Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources
The unit has the leadership, the authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.
6.1.1 Leadership coordinates all programs designed to prepare educational professionals.
Coordination of all Teacher Education programs at Minot State University is under the direct authority of the Teacher Education and Governance Unit (TEGU). The Unit has the responsibility to designate all coursework and admission, retention, and graduation procedures for candidates in the program. Unit leadership consists of the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services who serves as Chairman of the Teacher Education Administrative Council (TEAC). TEAC approves, administers, and coordinates all Teacher Education programs at the undergraduate (initial) and graduate (advanced) levels. All course and/or program changes must be approved by the Graduate Council, the University Curriculum Committee, and the MSU Faculty Senate. The Program and Policy Committee (P&P), made up of representative faculty of the Unit, is the grass-roots organization of the Unit and advises TEAC on matters of policy, but does not approve policy. Flow charts illustrating Unit organization can be found on page 9.
6.1.2 Recruiting and admission practices are clearly and consistently described in publications and catalogs.
6.1.3 Academic calendars, catalogs, publications, grading policies, and advertising are accurate and current.
Many publications are available for graduate and undergraduate students at Minot State University. The graduate and undergraduate catalogs are published every two years. As policy is continually reviewed and changed, this two-year publication schedule may cause some concern when TEGU approves changes recommended by faculty, university administration, state or national agencies that must go into effect between publication dates of the catalogs. A concerted effort is made to ensure that all faculty who advise candidates, all school partners, and university administration are kept current on all TEGU programs, policies, and procedures. Faculty advisors and teachers in core classes keep candidates aware of changes in policy as well.
Information on admission, retention, and exit requirements are also published on the university website. The website is current in all particulars, which allows all students to have access to information that is accurate and current. All forms are also included on the website and are downloadable.
When changes are made to catalogs, the interested parties are informed immediately in a variety of ways: a) regular or inter-campus mail to faculty and/or students; b) email to faculty, candidates, and school partners (or ‘First Class’ to Minot Public Schools); c) notices on campus bulletin boards; d) notices published in the Red and Green, the campus newspaper; e) university website, which is immediately updated; and f) public meetings which are organized by TEAC and delivered by the Office of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement when necessary.
One of the functions of the Program and Policy Committee (P&P) is to communicate changes in policy to the departments or divisions through the representative committee members. These members also bring questions and concerns from their departments to share and to be acted upon by P&P. The Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee has a similar role for its members. Faculty representatives to the Northwest School Leaders and the Association of Teacher Educators also play a role in communicating program changes to school partners.
The Student Teaching Handbook, sold in the MSU Bookstore, is updated each year and distributed to all candidates, cooperating teachers, and university faculty. The handbook is also available on the Minot State University website. The Director of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement holds mandatory meetings for candidates prior to admission to Teacher Education and prior to application for student teaching. This office is also open at all times for students with questions about the teaching program at Minot State.
6.1.4 Candidates have access to student services such as advising and counseling.
Each candidate in every department is assigned a faculty advisor upon enrolling at Minot State University. Students are free to change advisors as needed. Other student services are widely available through the Student Development Office and other agencies on campus. Most programs within TEGU place an "advisor hold" on student registration that requires each candidate to visit with his or her advisor each semester before registration for classes can be completed. In addition to monitoring their program more effectively, this allows the advisor to keep candidates abreast of any changes in TEGU policy that may have occurred since their last advising conference. Additionally, the Unit operates the Office of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement that has a role in advising students on an individual appointment basis in addition to seminars and workshops concerning admission to the program and to student teaching.
6.1.5 Unit and faculty collaborate with P-12 practitioners in delivery and evaluation of the unit and its programs.
The Unit collaborates with P-12 partners on both a formal and informal basis. Formally TEGU has organized the Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee to introduce or review policy recommendations. Formal collaboration also includes the partnership agreement between the Minot Public Schools and Minot State University and with other school districts. Membership in Northwest School Leaders and Association of Teacher Educators is also a formal means of collaboration with local partners. The Unit is also represented on the North Dakota Board of Higher Education’s Council of Teacher Education that meets semi-annually to discuss teacher education issues of concern across the state. Many TEGU faculty are also involved with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction on curriculum issues statewide. Several faculty serve on teacher education accreditation teams at both the state and national levels.
