College of Education Listed in Top 5 on State Exams

College of Education students are consistently performing at the top of their field within the state.

College of Education students are consistently performing at the top of their field in the state.

(Feb. 28, 2018) – Education students at USF St. Petersburg are consistently performing at the top of their field in the state. The College of Education is in the Florida Department of Education’s (DOE) Top 5 Highest Performers in four categories among all 4-year state-funded colleges and universities.

Based on state-wide tests, COE students rank first on the Florida Education Leadership Examinations for organizational development and second in system leadership in written performance. They rank second overall on the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations in middle grades English and are fourth in professional education, based on results from the Exceptional Student Education K-12 exams. The Florida Department of Education requires education students to pass these exams before they can teach in the state. Numbers are based on performance data from 2015-2016.

“Relative to other colleges in the state, we are doing a tremendous job impacting academic performance and achievement and it shows in our results,” said Dr. Allyson Watson, the Dean of the College of Education.

This is the first time Florida DOE has provided data on student’s performance measures on these exams.

“Identifying schools where students perform well on state-mandated exams allows other universities and colleges in the state to contact us, see what we’re doing and learn different ways of improving their students’ performance,” said Dr. Olivia Hodges, Assistant Dean of the College of Education.

USFSP students enrolled in the education program are required to pass these exams before they can graduate, which is a standard of a state-approved program. The overall Florida Teacher Certification Examination passing rate for USFSP education students is 89 percent.

Besides the top-class education that is instrumental in students’ success on mandated exams, USF St. Petersburg College of Education is distinguishing itself because of unique programs that are offered nowhere else in the state.

“We have a dual track elementary education degree that provides students with two endorsements and two certifications when they graduate,” Watson said. “No one else in the state offers this.”

This unique program, which began in 2009, allows students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, with a certificate in K-6 Elementary Education, as well as certification in K-12 Exceptional Student Education. It also comes with endorsements in reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL. An endorsement denotes a particular expertise in an instructional level or methodology on a Florida teaching certificate. The dual degree is based on the latest research in universal design for learning to prepare teachers to meet the needs of all learners.

Overall, an education degree from the College of Education has proven to be extremely marketable. Ninety-eight percent of the College’s graduates secure jobs in their field within six months after graduating. Most have job offers before they graduate.

“Our students graduate and have versatile experience and education that allows them to deal with a diverse spectrum of kids,” said Dr. Deanna Bullard, Coordinator of Advising for the College of Education. “It is highly attractive to potential employers.”