University of Saint Francis Home

Most Requested up arrow

USF Home | A-Z List | Security

Department of Education Accreditation

1a.1. What are the pass rates of teacher candidates in initial teacher preparation programs on state tests of content knowledge for each program and across all programs?

One of the measures utilized to assess content knowledge of initial licensing teacher candidates is the Praxis II exam.  In a five-year period the Praxis II pass rate for initial teacher preparation candidates is 80% or higher in all programs, with an overall pass rate of 98%.  Please refer to Table 4 for details.

On Praxis II results, Elementary Education Program candidates consistently place in the 2nd quartile sub-score rankings across all categories.  Well over 50% of the elementary candidates consistently rank in the middle two quartiles (Praxis II Elementary).

The sub-score data on the two mild intervention Praxis II tests indicate similar trends.  All sub-scores on both tests mainly fall in the second quartile and are consistently over 50%, ranking the sub-scores in the middle two quartiles (Praxis II Exceptional Needs). 

1a.2. (Programs Not Nationally Reviewed) What data from other key assessments indicate that candidates in initial teacher preparation programs demonstrate the content knowledge delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards?

The unit’s key assessments of candidates’ content knowledge are grade point averages (GPA), Praxis II scores, and scores on course-based and field-based signature assignments.  In a five-year period the Praxis II pass rate was 80% or higher in all teacher education programs. GPA’s during 2007-2009 indicate over 60% of baccalaureate initial licensing candidates rank above the university composite GPA.  Average GPA’s for university baccalaureate students range from 3.18 to 3.22 on a four-point scale, while average GPA’s for baccalaureate initial licensure candidates range from 3.16 to 3.28 / 4.00.  Post-baccalaureate initial licensure GPA’s in exceptional needs range from 3.50 to 4.00, while advanced licensure GPA’s in exceptional needs range from 2.65 to 4.00.  Advanced licensure candidates GPA’s range from 3.69 to 3.85.  There is little variation in unit GPA’s with university-wide GPA’s.

N.B. Data presented in Standard 1 reflect candidate performance on the first submission of key assessments.  Candidates scoring below on target level must remediate assessments. 

*On unit rubrics, on target is used interchangeably with terms such as, satisfactorily developed, satisfactory, and acceptable.  The term, on target is used throughout the institutional report.

Signature assignment mean scores indicate that baccalaureate initial licensing candidates meet content knowledge performance outcomes at the on target* or higher level. Generally, candidates in elementary general education and mild intervention slightly outperform their counterparts in secondary general education and mild intervention.  The differences in mean scores between the groups, however, are minimal.  Please click the embedded link in Table 1a2.1 for disaggregated program data.

There are three non-reviewed baccalaureate programs.  On four rubric items used to measure content knowledge in the business education program, there are no scores below on target, 3.00 / 4.00.  The scores range from 3.00 to 4.00, with a mean of 3.40 / 4.00. Life science education candidates’ scores range from 3.00 to 4.00, with a mean of 3.71.  The chemistry education candidates’ scores are higher, at 4.00 / 4.00. Table 1a2.2

In the period 2007 through 2009, results on post-baccalaureate exceptional needs course-based and field-based signature assignment indicate that initial level, mild intervention candidates are on target in their demonstration of content knowledge. Results are substantiated by a combined mean score of 3.73 / 4.00, with score distributions as follows: 78% at 4.00 / 4.00; 21% at 3.00 / 4.00; and one score at 2.00 / 4.00. Mild intervention candidates’ Practicum Evaluations in Practicum, SPED 513 mean scores are 4.13 on a five-point scale, placing them solidly in the on target range. Post-baccalaureate intense intervention candidates’ at the initial licensing level on course-based and field-based signature assignments score at 3.60 on a four-point scale, with 60% of scores at 4.00 / 4.00 and 40% of scores at 4.00 / 5.00.  Practica field evaluation scores place these same candidates at 5.0 on a five-point scale, above on target.  

