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Qualified Faculty

The unit faculty (see also NCATE Table 11) includes highly qualified professionals. 100% of tenure line professional education faculty members have earned doctorates. Since the last accreditation visit, two faculty members have met the requirements for tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor. Another earned promotion to full professor. All faculty members are current in their field and are active both in research and service. Their efforts in these areas reflect the core themes and practices of the conceptual framework, with a focus on diversity, technology, and collaboration. Adjunct faculty members also demonstrate active leadership in their schools, districts, and national organizations.

Faculty members without terminal degrees include part-time or full-time temporary lecturers and teaching specialists. Their qualifications are determined by the specific criteria of the hiring process. All have recent or current experience in the school setting where they have demonstrated leadership roles. Adjunct faculty members teach secondary methods courses in content areas in which they are licensed by the state of Minnesota. Those serving as lecturers have earned their master’s degrees. The teaching specialist who brings expertise in Spanish language instruction is currently in a master’s program. The UMM faculty members without terminal degrees bring current and exceptional expertise.

Faculty members with clinical supervision responsibilities must have at least three years teaching experience in the P-12 setting and either have been licensed or continue to be licensed in their professional field. School faculty for early, advanced, and clinical experiences must be licensed in the areas they teach and have the approval of their administrator to work with our candidates. Qualifications are discussed with the school personnel in charge of student teaching placements prior to deciding on final assignments. Cooperating teachers also complete a survey indicating years of experience, education, and other experiences which they submit to the education office.

For advanced and clinical field experiences, cooperating teachers must have at least three years of teaching experience; they must be tenured to qualify as a clinical supervisor. For early field experiences which do not require actual supervision of candidate lesson implementation, cooperating teachers must have a minimum of one year of experience. Most school faculty meet the qualifications for clinical supervision even for early and advanced field experiences.

Contemporary Professional Experiences

All university supervisors have contemporary professional experiences in school settings. Part-time clinical faculty members are experienced, licensed personnel, who are supported by a higher education faculty member, usually the coordinator of the elementary or secondary program. Depending upon the placement sites for the clinical experiences in a specific year, approximately 50% of the supervision is completed by full-time tenured unit faculty members. These professors have a strong commitment to ongoing experience in classrooms working with students and teachers. As part of supervision, the faculty members make at least four formal observations and use that time to observe candidates and interact with students.

A review of vitae will reveal school-based activities, interactions, and collaborations. For example, in 2005, the elementary education faculty participated in classroom-based lesson study including observations and interviews with students, candidates, and classroom teachers. They also presented an inservice for local teachers on lesson study as a professional development model. Two of the four current elementary education faculty have taught children as part of special summer programming (TREC and the environmental science course), and a third faculty has recent experience as a substitute teacher and principal. Secondary higher education faculty who supervise candidates also have contemporary experiences in school settings. Adjunct faculty members engaged in supervision are often career teachers who have recently retired. One is currently on leave from a teaching position and another has experience teaching in Minnesota as well as in other countries of the world. The experiences of the tenured secondary education faculty are not quite as recent as the adjunct faculty but include experience in alternative educational settings and in inquiry-based environmental education. The five tenured elementary and secondary education faculty members have conducted research and/or grant work that has taken them into schools for interaction with students and teachers. Faculty members also are current members of professional organizations that keep them informed of current practices and issues.