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MSU Teacher Education Unit (TEU)

G. Standard 6.

The unit has the leadership, authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources, including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

G.1. How does the unit's governance system and resources contribute to adequately preparing candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards?
The role of the Teacher Education Administrative Council (TEAC) is to ensure compliance of the unit's programs with their respective standards and to provide leadership in maintaining high quality programs. The campus process for approving curriculum requires TEAC to approve all program changes relating to unit programs. All decisions regarding candidates as they move through the program from admission to graduation are made by TEAC. TEAC approves all policy and procedures of the unit operation.

Candidate behavior may require decisions relative to dispositions that determine whether the candidate remains in the program. With the advent of legislation requiring background checks of anyone working in a school TEAC has been called upon to make decisions regarding eligibility for student teaching placements. TEAC sets policy for graduation requirements so that all candidates meeting those requirements are eligible for state licensure.

The unit supports the campus policies relative to hiring, faculty load, and assessment of faculty and programs. We have been able to lead out with our experience on assessment systems and have helped the university in our recent Higher Learning Commission visit. The expertise of our assessment technology specialist and our experience with data management using FileMaker was sought out extensively. While most of the budgets regarding professional development are handled in the department of each program the unit does have a budget that provides for the costs associated with student teaching, internships, and other forms of practical experience. The student teaching budget also supports some professional development and meetings with school partners.

The unit receives support for NCATE, NASP, NASM, and ASHA annual dues and costs associated with accreditation and these national accreditations contribute greatly to maintaining high quality programs. The influence of the unit is extensive as campus administration recognize TEAC's role in leading the teacher education programs and have supported the units needs with extra personnel and funds when needed to maintain accreditation or develop new policies or procedures.

G.2 Please respond to G.2a if this is the standard on which the unit is moving to the Target Level. If it is not the standard on which you are moving to the target level, respond to G.2b.

The most significant addition to the unit will be the opening of the newly renovated Swain Hall, which will be opened for the Fall 2010 semester. This building will house the Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance as well as four new science labs. There will be twelve new teachings areas plus a gymnasium for Physical Education, and a large lab for our Athletic Trainer and Corporate Fitness programs. This is an $11,000,000 renovation that will result in new classrooms equipped with the best instructional technology available. The renovations will provide new spaces for our reading clinics, CASCLS research facilities and offices, early childhood labs, digital audio-visual recording in pedagogy labs, computer lab, and new office spaces for many unit faculty and for student groups such as Students of North Dakota Education Association (SNDEA) and the Minot State Club of Physical Educators (MSCOPE).

The campus has recently been awarded a Title III grant that has supported campus-wide efforts to improve teaching, retention, and improve graduation rates. This goes hand in hand with our work with Foundations of Excellence, a national group supporting improvements in first year experiences for students on university campuses. The Title III grant has provided start-up funds to establish the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning. The mission of the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning at Minot State University is to provide opportunities and support for students, faculty, and staff, through engaged teaching and learning, to enhance the higher education experience and increase student success. Several unit faculty play key leadership roles in its operation. Dr. Borden-King is the Associate Director of Engagement and Service Learning and Dr. Geller is the Associate Director of First Year Experience.

In the 2006-2007 school year 18 faculty from across campus attended Learning and the Brain Conferences as the university worked to establish a Center of Excellence on our campus. From this group's efforts, led by Dr. Deb Jensen, the State Board of Higher Education approved a Center of Applied Study of Cognition and Learning Sciences (CASCLS) for our campus. The mission of this center is two fold: 1. Provide authoritative translations of first-source research regarding how people learn and 2. Seek appropriate applications of this research within authentic educational settings to assist learning across content areas. The university supplied funds to support the start-up of the approved center and that allowed Dr. Deb Jensen the opportunity to focus on the role of Center Director while Dr. Warren Gamas became interim chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance. CASCLS funds support research efforts through release time for faculty on approved research topics and also provide limited professional development support for faculty to attend conferences that will support the mission of CASCLS. CASCLS will be housed in the newly renovated Swain Hall and is planning a major conference to celebrate the new facilities. "Numerous professional development presentations were made by MSU faculty involved with CASCLS from 2006-2008, including two Mind/Brain Mythbusters Seminars, attended by a total of over 130 educators and university students . . ." (2010 CASCLS Report to the University, p11). Link to

Some of the unit graduate programs are making good use of federal and state Personnel Preparation Grants. The MAT program in Mathematics and the MS in Special Education have been able to offer and continue to offer support for teachers in the region to gain graduate school education for a significantly reduced cost while at the same time supporting the desire of the faculty to improve the skills, knowledge, and aptitudes of area teachers.

Instructional Technology equipment upgrades are a constant happening on our campus with improved bandwidth, improved security, and new hardware and software added daily. Instructional Technology Central (ITC) has a staff of nine and keep the university provided with excellent services. ITC looks after online access through both hard wired and wireless systems, VOIP, email, spam protection, computer kiosks for students, troubleshooting faculty and staff computers, securing data systems, operation of "Smart" classrooms, and other technology.

The Office of Instructional Technology is a campus resource that supports faculty development in online course design and the integration of technology into the classroom with the goal of enhancing student learning. Training and campus collaboration opportunities are provided throughout the year. Examples include Wimba Communication Tools (Podcaster, Voice Direct, Voice Presentation, Voice Board, Wimba Live Classroom), Acrobat Connect Professional (Breeze), PRS Interwrite (Clickers), and Digital Voice Recorders.

Last year the university set aside $391,054 for a one-time expenditure to upgrade the classroom environments including technology and facilities across the campus. Each department was asked to submit a list of what was needed to improve the physical environment in their teaching areas. Most of the faculty requests for renovations of teaching areas were or are being accommodated. Very few areas across campus were not impacted by this initiative.

Several years ago the President activated a Compensation Task Force on our campus to address salary inequities. Over the last five years this effort has resulted in raising the salaries of employees so that the number of employees paid below 80% of the expected minimum salary for their field has gone from almost 160 in 2006 to none in 2011. Minot State has identified 10 aspirational peer institutions and has as its goal to meet or exceed the average of these peer institution. Significant strides were made in the past year. For example, an average of 13.9% improvement in full professor's salaries while peer institutions only went up 5.89% on average. This task force continues to focus on salary equity issues and has made real progress in moving salaries to a level where recruitment is not as difficult. These efforts assist the unit in recruiting new faculty.

The campus has a program called "Advanced Study Grants" locally called the Grow Your Own funds and this is a continuing effort on campus to help faculty earn terminal degrees. At this point eight faculty who teach full or part time in the unit have completed doctoral studies using support from these grants. In addition, several more faculty are currently completing doctoral studies and receive significant support from this program.

Last year was the first year the university offered sabbaticals to campus faculty and two of the faculty took advantage of this offer by taking a semester to do research at full pay. One of the faculty is obtaining training on the use of EEG equipment to further her research capabilities and this includes working with our reading research efforts within the Center for the Applied Study of Cognition and Learning Sciences (CASCLS).

Vision Check 2013 is an initiative by the campus to prioritize the campus program offerings. For decades the regional accreditation reports have indicated that the campus tries to do too many things and so the campus has started a review of all programs to try and place resources where they will do the most good. We are scheduled to implement this prioritization process and this should have a positive impact in freeing up even more resources for many of the unit programs.

G.3. Exhibit