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Certification Testing and Assessment Requirements

As a teacher, your students will not be the only ones demonstrating competency and taking tests. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, all teacher candidates must demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to teach their desired grade level and subject matter. Pre-service teachers must demonstrate competency in basic skills, subject specific content and pedagogy to become certified to teach.

Gate 1: Prior to Registering for Sophomore Block
  • Provide evidence of basic skills competency (knowledge and skills needed to be successful in a teacher preparation program). Competence can be demonstrated by providing evidence from one of three options: qualifying ACT/SAT scores, course base competency, or Praxis® Core tests. Exceptions will not be granted if evidence does not meet any of the options’ criteria.
Gate 2: By Completion of Sophomore Block
  • No formal assessment or testing required by Gate 2.
Gate 3: Prior to Applying to Student-Teach (Dec. 1 of the year prior to student teaching)
  • Provide evidence of satisfactory progress toward content competency (knowledge and skills relative to the content the candidate will be certified to teach). Content competence varies depending on the certification. In each certification area, content competence can be demonstrated either by meeting a minimum GPA in a prescribed set of courses or by passing the associated subject area assessment(s).
  • Evidence the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test has been taken or scheduled by providing a score or confirmation of registration (for licensure in Early Childhood/Middle Childhood and Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence only)
Gate 4: By Program Completion 
  • Provide evidence of content competency (knowledge and skills relative to the content the candidate will be certified to teach). Content competence varies depending on the certification. In each certification area, content competence can be demonstrated either by meeting a minimum GPA in a prescribed set of courses or by passing the associated subject area assessment(s).
  • Evidence of passing the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test (for licensure in Early Childhood/Middle Childhood and Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence only)
  • Evidence of successfully passing edTPA

Basic Skills Competency

Competency in Basic Skills: Reading, Writing and Mathematics
Students who are pursuing certification to teach must prove that they possess proficient skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Competence can be demonstrated by providing evidence from one of three options: qualifying ACT/SAT scores, course base competency, or passing the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educator tests. Evidence of basic skills competency must be provided by the time you register for Sophomore Block.

Option 1: ACT or SAT Evidence
Students can meet the basic skills competency requirement with qualifying scores on one of the following college entrance exams: ACT or SAT. The minimum scores required for each college entrance exam are listed below. To provide evidence of the basic skills competency requirement, students must provide the teacher-education program with the score report from a single administration of the college entrance exam.

College Entrance Exam Passing Scores
ACT Plus Writing A composite score of 22 and combined English/writing score of 20
ACT A composite score of 23 and minimum subscores:
  • English: 20
  • Mathematics: 20
  • Reading:20
SAT A composite score of 1070 and minimum subscores:
  • Mathematics: 450
  • Verbal: 450

Option 2: Course Based Evidence
Students whose ACT/SAT scores do not satisfy the Option 1 criteria can meet the basic skills competency by earning a B1 or better in each of the following courses:

  • Theological Foundations (THRS 117)
  • Philosophical Foundations in the Study of Human Nature (PHIL 120)
  • Numbers and Operations (Math 120) (elementary education majors only) or Quantitative Reasoning course
  • Introduction to Literary Studies (ENGL 150) or Expression and Interpretation
  • If ENGL 150 is not taken and none of the above courses are writing intensive, then the course that satisfies the college's writing intensive requirement must also be a grade of B or better.

Option 3:  Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators
Students whose basic skills competency is not satisfied by the college entrance exam scores or grades from the courses above will need to achieve Wisconsin passing scores on the ETS Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators tests.  There are three tests: reading, writing and mathematics. The tests can be taken separately or at the same time. Taking all three at the same time costs less than taking and the three tests at separate times. To register for the Praxis® Core, please visit Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. See the table below for the test codes. If a student does not pass one or more sections of the test, they may retake those sections until the requirements are met.

