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Exit Requirements for Teacher Preparation Programs: Another Look at Title II Data

Editor’s note: This is the fourth of six blogs exploring data on program entry and exit requirements from the latest available (2014) federal collection mandated by Title II of the Higher Education Act. The data include 1,497 providers of “traditional” programs based in institutions of higher education (IHEs), 472 providers of IHE-based alternative programs, and 201 providers of non-IHE-based alternative programs.

In this article, we look at the frequency of various program completion requirements among three types of providers at the undergraduate and graduate levels. (See our recent blogs about the number and frequency of various entry criteria and the number of exit criteria used by these three categories of providers.)

The 15 exit requirements collected for Title II, which are the same ones collected about program entry, can be grouped into three main categories: academic record (overall GPA, resume, transcript, credits, content GPA, professional course-work GPA, subject area); disposition (interview, essay, recommendation, fingerprint, background); and basic skills (SAT, ACT, other). As shown below, the academic record criteria are used most for program completion, followed by disposition criteria.

Undergraduate-Level Requirements

Fifty-three of the 472 alternative IHE-based providers reported exit requirements at the undergraduate level, and the criteria were similar to those used for program entry. Almost all of these institutions, or about 10% of the overall pool of alternative IHE-based providers, reported using candidates’ transcript, overall GPA, credits, content GPA, and professional course-work GPA.

Only five of the 201 alternative non-IHE-based providers reported undergraduate-level exit criteria, and most used only a few requirements. All five providers reported requiring “credits” for program completion.

Among the 1,497 traditional providers, 1,343 (90%) reported exit requirements at the undergraduate level, and they were much more robust than among alternative providers. The frequencies for certain exit criteria were high, again clustered in the “academic record” category noted above: 75% of the providers had requirements for candidates’ content GPA, 88% for credits, 87% for overall GPA, 78% for professional course-work GPA, 69% for subject area, and 65% for a transcript.

Graduate-Level Requirements

At the graduate level, more than 65% of alternative IHE-based providers indicated credits, overall GPA, professional GPA, and subject area as their most frequently required areas for program completion. Alternative non-IHE-based providers reported using candidates’ recommendations, subject area, and credits most frequently for program completion. Both alternative provider types had more exit requirements at the graduate than at the undergraduate level.

However, among traditional providers, the undergraduate level had more exit requirements than the graduate level. This may suggest that most graduate students already had some teaching experience that could exempt them from some requirements. Traditional providers also required similar categories at both levels but with less frequency at the graduate than at the undergraduate level.

These data show that traditional providers required more academic evidence for undergraduate program completion than alternative providers, emphasizing candidates’ GPA, credits, professional GPA, and subject area. This may suggest that in order to produce more effective teachers, teacher preparation providers have continuously emphasized building students’ content knowledge and classroom work. These data reflect emphasis on content knowledge in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act definition of highly qualified teacher.


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Yupin Bae

PEDS Manager, AACTE

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