Proficiency Evaluation for Teacher Certification

Experienced teachers seeking certification in an additional content area or for another grade level may request a proficiency evaluation to determine their eligibility. This is an individualized process during which appropriate University faculty will review an applicant's prior education, school-based professional development, experience, and/or other specialized training. The applicant is required to provide documentation of mastery of the critical competencies required of candidates completing the program of preparation in the field for which certification is being sought. This documentation can take a variety of forms including academic transcripts, records of in-service training, certificates, letters, work products and other documents.

An applicant requesting a proficiency evaluation must obtain the proficiency evaluation form from the graduate office and submit it with a letter of application, which briefly states the basis for applicant claim of eligibility for additional certification, to the chair of the department which houses the desired certification program. The applicant will meet with the chair who will conduct a preliminary review to determine eligibility. As a guide in conducting this evaluation, the chair will list on the evaluation form the core university courses required of candidates typically obtaining the desired certification. This list of courses is intended to serve as a guideline for assessing the core competencies addressed within each course.

In this process, the applicant is expected to demonstrate these competencies and not necessarily equivalences of work done in courses. Based on the guidelines provided in this meeting and outlined on the evaluation form, the applicant will develop an array of evidence aligned with the required competencies. Upon submission of the evidence, the chair person will refer the applicant and the evidence to faculty member(s) with appropriate expertise who will review the applicant's material, request further documentation (if needed), and identify any areas of deficiency that must be addressed to obtain the requested certification.

The designated faculty member(s) will summarize the results of this process on the proficiency evaluation form. Additionally, transcripts, documentation of experience and faculty reviews of applicant's other supporting evidence (summarized in written memoranda) must be attached to the application. The faculty member(s) shall then submit the completed form and all supporting material to the appropriate department chair who will review and forward all materials to the Graduate School.

If the chair does not concur with the faculty assessment of the applicant's competencies, the chair will meet with the applicant and the relevant faculty member(s) to resolve any concerns and finalize the proficiency evaluation. In the event that the applicant disagrees with the results of the review, and this dispute cannot be resolved in meeting with the appropriate chair and the involved faculty member(s), the applicant may file a Student Grievance Form through the Office of the Provost.

From that point forward, the procedures for resolving an academic grievance outlined elsewhere in this catalog will be followed. Upon completion of all identified deficiencies and successful completion of the required PRAXIS examination(s), the graduate certification officer will submit a recommendation for the requested certification to the Education Professional Standards Board. The applicant must have received a grade of at least a "C" in any undergraduate course or at least a "B" in any graduate class that is used to demonstrate competency for a proficiency review. Since proficiency evaluation is not part of a degree program, the University's typical limitation on the number of transfer credit hours will not apply to a proficiency evaluation. Successful proficiency evaluations will not be accepted in lieu of required coursework in graduate programs.