U of M, Crookston Hosts Minnesota Board of Teaching Institutional Evaluation Team

The Early Childhood Education Program at the University of Minnesota, Crookston recently hosted an institutional evaluation visit by an assessment team representing the Minnesota Board of Teaching. This site visit was a follow up to the Crookston campus earning initial institutional approval from the Minnesota Board of Teaching in 2007 to prepare students for state teacher licensure.

The evaluation team, chaired by Teacher Education Specialist JoAnn Van Aernum, was on campus for the three-day visit to review the data gathered since 2007 related to the 54 standards established by the Board. These standards are meant to ensure that teacher candidates have the opportunity to learn, develop, and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for teacher licensure.

Meeting these standards, which are designed to maintain high quality in teacher licensure candidates, is part of the process as the U of M, Crookston seeks to gain full-continuing approval for its teacher preparation program. Full-continuing approval has a seven-year interval and is determined by the Board of Teaching.
Van Aernum indicated she felt the visit was a positive one and clarified its importance. "The purpose of the visit by our team is to evaluate according to the criteria and make a recommendation to the Board of Teaching," she said. "It is critical that institutions meet these established rules for teacher preparation in order to provide the high quality teachers we need in our schools."

A report from the team will be prepared and delivered to the campus in early December, at which time the campus may provide further documentation if needed. A recommendation by the team will be sent to the Board for a final decision, and an announcement of the decision is expected in the first quarter of 2012.

The Board of Teaching, created in 1973, provides leadership for improvements in teacher education programs in order to assure that the state has well-qualified, professional teachers. The Governor appoints eleven members to the Board of Teaching: six classroom teachers, one higher education faculty member, one school administrator, and three members of the public, two of whom must have spent some time on a local school board. The Board determines the standards and practices that will serve the state's teachers and teacher preparation institutions. For more information, visit http://education.state.mn.us/mde/index.html.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 16 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of more than 1,500 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Jack Geller, professor and head, Liberal Arts and Education Department, 218-281-8248 (gelle045@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)