer evaluators should be experienced, tenured teachers of equal or higher rank than the candidate. In addition, evaluators should typically be recruited from within the School.  However, candidates for Full Professor may have evaluations conducted by Full Professors from outside the School. 
  2. Peer evaluators will be selected by the candidate, in consultation with the School Director. The candidate is encouraged to have a variety of reviewers across evaluation years.
  3. The period of observation for face-to-face classes will typically be 50 to 75 minutes of a class session.
  4. For online/hybrid model teaching, peer reviews should follow the guide for online courses.
  5. The School Director will observe and evaluate the teaching of all candidates for one 50 to 75 minute class observation session during the semester that the candidate is being reviewed for tenure and/or promotion or during the preceding summer or academic semester.
  6. Peer evaluation for the various levels of review will typically proceed as follows.  In all cases, additional evaluations may be initiated by the School Director in consultation with the candidate.
    • Evaluation for 2-year review: Two evaluators will each attend separate class observation sessions during Semester 2 or 3.
    • Evaluation for 4-year review: Two evaluators will each attend separate observation sessions during Semester 6, 7, or the intervening summer semester.
    • Evaluation for 6-year review: Two evaluators will each attend separate class observation sessions during Semester 10, 11, or the intervening summer semester. 
    • Evaluation for promotion to Full Professor: The guidelines for 6-year review will be followed with class observations occurring the semester prior to the submission of the dossier, intervening summer, or the semester the dossier is submitted.
  7. The candidate and the evaluator will jointly decide on which course is to be evaluated and schedule a mutually agreeable time for the observation to occur. 
  8. The candidate should provide the evaluator with copies of the course syllabus, readings, examinations, instructions and scoring rubrics for papers and projects, and other material for the course being evaluated at least one week prior to the scheduled classroom observation. 
  9. For each observation, the evaluator will independently prepare a written report based on his or her review of the candidate's course material (see #8) and his or her observation of the candidate's class.  This report must address the issues outlined in "Guidelines for Evaluative Reports of Peer Teaching" (p. 14). The original of this report will be placed in the candidate's dossier and will not be shared directly with the candidate until the candidate requests to review the dossier with Human Resources.

Criteria for Evaluation of the Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments

In the following evaluative guidelines, the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education recognizes the value and importance of a sustained record of high-quality research within the context of refereed peer-reviewed professional publications as a primary activity of BSED faculty. The School also recognizes the value of the diverse research philosophies, epistemologies, designs, and methodologies that are represented in the research of BSED faculty. This recognition of diversity is important because of the international, interdisciplinary, and cross-disciplinary nature of the BSED faculty. For tenure and promotion, candidates are expected to publish in scholarly peer-reviewed basic and/or applied, nationally and internationally recognized venues. As noted earlier, faculty are expected to develop an identifiable theme or focus for their scholarly endeavors that will contribute to establishing a reputation of academic excellence.  

The purpose of these guidelines is to aid in the determination of the quality of a candidate’s publications. The School recognizes that the quality of a candidate’s work can be evaluated within the following contexts. First, the peer-review process is regarded as an essential and significant determination of the quality of a candidate’s work. Second, the candidate’s work should reflect the knowledge and methods that represent or expand the field, research focus, or substantive area in which the work is nested. Third, the status of professional journals is a consideration in determining the quality of a candidate’s work. The candidate’s scholarship will be evaluated in relation to his or her status and year of review within the following contexts:

  • The candidate’s rank (assistant, associate, full professor) and year of review.
  • The candidate’s research paradigm such as basic, applied, qualitative, critical, action, or other, and the implications of this research within the candidate’s field or area of scholarship.
  • The balance between the quantity and quality of the candidate’s program of research.
  • Special areas of research (e.g., autobiographical, critical, diversity, field, international, cross-cultural, comparative, or longitudinal studies) that may warrant their own evaluative guidelines.  
  • Demonstration of independence and leadership in research as evidenced by single or first authored publications.
  • Demonstration of developing a national or international reputation in the form of peer-reviewed or invited presentations or activities such as seeking or obtaining grants or other monetary support for research.
  • Creative accomplishments related to the candidate’s disciplinary expertise.

