Instructional Facilities and Special Partnerships
The Montana Center on Disabilities
The Montana Center on Disabilities 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.
The Montana State University campuses at Billings and Bozeman have developed cooperative programs to better serve students who want to earn endorsements and degrees not offered through the authorized curricula on one or the other campus. For 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. For 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.
The Teacher Education Program
The faculty of Montana State University Billings recognizes that the preparation of teachers is an all-University responsibility. Therefore, the various programs for the preparation of teachers represent a cooperative effort by the colleges and departments involved in teacher education.
All candidates from the University who wish to be recommended for State of Montana Licensure must be formally admitted to the Teacher Education Program and meet all of the Teacher Education requirements.
The overall purpose of the Teacher Education Program is to develop competent teachers to meet the challenges of contemporary education. The faculty in the Teacher Education Program recognizes the fact that teaching competence at every level requires steadily changing patterns and greater depths of preparation in order to meet the rising standards of study. Therefore, the faculty assumes responsibility for the selection and admission of those who wish to prepare to teach, for the advisement and retention of those admitted, and for the development of curricula designed for the preparation of educators.
Certain requirements are of major importance:
In order to accomplish these objectives, the prospective teacher must acquire a scholarly mastery of the field to be taught and the ability to use methods of critical inquiry. This implies that prospective teachers acquire a superior fund of knowledge and enhanced scholarly ability in their respective academic disciplines. Moreover, prospective teachers must secure knowledge and understanding of the process of human development and behavior; competence in the techniques of instruction; knowledge of school organization and administration; an understanding of education as a social institution in historical and philosophical perspective; knowledge, understanding and experience in culturally diverse settings; and an ability to work with a diverse group of learners.
The Teacher Education Program includes not only a base of general education and mastery of specific teaching fields, but also an in-depth education in the philosophical processes and organization of public education through a program of combined theory and direct experience.
The College of Education provides a number of supervised clinical and field-based experiences designed to prepare students to work effectively in the education professions. All field-based experiences are systematically designed and selected to provide students with opportunities to observe, plan and practice in a variety of community settings including schools and social service agencies. The major aim of these experiences is to apply execution of principles and theories from the professional knowledge base in supervised environments. Through a sequence of field- based experiences students develop skills that allow them to assume full responsibility as a beginning professional.
All clinical and field-based experiences require a minimum of 45 contact hours per semester credit. In some degree programs, the contact hours may be greater than 45 hours per semester credit and students should clarify expectations with their faculty advisor prior to registration. Students may be required to purchase a liability insurance policy during the field experience. In some cases the school or agency provides insurance.
The student teaching requirement is the culminating experience in the teacher education program at Montana State University Billings. Student teaching provides a guided teaching experience in a school setting on a fulltime basis. During the student teaching term, students concurrently participate in the Capstone seminars. For further information and basic policies regarding the student teaching experience students should meet with their faculty advisors and refer to the Student Teaching Handbook found online.
Field-based internships offer students the opportunity for enhanced experiences in school and community settings. Proposals for internships must be planned by students and their faculty advisor.
In order to provide the highest quality field experience placements for students majoring in elementary or secondary education, deadlines have been set for accepting field placement applications. Field experience placements are the product of a number of elements including student needs, school district requests, and recommendations from faculty. To coordinate these elements in a timely fashion and meet all participants’ needs to the fullest extent possible, there must be sufficient lead-time. Application deadlines are posted throughout the College each semester. Students who plan to enroll for student teaching must have completed their required coursework prior to the term they plan to student teach.
Teacher Licensure Requirements
Specific teacher licensure requirements for the State of Montana have been established by the Office of Public Instruction. All licenses are endorsed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the appropriate level(s) and area(s) of professional competence based upon the recommendation by the Licensure Officer of the College of Education. Curriculum programs at MSU Billings prepare students for standard and professional licensure in elementary and secondary teaching and school counseling. Education students who take sufficient credits in a specific field, and meet all the endorsement requirements, may receive an endorsement on their teaching license for the field of teaching upon recommendation of the Licensure Officer of the College of Education.
Processing Procedures for Licensure and Endorsement
Chapter No. 396, Section 3, Montana Session Laws 1971 “All units of the Montana University System and all private colleges and universities in Montana that offer any degree in education shall require that any person who receives any degree in education from that unit, private college, or university must have successfully completed a course in health education to include drug and alcohol education and abuse prior to being awarded his or her degree.”
The State of Montana requires licensed personnel to have instruction pertaining to the history, traditions, customs, values, beliefs, ethics, and contemporary affairs of American Indians, particularly Indian tribal groups in Montana. While one three-credit course is a teacher education requirement, IEFA is infused throughout the program.
The College of Education graduate programs have specific outcomes expected of graduate students. These outcomes are delineated in the following Advanced Conceptual Framework. Graduate students pursuing initial educator licensure are expected to meet the outcomes as delineated in the Initial Conceptual Framework (See the Undergraduate Bulletin) as well as ACF expectations.