Highest Number Yet of ASCC B.Ed. Student Sit Praxis Test
July 30, 2014
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
The Teacher Education Department (TED) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) reached a milestone during the spring 2014 semester with its highest yet number of Bachelors in Education (B.Ed.) students sitting the national Praxis 1 examination. The results of the tests, recently received by the TED, gave additional cause for congratulations with a third of the students tested earning passing scores on their first attempt and the remainder coming close to passing.
A Praxis test is one of a series of American teacher certification exams written and administered by the Educational Testing Service. Various Praxis tests are usually required before, during, and after teacher training courses in the U.S. In order to be a teacher in most states in the US, the Praxis test is required. It usually consists of two separate tests, Praxis 1 and 2. The Praxis I, or Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), consists of three exams: reading, writing, and mathematics. In most colleges and universities, a passing score must be earned for admission to teacher education. In most states, a passing score must be earned before the teacher education graduate can apply for his or her teaching license or certificate.
ASCC TED Director Dr. Lina Galea’i-Scanlan explained that department has required students to sit the Praxis 1 test since the inception of the B.Ed. program. “Our students usually take the test between their third and fourth year in the program,” she said, “although they may take it earlier if their counselors feel they’re ready.” Whereas in the past only a very small number of students would sit the Praxis 1 during any given semester, during spring 2014 that number grew to 13, a group comprising a mixture of newer and more advanced students. “Students pursuing a Teaching degree typically need to re-take certain parts of the Praxis 1 test before they pass,” explained Dr. Galea’i-Scanlan, “so for a third of our group to pass the whole exam on their first try, and for most of the remainder to come within only a few points of passing represents a significant accomplishment and reflects well on the content of our courses.”
While test results from the Praxis 1 may be applied anywhere in the U.S., required scores may vary from state to state. “This is a national baseline component that all teachers take for certification,” clarified Dr. Galea’i-Scanlan. “ASCC is following national standards by having this test be part of its criterion to ensure effective teaching and teacher quality.” The TED provides tutorials for the PRAXIS I test during the regular semester. Prior to the testing date, TED provides specific tutorials in all three areas and testing strategies to help the students. The department also provides financial assistance for students to help cover registration and the testing fee for the PRAXIS I. Limited funds are available for this assistance, which is on a first come first serve basis.
For more information on the TED, visit the ASCC web site at www.amsamoa.edu.