PAPA Prep Syllabus

Lackawanna College

EDU 100 OA: PA Teacher Certification Exam Prep Syllabus

Fall 2017: August 28 – December 8, 2017


0 credits







Dr. Carlie I. Nicastro


570-561-9599 No calls/texts after 9 PM



Healey Hall, Room 214


Email is checked several times daily



Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9-10 and by appointment online or in person







There is no text for this course. However, you may wish to purchase some test guides at your own discretion.



This course is designed to provide education majors with a forum for enhancing their skills in the area of writing, reading, math, speech, and test-taking strategies. Emphasis will be on preparation for the PA Teacher Certification general exam.



By the end of this course, the student shall be able to satisfy the following outcomes and expectations. Students will be able to:

  1. Identify personal weaknesses and locate corresponding resources to practice and increase critical reading, writing, and math skills
  2. Use test-taking strategies, including planning and preparation and time management, to complete practice tests
  3. Explain the basics of the exam format and logistics, including times and dates, costs, and required cutoff scores  
  4. Employ Bloom’s Taxonomy to reflect on learning improvements, to evaluate resources use, and to develop a comprehensive preparation plan



The table below provides a list of all of the course assessments, and will help you keep track of your grade. To calculate your grade as a percent, simply add your assignment scores and divide by 500.



Available Points

Score Received

Points Needed to Get the Grade I Want

Discussion & Interaction




Practice Tests (6)

180 (30 points each)



Reflection on Critical Thinking, Study Strategies, and Time Management






Rubrics provide details on the objectives of your assignments. These are an interactive tool and you must use these as a guide, checking off each item and identifying where each objective has been met within your work, before turning in your assignments. In this way, you are building a good habit of self-monitoring, which not only enables you to focus on the most important course concepts, but also helps you to recognize your own level of understanding.


Rubrics empower you to earn all available points on an assignment, but they also ensure that you are learning and that you are able to successfully express that learning. Detailed rubrics will be provided for each assignment as the course progresses. Submission of an assignment without its interactive rubric will result in an automatic 5-point loss.


Online Course Attendance Policy

Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well.


Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes replying in a graded discussion forum or submitting a written assignment. Replies not related to the aforementioned activities will not count for attendance purposes.


# of Days Required for Discussion in an Online Course

Maximum # of Weeks Allowed without Discussion


Once on any four days in a week (4 total)




  • You are required to engage in discussion at least ONCE on FOUR days throughout the week for a total of FOUR replies in all, minimum.
  • You should respond to the initial DQs posted AND respond to your classmates.
  • Responses MUST be substantive. See the document titled Good Discussions in your Handouts and Links.
  • Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will NOT be counted toward your weekly score.
  • Students who miss one week of discussion will be DROPPED from the course.
  • Students who do not log on to the course within the drop/add period for the course will be DROPPED from the course.


Online Course Discussion Policy

In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said.


You MUST reply no less than 4 times per week – once on any four days.

Good Discussions in Handouts and Links will help you, but you can also use this guideline to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!


Online Classroom Discussion and Interaction Suggestions


  • Answer both Discussion Questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material, support your response with research or reading, and promote conversation
  • Respond to a classmates’ replies
  • Continue conversations with a reply to a peer
  • Respond to at least one of the teacher’s secondary questions, conversing with a classmate who responds to the same question
  • Be sure all responses are detailed and clear and replies are twice on four separate days.
  • Be sure that all responses relate to the course reading and notes, your own everyday life, or to both
  • Provides the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learn from what you have contributed and can continue the conversation
  • Use proper grammar, spelling, and netiquette


Withdrawal Policy

A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.


Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Instructor Policies

You are grown ups. Welcome to the real world. These policies reflect what living here is like.



The following will result in a ZERO for your daily score, without exception:

  • Failure to engage in discussions in any one week results in an irreversible drop
  • Rude/ignorant/disruptive behavior



Assignments are due on the portal by 11:55 PM on their due date.


The following will not be accepted. Ever.

  • Late assignments (including in-class presentations)
  • Emailed assignments
  • Hard copy assignments
  • Extra credit assignments
  • Technical excuses (We have FIVE computer labs, free wi-fi, and on-call IT at


Five points will be automatically deducted for assignments:

  • That are submitted without their completed rubric
  • That are not spell checked
  • That are not in APA style


My Expectations of You

  • Be concerned with your grade from day one to the end
  • Keep track of your assignment submissions
  • Use your feedback to improve
  • Ask for help immediately
  • Ask questions to gain knowledge


There will be NO exceptions to these policies. Please do not present excuses in an attempt to circumvent them. In the spirit of fairness and to avoid miscommunication or misunderstanding about your responsibilities, you will receive no response to these excuses.



