YSU Beeghly College of Ed scores high on statewide reports

Graduates of YSU’s Beeghly College of Education received high marks, including a 100-percent passing rate on licensure exams, in the first annual Ohio Educator Preparation Performance Report.

“This report is further evidence of the sound teaching and rigorous, well-supported clinical experiences that we provide our students,” said Charles Howell, dean. “Our graduates are prepared to pass the required license exams, enter the classroom and make an impact on their students.”

The reports include various performance data from 13 public and 38 private Ohio institutions that prepare classroom teachers and school principals. Rebecca Watts, associate vice chancellor of P-16 Initiatives at the Ohio Board of Regents, said the reports will be helpful to prospective students, parents, education advocates and policy makers, in addition to faculty and leaders at colleges and universities. “The data will inform the improvement processes that occur within each educator preparation program and create opportunities for faculty from different institutions to share effective practices as they prepare the next generation of Ohio educators,” she said.

All of the reports are available at https://www.ohiohighered.org/.

The 10-page YSU report indicates that students achieved a 100-percent pass rate on both the teacher and principal license tests, compared to a statewide rate of 96 percent. The pass rate at both Kent State and University of Akron was 93 percent for the teaching exam.

The report also provides value-added scores showing how well students assigned to a teacher perform compared to students across the state. YSU graduates demonstrated a consistent record of meeting student achievement targets, with 86 percent generating expected achievement gains for students in their classes, 14 percent exceeding expected gains, and 0 percent falling below the expected level. Statewide, 68 percent met expected gains, 20 percent were above and 12 percent were below.

“This achievement is particularly noteworthy in light of the high need-levels in which these teachers are working,” Howell said. Of the YSU graduates included in the report, 40 percent teach in high/medium-high minority schools and 80 percent teach in high/medium-high poverty schools.

“Nationally students living in poverty face more achievement challenges than their more affluent peers, but our candidates are able to work successfully with these students, set high standards and meet or exceed achievement targets,” Howell said.

Howell said there are several reasons for the high marks for YSU graduates, including the high number of required field and clinical hours (635-932 hours for each candidate depending on the program) and the intensive student teaching experience (14 weeks full-time in the classroom). Another factor, he said, is the strong academic background of students in the college, with a mean high school grade point average for program completers of 3.4 and a mean college GPA on entry to the program of 3.5.

The dean said that to ensure graduates of the college continue to be prepared to work with diverse students in high-needs schools, the college is working with a number of area school districts, including Austintown, Youngstown and Campbell, to provide two-semester field placements. The placements, he said, allow for more robust and systematic mentoring on the part of cooperating teachers and a richer professional induction experience for students.