2023-2024 Catalog

Education Division

Programs of Study in Education

SKC’s Division of Education offers associates and bachelor’s degrees in the following areas:

  • Early Childhood Education (birth to age 8)
  • Early Childhood Education: P-3 (preschool to Grade 3)
  • Elementary Education (Kindergarten to Grade 8; also available with a Native Language Emphasis)
  • Secondary Education – Broadfield Science (Grades 5-12)
  • Secondary Education – Mathematics (Grades 5-12)
  • Native Language Teacher Education

Please see the descriptions and program overviews in subsequent sections.

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.opi.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.

Undergraduate degree programs in ­Early Childhood P:3, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education lead to licensure in Montana. Students applying for licensure must meet multiple measures for eligibility, including a passing score in the Final Conference Evaluation, successful completion of all program requirements including student teaching, and a GPA of at least 2.75.

Teacher Education Program (TEP) ­Portfolios and Conferences

The TEP portfolio is an archive of faculty conference reviews, course artifacts, and other documentation that provides evidence to SKC faculty that a teacher candidate has successfully completed the requirements of their education degree program. Candidates are assessed at multiple stages of their education program. Their writing skills are assessed in this process, as well as teaching knowledge, skills and dispositions. The TEP process is a continuous, performance-based system that serves to  evaluate candidates’ strengths and weaknesses throughout the program. It also provides the Division of Education with valuable insights about how to continually improve its programs, to better meet the needs of students and adapt to the changing landscapes of the teaching profession.

As one of the final components of either ECED 298 or EDUC 203 near the end of the sophomore year, students participate in a Stage 1 Initial Conference with a faculty team. Program faculty, advisors, and department chairs sign off on a scored assessment that indicates whether or not students are accepted into the Teacher Education Program (TEP) - the third and fourth year of their academic program.

In the second stage of TEP, candidates will participate in a unique Showcase event with their peers to highlight their evolving knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions in relation to the Division’s Central Beliefs. This event will include PreK-12 teaching professionals, DOE faculty and students, and others so that the candidate may feature their growth as preservice educators prior to student teaching.

The final phase for seniors is closely linked to student teaching and the capstone course, EDUC 495. Near the end of the final program year, following student teaching, the candidate will participate in a Final Conference in conjunction with EDUC 495. In addition to providing evidence of successful completion of all program requirements, the Final Conference includes self-reflections, insights learned from action research, and evidence of learning experiences developed and taught during student teaching. As in Stage 1, program faculty, advisors, and department chairs sign off on a scored summative assessment that indicates if students have demonstrated proficiency in teaching relevant to their program of study.

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