College of Education - Educational Theory and Practice

About the College

Mission Statement

The College of Education is dedicated to preparing competent, caring and committed professionals for Montana's schools; conducting socially significant research to improve the human condition; providing community services aimed at improving the quality of life experienced by Montanans; and providing graduate education designed for the continuing development of professionals.

Operating Principles

To successfully implement the University’s mission, the faculty and staff adhere to the following operating principles:

  • All people are entitled to educational programs that are committed to assisting each individual develop self-knowledge, designed to promote physical, social, mental, intellectual and spiritual health, and are delivered in a manner that enhances dignity and respect.

  • Educational programs must enable students to think critically and analytically, make independent decisions, develop social consciousness and recognize the importance of making productive contributions to a multicultural society.

  • Education programs must be committed to the concept of equal opportunity.

  • Educators must be committed to the ethical principles of the profession.

  • Teachers need to be prepared as facilitators of learning, able to assist and direct the natural learning processes of their students.

  • Professionals in education need to develop the skills and understanding necessary to assist people from different cultures and those with disabling conditions.

  • Professional preparation programs must be interdisciplinary in nature.

  • Professionals in education must have a comprehensive foundation in the liberal arts.

  • Professional preparation programs must have sequential and increasingly intense supervised field experience to allow for the guided demonstration of clinical skills.

  • Research conducted by the academic community must be directed toward the search for solutions to specific human problems.

  • Faculty must be actively engaged in community education programs to assist with the implementation of current, empirically validated practices.

  • In support of lifelong learning by professionals in education, the faculty are committed to providing regular in-service education via the graduate and community education programs.

Accreditations and Affiliations

The College of Education is proud of its accreditations and formal affiliations. The Teacher Education Program at Montana State University-Billings is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for the preparation of elementary and secondary teachers through the Bachelor’s degree, and school counselors, the Master of Education degree and the Master of Science in Special Education degree. The Montana State Board of Public Education accredits the Teacher Education Program.

See also: Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges

Instructional Facilities and Special Partnerships

The Montana Center for Inclusive Education

The Montana Center for Inclusive Education is a statewide disability outreach program of the College of Education. The Center is dedicated to developing resources that promote the inclusion of people with disabilities of all ages and cultural backgrounds into their communities. To meet this mission, the Center works with numerous university and community partners.

The Montana Center serves as a training and technical assistance resource to people with disabilities, families and numerous agencies throughout the state. The activities of the Center are funded by a variety of state and federal resources.

The staff of the Montana Center have professional skills related to disability in the areas of employment, rehabilitation counseling, transition, hearing conservation, community integration, prevention, collaboration, and learning strategies.

Through its unique array of programs the Center provides students opportunities to apply skills in a supervised setting. In addition, the various programs of the Center offer unique opportunities for students to engage in study and applied research. The Center also maintains a wealth of research resources in the Center’s library and on their web page www.msubillings.edu/mtcd.

Montana State University Cooperative Program Centers

The Montana State University campuses at Billings and Bozeman have developed cooperative program centers to better serve students who want to earn endorsements and degrees not offered through the authorized curricula on either campus. At Bozeman, MSU Billings offers the special education endorsement program, the Master of Science in Special Education program, and a special education minor in the doctoral programs in curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership offered by MSU-Bozeman. At Billings, MSU-Bozeman offers the school administration endorsement for elementary education and secondary education, and the Master of Education in Educational Administration. Contact the Office of the Dean of Education at either campus for additional information.

Special Projects

About the Department

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Department of Educational Theory and Practice is to prepare teachers who evidence the highest ideals of the teaching profession. This mission involves leading prospective teachers to examine the complex ways in which diverse disciplines interrelate and provide the foundations of all education. Study in the Department’s courses is intended to prepare professional educators for insightful, critical examination of the principles and practices that they encounter in their careers.

