Teaching candidates prepared by St. Bonaventure University’s School of Education have set the bar as high as it can go.
Since the spring of 2014, St. Bonaventure graduates have a perfect batting average (43 for 43) on New York state’s newly mandated edTPA — the educational “Teacher Performance Assessment” that is now one of the certification tests required by New York for initial teacher certification in all areas.
The edTPA helps determine if new teachers are “ready to enter the profession with the skills necessary to help all of their students learn,” according to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).
“When we first heard about the rigor and proposed pass scores for the edTPA, we never dreamed that we would achieve anywhere near a 100 percent pass rate, but through the diligent work of our faculty led by Dr. Nancy Casey, we have achieved that for three semesters running,” said Dr. Joseph Zimmer, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Zimmer was dean of the School of Education from 2012 until June 2015; Dr. Casey is now interim dean.
“This is a testament to the quality of our programs and the dedication of our faculty in preparing some of the best teachers in New York state,” Zimmer said.
Teacher candidates must complete the requirements of the edTPA assessment during their student teaching semester. The edTPA requires that a teacher candidate plan a learning segment of three to five lessons on a specific topic, teach the lessons, assess student learning and then reflect on both their students’ learning and their own teaching.
Candidates submit a portfolio of artifacts to be assessed. That portfolio includes lesson plans, video of the lessons, student work samples, analysis of student performance and more than 30 pages of commentary and reflective analysis.
Twelve states have adopted statewide policies requiring a performance assessment for aspiring teachers and four more are actively taking steps toward implementation, according to AACTE. Nineteen more states have at least one provider of teacher preparation exploring or trying out edTPA.
Ultimately, however, AACTE expects that all institutions of higher education, state education boards and professional standards boards throughout the United States will adopt edTPA as a mandatory requirement for the award of an education degree and/or for teacher licensure.
New York was the first state in the country to require the edTPA for certification for all teacher candidates.
The St. Bonaventure students who took the edTPA were students in elementary education, special education, physical education, and adolescent education (secondary English, math and social studies).
Half of the SBU students earned “mastery” scores, indicating a very high level of performance on the assessment, Casey said.
“The programs in the School of Education prepare teachers for the challenges they will face each day,” Casey said. “We are incredibly proud that for three semesters every one of our candidates has earned a passing score on the edTPA. These new educators are ready and able to become the teachers we need in today’s schools.”
Schools looking to hire new teachers couldn’t go wrong with an SBU graduate, Casey said.
“School administrators can be confident that when they hire an SBU graduate who has passed the edTPA, they will be hiring an educator who knows how to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners,” she said.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #3 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
Application forms, procedures and additional information
There are many ways to experience
St. Bonaventure for yourself
Learn more about the programs that interest you