The effect of cumulative grade point average and Texas Academic Skills Program test scores on ExCET professional development test scores in undergraduate education majors at Texas Wesleyan University
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Legislative mandates and current reforms in teacher and health education are used to hold universities accountable for student performance on basic skills and certification tests. The purpose of this study was to determine if cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) scores and the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) test scores (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) predict performance on the Examination For the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET) Composite Professional Development (PD) Elementary and Secondary teacher certification test scores of undergraduate education majors in a private Texas university. The data were gathered from the initial testing scores of a convenience sample of 113 undergraduate students (84 elementary and 29 secondary education majors) enrolled in a teacher education program from September 1, 1996, to December 30, 1998. The scores were recorded on a code sheet. Secondary scores had an inadequate sample size, but statistics were computed. ACT and SAT scores were eliminated due to missing data. Stepwise and multiple regression methods were used for analyses. This investigation examined the effects of the independent variables of GPA and TASP scores on the performance of students on the dependent variable, the ExCET exam. Three null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of significance. GPA was a statistically significant predictor for the elementary and secondary levels. TASP was a statistically significant predictor for elementary, but not for secondary. GPA and TASP collectively, were statistically significant predictors for both levels. Reflective theory was also explored as a means to pedagogical reasoning tested in certification exams. Based on these results, it can be concluded that when predicting scores on the ExCET Elementary and Secondary PD and teacher certification exams, the variables possessing the highest variance collectively, were GPA, TASP Writing, Reading, and Math. These results call for the recommendation that these variables be combined for use as criteria for admissions, certification, and remediation of teacher candidates in education programs and in improving university accreditation ratings. Caution is advised on the secondary results because of inadequate case numbers.