A. Overview & Conceptual Framework
This section sets the context for the visit. It should clearly state the mission of the institution. It should also describe the characteristics of the unit and identify and describe any branch campuses, off-campus sites, alternate route programs, and distance learning programs for professional school personnel.
A.1. What are the institution's historical context and unique characteristics (e.g., HBCU or
Established in 1913 as a Normal School, Minot State University has evolved into a Carnegie Master's 1 university and is the third largest institution in the North Dakota University System (NDUS). It is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission with the last review in 2008. Minot State University is located in Minot, a city of approximately 36,500 in the north central region of North Dakota. Minot's population is enhanced by approximately 12,000 residents of Minot Air Force Base located 12 mi. north of the city and nearly 20,000 rural residents within a 60-mile radius. Fall 2009 enrollment figures showed a head count of 3649 students from 48 states and 26 countries. Of those students, 1678 were enrolled solely in coursework offered through distance education and 1817 were enrolled in both distance education and face-to-face courses and 778 others that met only in face-to-face format. 2980 students were from North Dakota and 271 were from Canada.
A.2. What is the institution's mission?
Minot State University is committed to high academic standards and professional support for students, the university is dedicated to student success, engaged and life-long learning, advancement of knowledge, effective student service, and development of students of character. These commitments are grounded in effective and motivated teaching and learning, scholarship, and service. The university values critical and creative thinking, vitality of communities and cultures, stewardship of place, and the multicultural and global environment. The university honors and supports the dignity and rights of diverse individuals, freedom of expression, academic freedom, ethical and moral behavior, integrity, fairness, and honesty. Minot State University is first and foremost dedicated to the success of all students: their growth and development as educated citizens, their confidence, and their life-long devotion to the common good and the welfare of others.
A.3. What is the professional education unit at your institution and what is its relationship to
other units at the institution that are involved in the preparation of professional educators?
The Teacher Education Unit is not an academic department or division as such. Rather, it is comprised of Teacher Education faculty and administrators from the College of Education and Health Sciences, the College of Business, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Unit faculty serve in their capacities as teacher educators while they are officially housed in the departments and divisions across the campus which deliver course work and programs in elementary and/or secondary education or graduate programs for teachers or other school personnel. All undergraduate Teacher Education programs lead to the Bachelor of Science in Education degree (BSE).
The unit's governance structure is hierarchical with the Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences at the top. The Teacher Education Administrative Council (TEAC) reports directly to the dean. TEAC's members include the deans of the three colleges, the dean of the graduate school, the chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance (TEHP), and the chair of the Department of Communication Disorders and Special Education. Beneath TEAC in the hierarchy are the Teacher Education Stakeholders Advisory Council, the Program and Policy Committee (P & P), and the Graduate Program Directors. The P & P Committee is a representative Teacher Education faculty committee responsible for recommending to TEAC policies and procedures on teacher education issues. P & P is comprised of two co-chairs (the Chair of TEHP and an elected representative from a secondary or K-12 program), two elementary education faculty, and one representative from each academic department or major program offering a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) and/or at least one of the courses in the Teacher Education Professional Sequence.
A.4. What are the basic tenets of the conceptual framework and how has the conceptual
framework changed since the previous visit?
The Minot State University Teacher Education Unit's (TEU) conceptual framework, including philosophy, beliefs, mission, and goal statements, was originally framed in 1987. Within this framework, a teacher is described as a Reflective Decision-Maker. This description subsequently was operationalized through a conceptual model designated "ARK" (Action, Reflection, Knowledge). Input during development of the conceptual model derived from a broad range of sources, both across the university (TE faculty) and the community it serves (Stakeholders' Committee). Since that time TEU has further enriched this theme and model by organizing all of its program components and assessment instruments into a coherent framework based in concordance with the INTASC standards at the initial preparation level and with a variety of standards at the advanced level. The present Teacher Education framework has thus matured to provide a structure articulated by:
- a philosophy statement
- belief statements
- a mission statement
- an organizing theme (Teacher as a Reflective Decision-Maker)
- a conceptual model (ARK)
- goals based on the INTASC standards or advanced program standards
- program elements
- program outcome assessments based on the identified program standards
The logo for MSUs conceptual framework includes the three elements of action, reflection, and knowledge. An update review of literature relating to the conceptual framework was conducted in spring 2010. The update shows that current research aligns with and supports the unit's conceptual framework and model.
A.5. Exhibit Links
- Conceptual framework [pdf]
- Syllabi for professional education courses [pdf]
- Higher Learning Commission Report 2008 [link]
- Call for Comments [pdf]
- Links to unit catalogs and other printed documents describing general education, specialty/content studies, and professional studies [pdf]
- Findings of other national accreditation associations [pdf]