UTTC Teacher Ed program earns state’s approval

Aug 15th, 2011 | By | Category: 23-1: Beyond Racism, Tribal College News
By Dennis Neumann
UTTC TEACHER EDUCATION STUDENTS

LEARNING TO TEACH: Teacher education students watch a video about “word walls” during a class session March 13 at United Tribes Technical College. From left: Nevada Allen (Three Affiliated), Yvonne Howling Wolf (Three Affiliated), Jodene Uses Many (Cheyenne River), Shyanne Schmaltz (Standing Rock), and Joelle Bearstail (Three Affiliated). All are students in the college’s bachelor’s level teacher education program. United Tribes News photo by Dennis J. Neumann

In March, the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) granted approval for United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, Bismarck, ND) to offer its own baccalaureate program in elementary education. The ESPB is the agency that approves teacher education programs in the state.

For the past eight years, UTTC has partnered with Sinte Gleska University (SGU, Mission, SD) to offer bachelor degrees in teacher education to students on the UTTC campus.

“Based on the success of that partnership, we initiated the process of preparing a program to offer and confer bachelor degrees by United Tribes,” says Lisa Azure, UTTC teacher education chair. “We moved forward with the leadership of United Tribes President David M. Gipp and the support of other campus personnel and staff.”

ESPB approval is the first step in the process. The next and final one will be to gain approval from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

As is typical with a new program, the ESPB approval is provisional, says Azure. A follow-up visit is scheduled for 2014. In the meantime, further documentation and evidence will be gathered based on how United Tribes conducts the program. Most of the existing data came from the Sinte Gleska partnership.

“There are external entities that determine an institution’s capacity to prepare and graduate high-quality teachers,” says Azure. “Ultimately, we feel the success of our program is measured by the success of its graduates, of whom we couldn’t be more proud.”

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