The Department of Education has three program areas: Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Adult & Higher Education. As the undergraduate teacher education unit, Curriculum & Instruction provides programs in elementary education and secondary education.
Curriculum & Instruction also offers a masters degree program for advanced professional development for practicing teachers and other education professional, and a doctoral level (Ed.D)for those preparing to teach in education departments at the university level.
The Educational Leadership program offers a masters level certification and degree program for the principalship, and a doctoral level certification program (Ed.D.) to prepare individuals for the superintendency.
The program in Adult and Higher Education offers Masters and Doctoral level programs for those seeking careers in Higher Education or other post-secondary educational venues.
The mission of the Department of Education is to prepare highly qualified professional educators and administrators through exemplary campus and distance based programs and field placements in quality public and private schools. In addition, the department contributes to the State of Montana and the nation through the faculty's active research and outreach efforts.
The goals for the Department of Education Teacher Education Programs emulate the Standards adopted by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC).
Goal 1 - understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structure of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students;
Goal 2 - understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social, and personal development;
Goal 3 - understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners;
Goal 4 - understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills;
Goal 5 - uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation;
Goal 6 - uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction, in the classroom;
Goal 7 - plans instruction based on knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals;
Goal 8 - understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner;
Goal 9 - is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his or her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community), and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally; and
Goal 10 - fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well being.