Guidelines for Submitting Option C Program Reports

Option C is available to programs that, during their previous review cycle, were recognized using the 6 to 8 key assessment model (beginning in Fall04/Spring 05), and are submitting to SPAs whose standards have not changed since the previous submission. If programs meet these criteria, the documentation required for the current review could be significantly reduced.


The program must first notify NCATE that it will be submitting an option C program report using the Manage Programs component in AIMS to request that a shell be created. Once the shell is created, the program can begin work on the report.

Cover Sheet

All institutions submitting an option C program report should complete the cover sheet.  The cover sheet includes identifying information about the institution and the program being submitted for review.

Section I

All programs should respond to questions 1-2 (CEC and NCTE have a question #3 and NASP has several other questions) only if there have been substantial changes to this information since the previous submission.  The remainder of Section I (including candidate, completer, and faculty data) must be completed by all institutions for all SPAs.

Section II

Option C requires that all programs complete the assessment chart.  The last three columns provide reviewers with information about which assessments have changed since the previous submission. Write the name of each assessment in column 1.  In column 2, provide the type of assessments.  Then in column 3 describe when the assessment is administered.  Some of this information may be the same as in the previous program report, but it is important to provide this information in this program report and complete the final 3 columns.  The last three columns of the chart ask for information describing how much each assessment has changed since the previous submission of the program report. You may write “Yes” or “No” in these columns.

Section III

All programs should complete Section III, identifying the assessment or assessments that address each standard.

Section IV

In Section IV, programs upload documentation for their assessments. The following are guidelines on what should be included in the documentation for each assessment.

For assessments that have not changed: Attach one document that includes the assessment, scoring guide/rubric, and assessment data.  It is helpful to reviewers to provide the assessments that were found previously to adequately meet the SPA standards, especially in cases where there were multiple submissions before gaining national recognition.

For assessments that are new or have substantially changed*: Attach one document that includes the 2-page narrative, the assessment, scoring guide/rubric, and assessment data.

*Substantially Changed:
Principle:  Substantial change refers to changes to an assessment or scoring guide that significantly reduce the alignment of the current assessment/scoring guide to the SPA standards as compared to the assessments previously submitted.

Questions to Help Determine Substantial Change:
• Is the data chart for your current assessment consistent with the scoring guide submitted in previous review? That is, if reviewers look at the current data chart alongside the scoring guide from the previous review, will they be able to make sense of the data?
• Does the change in the assessment result in changes to at least 30% of the standards selected for this assessment in Section III?
• Does the change in the scoring guide result in changes to at least 30% of the standards selected for this assessment in Section III?

Section V

This section is the main focus of the option C report and must be completed in all option C program reports. Here you will describe how faculty are using the data from assessments to improve candidate performance and the program, as it relates to content knowledge; pedagogical and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions; and student learning. For each assessment listed in Section II, delineate why or why not changes have been made to the assessment and/or scoring guide since the previous submission. In addition, for any standards previously not met or met with conditions, describe and document changes made in the program to meet these standards.

Data Rule

The same data rule applies to Option C reports as to other program report submissions. The minimum amount of data required for full recognition is data derived from two applications of the assessment. However, since many of the assessments may have been in place for several years, it is likely that the program would have more than the minimum amount of data. The maximum amount of data that should be submitted is the data collected over the 3 most recent years.


Reviewers will have full access to the previous program reports and recognition reports. If program assessments were deemed acceptable during the previous review for meeting standards, they should be acceptable during this review. The only exception to this guideline would be in the case when the SPA had made a change to their decision rule in the intervening years and publicly communicated that change to programs (changed instructions on report forms, in training materials, etc.).  In this case, the SPA will use the new decision rule for reviewing the current submission.