Overall, initial licensing candidates, in the post-baccalaureate Mild and Intense Intervention Programs earn a Combined Initial Total score on course-based and field-based signature assignments of 3.71 on a four-point scale, placing them on target in content knowledge competencies. Table 1a2.3 summarizes content knowledge mean scores of candidates in the post-baccalaureate initial level Exceptional Needs Programs, both mild intervention and intense intervention. 

1a.3. (Programs Not Nationally Reviewed) What data from key assessments indicate that advanced teacher candidates demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the content knowledge delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards?

Content knowledge data on advanced licensing exceptional needs candidates are derived from two key assessments: grade point averages (GPA) and course-based and field-based signature assignments.  Scores indicate that candidates in both the initial and advanced licensing post-baccalaureate programs meet proficiencies on content knowledge performance outcomes.

Advanced licensure mild intervention candidates earn a mean on course-based and field-based signature assignments of 3.57 on a four-point scale. Score distributions corroborate candidates’ on target or exemplary performance:  Sixty-one percent at 4.00; 35% at 3.00; and, 4% at minimally evident.   On Practicum Evaluation items that assess content knowledge, advanced mild intervention candidates earn a mean score is 4.48/5.00.  Candidates’ score distributions are equivalent in strength to course and field-based signature assignments: Fifty-seven percent at 5.00; 22% at 4.00; and, 13% at 3.00. Table 1a3

Advanced licensure intense intervention candidates earn a mean score on course-based and field-based signature assignments of 3.46 on a four-point scale indicating on target performance.  Score distribution indicates greater variation than scores for advanced mild intervention candidates, with 62% at exemplary; 31% at on target; and three scores of two and one-half percent distributed among the lowest three scores on the Likert scale.  On Practicum Evaluation items that assess content knowledge, advanced mild intervention candidates earn a mean score of 4.32 / 5.00, reflecting that candidates have reached on target performance levels. Score distributions are as follows:  Forty-seven percent at 5.00 / 5.00, exemplary; 44% at 4.00, on target; 2.7% at 3, minimally evident and 5% no submission.

Advanced level candidates’ scores in mild and intense intervention are combined to yield a signature assignment mean score of 3.50 / 4.00 on course-based and field-based signature assignments. The score on Practicum Evaluations in Practicum, SPED 513 for advanced level candidates is a combined mean of 4.32 / 5.00.

1a.4. What do follow-up studies of graduates and employers indicate about graduates’ preparation in the content area?  If survey data are being reported, what was the response rate?

A link to survey response rates is located on each summary table.

Annual surveys are conducted of alumni of the unit’s teacher and counselor education programs.  Scores on Alumni Surveys indicate alumni agreement with statements affirming content knowledge preparation.  The highest level of agreement regarding content knowledge preparation is reported by K-12 visual arts alumni, whose scores are consistently above 4.00, agreement on a five-point Likert scale. Data indicate that elementary / mild intervention alumni are satisfied with their content knowledge preparation.  The narrow score distribution, 3.33 to 4.00 on a five-point scale, indicates general agreement among candidates regarding content knowledge preparation. While consistently rating their content knowledge above neutral, secondary / mild intervention candidates express the broadest range of responses, from 3.29 to 4.80. Scores for four years indicate an upward trend, although response rates are low. Table 1a4

In addition to Alumni Surveys, the unit’s Department of Education surveys student teachers at the end of their programs. Seven semesters of Undergraduate Exit Survey results reveal candidate agreement with statements affirming content knowledge preparation. Scores range from 3.50 to 5.00.  Agreement is highest among elementary / mild intervention majors, ranging from 4.25 to 4.85; followed by visual arts, K-12 majors, 3.50 to 5.00; and, secondary education / mild intervention majors, 3.40 to 4.50.

Employer Survey results indicate agreement with statements affirming content knowledge preparation of unit alumni in post-baccalaureate Exceptional Needs Program and School Counseling Program.  With the exception of one employer in 2008-2009, responses are 4.00 and above on a five-point Likert scale.