Date of Award

12-1-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Second Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. Melanie Carter

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, numerous reform efforts have been made to improve the quality of teacher education programs at higher education institutions throughout the nation. Currently, limited research has been conducted to assess the factors that contribute to the PRAXIS I pass rates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of specific academic and personality factors on the PRAXIS I pass rates at three HBCUs in the state of Georgia. Specifically, this study was conducted to address the student performance on PRAXIS I, to identify the perceptions of students who have taken PRAXIS I, and to determine possible strategies for improving PRAXIS I preparation programs at HBCUs. A 47—item survey instrument was administered to teacher education majors (N=121) who were classified as either sophomore, junior, or senior to identify their perceptions of selected academic and personality factors that might impact their performance on PRAXIS I. Using a Pearson correlation analysis to measure the significance between the dependent and independent variables of the study, the findings revealed that there were no significant relationships between the dependent variable, PRAXIS I pass rates, and the independent variables academic program quality, teacher education faculty quality, locus of control, student assistance and support, and academic support preparation programs. Significant, but weak relationships were found between PRAXIS I pass rates and the independent variables cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and perceived self-efficacy. There was, however, a significant relationship between PRAXIS I pass rates and SAT score (r = .656 at the .000 level). A Step-wise multiple regression analysis indicated that SAT score, with a beta coefficient of .618and a t-value of 6.027, was a strong contributor to pass rates on PRAXIS I. The findings did indicate that scores on PRAXIS I increase significantly when students participate in PRAXIS Ipreparation activities prior to taking the exam. The findings of the study revealed that an increasing number of non-traditional students are pursing bachelor’s degrees in teacher education. Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that HBCUs develop a teacher education institute that caters to the needs of all teacher education students from the pre-freshman to the post-baccalaureate levels. It is also recommended that policymakers increase the participation of HBCU faculty in the development of teacher certification and licensure exams. Finally, it is recommended that further research be done to examine additional personality factors that my contribute PRAXIS I pass rates as well as expand the study to HBCUs in other states.

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