Professional Education Unit Assessment Handbook
VII. Procedures for Monitoring Initial Candidates' Progress
The Educator Preparation Assessment Plan identifies four key transition points for candidates in initial programs:
- Admission to the Teacher Education Program
- Admission to Student Teaching or Internship
- Exit from the Program
Admission to Teacher Education
For undergraduate education majors (i.e., bachelor's and post-baccalaureate), admission to Teacher Education typically occurs in the second semester of the sophomore year or during the junior year, after the candidate has completed the core and successfully passed EDUC 2130 Exploring Teaching and Learning with a C or better. To qualify for admission, candidates must have an institutional and overall GPA of 2.5 or better, pass or exempt the GACE Basic Skills tests (i.e., reading, writing, and math), and pass a criminal background check.
Candidates in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program are admitted to Teacher Education upon admission to the university and program of study. University/program admission requirements are as follows:
- Degree in related field or a minimum of 25 semester hours of approved coursework
- Transcript evaluation to determine content courses needed for certification
- Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 (regular admission) or 2.50 (provisional admission) on all undergraduate work at an accredited United States institution in fulfillment of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree
- Satisfactory scores on the general portion (quantitative and verbal) of the Revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with "writing assessment" component; OR passing scores on the GACE content examinations required in the intended teacher certification field
- Passing score on the GACE Basic Skills Tests [Reading (200), Mathematics (201), Writing (202)] or exemption through satisfactory scores on the SAT, ACT, GRE, or having a masters degree or above from a PSC-accepted accredited institution
- GACE Basic Skills Exemption Scores
- SAT – 1000 (combination of Verbal and Math scores)
- ACT – 43 (combination of English and Math scores)
- GRE – 1030 (combination of Verbal and Quantitative scores)
- The successful applicant must not have a criminal record or discharge from the armed services that would prevent recommendation for related teacher certifications
- Criminal background check
- Prior to admission to Teacher Education candidates must purchase a Tk20 account. Tk20 is a repository for university data that are collected for various purposes; such as, demonstrating the quality of our academic programs, improving teaching and learning, and compiling data for national, state, and local reporting. Tk20 facilitates the performance assessment and field placement processes and provides a tool for candidates to document their development, competencies, accomplishments, and progression through their preparation program.
Tk20 for students website: https://coehp.columbusstate.edu/tk20/tk20students.php
Use this link to purchase and activate a Tk20 account https://columbusstate.tk20.com/campustoolshighered/start.do
Once admitted to Teacher Education, undergraduate candidates must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to stay in the program. MAT students must maintain a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate coursework required for certification. If the GPA drops below a 2.5, the candidate is removed from Teacher Education and must reapply for admission once the GPA is back up to a 2.5.
Admission to Student Teaching or Internship
To apply for admission to student teaching or internship, undergraduate candidates must have an institutional and overall GPA of 2.5 or better, as well as grades of C or better in all content and professional courses required in the major. MAT students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on undergraduate courses required for certification, and a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA. In graduate coursework, candidates can have no more than two grades of C or below. Candidates in all education programs are assessed by their instructors in content courses, general education courses, and methods courses. Evaluations are based on varied assessments including homework assignments, projects, in-class presentations, labs, tests, reflective logs, peer and self-assessments, instructional unit and lesson plans, and videos of their teaching. These evaluations are used to determine course grades. All certification coursework must be completed prior to admission to student teaching or internship. Occasionally, exceptions may be made to this policy when candidates have had trouble getting into required courses.
The Model of Appropriate Practice for Teacher Candidates (MAP), an assessment instrument based on Charlotte Danielson's Framework and developed by the College of Education faculty at Columbus State University, is used to instruct, mentor, and assess teacher candidates’ performance in P-12 classrooms. MAP consists of four major domains (Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities) and is aligned with INTASC principles. In the educational foundation course, Exploring Teaching and Learning (EDUC 2130), which is required for admission to the Teacher Education Program, candidates learn about the behaviors and professional dispositions expected of them. During subsequent methods/practicum courses, instructors complete MAP and dispositions evaluations for each candidate. These evaluations are discussed with candidates during individual conferences with instructors. The full rubrics used for evaluating candidates in each domain of the MAP and on each disposition are available online at http://te.columbusstate.edu/resources.php.
To be admitted to student teaching or internship, candidates must have overall ratings of 3 or better (i.e., meets or exceeds expectations) on their final MAP and Dispositions evaluations. If ratings are below three on one or more components of the evaluations, an individual contract is designed outlining the areas in which performance was below expectations and specifying requirements for successful completion of clinical practice. The contract must be signed by the teacher candidate and copies are provided to the university supervisor and cooperating teacher. Candidates are closely monitored during clinical practice to ensure that all necessary support is provided. In some situations, a candidate who does not meet expectations on all components of the MAP and Dispositions evaluations may complete a semester of remediation prior to entering clinical practice. A remediation plan is developed for these candidates, and they are monitored closely through another field experience. In both of these cases, the Student Teaching Coordinator and Director of Student Advising and Field Experiences meet with the appropriate department chair and program coordinator to determine the best course of action for each individual candidate.
Exit from the Program
To exit from the program, undergraduate candidates must have a minimum institutional and overall GPA of 2.5 and grades of C or better in all required content and professional courses. MAT students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on undergraduate courses required for certification and a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA with no more than two grades of C in graduate coursework. Candidates must satisfactorily complete their student teaching or internship with ratings of 3 or better (i.e., meets or exceeds expectations) on all components of the final MAP and Dispositions evaluations. In addition, teacher candidates in all fields assess their students by collecting data for units they design and teach in the classroom. Candidates develop pre- and post-tests for at least one unit that they teach, collect student achievement data (individual and by different groups), conduct a test item analysis, summarize the results, and revise the unit based on an analysis of the data. This key assessment is used to provide evidence that teacher candidates are bringing students in grades P-12 to higher levels of learning and achievement. All candidates must pass this assessment to complete student teaching or internship. At the end of student teaching or internship, candidates complete a survey designed to gather feedback on their perceptions of their preparation for teaching.
GACE content test scores are used to provide an external assessment of candidates’ content knowledge. Though not a requirement for program completion, candidates must pass the GACE content tests in their intended field of certification in order to be recommended to the Professional Standards Commission for a clear renewable teaching certificate. Test results are reviewed annually by program faculty and advisory committees and used to guide decisions and make program and unit improvements. The annual GACE summary report provides pass rates for the last three years on each GACE content test. The report also provides detailed information on the number of questions answered correctly by candidates in each test subfield. This information is used to determine content areas in which instruction may need to be improved or enhanced.
After the first or second year of teaching, graduates are asked to complete a survey designed to gather their opinions about their preparation for teaching. Survey questions fall into six major categories: (1) Content and Curriculum, (2) Knowledge of Students, Teaching and Learning, (3) Learning Environment, (4) Classroom, Program and School-wide Assessment, (5) Planning and Instruction, and (6) Professionalism. Employers of the graduates are asked to complete a similar survey.
The graduate and employer surveys are administered by the University System Board of Regents (BOR) approximately every two years. The BOR distributes the aggregate results of the surveys to each institution in the University System. Since the survey data is not disaggregated by program, it only provides an overall picture of graduates' and employers' perceptions of the preparation provided by educator preparation programs in the university.