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Unit Leadership and Authority

Decision making at UMM is guided by our membership in the University system, but is characterized by considerable autonomy for educational matters. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents establishes the institutional mission and acts on major program changes. The University central administration controls broad policy in matters such as personnel practices, purchasing, fiscal control, physical plant alterations, and resource allocation to the campus. The UMM administration controls the budget and allocation of new resources among its programs once the funds have reached the campus. UMM initiatives, goals, objectives, and implementation strategies are integrated into the University-wide planning process and budgeting scheme. At UMM, legislative and policy making responsibility rests with the Campus Assembly, the governing body of the campus consisting of the faculty, professional and administrative staff, elected student members, and elected united staff association members. It establishes policies and regulations governing educational matters. The Assembly also appoints standing and ad hoc committees and reviews their actions.

Within this system, the professional education unit at UMM holds primary responsibility for all programs that lead to initial teacher licensure. The unit has an excellent system of communication and coordination in which the TEP faculty meet regularly to discuss specific programs and shared courses and assignments. In addition, the faculty member in charge of the state’s accreditation system (PEPER: Professional Education Program Evaluation Report) works closely with liberal arts colleagues who teach the content courses that candidates must take to prepare them for teaching. The Chair of the Division of Education serves as the unit head and has authority to make decisions within the unit. The Chair works closely and effectively with other division chairs from Science and Mathematics, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and with the vice chancellor and academic dean. There are also discipline coordinators for secondary education and elementary education. Currently, the secondary education coordinator also coordinates PEPER, and the elementary education coordinator coordinates NCATE.

The unit’s decision-making procedures are included in and supported by the institution’s systems for curriculum approval. For example, to address state licensure changes and to foster program improvement, TEP faculty adjusted program requirements in consultation with division chairs, the Teacher Education Committee, and discipline representatives. The revised program was approved by the TEP faculty, the division faculty, the UMM Curriculum Committee, and the Campus Assembly.

The Division Chair, as licensure officer, is authorized to submit licensure program proposals for BOT approval, administer licensure programs, and recommend candidates for teacher licensure.

Faculty Participation

The UMM TEP assumes primary responsibility for the design, implementation, and evaluation of our program, especially in consideration of increasing accreditation demands both for our program and for our institution. However, we know that to design a meaningful, rigorous, and successful program, we must engage in thoughtful and intentional collaboration with our university faculty, adjunct and part-time faculty, and our school partners. We depend on their professional commitment and expertise to help our candidates attain competency as beginning teachers.

The complete full-time teacher education faculty meets weekly to discuss the program, assessment, and relevant issues. Full-time temporary faculty members are included as full participants in these meetings. Part-time faculty members are frequently invited if they are teaching one or more of the fundamental professional education courses, and when possible, they do attend and make important contributions. For example, the revision of our conceptual framework’s disposition goals and the development of the related field-based assessment were tasks suggested and led by a part-time faculty member who had worked within the program for several years. The coordinator of secondary education has worked to develop a more formal system of induction for instructors of secondary methods courses. These instructors, most of whom are inservice teachers, receive clear information about BOT standards, program expectations, and program coherence. The meetings also provide a vehicle for their suggestions and feedback.

Higher education faculty colleagues also provide feedback, support, and suggestions regarding the program. As part of the PEPER process, they worked diligently under the guidance of the PEPER coordinator to match course content with standards. The Teacher Education Committee is also available to discuss program needs and processes.

Our partnering school districts and cooperating teachers have contributed to the design, delivery, and evaluation of the UMM TEP through multiple opportunities for communication, discussion, and decision-making. To be sure to give our partners opportunities to provide feedback and suggestions, we hold district or school meetings with cooperating teachers and principals and have conducted meetings at their request. Partners are also invited to be a part of the UMM Teacher Education Advisory Council, an informal group that consists of unit faculty, UMM administrators, members of the UMM Teacher Education Committee, and school personnel. The council has allowed us the opportunity for an exchange of information and ideas. We also solicit information and feedback through informal and formal surveys. The UMM TEP work together to plan and execute short-term and long-range goals.

Access To Services

TEP faculty members serve as advisors to candidates before admission and throughout their time in the program. The close relationships between candidates and faculty help support candidate awareness and use of the many services available at the institution. Information about the services listed below is also easily accessible on the Current Students link found on UMM’s home page.  

  • Academic Advising is committed to building interaction and communication between students and staff.
  • Academic Assistance provides small-group tutoring, one-on-one academic counseling, and drop-in help rooms.
  • Career Center provides services and developmental opportunities to students.
  • Disability Services provides support for students, faculty, and staff with physical, mental or cognitive disabilities.
  • Health Services is an outpatient health care facility for UMM students, assuring them on-campus access to health professionals.
  • The Multi-Ethnic Student Program is dedicated to working with students and academic offices to meet the needs of students of color.
  • Student Counseling provides free personal, crisis, and developmental therapy.
  • The Writing Room provides feedback that allows students to become more secure, independent, and effective writers.

Recruiting and Admissions

Admission to the elementary and secondary education programs is selective. A separate admissions process must be completed and admission granted before students can enroll in any of the education licensure programs. Following admittance, candidates enroll in the professional studies component which consists of courses and clinical experiences organized to support the development of knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for beginning teachers. Elementary education candidates typically apply in their sophomore year and begin, if admitted, in the fall semester of their junior year. Secondary education candidates apply in the fall of their junior or senior year and if accepted begin the secondary education sequence the next fall. Transfer students are encouraged to apply but first must be admitted to UMM. Their transcripts are analyzed by the registrar and by TEP faculty to determine what courses will be accepted for degree and licensure programs. Transfer students are encouraged to seek academic planning advice from a member of the elementary or secondary education faculty to assist them in their application and enrollment process. Enrollment is limited. In addition to being admitted to UMM, all candidates must complete the following:

  • Prerequisite courses passed with a grade of C- or higher (Psy 1061: Child and Adolescent Development, and Ed 2101: Foundations and Issues in Education and Ed 2111: Tutor-Aide Practicum)
  • Completion of the Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST)
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 overall, in education courses, and in required licensure areas.
  • Appropriate progress toward general education and discipline major or area of concentration requirements,
  • Approval of the admission committee based on interview, written recommendations, and prior experiences.

The unit ensures that policies and procedures are clearly and consistently described in both written and electronic publications, catalogs, and other materials. We work within PCAS (the Program and Curriculum Approval System), the University’s web-based program used for creating and modifying majors and minors and other degree programs. Faculty and support personnel write and proofread all of the sections related to the education programs. Faculty members work closely with the admissions staff to clarify the program requirements and opportunities. Working with the advising office, we have created sample plans using the Grad Planner and supported by PCAS, that include information about course schedule, requirements, and timing. Working with the transfer specialist in the office of the registrar, we have assured the accuracy of information given to transfer students. The unit’s internal publications are regularly updated and checked for accuracy. Prospective students and candidates are invited to attend regularly scheduled advising meetings to assist them in the application process.

The TEP faculty meets weekly to discuss program matters including review and fulfillment of institutional and system policy. The unit works closely with the offices of the Dean, Registrar, Admissions, and University Relations to ensure that academic calendars, catalogs, publications, grading policy, and advertising are accurate and current. Unit and institutional policies are updated regularly and are clearly defined in university and departmental handbooks.