ETS Praxis® Core Test Registration Codes and Passing Scores 
TestCodesPassing Score
Reading Exam 5712 156
Writing Exam 5722 162
Mathematics Exam 5732 150
Combined Test 5751 N/A


1Advanced Placement course credit fulfills course based requirements and will be weighted as following:
  • Score of a 3 = 3.0 (B)
  • Score of a 4 = 3.5 (AB)
  • Score of a 5 = 4 (A)

Content Competency

Content Competency
To skillfully teach a subject or grade level, one must demonstrate that he or she is competent in that area. Content competency is knowledge and skills relative to the subject matter the candidate will be certified to teach.  In each certification area, content competence can be demonstrated in one of two ways: by meeting a minimum GPA in a prescribed set of courses and/or by passing the associated subject area assessment(s).1,2 Content competence varies depending on the certification, major and minor (see below).

Elementary Education content competency for major (Early Childhood/Middle Childhood and Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence)

  • Option 1:  Earn a 3.25 GPA in the following set of elementary education content courses and pass the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test:
    • Introduction to Literary Studies - ENGL 150 or Expression and Interpretation
    • Numbers and Operations - MATH 120
    • Principles of Algebra and Data - MATH 212 or Principles of Geometry - MATH 220
    • Children's Literature - EDUC 262
    • Developmental Reading and the Language Arts - EDUC 350
    • The Writing Process: Socio/Psycholinguistic Elements - EDUC 373
    • Reading Improvement in the Elementary/Middle School - EDUC 386
    • Western Tradition
    • Beyond Borders
    • Physical and Natural World
  • Option 2:  Earn a Wisconsin passing score on the Praxis® Subject Assessment at the highest developmental level associated with the certification and  achieve a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the course content indicated in Option 1 above.

Elementary Education content competency for minor(s) including Special Education3

  • Option 1:  Earn a 3.0 GPA in the certification/academic minor(s).4
  • Option 2:  Those seeking ESL and/or Modern Language minors for certification may alternatively demonstrate content competence by earning a Wisconsin passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessment or ACTFL OPI/WPT associated with the add on certification minor and earn a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the relevant certification minor.
Academic major/minor content competency for Early Adolescence/Adolescence & Early Childhood/Adolescence certification
  • Option 1:  Earn a 3.0 GPA in major(s) and/or minor(s) for which the pre-service teacher intends to be certified.
  • Option 2:  Earn a Wisconsin passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessment or ACTFL OPI/WPT associated with each major/minor in which the pre-service teacher intends to be certified and achieve a minimum GPA of 2.75 in each major/minor for which the pre-service teacher intends to be certified.


1Advanced Placement course credit fulfills course based requirements and will be weighted as following:
  • Score of a 3 = 3.0 (B)
  • Score of a 4 = 3.5 (AB)
  • Score of a 5 = 4 (A)

2There are no exceptions/waivers for GPA.
3GPA for Special Education Collaborative Licensure Program will be calculated using grades received from UW-Oshkosh transcripts.
4If a 3.0 in the EC/MC and/or MC/EA minor (excluding ESL and Modern Languages) is not achieved, the pre-service teacher can request to meet with the Co-Chair(s) to agree upon a portfolio to provide as an alternative source of evidence of content competence in the minor.  The minimum GPA in a certification minor shall not be below 2.75.

 

edTPA

edTPA: Capstone Professional Performance Assessment
The edTPA is a pre-service teacher performance assessment. To complete the edTPA candidates choose a learning segment during student-teaching of three-to-five lessons in one class; collect artifacts (lesson plans, instructional materials, teaching videos, assessments and sample student work); write commentaries in response to prompts in a subject-specific edTPA handbook; and submit their artifacts and commentaries for professional scoring. External scorers rate candidate performance in planning, instruction and assessment using 15 edTPA rubrics.

All candidates for licensure in Wisconsin must complete the edTPA, submit it to Pearson for official scoring and achieve a passing score for initial licensure.

