news-category: Academics

GWU College of Education Secondary Education Programs Achieve Perfect Score

Teaching Candidates Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate on edTPA Assessment

Gardner-Webb University School of Education logoBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—For the second semester in a row, the Gardner-Webb University College of Education and its secondary education programs have received a perfect—100 percent pass—rate on the edTPA. This performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system is used by teacher preparation programs throughout the United States. Success on the edTPA demonstrates a student candidate’s readiness for a full-time classroom teaching assignment.

“This is an impressive, external endorsement of the quality of our College of Education and secondary education faculties, and the programs they have put in place,” noted Dr. Ben Leslie, provost and executive vice president.

In addition, nine of the 19 GWU candidates scored in the range of Highly Qualified (HQ). If these candidates also achieve the appropriate GPA, they are guaranteed at least a $3,500-$4,000 bonus added to their starting salary.

“This achievement is a predictor of the impact candidates will have as teachers on student growth,” affirmed Dr. Prince Bull, dean of the College of Education. “It also validates the data on the NCDPI (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction) dashboard that ranked Gardner-Webb teachers No. 1 for two consecutive cycles, 2015/2017 and 2016/2018, in percentage of beginning teachers ranked proficient or above at 99 percent.”

An essential part of edTPA is the evidence the candidate must submit on how he or she has planned, taught, and assessed lessons to deepen student learning and success, noted Donna Suttle, GWU instructor of education. “Each content area has a different handbook with specific instructions related to planning, content tasks, teaching and videoing requirements, student work samples, assessments, and commentaries to write,” she added. “The success of GWU students with edTPA points to a team effort. The GWU College of Education and other undergraduate content courses have embedded edTPA components into the instructional process of teaching and learning. Education candidates are quickly introduced to the edTPA academic language, lesson plan development, commentary requirements, and rubrics for assessment.”

Following these early courses, candidates are provided the opportunity to continue to deepen their understanding of effective teaching and how to address edTPA requirements as they take education courses. “Candidates are provided ongoing feedback with each course edTPA assignment and through edTPA Boot Camps,” Suttle shared. “The recognition for passing edTPA requirements is vitally important. Students must pass edTPA requirements in order to obtain a clear N.C. teaching license.”

Learn more about the Gardner-Webb College of Education.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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