University of Minnesota Morris
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Unit – Teacher Education

The University of Minnesota, Morris, Teacher Education Program (Morris TEP) has been an integral part of the college since its inception. The program is part of the life-long development of an effective teacher and includes the study of liberal arts disciplines, pedagogy, teaching, and other life experiences. The program is based on a belief that a successful teacher is one who reflects on teaching and makes instructional decisions that ensure student learning for all students in all places. True to the undergraduate public liberal arts mission, we do not offer advanced preparation but instead focus on the needs of preservice teachers seeking initial licensure.

In the fall of 2008, the two-year elementary education program has an enrollment of 45 candidates (29 juniors and 16 seniors). As shown in Teacher Preparation Programs (NCATE Table 2), approximately half of the candidates are pursuing the preprimary licensure. Of the 24 candidates pursuing a middle level specialty, 14 are enrolled in the high-need specialty areas of science and math. The one-year secondary education program has a current enrollment of 22 candidates. The two highest enrollments are in the social studies and communication arts and literature.

Elementary and secondary education programs have shown enrollment fluctuations that reflect the institution’s overall enrollment. The elementary program experienced a significant two-year decrease in enrollment, but the newest cohort is once again at our average and expected size. The secondary program has experienced steady enrollment until this year with a slight decrease. We are working to address enrollment issues.

As shown in the 2008-2009 Table of Professional Education Faculty (NCATE Table 1), the Morris TEP benefits from experienced faculty members who have met the rigorous tenure and promotion requirements of the University System. There are five full-time tenured faculty members in the teacher education program, each holding a doctoral degree. Since the 2001 NCATE visit, two faculty members have been tenured and promoted to the rank of associate professor and a third was promoted to the rank of full professor. One other full-time faculty member holds the academic rank of lecturer.

In our examination of the part-time faculty data, we note that the adjunct faculty members provide current expertise and excellent connections to P-12 schools. We also note that we need to fill two tenure-line positions that have been vacated. Filling these positions will assist us in establishing continuity in our programs. We also hope to find new faculty members who will increase the diversity of the faculty and who will provide expertise and experience in high-need areas such as math, science, or special education.

Morris offers a major and teaching licensure in elementary education (K–6) with specialty licensures in preprimary (age 3–grade 3); and middle level (grades 5–8) communication arts and literature, mathematics, science, and social studies; and K–8 world languages (leading to K–12 licensure in French or Spanish). Current Minnesota rules for teacher licensure require that Elementary candidates obtain a specialty endorsement in addition to the K–6 license.

Licensure of teachers in secondary education is offered in chemistry (9–12), communication arts and literature (5–12), earth and space science (9–12), French (K–12), general science (5–8), instrumental music (K–12), life science (9–12), mathematics (5–12), physics (9–12), social studies (5–12), Spanish (K–12), visual arts (K–12), and vocal music (K–12).

Students who satisfactorily complete either elementary or secondary programs are eligible to apply for licensure under the standards established by the Minnesota Board of Teaching and the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Though we offer initial programs only, we have provided assistance to licensed teachers wishing to add specialty endorsements at the undergraduate level. This assistance includes transcript analysis, identifying content courses to be taken at Morris or other institutions, and providing the methods, theory, and field experience courses required for licensure.

We do not currently have distance learning or alternate route programs. Our traditional programs may include distance-learning experiences, including the choice of student teaching in schools outside of our 60-mile radius. These placements are part of our regular program. We have integrated technologies, including Moodle and traditional Email, into our delivery of these courses. We also have begun to offer optional “hybrid” courses that are delivered online.