6.1.6 Programs outside of the unit recognize the unit as a leader.
Participation and leadership at the state level indicate a high level of activity and visibility of Unit members. TEGU administrators contribute to discussion of teacher education policy at the state level through membership on the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB), the North Dakota Program Approval Advisory Committee, and on the North Dakota Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). The Unit is also represented on the Board of Higher Education’s Council of Teacher Education that meets semi-annually to discuss teacher education issues of concern across the state. TEGU faculty members are involved with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and work on curriculum issues statewide. Several faculty serve on teacher accreditation teams at both the state and national levels.
With the representation that TEGU faculty and administration have with our various local school partners and state agencies, there is a strong recognition that the Unit is a leader in teacher education across the state of North Dakota. Recently the Dean was appointed by the governor to serve on the Education Standards and Practices Board; he also serves as the Chair of the North Dakota Program Approval Advisory Committee. This committee is composed of higher education faculty, school administrators, and teachers who review and advise the ESPB on accreditation reports and policies relative to teacher education institutions.
6.1.7 The unit provides professional development on effective teaching for faculty in other units in the institution.
TEGU has created a subcommittee of the P&P Committee for Professional Development. This committee has sponsored several faculty workshops for TEGU faculty. In addition, faculty from within the Unit share their expertise with faculty across campus. Dr. Lisa Borden-King provided a series of workshops on developing and using rubrics. Dr. Jack Rasmussen, former Dean, provided instruction on using humor in the classroom. Dr. Neil Nordquist, current Dean, provided five workshops on using the "Understanding by Design" concepts developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. Further evidence of Unit service in other areas of professional development may be seen in the summary of faculty presentations.
6.2.1 Unit budgetary allocations permit faculty teaching, scholarship, and service that extends beyond the unit to P-12 education and other programs in the institution. The maximum teaching load is to be 12 hours with student teaching supervision calculated at 18 students as a full-time load.
The organization of the Unit includes faculty in all three colleges on campus (College of Education and Health Sciences, College of Business, and College of Arts and Sciences). The Unit has made it clear that Teacher Education faculty in all colleges should have a maximum load of 12 semester hours of classes. Faculty assigned to supervise student teachers as part of their load should be allocated 0.66 semester hours per student teacher. Occasionally a faculty member will have a load in excess of 12 hours in one semester and a lighter load in the subsequent semester to compensate as program changes may require. This is the exception rather than the rule.
The resources allocated to Minot State University by the State Board of Higher Education for curriculum, instruction, faculty, clinical work, scholarship, etc. come from a variety of sources and are often difficult to identify as Unit funds. Resources at the institution, however, do support TEGU programs. The budget for student teaching provides an honorarium for clinical teachers in practica and in student teaching, expenses for university supervisors, travel for faculty, and the costs of supporting partnership activities such as professional development and an annual Recognition Banquet for cooperating professionals in conjunction with the local ATE association.
6.2.2. Budget for curriculum, instruction, faculty, clinical work, scholarship, etc. support high-quality work within the unit and with its school partners.
Each department represented in TEGU supports high-quality work among its faculty and with school partners. Student evaluations of faculty teaching are high. Faculty scholarship and service to the educational community are outlined in the summary of faculty activities and in professional resumes. Scholarship and service are required of all faculty across campus, and the TEGU faculty are especially motivated. Faculty are involved in leadership activities on the Unit, university, state, and national levels. The budget for high quality work appears to be adequate.
Recently, the MSU administration provided a new full-time staff position, Mr. Billy Boyeff, to support the development of TEGU’s assessment system and to help establish and maintain our websites as well as other college services. While this position is not strictly limited to the Unit, the bulk of the time does support Teacher Education.
6.3.1 Workload policies permit and encourage faculty to be engaged in a wide range of professional activities in unit, community, state, regional, and national forums.
Teacher Education faculty workload is based upon a 12 hours per semester load to allow faculty to meet their obligations in scholarship and service. Belief statements of the university include a commitment to provide service to the community, state, region, and the nation. Resources to support this endeavor are limited, but many faculty provide service to the area and beyond. University support consists of travel support and released time. Often faculty will obtain grants in addition to university monies to support their service.
6.3.2 Formal policies and procedures have been established to include online course delivery in determining factor load.
If faculty teaches online coursework, it is usually considered to be part of their 12-semester hour teaching load. Occasionally faculty may teach a class online as overload, but the university restricts the amount of overload a faculty member may accrue. Some departments within the Unit restrict faculty overload even further. For example, the Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance allow only one course on overload per academic year. Minot State University policy allows 12 semester hours of overload per academic year. Faculty who do take on an overload are paid according to the part-time or adjunct salary schedule.
