Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Cheryl Bullock


Until 2014, admission requirements for the educator preparation program at a university in the north central United States included a minimum competency level on the Praxis I basic skills writing test and completion of one general education writing course. However, evidence from the university's ETS reports showed that less than 60% of students as first-time test-takers met the required score. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the required writing course in assisting students to meet the Praxis I writing competencies. In 2014, the ETS Core Academic Skills for Educators test replaced the Praxis I. Because only 3 years of accumulated data on 88 examinees were available for the new test, the Praxis I writing test was used for this study. The learning theories of Albert Bandura, Jerome Bruner, John Dewey, and Lev Vygotsky guided the study. Utilization-focused program evaluation was used to investigate the problem. Data collected in this study were 5 faculty interviews, 2 student focus groups, and archival institutional data and national student engagement survey data. Data analysis was completed using curricular mapping and Atlas.ti 7 software. Findings indicated that the general education writing course did not provide students with the skills needed to meet minimum competency on Praxis I writing test. The study project, a curriculum plan for an education course, was developed to address test preparation and students' writing competency. The positive social change implications of this project are to increase the number of successful first-time test-takers on the writing test and to initiate collaborative discussions that would drive partnerships regarding the development of smooth transitions of writing expectations across K-16 institutions.