Shorter University has earned a Level 4 rating on the 2019 Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures (PPEMs) published by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). This level is above the expected level of performance for effectively preparing future teachers and is the highest rating available.
“We are so excited to have earned a Distinguished Level ranking,” said Dana King, dean of Shorter’s School of Education. “This measure not only sheds light on how well our candidates are performing as students, but it also measures how well they are doing as first- and second-year teachers! Only nine traditional colleges/universities with teacher preparation programs earned this level.”
The PPEMs evaluate educator preparation programs using measures collected during candidates’ time in the program, such as certification assessments required by the state, and measures collected following completion once candidates are in the classroom, such as classroom observations by supervisors and surveys of employers and newly employed teachers.
“The teacher preparation programs at Shorter University reflect our dedication to providing an excellent Christ-centered educational experience,” said Shorter University President Don Dowless. “Dr. King, a Shorter graduate herself, and our faculty do an excellent job of preparing educators to have a positive impact on their students and the schools in which they serve. We are proud that the performance of our education programs has earned the highest rating awarded by Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission.”
The primary purpose of the PPEMs is to give educator preparation programs detailed information that they can use to improve.
“In Georgia, all educator preparation providers are engaged in a process of continuous improvement informed by data,” said Penney McRoy, educator preparation division director at GaPSC. “The PPEMs add to that ongoing process, providing one more tool to assist them in preparing great teachers for our schools.”
Additionally, the PPEMs are meant to provide the public with valuable information on educator preparation programs, particularly individuals considering entering a program themselves. PPEMs will also complement the GaPSC program approval cycle, with program providers required to maintain acceptable scores in order to stay approved to educate future Georgia-certified educators.
“A Level 4 is reserved for those program providers whose performance was exemplary, and we will ask these providers to share their best practices with other Georgia program providers,” said McRoy.
While PPEMs do reflect important data about program effectiveness, they cannot capture all aspects of a preparation program, nor are they meant to. For instance, PPEMs do not reflect the number of candidates who go on to successfully earn school level accolades such as “Teacher of the Year” or advanced degrees. The scores also do not capture the number of Shorter University teacher candidates who are offered jobs on the spot at job fairs and interviews. Last, the scores do not reflect the impact our candidates make on the students they encounter in classrooms every day.
King added, “Today, we celebrate the success of our teacher candidates. Shorter’s PPEMs are a testament to their hard work as teacher candidates and as classroom teachers. We also celebrate the impact of our faculty and their dedication to preparing future educators. It’s a great day to be a Shorter Teaching Hawk!”
The PPEM ratings of all Georgia educator preparation program providers are now available to the public on the GaPSC PPEM Dashboard at www.gapsc.com.