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AVON PARK, Fla. — Feb. 10, 2020 — South Florida State College’s (SFSC) Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BSEE) was recently lauded for its student pass rates on the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) in three areas.
The Florida Department of Education oversees the FTCE, and according to its website, the examination “ensures that all teacher candidates demonstrate the necessary content and pedagogical knowledge necessary to effectively instruct students in Florida.” Student who take the exams come from state-approved teacher preparation programs from state universities, state colleges, private colleges and universities, educator preparation institutes (EPIs), and professional development certification programs (PDCPs).
In a recent report prepared by the Florida Department of Education, SFSC BSEE students scored higher than any other state college on the Professional Education examination on their first and best attempts. On their first attempt, 93.5% of SFSC BSEE students passed the Professional Education examination, a rate 3.1% higher than the next highest scoring state college. SFSC BSEE students achieved a 100% passing rate at their best attempt at the exam, scoring 2.6% higher than the next highest scoring state college. “Best attempt is the highest score of all students in all attempts in taking the examination,” said Dr. Maday Leon, lead instructor of the SFSC BSEE program. “Clearly, SFSC has a really high rate of passing the Professional Education examination when compared with other state college bachelor’s degree programs. And our students are very competitive with the state universities, such as the University of Florida with its first attempt pass rate of 95%.”
According to Dr. Leon, SFSC’s BSEE students take the Professional Education examination in the summer before their last semester in the program. “It’s like a midpoint check.”
The BSEE students take subject area exams through the Florida Department of Education in the fall term before their spring classroom internships. “The subject areas are in language arts and reading, science, social science, and mathematics,” Dr. Leon said. “If the students don’t pass all four subject area exams, they don’t go onto their internships.”
SFSC BSEE students scored high on the best attempt at the language arts and reading examination with a 93.8% passing rate in the best attempt. The students also scored high on first attempt on the mathematics examination, with a passing rate of 65.6%.
Dr. Leon maintains that SFSC’s students do well on the FTCE exams because they’re provided the necessary preparation. The Professional Education examination preparation is integrated throughout the BSEE program. Subject area exam preparation is bolstered with an online workshop series through The Learning Liaisons FTCE Workshop Series.
“We’ve known since Day One that a small institution can provide more direct instruction than a larger one,” Dr. Leon said. “Our students receive one-on-one attention and they receive a lot of support and the data now shows that.”
SFSC launched the BSEE program in fall 2014 at SFSC’s Highlands Campus in Avon Park. Those admitted to the two-year program will have completed an Associate in Arts (A.A.), prerequisite education courses, GPA requirements, and the General Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination. Graduates will be eligible for Florida certification in kindergarten through sixth grade with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Reading endorsements.
For more information about the program, visit southflorida.edu/academic/bsee or call 863–784-7154.