Education Majors at UOG Shine in Praxis Exams
Fañomnåkan 2018 Valedictorian Alicia Mai Perrin (center) receives a legislative resolution
during the Fañomnåkan 2018 Commencement Ceremony held May 20 in the Calvo Field House.
Perrin, an elementary education major, scored in the 98th percentile of her Praxis
exam. All School of Education graduates passed the Praxis exam, and half ranked in
the 80th percentile.
Half of all School of Education undergraduate students who earned degrees from the University of Guam this Fañomnåkan semester performed above the 80th percentile nationally on one or more of their Praxis exams. One student landed in the 98th percentile.
"We did really well," said School of Education Interim Dean Dr. Michelle Santos, saying that the results are in line with previous semesters, although the school has only recently started recognizing students in the top 20 percent of test takers.
The Praxis is a series of tests that education majors are required to pass by law in order to become a certified teacher in Guam or in the United States. Three tests measure a variety of competencies required for teaching. They include pre-professional skills, including basic academic skills in reading, writing, and math; knowledge specific to the principles of teaching and learning; and knowledge in a specialty content area.
According to Santos, all of the school's 22 undergraduate degree recipients passed the Praxis as a requirement to begin their student teaching or internships in their final semester, but 11 of the 22 scored in the top 80 percent on at least one of their Praxis series tests.
"I think the support from peers, studying, and paying attention in all our courses were the key to our Praxis success," said graduate Alicia Perrin, who scored in the 98th percentile, "but the recent addition of even more resources can only help the future students of the School of Education." Perrin was the Fañomnåkan 2018 Class Valedictorian.
The School of Education allows students to take practice Praxis tests on math, reading and writing for free and offers free tutoring and peer mentoring sessions as well. Additionally, Perrin said the university's addition of more resources over the years for test-taking anxiety has been helpful for students and boosted their chances of passing.
To further prepare graduates, Santos said the school has worked with the math department to develop a math for educators course. "That will help with Praxis preparation in refining students' skills, but it will also help with their future content as elementary teachers," she said.
Santos said the test results demonstrate that UOG's education majors are competitive in their academic performance and level of preparedness to enter the teaching field.
“We are preparing students — both academically and with the skills to be a teacher — in a comparable fashion to any school in the mainland,” Santos said.
The top-performing students were recognized by the School of Education on May 5 at a convocation ceremony. They received their degrees at the Fañomnåkan 2018 Commencement Ceremony on May 20.