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March 21, 2002

UPJ education students fare well on state teacher exams

Pittsburgh campus education students are not the only ones who did well on the required education certification exams completed last year. (See University Times, Feb. 21.) Johnstown campus education students also scored well above the state averages.

According to David Hayes, chairperson of the Johnstown campus's Education Division, 102 of the 106 students (96 percent) passed all the tests they took. "This percentage was seventh among the 87 teacher education programs in Pennsylvania," Hayes said.

The state overall average was 86 percent.

The scores were reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.The report covers the scores of Johnstown education students who completed a certification program between Sept. 1, 1999, and Aug. 31, 2000, and took the examinations before Sept. 1, 2001, the state's reporting cut-off date.

In addition to demonstrating basic skills in reading, writing and math, passing a competency subject area test is required for state teaching certification in that subject. General knowledge and knowledge of pedagogy also are measured,

UPJ has four-year undergraduate programs with certification in elementary education and in several secondary education areas, including biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, English, general science, mathematics and citizenship education (formerly social studies).

Students in secondary education communication, which has been discontinued, also took certification tests last year.

Highlights of the report include:

* 100 percent of UPJ students — 8 percent higher than the statewide pass rate — passed the Professional Knowledge test, which assesses students' knowledge of teaching theory and application.

* 98 percent passed the academic content area tests, above the state average of 89 percent.

* 100 percent of Johnstown students passed the Elementary Education Content test, 13 percent higher than the statewide pass rate of 87 percent.

"While pass rates certainly are not the only indicator of a strength of a program, we in the Division of Education are very proud that our students, included in this first year of reporting, did so well," Hayes said.

–Peter Hart

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