6.3.3 Use of part-time faculty and graduate teaching assistantships is purposeful and employed to strengthen programs.
On the occasions when the full-time faculty cannot be used and part-time faculty is employed, the Unit checks to determine that the individual has the expertise to provide the required services. Due to the nature of most graduate programs on campus, the university provides very few graduate teaching assistantships. As much as possible only personnel with a minimum of a master’s degree are employed as part-time or adjunct faculty.
6.3.4 Clinical faculty members are included in the unit as valued colleagues.
Clinical faculty in the field are represented on the Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee and provide some of the most important feedback and assessments of our program. As each candidate completes his or her student teaching the clinical teacher is asked not only to assess the candidate in terms of how well they met the INTASC standards (see student teaching handbook), but they are also asked to assess how well they feel TEGU has prepared the candidates to meet the eight dispositions standards. In addition, at the end of each school year local and area clinical teachers are invited to the annual Recognition Banquet given in conjunction with the local ATE to honor their contribution to the Teacher Education program at Minot State.
6.3.5 Unit provision of support personnel enhances the effectiveness of faculty in teaching and mentoring candidates.
To assist faculty and Unit administrators in carrying out their responsibilities, the university provides secretarial support for each department in the Unit. Similar support is provided for the Office of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement. Unit faculty also access work-study students who perform clerical tasks that allow faculty more time for preparation for teaching, research, and/or service.
As mentioned previously, the Unit, through the College of Education and Health Sciences employed Mr. Billy Boyeff to coordinate data collection and assessment procedures. This administrative assistant also develops and maintains websites within the Unit and for the College. In the computer laboratories the university provides lab assistants to support the faculty and candidates in the application of technology. The Gordon B. Olson Library is a state-of-the-art facility with excellent staff who provide resources and services that support instruction and scholarship both on and off the campus.
6.3.6 The unit supports professional development activities that engage the faculty in dialogue and skill development related to emerging theories and practices.
Travel funds allow individual faculty members to attend professional meetings in their disciplinary fields. In addition, TEGU supports an annual retreat where faculty and the Unit’s school partners share new ideas on the improvement of Teacher Education and review the data on the program. The Unit also supports an annual Recognition Banquet in conjunction with the local ATE to honor local and area clinical teachers for their contribution to the Teacher Education program at Minot State. Often a guest speaker addresses the faculty and partners on issues important to the profession as part of that evening. The Program and Policy Committee also provides a forum for dialogue relative to new practices in teacher education. The P&P Committee has a subcommittee on professional development which has sponsored several seminars for TEGU faculty.
The university identifies an Assessment Day each semester where general sessions for all faculty often focus on issues relative to teaching and evaluation. As part of Assessment Day each program at the university spends time in their own department focusing on issues unique to their discipline. University policy also allows individual departments or programs to hold retreats where they can focus on new theories, practices, or ways to improve their programs.
Other opportunities exist for faculty to seek personal and professional development. The Bush Grant also supports university faculty in skill development through its Learning Community Grants or, on a more individual basis, through the "Partners in Learning" (PIL) program. The university also established a fund administered by the Intellectual Climate Committee that allows faculty to invite visiting scholars to campus to share their expertise. The Gordon B. Olson Library promotes scholarly dialogue through their ‘Brown Bag Talks’ held several times each semester where faculty share books in their fields. Several faculty members from TEGU have presented on new and classic books relative to teacher education.
6.4.1 The unit has outstanding facilities on campus and in partner schools to support candidates in meeting standards.
Minot State University recently completed major renovations in all but one of the instructional buildings on campus. New and newly-renovated buildings have been upgraded with new electrical systems and new technology; there has been a concerted effort to have all instructional settings provided with up-to-date projection systems capable of online connections, video, DVD, and flexible cams. The university supports several computer labs, in both platforms, for student use in classes and for instructional purposes in candidates’ field experiences. A Pedagogy Lab, which allows candidates to see master teachers in simulated settings and to observe themselves in classroom situations, was developed within the last three years. Using I-Movie technology and digital video cameras candidates are able to analyze their teaching and raise their level of understanding of concepts in classroom management and instruction.
Local school systems are also well provided with recent technology to enhance learning. Minot Public Schools provide the area with ‘First Class,’ a communication system that provides email, bulletin boards, news services, and other services to teachers in the district and to Teacher Education faculty at Minot State. The Office of Advisement and Field Experiences uses First Class to coordinate the work of candidates in their student teaching assignments.