The edTPA passing scores for Wisconsin have been set at:
  • 38 for the edTPA handbooks with 15 rubrics
  • 32 for the edTPA handbooks with 13 rubrics
  • 45 for the edTPA handbooks with 18 rubrics.

More information can be found on our edTPA web page or the Wisconsin DPI edTPA website.

Subject-Area Tests

Praxis® Subject Assessments (excluding Modern Languages)
The Praxis® Subject Assessment(s) is required if the student does not meet the content competency through the course based option. In addition to a passing score on the assessment associated with the major(s)/minor(s), the student must also have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in their content area. To register for the Praxis® Subject Assessments exam, visit the Educational Testing Service website. See the subject area test by certification table below to determine the required Praxis® Subject Assessments exam based on major and certification.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language Exams (ACTFL)
Students seeking certification to teach a world language (French, German or Spanish) have the option to demonstrate competency through either the course based option or the test based option.  Those who don't meet the content competency via the course based option must demonstrate their content competency by taking both ACTFL World Language Tests:  the Oral Proficiency interview (OPI-OPIc) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). In addition to a passing score on the OPI and WPT, the student must also have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in their Modern Languages major/minor. To register for an ACTFL test, go to Language Testing International website

Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) 
The Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) is required for ALL students with an elementary education major seeking certification in early childhood/middle childhood or middle childhood/early adolescent. The FORT assesses content knowledge in the areas of reading development, comprehension, assessment and instruction. There is no course based competency option for the FORT. It is strongly recommended that students take this test immediately after EDUC 350: Developmental Reading and Language Arts. To get more information about the FORT test, to register and/or to access test support materials, visit the the FORT website.

Subject Area Tests and Scores With Associated Certification

TestDevelopmental LevelMajor/CertificationTest CodeQualifying Score
Art: Content Knowledge EC/A Art 5134 158
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge EC/MC Elementary Education 5018 157
English Language Arts: Content Knowledge EA/A English Literature and Composition
Speech Communication
5038 167
English to Speakers of Other Languages
Dev. Level associated with major English as a Second Language (minor) 5362 149
General Science: Content Knowledge EA/A Biology
Broad Field Science
Chemistry
Earth and Space Science
Physics 
5435 154
Mathematics: Content Knowledge
EA/A Mathematics 5161 160
Middle School: Content Knowledge MC/EA Elementary Education (all minors) 5146 146
Music: Content Knowledge EC/A Music 5113 150
Social Studies: Content Knowledge
EA/A
Broad Field Social Studies
Economics 
History 
Political Science and Citizenship 
Psychology 
Sociology
5081
153
Theatre EC/A Theatre Education 5641 157
ACTFL - Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI-OPIc) and Written Proficiency Test (WPT) EC/A World Language (French, German and Spanish) N/A Intermediate High
Foundations of Reading EC/MC and MC/EA Elementary Education (all) N/A 240

Basic Skills Competency

Competency in Basic Skills: Reading, Writing and Mathematics
Students who are pursuing certification to teach must prove that they possess proficient skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Competence can be demonstrated by providing evidence from one of three options: qualifying ACT/SAT scores, course base competency, or passing the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educator tests. Evidence of basic skills competency must be provided by the time you register for Sophomore Block.

Option 1: ACT or SAT Evidence
Students can meet the basic skills competency requirement with qualifying scores on one of the following college entrance exams: ACT or SAT. The minimum scores required for each college entrance exam are listed below. To provide evidence of the basic skills competency requirement, students must provide the teacher-education program with the score report from a single administration of the college entrance exam.

