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a. Content Knowledge 

1a. Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates. [In this section the unit must address (1) initial teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels and, if the institution offers them, (2) licensure and non-licensure graduate programs for teachers who already hold a teaching license.]

1. What are the pass rates of teacher candidates in initial teacher preparation programs on state tests of content knowledge for each program and across all programs (i.e., overall pass rate)? Please complete Table 4 or upload your own table at Prompt 1a.5 below. [This information could be compiled from Title II data submitted to the state or from program reports prepared for national review.]

Table 4

Pass Rates on Content Licensure Tests for Initial Teacher Preparation

Source:  2007-2008 Title II Annual Institution Report

For Period:  2007-2008


Name of Licensure Test

# of Test Takers

% Passing State Licensure Test

Overall Pass Rate for the Unit (across all programs for the preparation of other

school professionals)




Art Education

Visual Arts (145)

4 (2007-2008)

1 (2006-2007)

2 (2005-2006)




Biology Education

Science: Biology (105)

4 (2007-2008)

2 (2006-2007)

2 (2005-2006)




Chemistry Education

Science: Chemistry (106)

1 (2007-2008)

0 (2006-2007)

0 (2005-2006)



Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education (107)



Elementary Education

Elementary/Middle Grades (110)




English Education

English Language Art (111)

4 (2007-2008)

6 (2006-2007)

6 (2005-2006)




Math Education

Mathematics (115)

3 (2007-2008)

3 (2006-2007)

4 (2005-2006)




Music Education

Music (143)



Physical Education

Physical Education



Social Science Education

Social Science: History (114)

2   (2007-2008)

11 (2006-2007)

9   (2005-2006)




Millikin University’s School of Education (SoE) offers undergraduate initial certificates. We do not offer licensure or nonlicensure graduate programs for teachers who already hold a teaching license.

All P-12 initial teacher certificates in Illinois require candidates to demonstrate content knowledge by passing the Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) content-area exam in each area of certification. Millikin’s SoE requires all undergraduate candidates for initial certification to pass their content-area exam prior to student teaching. Thus 100% of Millikin’s program completers have demonstrated content knowledge by passing the state content knowledge test. Table 4 shows pass rates on the content area tests for Initial Teacher preparation for program completers. The data for Table 4 was compiled from Title II data submitted for 2007-2008, or for programs with fewer than ten completers, for 2005-2007. Title II data for that program.

2. (Programs Not Nationally Reviewed) What data from other key assessments indicate that candidates in initial teacher preparation programs demonstrate the content knowledge delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards? [Data for initial teacher preparation programs that have been nationally reviewed or reviewed through a similar state review do not have to be reported here. Summarize data here only for programs not already reviewed.]

Of eleven initial certification programs, two have not been nationally reviewed: art education; music education. As shown in Table 2, Art Education was granted Approval by the Illinois State Board of Education. Music Education has been reviewed and approved by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) in 2000. The music education programs will be submitting materials to NASM for review in 2011. As shown in Table 4, both art education and music education require candidates to pass the ICTS content area exam in art (#145) and music (#143) respectively. Six (6) candidates in art education in the years from 2005-2006 were eligible for student teaching. In the 2007-2008 academic year, eleven (11) candidates in music education completed the ICTS content exam in music (#143).

To insure content-area knowledge, each department has established a required gpa in the major field for admission to student teaching (Millikin University Bulletin, 2009, p. 128).

Music education majors must earn a 2.7 gpa in their major, and a C or better in ME251, ME351, ME450/451 and ME460/461. These classes integrate music content and pedagogy, with the music education content-area requirements used to insure content area preparation. In particular, music education candidates complete a series of performance assessments in the content area, including completion of the music education barrier exam in the candidate’s chosen area of concentration and successful performance on the mid-program interview with music faculty. Competency in piano is required of all music education majors.

Art education majors are required to earn a 2.7 gpa in their major. To insure that candidates in art education can demonstrate knowledge and performance skills in their content area, art education majors complete a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (BFA). Candidates submit an art portfolio evaluation during the second semester of their sophomore year and the first semester of the senior year; failure to pass review by art faculty requires withdrawal from the program or submission of a new portfolio. Each BFA graduate in art education prepares a senior show that demonstrates that the candidate for art education has both knowledge and performance skills in the content area.

All teacher candidates are evaluated by their school faculty and clinical faculty on their content area knowledge. Data from the Student Teaching Evaluation Summary shows, Line 1 “Understands subject taught, including different viewpoints in teaching content,” the school faculty (SF) and clinical faculty (CF) completed a joint rating. The rating scales were: P, Proficient 75 (81%); E, Evolving, 18(19%); M, Marginal (0); NP, Not proficient;(0) and N.A. Not applicable (0). SF and CF ratings indicate that Millikin student teachers are proficient in their content area.

In summary, all candidates are prepared in their content area by fulfilling multiple criteria.

3. (Programs Not Nationally Reviewed) What data from key assessments indicate that advanced teacher candidates demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the content knowledge delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards? [Data for advanced teacher preparation programs that have been nationally reviewed or reviewed through a similar state review do not have to be reported here. Summarize data here only for programs not already reviewed.]

Millikin does not have Advanced Teacher Preparation Programs

4. What do follow-up studies of graduates and employers indicate about graduates' preparation in the content area? If survey data are being reported, what was the response rate?

The School of Education recognizes the importance of feedback from our graduates. Formal follow-up has been conducted with graduates. Feedback from employers is more informal, through the Community Advisory Committee, and meetings with principals.

The 2009 Alumni Follow-Up Survey, which surveyed graduates from 2000-2009, asked alumni to rate Millikin’s program on eleven statements. Each statement relates to a Millikin Teaching Standard. The response rate was 22%, with 81 out of 370 graduates surveyed responding. The Alumni Survey Summary includes summaries of the responses and specific data on the distribution of those responding. The majority of graduates who responded were graduates from 2006-2009. Most majors were represented.

The Alumni Follow-Up Survey responses show that our graduates felt well-prepared in their content areas. When asked, “How would you rate Millikin’s Teacher Education Program in preparing you to gain the content knowledge needed to engage your students and make the content meaningful to them?" they responded as follows: 1-Minimal, 5 (6%), 2-Acceptable 5 (6%), 3-Very Good, 30 (37%), 4-Commendable, 41 (51%). In short, most graduates (88%) believed their content knowledge was either “Commendable” or “Very Good.”

The open-ended responses to the questions were examined to identify “trends,” Open-ended responses were primarily positive, with students recognizing a specific department or identifying courses that were helpful. One comment, “More work with differentiation within the content areas would help to prepare teachers for a diverse classroom,” pointed to a common concern also expressed in other sections of the survey. In response to comments such as this, there is a growing awareness of the need to emphasize strategies for teaching diverse learners. The SOE is taking steps to integrate RtI throughout the core education curriculum.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL