2017-2018 Catalog

Elementary Education

  • Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) (100 credits)
  • Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S) (100 + 97 = 197 credits total)

Program Description

The Elementary Education Program was developed in response to a need for Native American representation in public schools locally and nationally. The critical areas of professional preparation that distinguish Salish Kootenai teacher education graduates include:

  • Knowledge of Native American student context and best educational practices leading to developmentally and culturally appropriate pedagogy.
  • Identification with Native American culture and community values imbedded in content and pedagogy.
  • Commitment to meeting the needs of developmentally, ethnically and linguistically diverse learners.
  • Commitment to reflective practices leading to personal and professional development,
  • Development of collaborative relationships with mentoring teachers and peers organized into learning communities that promote application of knowledge, skills and dispositions in real settings.
  • Strong evidence of effective communication, critical thinking, cultural understanding and citizenship.

Career Opportunities

Associate degree graduates are prepared to work as paraprofessionals in public school districts or continue on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Bachelor degree graduates who qualify for licensure are eligible to teach in K-8 classrooms. Elementary graduates also obtain jobs in developing curriculum, tutoring, and mentoring.

After meeting specified requirements, students may enroll in the Teacher Education Program (TEP) for third and fourth year courses. Requirements for acceptance into the TEP are outlined in the Education Department Student Handbook.

Bachelor Degree graduates are eligible for Elementary Education licensure in Montana after completion of specified requirements. See the Education Department Student Handbook for a description of these requirements. Graduation with a bachelor degree in elementary education is not a guarantee of licensure. The Elementary Education program is accredited by the Montana Board of Public Education.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science degree, candidates will demonstrate the skills, dispositions and knowledge in relationship to the following principles (based on the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards):

Standard #1: Learner Development.

The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning Differences.

The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning Environments.

The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Standard #4: Content Knowledge.

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of Content.

The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6: Assessment.

The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction.

The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies.

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice.

The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration.

The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Requirements

Students must submit to a federal background check and fingerprinting for the Elementary Education program.

Associate Degree: Students must receive a “C” or better in all required courses while maintaining an overall grade point average of 2.0 to graduate.

Bachelor Degree: Students must earn a “C” or higher in all required education methods courses while maintaining a 3.0 GPA in these courses and an overall GPA of 2.5.

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