Teacher Education Program
California University has a long and distinguished history of preparing teachers for the schools of the Commonwealth with nearly 30,000 Teacher Education alumni. The College of Education and Human Services has developed and maintained a reputation of excellence in the preparation of teachers. Because of its accreditation by NCATE and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and its requirement of the PRAXIS I (Pre-Professional Skills Test) and PRAXIS II (Content Knowledge) teacher certification examinations, California's graduates are able to obtain teacher certification in most states in the United States.
California University has been given a snapshot of where it stands in comparison to other colleges and universities in the commonwealth that prepare teachers. The comparison data is based on the number of students who completed all the academic requirements of the College of Education's programs in elementary, early childhood, secondary, technology and special education from September 2007 to August 2008, totaling 318 students. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) released information to all teacher preparation institutions regarding the HEA Title II report. While the data uses a statewide cohort for comparisons, ETS plainly noted, "Within the same state, comparisons made between institutions are equally unsubstantiated because each institution prepares students for different licenses utilizing different testing requirements." There are other factors that have an impact on percentages, including the number of students taking specific tests, so that the size of the tested population is very important.
California had 99 percent of its teacher preparation students pass the basic skills portions of the PRAXIS I (Pre-Professional Skills Test-PPST) and the Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge exam. These exams test general knowledge and communication skills. It should be noted that the College requires all students who wish to continue in Teacher Education to pass the PRAXIS I exams before they can be admitted to Teacher Education.
The PRAXIS II exam tests specialty areas. In the academic specialty areas of math, English, biology, social studies, French, Spanish, physics, science, elementary and early childhood, 301 out of the 302 California University students who took the tests passed them for a pass rate of almost 100 percent. The statewide rate was 97 percent. In technology education, 68 out of 68 students passed the exam for a 100 percent pass rate. The statewide rate was 99 percent. In the teaching of special populations, 60 out of 60 students passed the exam for a 100 percent pass rate. The statewide rate was 100 percent. Please note that the number of program completers will not equal the sum of the number of students taking assessment since a completer can take more than one assessment.
The University was awarded a summary totals and pass rate of 98 percent based on the number of students who successfully completed one or more tests across all categories used by the state for licensure and the total pass rate. This was based on 318 taking the assessment and 313 passing. The statewide rate was 97 percent. California University will use the data collected by ETS to focus continued discussions on teacher preparation, concentrating on continuous improvement and outcome assessment.