Minot State’s library facilities are first-rate and provide services such as ‘Silver Platter’ databases to all faculty and students in an online environment as well as in the library building itself. The holdings of the Olson Library are extensive, and we are especially well-served in Teacher Education with full ERIC resources on campus plus a fast interlibrary loan service that supports faculty, candidates, and graduate students in their research. Library faculty willingly provide service to the university with programs to teach them how to make use of innovative technology in finding resources in the literature and by working with students both on and off campus. The Teacher Education curriculum library is housed in Olson Library as well, providing students with teacher resources for planning and executing lessons in peer teaching and regular classroom teaching.
The recent renovation of Cyril Moore Hall (Science) and Old Main provide excellent facilities and teacher offices that focus on the university’s core value of "students first." Cyril Moore Hall reflects the science faculty’s initiative to promote student research. The Pedagogy Lab in Old Main gives candidates the opportunity to identify teacher behaviors and strategies as they learn to edit videotapes of excellent teachers and themselves. The editing process requires them to identify more clearly ‘best practices’ and to evaluate their own teaching.
6.4.2 Facilities support most recent technologies and allow for faculty to model the use of technology and for candidates to practice its use for instructional purposes.
With the growth of technology, the campus has responded with new wiring to all offices and conference rooms. New wireless stations have been increased around the campus. New labs of computer notebooks have been purchased to allow greater flexibility with these powerful learning tools. Support from IT Central is expanding, and many of the Unit’s faculty have developed expertise in the most effective uses of technology which they share across campus, in the state, and nationally. Recently, Drs. Warren Gamas and Dan Ringrose presented a session to the faculty on the use of the WICKE system to enhance student learning at the university level.
Minot State University has used the Inter-active Video Network (IVN) system for many years to reach out to students in rural areas of the state in the graduate programs. IVN has allowed TEGU to expand its offerings and increase its graduate student population and yet maintain a personal contact with its students through this technology.
Online course work has expanded to include seven of the 12 courses that make up the Teacher Education program. Methods classes which include practica are the only classes not taught online.
6.5.1 The unit aggressively and successfully secures resources to support high-quality and exemplary programs and project to ensure that candidates meet standards.
Minot State University supports the Unit in technology resources for the Teacher Education program. The capital equipment budget allows individual faculty and the computer labs to upgrade computers every few years and to upgrade hardware and software programs even more frequently. New software is purchased with site licenses, and individual departments also supply some software from their own budgets. New hardware and software allows candidates to become proficient in its use and its application in classrooms.
6.5.2 Development and implementation of the unit’s assessment system is well funded.
The computers and software required for the Unit’s assessment system were easily put into place, and, most importantly, the university supported the additional staff necessary to develop and maintain the system. In the spring of 2001 the university administration was approached regarding the need for a staff position to support the development of a comprehensive database fundamental to the Unit’s assessment system. The College of Education and Health Sciences was provided with a new position to support TEGU’s needs and to support the accreditation needs within the College, including Teacher Education as well as other programs.
Unit funding supports the annual retreats that are an integral part of the assessment system. The Unit also provides funds to host the September meeting of the Northwest School Leaders that provides for valuable data on the success of the Unit’s graduates.
6.5.3 The unit serves as an information technology resource in education beyond the unit’s programs to the institution, community, and other institutions.
Faculty and staff model the use of technology in the area as a service for Minot State University. Each year the College of Business which supports the Business Education program partners with local vendors to sponsor a state-wide event called ‘Technology Expo.’
While most of our school partners are also on the leading edge of technology, we do share with them and provide workshops for regional teachers on the uses of technology in the classroom. The state has supported a program entitled ‘Teaching with Technology’ and Minot State hosts one of the regional instructors on our campus. Minot State also works with the Teaching with Technology program in processing graduate workshop credits for teachers in the field who participate in the workshops.
In 1998 Minot State University received a multimillion-dollar Title III Grant to support faculty in developing skills to teach online. As faculty trained in how to use this technology, they also developed a number of online courses that were supported through the grant. Minot State leads the North Dakota University System (NDUS) in the number of courses delivered online. Seven of the required Teacher Education core courses (excluding methods classes) are presented in an online format.
6.5.4 Faculty and candidates have access to exemplary library, curricular, and electronic information resources that not only serve the unit but also a broader community.
The delivery of online, distance education programs and our regular campus programs are greatly enhanced by the Olson Library’s impressive array of online databases, full text sites, and search engines. The library is equipped with two computer labs and excellent facilities for handling microfilm, microfiche, video, and print sources. Institutions across the state also share resources electronically as all holdings are available through the state’s search engine in addition to other online search engines. Off-campus students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels are able to access materials quickly through interlibrary loan. The library staff is also exceptional in the services they provide to students and faculty personally. The Teacher Education Curriculum Library is housed in the basement of the Olson Library as well as an extensive children’s book collection.