United Tribes Technical College Prepares “Competent, Caring Teachers”

Feb 21st, 2016 | By | Category: 27-3: The Trials of Teacher Education, Tribal College News

The teacher education program at UTTC stresses academic rigor while fostering caring teachers. Photo by Dennis J. Neumann

The Teacher Education Department at United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) in Bismarck, North Dakota, is dedicated to making quality education a reality, specifically for those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The department’s bachelor’s degree program recently received approval through 2021 from North Dakota’s standards board. This is one measure of the department’s success. Another is the graduates themselves who have completed the degree program and are now teachers in tribal and public schools throughout the United States.

Students in teacher education at UTTC engage in a rigorous academic environment dedicated to creating brighter futures for all the students in the classroom and for the teacher candidates who will go on to serve as professional educators. The college takes pride in its innovative research-based programs that emphasize the development of critically reflective thinking processes, and strong community partnerships in field placements, professional organizations, and service learning. The faculty are all veteran K-12 teachers with a wealth of classroom experience, some of whom are practicing elementary school teachers.

The conceptual framework of the UTTC teacher education program is based on the philosophy that teaching from what was traditionally a Native perspective is the best way for all children to learn. This perspective is rooted in recognizing the child in the context of family, community, and culture. Learning experiences are based in the cultural values of relevance, relatedness, respect, and responsibility—referred to in this framework as the “4 R’s”. The professional educators who graduate from the college’s elementary education bachelor’s degree program exemplify the unit’s conceptual framework as “competent, caring teachers.”

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