College Entrance Exam Passing Scores
ACT Plus Writing A composite score of 22 and combined English/writing score of 20
ACT A composite score of 23 and minimum subscores:
  • English: 20
  • Mathematics: 20
  • Reading:20
SAT A composite score of 1070 and minimum subscores:
  • Mathematics: 450
  • Verbal: 450

Option 2: Course Based Evidence
Students whose ACT/SAT scores do not satisfy the Option 1 criteria can meet the basic skills competency by earning a B1 or better in each of the following courses:

  • Theological Foundations (THRS 117)
  • Philosophical Foundations in the Study of Human Nature (PHIL 120)
  • Numbers and Operations (Math 120) (elementary education majors only) or Quantitative Reasoning course
  • Introduction to Literary Studies (ENGL 150) or Expression and Interpretation
  • If ENGL 150 is not taken and none of the above courses are writing intensive, then the course that satisfies the college's writing intensive requirement must also be a grade of B or better.

Option 3:  Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators
Students whose basic skills competency is not satisfied by the college entrance exam scores or grades from the courses above will need to achieve Wisconsin passing scores on the ETS Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators tests.  There are three tests: reading, writing and mathematics. The tests can be taken separately or at the same time. Taking all three at the same time costs less than taking and the three tests at separate times. To register for the Praxis® Core, please visit Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. See the table below for the test codes. If a student does not pass one or more sections of the test, they may retake those sections until the requirements are met.

ETS Praxis® Core Test Registration Codes and Passing Scores 
TestCodesPassing Score
Reading Exam 5712 156
Writing Exam 5722 162
Mathematics Exam 5732 150
Combined Test 5751 N/A


1Advanced Placement course credit fulfills course based requirements and will be weighted as following:
  • Score of a 3 = 3.0 (B)
  • Score of a 4 = 3.5 (AB)
  • Score of a 5 = 4 (A)

Content Competency

Content Competency
To skillfully teach a subject or grade level, one must demonstrate that he or she is competent in that area. Content competency is knowledge and skills relative to the subject matter the candidate will be certified to teach.  In each certification area, content competence can be demonstrated in one of two ways: by meeting a minimum GPA in a prescribed set of courses and/or by passing the associated subject area assessment(s).1,2 Content competence varies depending on the certification, major and minor (see below).

Elementary Education content competency for major (Early Childhood/Middle Childhood and Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence)

  • Option 1:  Earn a 3.25 GPA in the following set of elementary education content courses and pass the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test:
    • Introduction to Literary Studies - ENGL 150 or Expression and Interpretation
    • Numbers and Operations - MATH 120
    • Principles of Algebra and Data - MATH 212 or Principles of Geometry - MATH 220
    • Children's Literature - EDUC 262
    • Developmental Reading and the Language Arts - EDUC 350
    • The Writing Process: Socio/Psycholinguistic Elements - EDUC 373
    • Reading Improvement in the Elementary/Middle School - EDUC 386
    • Western Tradition
    • Beyond Borders
    • Physical and Natural World
  • Option 2:  Earn a Wisconsin passing score on the Praxis® Subject Assessment at the highest developmental level associated with the certification and  achieve a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the course content indicated in Option 1 above.

Elementary Education content competency for minor(s) including Special Education3

  • Option 1:  Earn a 3.0 GPA in the certification/academic minor(s).4
  • Option 2:  Those seeking ESL and/or Modern Language minors for certification may alternatively demonstrate content competence by earning a Wisconsin passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessment or ACTFL OPI/WPT associated with the add on certification minor and earn a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the relevant certification minor.
Academic major/minor content competency for Early Adolescence/Adolescence & Early Childhood/Adolescence certification
  • Option 1:  Earn a 3.0 GPA in major(s) and/or minor(s) for which the pre-service teacher intends to be certified.
  • Option 2:  Earn a Wisconsin passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessment or ACTFL OPI/WPT associated with each major/minor in which the pre-service teacher intends to be certified and achieve a minimum GPA of 2.75 in each major/minor for which the pre-service teacher intends to be certified.


