2019-2020 Catalog

Education Division

Background Checks

Students pursuing a degree in Early Childhood, Elementary or Secondary Education at Salish Kootenai College are required to submit to state, federal and CPS background checks during their program of study. Candidates are required to submit a fingerprinted background check as soon as possible after enrolling in an education program, and maintain an updated background check every two years. Background checks are required by many school districts and early childhood programs before candidates may have contact with students, and before the Montana Office of Public Instruction will issue licensure.


Licensure is the process of obtaining your teaching certificate.

Licensure is not automatic with College graduation, and students must initiate the process with forms available from the Montana Office of Public ­Instruction (online at www.opt.mt.gov).

To teach out-of-state, contact the specific state for appropriate procedures. Licensure requirements vary among states, but SKC graduates usually find they are initially qualified to teach in states other than Montana.

SKC offers degrees in Elementary ­Education, ­Early Childhood P:3, and Secondary Education leading to licensure. Students applying for Montana Elementary Licensure must have passed the Montana Assessment For Content Knowledge (MACK), including a passing score on the Praxis II. A copy of this licensure assessment is available on the Education ­Department’s website at www.skc.edu.

Teacher Education Program (TEP) ­Portfolios and Interviews

The TEP portfolio is evidence to SKC faculty that a teacher candidate has achieved the requirements for successful completion of education program requirements. Candidates are assessed via portfolio review at three stages of their education program. Candidates’ writing skills are assessed within the portfolio, as well as teaching knowledge, skills and dispositions. ­Evidence of accomplishment is linked to the artifacts that the candidate selects to highlight his or here development and performance in the Teacher Education Program. The portfolio is a continuous, performance-based process, and is the assessment tool for evaluating candidates’ strengths and weaknesses throughout the program.

Near the end of Stage I of the TEP, when the student applying for TEP candidacy has completed the general and portfolio requirements, the candidate presents the portfolio during an interview with a 2-member faculty team. The program faculty and Department Chair sign off on the portfolio, indicating whether or not the candidate is ready to be formally admitted to the TEP.

Near the end of Stage II and completion of all coursework except those during student teaching, candidate progress is re-assessed by a 2-member faculty team. The candidate’s progress will have been benchmarked throughout Stage II in designated professional education courses. Stage II also includes a variety of field experiences. As in Stage I, the program faculty and the Department Chair sign off on the portfolio, indicating whether or not the candidate is ready to be admitted to student teaching.

Stage III is the final phase and is closely linked to student teaching and the capstone course, EDUC 495. At the end of Stage III, the candidate will present his or her portfolio for review and final evaluation during EDUC 495. In addition to providing evidence of successful completion of program requirements at the end of Student Teaching, the Stage III portfolio includes self-reflections, action research, and lesson plans developed and taught during student teaching.

Professional Behavior

SKC teacher candidates must exhibit dispositions and behaviors befitting a professional educator. Any actions that indicate the candidate may be unfit to work with children or perform in school settings will not be tolerated. Among these behaviors are the following:

  • Substance abuse of any kind
  • Inappropriate disclosure or breach of confidential information
  • Inappropriate physical contact or communication including digital communication through social networks, texting or emailing with a student, peer, instructor, or school personnel
  • Criminal activity