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December 20, 2019

Education Studies Celebrates Accomplishments

The Education Studies Department is celebrating a 100 percent pass rate for students taking the edTPA, a required, performance-based, subject-specific assessment used to measure and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need in the classroom. 

“EdTPA has been one of the hardest trials I’ve ever had to endure, but I’m glad I passed. I was very anxious and nervous when I submitted my edTPA portfolio, but at the same time felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders,” says Sabrina Lemonier ’20.

This is the first year North Carolina is requiring students to pass the edTPA to receive their teaching license. Guilford’s unique focus on writing across the curriculum and developing critical thinking skills fully prepares students for this high-stakes, career-focused assessment. 

“We have stayed strong in the liberal arts aspect of our program, and we didn’t require students to take any courses that were strictly for passing the edTPA,” says Julie Burke, Associate Professor and Chair of Education Studies, on how the department prepared students for the exam.

Education Studies majors student-teach at schools in the Guilford community during the fall of their senior year, typically working in highly impacted and under-resourced areas. “There’s a lot of pressure on these students. They’re asked to perform at a very high level, and are likewise being assessed by edTPA, as they are learning to teach,” says David Hildreth, Professor of Education Studies. 

Throughout the semester, students collect data and analyze their student-teaching experience to put together the nearly 80-page document and supporting videos that make up the consequential assessment. These incredible students balance full-time teaching, college courses, and many other activities, including sports, work, and family obligations.

“I was nervous going into this semester with the amount I was doing. I was in season for volleyball, student teaching, and building my edTPA portfolio,” says Tina Eucker ’20. “I was really fortunate to have such an understanding, cooperating teacher and volleyball coach. My parents were also incredibly supportive during this semester.”

This cohort, in particular, formed a close bond that helped them succeed, even creating a support group. “The Education Studies department at Guilford is more like a family than a department. The small class sizes allowed me to get to know my peers and professors on a personal level. This past semester brought challenges for all of us, but the encouragement and support of my cohort allowed all of us to get through anything that came our way, says 
Kayli Blankenship ‘20.

“We are proud of what we’ve done, as well as what our students have accomplished,” Julie says.

Are you interested in shaping tomorrow’s future with a career in education? Schedule a personalized visit today to learn more about Guilford’s Education Studies Department.