The assignments in this course are tracked by points and calculated by simple addition.


Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Points Value

Quality Points


96 – 100




90 – 95




87 – 89




83 – 86




80 – 82




77 – 79




73 – 76




70 – 72




67 – 69




60 – 66




0 – 59




  • As noted, LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. There are only a few requirements for this course and you have the entire semester to complete them. This is eight weeks. If you are completing your DQs, you are also completing your assignments all along. Therefore, no extra time will be allotted after class has ended.


Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated either in the online or traditional classrooms. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well.


The following are among the forms of dishonesty, in a classroom of any type, for which sanctions may be applied:

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted;
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers;
  • Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination;
  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently;
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment;
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else;
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved;
  • Stealing examinations or assignments;
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments;
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted;
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results;
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.
  • Misrepresenting identity in an online course


(Please see the student handbook for more information.)


Disability Statement

Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution. Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs. Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab. If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Mrs. Christine Kiehart in the Disability Services office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses.

Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination

Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College. 


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.

Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.


Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:

Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,


Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries: Anita Cola, Affirmative Action Officer/Dean of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C, Vine Street, Scranton PA (570) 961-7815, or Dan LaMagna, Affirmative Action Officer/Dean of Students, Angeli Hall, Room 104, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-1579,  


Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email:   


Portfolio and Coursework

Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, accessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.


Course Schedule

*PLEASE NOTE: Online courses are only 7.5 weeks in length. However, they meet the same objectives and maintain the same rigor as when offered in the traditional classroom.


Class Week


Course Objective Met


Weeks 1-2

What is the Praxis? Demystifying the Test

Reading Questions and Strategies and Time Management

Explain the basics of the exam format and logistics, including times and dates, costs, and required cutoff scores  


Use test-taking strategies, including planning and preparation and time management, to complete practice tests

Review samples of reading questions


Devise reading strategies


Complete a full-length practice reading test

Weeks 3-4

Grammar Basics: Foundation for Writing

Writing: Commonly Confused Words and Essay Analysis

Identify personal weaknesses and locate corresponding resources to practice and increase critical reading, writing, and math skills


Review the most common grammar errors, parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar rules


Complete grammar practice


Review commonly confused words and idiomatic expressions


Identify the two types of multiple-choice writing questions


Review sample essay prompts and learn how the essay portion of the test is scored


Analyze examples of strong and weak essays


Practice the writing process with consideration for time allotted by completing a sample test


Math Basics: Number Line, Positives and Negatives; Exponents and Square Roots; Decimals and Fractions

Math Basics: Percentages and Algebraic Equations

Math Basics: Geometry, Statistics, and Measurements

Identify personal weaknesses and locate corresponding resources to practice and increase critical reading, writing, and math skills


Use test-taking strategies, including planning and preparation and time management, to complete practice tests


Add, subtract, multiply, and divide positive and negative numbers, decimals and fractions


Complete a sample test


Convert numbers to percentages and percentages to numbers


Convert percentages into fractions and decimals and vice versa


Review scientific notation, ratio and proportion


Define algebraic expressions, learn to combine like terms, and solve equations and inequalities


Complete practice problems


Review area, perimeter, volume, lines, angles, shapes, congruence, similarity, and the Pythagorean theorem


Define and calculate mean, median, mode, and range


Identify types of graphs including pie graphs, bar graphs, and pictographs


Construct a Venn diagram and discover a useful formula for probability questions


Identify and convert measurements


Create xy tables, plot points, and graph lines


Complete practice problems on a sample test


Preparing a Strategic Plan

Employ Bloom’s Taxonomy to reflect on learning improvements, to evaluate resources use, and to develop a comprehensive preparation plan

Reflect on basic knowledge, skills, and strategies learned throughout the course


Prepare a study guide for learning


Submit final reflection


How will I pass this course?

In order to successfully earn a Pass in this course, you must:

  • Complete all discussion questions, replying no less that twice per day on any four days. You should have no less than 8 replies minimum per week.
  • Complete all assignments posted in Assignments.
  • Complete the Final Reflection (The rubric is posted below).