Examples of Quality Indicators of Peer-Reviewed Journals and Articles

Diverse philosophies and epistemologies are valued; therefore, the following publication indicators are offered. Some indicators may pertain to a candidate’s work whereas other indicators may not.  International work may be evaluated by similar criteria, as available. The following indicators are offered in alphabetical order:

  • Acceptance or Rejection Rates
    • This indicator will be contextualized with respect to the nature of the journal and the discipline. 
  • Association of Candidate with Editorial Staff
    • The candidate may be asked to provide documentation that he or she was not involved in the decision to publish and that the process of peer review was blind and uninfluenced by the candidate’s involvement with the journal.
  • Credentials of Editorial Board
  • Impact Factors or Other Indices (e.g. citation analysis)
    • This indicator will be contextualized within the discipline.
  • Indexing of publication in major databases including international equivalents
  • Journal Readership
    • This indicator refers to the number of subscriptions to a journal.
  • Publisher Status
    • This indicator refers to the prestige of the publisher.
  • Refereed Status
    • This indicator refers to journals that engage in a peer-reviewed process.
  • Relationship of a Journal to a Professional Organization
    • Journals that are affiliated with professional organizations tend to have a larger potential readership and a greater impact in that field.
  • Time since journal was first established.
  • Uniqueness of journal, topic, theoretical lens, methodology, contribution to the field, or international and indigenous forms of knowledge.
  • Other, as appropriate for the candidate’s area of scholarship.

Evaluation of the Candidate’s Work

Evaluators at all levels are responsible for the determination of the quality of the candidate’s work.  To help evaluators assess a candidate’s work, candidates may incorporate into his or her personal statements information that will support the quality of his or her work. The focus of this statement may include information about the status of the journals in which the work was published, the determination of what constitutes quality in the candidate’s field of publication, and why the candidate’s work would be evaluated as high quality within the field of study. The candidates may provide criteria that can be used in the evaluation of the quality of the candidate’s research.

Demonstration of the Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments section of the candidate's promotion and tenure dossier and supplemental file should contain the following material:

  1. The dossier should include a listing of all the candidate’s publications as described in the Rainbow Sheets. In cases where the candidate collaborated with other individuals, they must include the proportion of the candidate’s contribution to the publication and details regarding their contribution.  Letters of acceptance for manuscripts in press must be included in the dossier.  Copies of all scholarly publications, including journal articles, books, research reports to sponsors, and manuscripts accepted or submitted for publication should be included in the supplemental file. For second and fourth year reviews, draft copies of “works in progress” documented in the dossier must be included in the supplemental file.
  2. List of grants and contracts for improvement of instruction, with an indication of the candidate’s role in preparing and administering the grants and contracts must be included in the dossier.
  3. Documentation of receipt of funding or of submission for each project, grant,commission, and contract funded or submitted during the review period must be included in the supplemental.
  4. Documentation of participation in seminars or workshops, presentation of papers at professional meetings, and speaking engagements or other activities in which there was significant use of the candidate's expertise during the review period as evidenced by, for example, copies of programs, proceedings, letters of acceptance, and letters of thanks for each activity.

Other content for the supplemental file as cited in the dossier:

  1. Copies of any research, creative accomplishment, or scholarly work in addition to those required above.
  2. Description of honors or awards for scholarship or professional scholarly activity.
  3. Any other material that attests to the quality or impact of the candidate's research and creative accomplishments.

NOTE: The materials above are a partial list of the required items. See the Rainbow Sheets for further information.

Criteria for Evaluation of the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession

The quality of service and scholarship of service indicative of an engaged scholar is evidenced by: description of participation in the University, College, School, and Program affairs; service to professional organizations; and the application of specialized knowledge to the University as well as to the community and society. Service is to be described by listing activities in the dossier. Membership on committees, task forces, and similar service activities should be listed in the dossier and should include information regarding tasks undertaken by the committee, the candidate’s specific role in the tasks, and description of responsibilities. 

For tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, faculty are expected to make meaningful service contributions to the School, the College or University, and to the profession, and should increase over the years.  For promotion to Full Professor, evidence of contribution in a leadership capacity to the College or University and to the profession is essential.

All service activities included in the dossier must be documented in the supplemental file. Examples of documentation to include in the supplemental file:

  1. Committee charges, a sample of the minutes of meetings, and the like.
  2. Letters in support of service activities provided by relevant parties.
  3. Any other material that attests to the quality and impact of the candidate's service activity.

Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession are to be documented in the dossier and in the supplemental file. Examples include:

 School and Program Level

  1. Search Committees
  2. Chair of Programs
  3. Tenure and Promotion Committee
  4. Advisor to student organizations
  5. Faculty development (e.g., mentoring, coordination/presentation of faculty workshops)    
  6. Program Coordinator
  7. Program or School representative at relevant functions
  8. Award Committees
  9. Coordination of colloquia and special events
  10. Accreditation committees and roles
  11. Programs to enhance equal opportunity and cultural diversity
  12. Other (e.g., special assignments, ad hoc committees, evaluation of programs)

College Level

  1. Faculty Senate
  2. Faculty Senate Committees
  3. Search Committees
  4. United Way Campaign
  5. Sabbatical Committee
  6. Tenure and Promotion Committee
  7. Research Council       
  8. Advisor to student groups
  9. Award Committees
  10. Academic Integrity Committee
  11. Honors Board
  12. Coordination of colloquia and special events
  13. Other (e.g., workshops, task forces, evaluation of programs)

University Level

  1. Graduate Council
  2. Faculty Senate and committees
  3. Search committees
  4. Tenure and Promotion Committee
  5. Sabbatical Committee
  6. Award committees
  7. Other (e.g., task forces, evaluation of academic programs)

Community Engagement

  1. Seminars or workshops
  2. Speaking engagements
  3. Program evaluation
  4. Statistical or technical assistance
  5. Interface with community groups and organizations
  6. Local governmental task forces, committees, or boards
  7. State task forces, committees, or boards
  8. Federal task forces, committees, or boards
  9. Administrative work for School-, College-, or University-affiliated research centers
  10. Coordination of conferences
  11. Committee work for community organizations
  12. Other (e.g., judge for community competition)

Engagement with Local, State, Regional, National, or International Professional Organizations

  1. Coordination of conferences
  2. Offices held
  3. Committees and task forces
  4. Newsletters, reports or other documents for the organization.
  5. Other

APPENDIX

Guidelines for Evaluative Reports of Peer Teaching

Based on your review of the candidate's course material and your observation of the candidate's class, summarize and critique the candidate's teaching effectiveness.  In addition to addressing the points below, feel free to provide other pertinent information.  Be sure to provide an objective basis for any conclusions you may draw.

Your written report should include a cover sheet following the format of "Peer Teaching Evaluation."

A. Introduction

  1. Instructor provided a conceptual context for the observed lessons

B. Delivery

  1. Describe the class format (e.g., discussion, lecture, small group)
  2. Lessons were well-planned, organized, and clearly presented
  3. Instructor demonstrated appropriate nonverbal behavior, (i.e., gestures, eye contact, facial expression, etc.) and voice (e.g., volume, clarity, pace)
  4. Instructor used instructional aids appropriately

For online or hybrid model teaching, peer reviews should follow the guide for online courses at:  http://weblearning.psu.edu/holding-folder/peer-review-of-teaching.  Modes of instructional delivery include, but are not limited to:

  1. Lecture notes (written, such as PowerPoint; oral, such as via elive, video, or audio)
  2. Discussions (synchronous, asynchronous, whole group, small groups, teacher-directed, student-directed, etc.)
  3. Activities (e.g., jigsaw readings, concept map development, bumper stickers, etc.)

C. Content

  1. Instructor demonstrated knowledge of subject matter
  2. Content was related to previous topics
  3. Content was relevant and at an appropriate level

D. Instructional environment

  1. Classroom climate was open, mutually respectful, and receptive of all opinions
  2. Critical thinking was encouraged
  3. Describe student behavior over the course of the observed classes

E. Closure

  1. Points of lessons were reviewed
  2. Instructor set expectations for next class (e.g., made assignments)

F. Overall

  1. Did the instructor demonstrate enthusiasm/enjoyment for teaching?
  2. What aspects of the teaching seemed particularly to enhance the learning process?
  3. What suggestions, if any, do you have to improve the instructor's teaching effectiveness?
  4. State your overall evaluation of the instructor's teaching effectiveness in terms of one of the following ratings per "Administrative Guidelines for HR-23":
  • Unsatisfactory (this rating carries a "negative connotation")
  • Satisfactory (this rating carries a "neutral evaluation")
  • Very good (this rating carries a "positive evaluation")
  • Excellent (this rating carries a "highly positive evaluation")

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education Peer Teaching Evaluation

Name of instructor:    

Name of evaluator:    

Date of evaluative report:      

Course abbreviation and number:                  

Course name: 

Course enrollment:     

Date of observation:  

Beginning time of observation:          

Ending time of observation:  

Number in attendance: