Salt Lake City, Utah

Western Governors University

Undergraduate Secondary, Traditional


National Percentile

Updated 2017
Selection Criteria
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User Comments

The standards for admission into either the institution or its teacher preparation program should be sufficiently selective to ensure that teacher candidates come from only the top half of the college-going population. In order to ensure that any test used as a screen is able to provide sufficient selectivity, it must be normed to the college-going population.

The program nearly meets the standard because the level of selectivity of the institution in which it is housed is quite high, but not sufficient to ensure that the candidates have the requisite talent. Moreover, the program does not impose requirements on candidates that ensure the requisite talent.

Secondary Content in the Sciences
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User Comments

Without a thorough grasp of the subject(s)t they will teach – typically acquired by a major in an academic discipline – high school science teachers are unable to provide the sophisticated level of instruction that their students need to progress. All children deserve a science teacher who is well versed in the subject(s) they teach, regardless of teacher shortages that are used to justify general and physical science certifications.

We have evaluated science routes on this standard with an eye toward state regulations and the interpretation of regulatory intent among teacher preparation programs. A similar evaluation of social science routes can be found under Standard 8: Secondary Social Science Content. A review of the content preparation for English and mathematics certifications will no longer be completed as part of the Teacher Prep Review, as requirements for those subjects have been found to almost universally meet the bar of assuring content proficiency. (We note, however, that adequate preparation in methods remains an issue across all secondary subject areas, including English and mathematics. For that reason, the focus of Standard 15: Secondary Methods will shift from evaluating methods coursework in one randomly selected secondary subject area to evaluating methods coursework in both English and mathematics.)

Each science certification offered by the program’s state is designated as either single- or multiple-subject. In general, as many as six routes divided equally between single- and multiple-subject certifications (where offered) are evaluated for a composite rating that becomes the program rating on this standard.

Note that in the absence of one or more required subject-specific state licensing tests, adequate preparation in a single-subject science certification generally entails at least a 30 semester credit hour (SCH) major; for a multiple-subject certification, it generally entails at least two 15 SCH minors, or at least 50 SCHs across all relevant subjects.

All single-subject certification routes were found to require an adequate licensing test in the subject area that teacher candidates will be certified to teach.

The program meets the standard because analysis of the single-subject certification route(s) found all routes to satisfy the indicator.

Secondary Content in the Social Studies
Secondary Methods: Coursework
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User Comments

Based on an evaluation of the certification pathway for secondary Mathematics, the program meets the standard. This evaluation indicates that Mathematics candidates take a subject-specific methods course that focuses on specific instructional strategies to improve the delivery of content.

Student Teaching
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User Comments

A high-quality student teaching experience depends on: 1) sufficient feedback as defined by at least five or more observations with written feedback conducted by university supervisors at regular intervals, and 2) the capacity of the program to play an active role in the selection of cooperating teachers, as evidenced by its solicitation of substantive nominating information related to mentoring skills and instructional effectiveness. The standard separately reports on, but does not rate, clear communication to school districts that cooperating teachers must be both strong mentors of adults and highly effective instructors.

The program meets the standard: The program provides student teachers with sufficient feedback from university supervisors at regular intervals and asserts its critical role in the selection of cooperating teachers by obtaining substantive information on their qualifications. Although the program confirms that cooperating teachers are effective instructors, it does not verify that they are strong mentors. Although this did not affect the rating, the program communicates to school districts both of the characteristics of cooperating teachers required by the standard -- that they be effective instructors and capable mentors.

Classroom Management
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User Comments

Teachers can teach and students can learn only in a functional classroom environment where students are engaged and productive. Teacher candidates will be better prepared to establish a productive classroom environment if the evaluation and/or observation instruments used to evaluate their student teaching performance provide feedback on specific classroom management strategies that together constitute a coherent management approach.

The program meets the standard because the feedback provided to student teachers addresses all critical components of a coherent management approach as outlined by the standard.

The program's evaluation and/or observation instruments provide feedback on student teachers' ability to:

  • establish and/or reinforce expectations for classroom behavior
  • manage time; manage materials; manage student engagement; manage the physical classroom
  • recognize appropriate behavior through meaningful praise or other positive reinforcement
  • manage minor student misbehavior
  • manage disruptive student misbehavior

Secondary Methods: Practice
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User Comments

Based on an evaluation of the certification pathway for secondary Mathematics, the program meets the standard. This evaluation indicates that the subject-specific methods course for Mathematics provides candidates with the opportunity to practice classroom instruction and receive feedback.


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