College of Menominee Offers First Bachelor’s

May 15th, 2009 | By | Category: 20-4: Tribal College Leadership and Vision, Tribal College News

TOMORROW’S TEACHERS. Students who were selected for the new education degree program are (back row, from left): Jolene Bowman, Bernadette Tourtillott, Laona Dixon, Marcus Denny, Jill Ermatinger, Karla Jenquin, Carrie Peters, Melody Peterman, and Janelle Schroeder-Unger; (front row, from left): Jeremy Wescott, Ashley Bierman, Vicki Roffers, Cameo Self, and Tonia Warrington. Photo by Dale Kakkak

The College of Menominee Nation (CMN, Keshena, WI) celebrated the start of its first bachelor’s degree offerings on Jan. 21, 2009, by introducing 15 students accepted for the program’s charter class. As candidates for CMN’s new Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, the group begins coursework that leads to Wisconsin state certification as birth to sixth grade teachers.

Sr. Verna Fowler, president of the college, welcomed the students at a luncheon attended by area school officials, CMN staff, and families of the students. Being accepted as a candidate required more than filling out an application, says Dr. Jerilyn Grignon, who heads the program. Each candidate completed an education portfolio that included a resume, philosophy of education, examples of work from previous courses, and documentation of work with school children.

Applicants were also required to have passing scores on a Pre-Professional Skills test (PPST) and a successful interview with a review team of teacher education faculty and elementary school principals. Interview teams evaluated each applicant’s potential to become an effective classroom teacher and judged them on knowledge, skills, and dispositions, as mandated by the state of Wisconsin and CMN’s program standards and requirements.

The new program builds on the college’s well-established associate degree program in education. Many in this first class are CMN associate degree graduates working with local Head Start programs. Others hold degrees from other colleges and universities and are pursuing the B.S. degree to increase their career options in the field of education.

The Higher Learning Commission formally approved the change in degree level for CMN in November, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) program approval was received June 2008.

The new teacher preparation program was supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title III “Strengthening Institutions” grant and a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) “Climbing the Head Start Career Ladder” grant.

For information, contact Jerilyn Grignon, Ph.D., CMN Teacher Education Division chair, by phone (715) 799-6226 ext. 3089, or email jgrignon@menominee.edu.

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