(Posted November 3, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? For the third consecutive year, Juniata College education students in the teacher certification program scored well above the Pennsylvania state average in all areas of the teacher education certification PRAXIS exams.

The College's Education Department as a whole was rated in the top 25 percent of higher education teacher certification programs across the state, according to the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers and scores the test. These outstanding pass rates reflect the scores of Juniata education students who completed a certification program from Sept. 1, 2001 to Aug. 30, 2002.

Michael Byron, associate professor of education and the education department?s certification officer reports, "All students who complete the requirements of our teacher certification program are required to pass three categories of tests -- Basic Skills, Professional Knowledge and Academic Content Area -- to become certified teachers in Pennsylvania. Our students? test scores are among the highest among their peers across the state.?

As a result of how Juniata College?s Education students performed on these standardized tests, the Education Department program is ranked in the top 25 percent among all teacher preparation programs offered in the Commonwealth. ?This is a tremendous achievement for Juniata students and Juniata Education Department faculty,? says Fay Glosenger, Martin G. Brumbaugh Professor of Education and chair of the department.

The Basic Skills tests gauge the students? competence in reading, writing, and mathematics. Of the 35 Juniata students who took this battery of basic skills tests, 34 or 97 percent, passed these three tests, surpassing the statewide rate of 92 percent.

The Professional Knowledge test assesses students? knowledge of teaching theory and application. Those results -- 100 percent of Juniata's students passed the test -- are 8 percent higher than the statewide pass rate of 92 percent.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education also requires students who complete a certification program to demonstrate proficiency in the content area in which they will teach. Juniata College offers certification programs in 14 content areas ? English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, General Science, Physics, French, German, Spanish, Social Studies, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and a unified Special Education program.

The passing rate for Juniata students who took the specialty test in their content area was 98 percent, 9 percent higher than the statewide average. Juniata?s pass rate for the specialty tests was up from 93 percent from the previous year.

Juniata?s graduates of teacher certification programs are highly marketable. According to Byron, 11 of the 15 students awarded secondary certification and 16 of the 23 graduates who earned certification in Early Childhood, Elementary or Special Education, secured classroom positions within the first year after graduation.

?The pass rates of our graduates from the education program are a testament to the quality of our students,? Byron says. ?This really shows that our College?s liberal arts core, Education courses, as well as numerous field experiences plus student teaching give our students tremendous preparation for their chosen career.?

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.