1Advanced Placement course credit fulfills course based requirements and will be weighted as following:
  • Score of a 3 = 3.0 (B)
  • Score of a 4 = 3.5 (AB)
  • Score of a 5 = 4 (A)

2There are no exceptions/waivers for GPA.
3GPA for Special Education Collaborative Licensure Program will be calculated using grades received from UW-Oshkosh transcripts.
4If a 3.0 in the EC/MC and/or MC/EA minor (excluding ESL and Modern Languages) is not achieved, the pre-service teacher can request to meet with the Co-Chair(s) to agree upon a portfolio to provide as an alternative source of evidence of content competence in the minor.  The minimum GPA in a certification minor shall not be below 2.75.

 

edTPA

edTPA: Capstone Professional Performance Assessment
The edTPA is a pre-service teacher performance assessment. To complete the edTPA candidates choose a learning segment during student-teaching of three-to-five lessons in one class; collect artifacts (lesson plans, instructional materials, teaching videos, assessments and sample student work); write commentaries in response to prompts in a subject-specific edTPA handbook; and submit their artifacts and commentaries for professional scoring. External scorers rate candidate performance in planning, instruction and assessment using 15 edTPA rubrics.

All candidates for licensure in Wisconsin must complete the edTPA, submit it to Pearson for official scoring and achieve a passing score for initial licensure.

The edTPA passing scores for Wisconsin have been set at:
  • 38 for the edTPA handbooks with 15 rubrics
  • 32 for the edTPA handbooks with 13 rubrics
  • 45 for the edTPA handbooks with 18 rubrics.

More information can be found on our edTPA web page or the Wisconsin DPI edTPA website.

Subject-Area Tests

Praxis® Subject Assessments (excluding Modern Languages)
The Praxis® Subject Assessment(s) is required if the student does not meet the content competency through the course based option. In addition to a passing score on the assessment associated with the major(s)/minor(s), the student must also have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in their content area. To register for the Praxis® Subject Assessments exam, visit the Educational Testing Service website. See the subject area test by certification table below to determine the required Praxis® Subject Assessments exam based on major and certification.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language Exams (ACTFL)
Students seeking certification to teach a world language (French, German or Spanish) have the option to demonstrate competency through either the course based option or the test based option.  Those who don't meet the content competency via the course based option must demonstrate their content competency by taking both ACTFL World Language Tests:  the Oral Proficiency interview (OPI-OPIc) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). In addition to a passing score on the OPI and WPT, the student must also have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in their Modern Languages major/minor. To register for an ACTFL test, go to Language Testing International website

Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) 
The Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) is required for ALL students with an elementary education major seeking certification in early childhood/middle childhood or middle childhood/early adolescent. The FORT assesses content knowledge in the areas of reading development, comprehension, assessment and instruction. There is no course based competency option for the FORT. It is strongly recommended that students take this test immediately after EDUC 350: Developmental Reading and Language Arts. To get more information about the FORT test, to register and/or to access test support materials, visit the the FORT website.

Subject Area Tests and Scores With Associated Certification

TestDevelopmental LevelMajor/CertificationTest CodeQualifying Score
Art: Content Knowledge EC/A Art 5134 158
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge EC/MC Elementary Education 5018 157
English Language Arts: Content Knowledge EA/A English Literature and Composition
Speech Communication
5038 167
English to Speakers of Other Languages
Dev. Level associated with major English as a Second Language (minor) 5362 149
General Science: Content Knowledge EA/A Biology
Broad Field Science
Chemistry
Earth and Space Science
Physics 
5435 154
Mathematics: Content Knowledge
EA/A Mathematics 5161 160
Middle School: Content Knowledge MC/EA Elementary Education (all minors) 5146 146
Music: Content Knowledge EC/A Music 5113 150
Social Studies: Content Knowledge
EA/A
Broad Field Social Studies
Economics 
History 
Political Science and Citizenship 
Psychology 
Sociology
5081
153
Theatre EC/A Theatre Education 5641 157
ACTFL - Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI-OPIc) and Written Proficiency Test (WPT) EC/A World Language (French, German and Spanish) N/A Intermediate High
Foundations of Reading EC/MC and MC/EA Elementary Education (all) N/A 240

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