School of Education - Accreditation Self-Study Report

Unit

The mission of our education unit is to “create an environment where all participants are critical, creative thinkers, lifelong learners and global citizens who advocate and work for justice and equality as they pursue their various roles”. Our teacher candidates come from seven colleges and schools on our campus (Exhibit I.5.f.3).

In 2009 the Bush Foundation awarded $40.5 million to 14 select institutions of higher education in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, to enhance and reform teacher education (Exhibit I.5.g.1). The Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT) is a unique partnership that crosses state borders, bringing teacher educators together as a community as they implement change. The vision of SCSU’s Teacher Preparation Initiative (TPI) is to “maximize teacher effectiveness and increase student achievement by transforming and strengthening teacher education through collaborative partnerships between SCSU and P-12 school districts” (Exhibit I.5.g.2).

As part of our reform efforts, we created two important structures within the unit that address our commitment to P-12 partnerships. First, the Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC), which is comprised of faculty, staff and candidates from teacher preparation programs at SCSU, along with P-12 teachers and administrators (Exhibit I.5.g.3). TEAC meets regularly to discuss unit issues and make recommendations for continuing improvement of our programs. Second, the Executive Teacher Education Council (ETEC) brings together all campus deans along with area superintendents, to provide a forum for input on decisions related to our programs (Exhibit I.5.g.4). The result has been increased communication, collaboration and P-12 engagement in the preparation of high-quality educators. In June 2014, SCSU also took steps to affirm a formal teacher education unit at St. Cloud State (Exhibit I.5.g.5).This will enhance collaboration and communication across disciplines to better serve our candidates.