Offerings in the Department are based on the assumptions that teaching excellence depends upon:

  1. celebration of the dignity of all individuals and cultural groups;

  2. comprehensive understanding of subject matter;

  3. a knowledge of human intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual development; and

  4. thoughtful, informed decisions about pedagogy

The Department of Educational Theory and Practice is committed to preparing teachers who evidence the highest ideals of the teaching profession. Programs in the Department are based on the assumptions that: 1) effective teachers celebrate the uniqueness and dignity of all individuals and in all cultural groups; 2) a comprehensive understanding of subject matter is essential to teaching excellence; 3) an in depth knowledge of human intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual development through informed classroom practice is essential to teaching excellence; 4) human learning emerges contextually within individuals and is molded in part by familial and cultural institutions and values; and, 5) thoughtful, informed decisions about pedagogy enable teachers to guide students in constructing knowledge and becoming actively involved citizens in an increasingly global society.

These goals are accomplished by: schooling pre-service and in-service teachers in the dynamics of developing self-esteem and diverse family and cultural heritages; encouraging broad-based, in depth studies in a variety of disciplinary areas; focusing on developmentally appropriate instructional theory and practice; modeling attitudes, behaviors, and practices sensitive to individual, gender, and cultural differences; assisting students in developing instructional strategies emanating from several theoretical bases; and, limiting the size of classes to promote maximum individual attention for students.

Early Childhood

The Early Childhood Option provides learning opportunities for teachers, support personnel, and parents of children from birth through nine years of age. The following focus areas are available: Primary Education (K-3rd grade); Parenting/Family Studies; and Special Education. Obtaining teacher certification is optional and usually requires additional courses to meet certification standards. For a more detailed description of coursework see the graduate catalog.

Rehabilitation & Counseling

A paraprofessional training program leading to the Associate of Arts Degree and preparing graduates for entry-level employment in rehabilitation and related settings.

A Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is generally considered the minimum educational requirement for the job title Rehabilitation Counselor; however, many agencies accept applicants with bachelor's degrees.  Individuals with associate degrees find entry-level positions as paraprofessionals in man work settings.  See the graduate catalog.

The School Counseling option for the master of Education Degree is designed to meet the certification requirements established by the Office of Public Instruction for counseling in a school setting in the State of Montana.  The intent of the program is to prepare individuals to work with elementary and secondary students (K-12 OPI certification) in a professional, compassionate manner to promote positive intellectual, behavioral, and emotional change.  The counseling faculty of the College of Education recognizes that there will be those students who wish to pursue both school counselor certification from the State of Montana (OPI) and licensure (LPC or LCPC) simultaneously.  The counseling faculty will be glad to work with those students who wish to pursue that option to build a program that will lead to both certification and licensure.  However, students should understand that licensure is controlled by the Montana Board of Social Work and Licensed Professional Counselors, not the MSU Billings College of Education.  If any student wishes to pursue licensure, the student should follow the programmatic requirements established by the Board of Social Work and Licensed Professional Counselors to ensure LPC/LCPC eligibility.

Reading

The Reading Option provides learning opportunities for teachers, reading supervisors and principals.  Obtaining an endorsement is optional and may require additional courses to meet certifications standards.

School Counseling

The School Counseling option for the Master of Education Degree is designed to meet the certification requirements established by the office of Public Instruction for counseling in a school setting in the State of Montana.  The intent of the program is to prepare individuals to work with elementary and secondary students (K-12 OPI certification) in a professional, compassionate manner to promote positive intellectual, behavioral, and emotional change.  The counseling faculty of the College of Education recognizes that there will be those students who wish to pursue both school counselor certification from the State of Montana (OPI) and licensure (LPC or LCPC) simultaneously.  The counseling faculty will be glad to work with those students who wish to pursue that option to build a program that will lead to both certification and licensure.  However, students should understand that licensure is controlled by the Montana Board of Social Work and Licensed Professional Counselors, not the MSU Billings College of Education.  If any student wishes to pursue licensure, the student should follow the programmatic requirements established by the Board of Social Work and Licensed Professional Counselors to ensure LPC/LCPC eligibility.


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