Montana State University

Teacher Education Program

Selection of Candidates for Teaching

Montana State University is one of the units in the University System charged with the responsibility of recommending candidates for teacher licensure. In discharging this responsibility, the College of Education, Health and Human Development attempts to encourage, train, and recommend for licensure only those students who show promise of teaching excellence. Consequently, certain criteria have been established for admission to the Teacher Education Program, and screening procedures have been provided at several points in the program. A student to be screened out of the program for reasons other than academic performance may have the right of review by the Teacher Licensure and Professional Practices Committee.

Criteria for Selection and Retention

  1. Admission to the Teacher Education Program--Any student who wishes to enter the Teacher Education Program must complete an "Application for the Teacher Education Program." These forms are available at placement/tepp-approval.html. The plan must be signed by the advisor(s), and the forms turned into the Advising Center, Reid Hall 132. Students should apply to the Teacher Education Program during the semester prior to the semester they will take their methods class or first teaching practicum.

    The requirements for admission are 1) a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.5; 2) a 2.5 grade-point average in the teaching major, minor, professional area, and "Prerequisites for Elementary Methods Courses" with no grade below a "C" in any of these areas; 3) a 2.5 grade-point average in the communication and quantitative areas of the university core course requirements (9 credits minimum) with no grade lower than a "C"(courses designated core US, W, and Q); 4) approval of the advisors; and 5) no record of immoral conduct related to the teaching profession nor been judged guilty of a criminal offense as outlined by Sec. 20-4-110 of the MCA.

  2. Application and Approval for Student Teaching--Certain requirements must be met by all students desiring to student teach: 1) maintenance of the same standards required for admission into the program including satisfactory clearance on a federal criminal background check; 2) completion of all required courses; 3) certification in first aid with CPR; and 4) proof of liability; 5)approval of advisors (s).

    Student teaching is limited to seniors. Application must be made to the Director of Field Placement and Licensure later than the following times: Student teaching in the fall - by the end of the first week in December; Student teaching in the spring - by the end of the second week in April. If special services or accommodations (for a disability) are needed or required while student teaching, arrangements will be made.

  3. Recommendation and Approval for Licensure --The requirements for recommendation by Montana State University for licensure include completion of courses in the Teacher Education Program as outlined in the individual's approved plan; maintenance of the same standards as are required for student teaching (item 2 above); and approval of advisors and the Director of Field Placement and Licensure.

     The Praxis II exam must be successfully passed in every teaching major and minor before teacher licensure can be obtained. A list of specific tests and passing scores can be obtained from the MSU Field Placement and Licensure Office. A copy of the Praxis II score must be on file in the MSU Field Placement and Licensure Office before a recommendation form can be submitted to the Montana Office of Public Instruction. All Education majors must meet Montana requirements for the Professional Educator Preparation Program Content Standards.

Residency Requirements for Professional Education Courses

In each of the teacher licensure programs, students must take at least half of the professional courses that are required prior to student teaching while attending classes on the Montana State University-Bozeman campus. (Credits earned through correspondence, extension, Extended Studies, or distance education at Montana State University-Bozeman do not qualify as residential credits.)  Also, most methods courses and the teaching practicum experience(s) must be taken at the MSU-Bozeman campus, and students must also enroll for student teaching through MSU-Bozeman.

In all secondary teacher education programs, students will take a total of 32-34 professional education credits. Twelve of these credits will be in student teaching through MSU-Bozeman. Of the remaining 22 credits, students must take a minimum of 11 credits (including the major methods class and the teaching practicum experience) while attending classes on the MSU-Bozeman campus.

In the elementary teacher education program, students will take a total of 66-68 professional education credits. Ten to 12 of these credits will be in student teaching through MSU-Bozeman. Of the remaining 56-58 credits, students must take a minimum of 29 credits (including 21 credits in Blocks A & B, which includes the paraprofessional experience) while attending classes on the MSU-Bozeman campus.

All students working toward teacher licensure in elementary and/or secondary education must enroll at Montana State University-Bozeman campus according to the above described criteria in order to successfully complete the program.

Second Degree and Non-degree Licensure

Students already holding valid Bachelor's degrees may fulfill licensure requirements by completing a second undergraduate degree, or in some cases, a non-degree program. Students should contact the Field Placement and Licensure Office for further information. Non-degree and second-degree students must meet the same standards for program entrance and student teaching as first-degree students.

To be recommended for licensure, a person must have completed a minimum of 10 credits from Montana State University-Bozeman specific programs.

Teacher Education Admission, Retention, Graduation, and Licensure Criteria

The education of a teacher is multi-faceted. It requires assimilation of subject knowledge, basic skills, and teaching knowledge (pedagogy) concurrent with the development of appropriate professional, behavioral, and social attributes for successful teaching. This document clarifies the ways in which graduates of the Montana State University - Bozeman Teacher Education Program are required to demonstrate these program basics before entering the field of teaching.*

*The program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability. When requested, the University will provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with disabilities.

This program policy is an extension of, and in conformity with, the Department of Education Admission, Retention, Graduation, and Licensure Policies and Procedures.


The Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education Programs endeavor to select applicants who have the ability to become highly competent teachers. As an accredited teacher education program, the curriculum in teacher education adheres to the standards and guidelines of the pre-service program outlined by the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Within these guidelines, the Teacher Education Faculty have the freedom and ultimate responsibility for the selection and evaluation of its students; the design, implementation, and evaluations of its curriculum; and the determination of who should be recommended for a degree and state licensure. Admission and retention decisions are based not only on prior satisfactory academic achievement, but also on a range of factors which serve to ensure that the candidate can demonstrate the program basics required in the Teacher Education Program.

The Department has the responsibility to the public to assure that its graduates can become fully competent and caring teachers. Thus, it is important that persons admitted possess the intelligence, integrity, compassion, and physical and emotional capacity necessary for teaching in K-12 classrooms.

Professional Expectations For Prospective Teachers

The Professional Expectations for prospective teachers required by the Department of Education at Montana State University include communication competencies, intellectual (conceptual, integrative,and quantitative) abilities for problem solving and effective teaching, and professional, behavioral, and social competencies relevant to the performance of a professional educator.

Communication competencies are demonstrated by behaviors such as:

  • Using the appropriate grammar (syntax, inflection, and word choice) in oral communication
  • Speaking distinctly and with confidence
  • Communicating with sensitivity to the situation and circumstances of professors, students, peers, and colleagues
  • Using correct spelling, standard English language mechanics, and meaningful word choice in written expression

Intellectual competencies are demonstrated by behaviors such as:

  • Ability to master relevant content in subjects commonly taught in K-12 schools
  • Ability to master pedagogical principles and their application in field settings at a level deemed appropriate by the faculty
  • Ability to comprehend, memorize, analyze, and synthesize material
  • Ability to develop reasoning and decision-making skills appropriate to the practice of teaching

Professional behavioral, and social competencies are demonstrated by behaviors such as:

  • Completing assignments and meeting responsibilities on time
  • Participating fully in class and field settings
  • Seeking assistance from instructors and supervisors when appropriate
  • Developing positive relationships with peers and education professionals
  • Working effectively in groups, actively listening to other viewpoints, and treating individuals with respect
  • Perceiving a wide range of interpersonal cues from others and responding appropriately
  • Displaying openness to new ideas and constructive criticism and using that criticism to improve performance
  • Recognizing one's own strengths and weaknesses and taking personal responsibility to respond appropriately
  • Displaying professional appearance, poise, flexibility, and a positive attitude
  • Prioritizing responsibilities
  • Taking initiative
  • Using good judgment, tact, and discretion

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