Wittenberg Graduates Pass Certification Test: Teacher Education Program Aces ‘Report Card’
Springfield, Ohio - One hundred percent of Wittenberg education majors passed the Ohio licensing exams for both their academic content areas and for their professional knowledge.
In 1998 Congress required that the nation’s teacher education programs report on their success in preparing graduates to pass standard tests of professional competence and course content. Ohio’s 51 colleges and universities with teacher education programs were required to report data on their programs this month, including scores on the national Praxis II teacher examination selected by the Ohio Department of Education for new teacher licensing.
Starting with the 2000 graduating class, federal law requires that all of Ohio’s teacher education programs report the passage rate of students taking state-required examinations that qualify them to be licensed to teach in Ohio schools.
All Wittenberg students minoring in education also passed the professional knowledge test for certification. Overall 91 percent of all Wittenberg students passed all the tests in the academic content areas (English, early childhood education, math, science, etc.) and 92 percent of all students passed all of the tests required for licensure.
Wittenberg is a liberal arts institution founded in 1842 and affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. For more than a century Wittenberg has prepared teachers as an integral part of a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, according to Robert Welker, chair of the educataion department. “Our long traditions of teacher education flow from Wittenberg’s mission to produce citizens who are creative and thoughtful problem solvers."
According to its mission: “Wittenberg teaches moral responsibility, social consciousness, vocational commitment and constructive social change as the foundations of citizenship in the world’s human community, and in each person’s particular society the university encourages learning that prepares its students for the many occupations and professions necessary for society’s well being.”
“Among the reasons for our success is our close professional relationship with the Springfield City Schools and other area districts,” Welker said. The Springfield-Wittenberg Teacher Institute and the Center for Professional Development are two examples of collaborative efforts to improve teaching outcomes in real classrooms. “Teacher educators can learn a lot about achievement in schools by listening to K-12 teachers. We think we do that pretty well and our students are benefitting from it,” Welker said.
Distinctive Features of Wittenberg University’s Teacher Education Program
Students who major in Education can receive licensure in Early Childhood Education, dual licensure in Early Childhood and Intervention Specialist, and Middle Grades Education. Students who minor in Education can receive Adolescent to Young Adult licensure in the fields of earth science, life science, integrated language arts, integrated mathematics and integrated social studies. Multiage licensure is offered in the fields of Drama/Theatre, French, German, Music, Spanish and Visual Arts. The master of arts degree is offered to practicing teachers who wish to pursue an advanced degree dedicated to improving professional performance.
Wittenberg education students enjoy a 4:1 student-faculty ratio for student teaching.
91 percent of the education graduates in 2002 found jobs in education.
The average GPA of students admitted to the program in 2001-02 was 3.30.
Wittenberg University is one of the only institutions to offer a course focusing on using the arts to teach core subjects.
Field experience in area classrooms is integrated into the curriculum throughout the teacher preparation programs.
Wittenberg’s close partnership with area schools provides numerous advantages. For instance, the Springfield-Wittenberg Teacher Institute provides opportunities for practicing teachers to share their research with university students.
Wittenberg students get the opportunity to conduct research and present their work at state and regional professional conferences in science and literacy education.
All teacher education candidates must complete an extensive general education program of nearly 55 credit hours, which includes seven writing-intensive courses.
Comments from Educators about Wittenberg Graduates “We have found that Wittenberg graduates are uniquely prepared for service in our schools. They have experienced, through the Wittenberg program, what real teaching is all about. The teacher educators at Wittenberg are practice-based, which gives their students sound grounding in best practice and quality teaching.”
- Scott Spears, superintendent, Springfield City Schools
“Karin was the best prepared student teacher I have ever worked with. Wittenberg gave a highly motivated, resourceful person excellent academic credentials. All of my student teachers from Wittenberg have also been very open to suggestions.”
- Deborah Redder, Catholic Central High School
“Your undergraduates are very prepared!”
-Toya Bess, Emerson Elementary School
“I have always felt that any student I had from Wittenberg was very well prepared.”
- Sharon Cromwell, Urbana South
“Wittenberg consistently sends me fantastic student teachers! They are prepared in all areas of teaching, as well as in teaching every student. I love getting your students!”
- Vicki Landis, Medway Elementary School
“I think Wittenberg has been doing a super job preparing student teachers and supporting them during their last practice teaching experience.”
- Teresa Adams, Lagonda Elementary School
“My student teacher demonstrated outstanding knowledge of subject matter, student control and was creative in all that he did. He was very prepared and willing to work on suggestions made by me.”
- Ann LaTour, Grayhill Elementary
“It was obvious that Wittenberg is thorough in the preparation of student teachers. The approach is hands-on relating to real-life learning and making education meaningful. It is refreshing working with young, eager student teachers. They bring life to the classroom with their presence and new ideas.”
- Mary Anne Harner, Horace Mann Elementary School
“I continue to be most impressed with the Wittenberg education undergrads. they are responsible, hard-working, and clearly well prepared to enter the teaching profession. The field needs great teachers and you are providing them!”
- Dan Conley, Lincoln Elementary School
“I was very impressed by how much personalized attention is given to your students. I came from a large college where only my supervising teacher knew me personally.”
- Barbara DeLong, Park Layne Elementary School
“All of my Wittenberg student teachers have done an outstanding job teaching in my classroom.”
- Gail Grant, North High School